The military is approaching a situation where the U.S. will not be able to operate in sustained combat while also deterring threats around the world, according to a Heritage Foundation report released Wednesday.
The annual Index of Military Strength found that the country is facing more dangerous threats while being forced to shrink and postpone modernization under budget caps. Because of a smaller force and a high operational tempo, assets and people are getting worn out and tired, said Dakota Wood, senior research fellow for defense at the Heritage Foundation and editor of the annual military report card.
The Army and Air Force have both gotten worse over the past year, the report found. The Air Force, now rated as marginal compared to strong in the 2015 report, may be acquiring new aircraft, but the service's usable planes are nearing the end of their service life.