Money for training dried up. Ammunition was cut, to the point where even an SF unit had to fight to get its men 40 rounds a year to fire the qualification table and another 10 or so to zero. The conventional Army didn’t even try, conducting rifle qualification with the “M1 Pencil.” Forget about blanks for force-on-force training: they were doled out like rubies, and many exercises ended like childhood games, with both sides standing on the objective after shouting “bang, bang!” during the TOT, arguing about who killed whom. It was not only deleterious to readiness, it was unseemly.Those were dark days in the U.S. military, much as they were in the nation's 1930s economic crisis, and they look fair to repeat, says OldNFO.
I think I've said before that we can't write bad checks for the military any more than we can for the myriad social programs that weigh on the treasury, that we would have to find a way to trim fat from the defense budget, too. The problem is that they never trim fat. They trim muscle and backbone and leave fat untouched. Budget cuts happen as far away from the flagpole as possible.