Our military needs to engage in some soul-searching [“Military officials issue orders to cut costs,” news story, Jan. 23]. It’s the nature of a bureaucracy to self-perpetuate by expanding its budget and mission year after year, but I find it hard to reconcile the statement by Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that “the readiness of our Armed Forces is at a tipping point” with the sacrifices military leaders are claiming will have to be made. Among these “sacrifices”: military flights not directly related to readiness; nonessential upgrades to facilities, including buying new furniture, painting and remodeling; and cutting back on recreational activities. If these are the sacrifices proposed, I suggest that perhaps more can be cut without affecting readiness.

Rich Davis, Laurel