President Donald Trump has lunch with troops while visiting U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. Trump, who spent the weekend at Mar-a-Lago, stopped for a visit to the headquarters before returning to Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Military leaders say budget caps are crippling armed forces

February 07, 2017 - 9:50 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — A panel of four-star U.S. military officers is delivering lawmakers a bleak picture about the state of the armed forces.

During testimony Tuesday before the House Armed Services Committee, they say mandatory caps that strictly limit defense spending are crippling the military's ability to respond to threats around the world.

Adm. William Moran, the vice chief of naval operations, says more than half of all Navy aircraft can't fly because they're awaiting maintenance or lack needed spare parts.

Gen. Daniel Allyn, the Army's vice chief of staff, says only three of the Army's more than 50 brigade combat teams have all the troops, training and equipment needed to fight at a moment's notice.

The officers are pleading with Congress to repeal the 2011 budget law that imposed the spending caps.

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