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Originally published Friday, March 1, 2013 at 4:37 AM

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Army chief of staff decries budget uncertainty

The Army chief of staff said Friday that the protracted fight over the budget is having a severe impact on Army training.

The Associated Press

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WASHINGTON —

The Army chief of staff said Friday that the protracted fight over the budget is having a severe impact on Army training.

Gen. Ray Odierno said the Army is experiencing an $18 billion shortfall, saying that finding the necessary money isn't as easy as critics suggest.

"The money is fenced in" as part of a stopgap spending bill, he said.

"What I'm trying to tell people is that we are not training for the rest of the year, except those in Afghanistan," Odierno added.

The general appeared on "CBS This Morning" ahead of a meeting at the White House Friday between President Barack Obama and the Democratic and Republican congressional leadership.

Odierno said the Pentagon needs a set budget - not the so-called "continuing resolution"- to "protect our soldiers."

"The cuts are disproportionately enacted on defense," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said on CBS. "What we are doing to the men and the women in the military is unconscionable," he said. "They volunteered to serve. They don't even know where they're going to be next week."

"We should not have waited" until the cuts were about to take effect to call people together to the White House, McCain said.

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