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Pentagon plans to reduce U.S. army size

Staff writer ▼ | February 26, 2014
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel outlined his priorities for 2015 defense budget cut, including plans to reduce the size of the U.S. army to its pre-World War II levels.
Chuck Hagel
Chuck HagelU.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel outlined his priorities for 2015 defense budget cut, including plans to reduce the size of the U.S. army to its pre-World War II levels.


"We are repositioning to focus on the strategic challenges and opportunities that will define our future: new technologies, new centers of power and a world that is growing more volatile, more unpredictable and in some instances more threatening to the United States," Mr. Hagel said.

Mr. Hagel unveiled his budget-cut proposals as the Obama administration is preparing to pull out most U.S. troops from Afghanistan following an almost 13-year war.

"As we end our combat mission in Afghanistan, this will be the first budget to fully reflect the transition DOD (the Department of Defense) is making after 13 years of war, the longest conflict in our nation's history."

Among the proposals, Mr. Hagel announced his plans to further reduce the size of U.S. Army to between 440,000 to 450,000 active-duty soldiers. This would mark the U.S. Army's smallest force since World War II. The active-duty troop level has already been slated to go down to 490,000 by 2015 from a peak of 570,000 after Sept. 11 attacks, 2001.

Mr. Hagel's proposals also include to retire the U.S. Air Force's entire A-10 fleet and to seek another round of base realignment and closure. He said the recommendations favor "a smaller and more capable force, putting a premium on rapidly deployable, self-sustaining platforms that can defeat more technologically advanced adversaries."


 

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