A hollow force may be inevitable, at least in the short term, said Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics on Wednesday. “If we stay on the path that we’re on, I think that we will, at least in the short term until we can get back into balance, have a hollow force,” said Kendall during a speech at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics SciTech conference in Washington, D.C.. Kendall said the Defense Department is still finalizing its Fiscal 2015 budget request, which it intends to submit to Congress in the coming weeks, and though he declined to offer specifics just yet, he said force structure is going to come down. “If we hang on to more force structure than we can afford, it means that the other accounts, besides pay and joint operations, have to pay the bills,” noted Kendall. Failing to invest in science and technology and relying on aging equipment, also can create a hollow force, he said. However, because DOD assumed sequestration was here to stay this year, and therefore spent accordingly, “We’re in much better shape than we were in last year.” That doesn’t mean there aren’t more “substantial cuts” to come. And, those cuts may “fall disproportionately,” he cautioned. (AFPS report)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.