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Top Army officials today admitted they deliberately weakened three backup tank divisions -- the most troubling revelation in the disclosure that combat-readiness has declined -- because of the high cost of overseas missions to places such as Haiti, Kuwait and Somalia. Defense Secretary William Perry and other civilian military leaders expressed surprise Wednesday at the Army's low ratings despite orders to make preparedness a priority. But today, both U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gordon Sullivan and Vice Chairman Gen. John H. Tilelli Jr. blamed the unbudgeted missions for the lapses -- and Tilelli accused civilians of consciously deciding to put the Army in a budget box. But, he backtracked, the Army "remains the most capable army in the world."Post your opinion on theWashingtonbulletin board.