Pentagon plans to shrink US Army to pre-WWII level

Washington (AFP) – The Pentagon plans to scale back the US Army by more than an eighth to its lowest level since before World War II, signaling a shift after more than a decade of ground wars.

Saying it was time to “reset” for a new era, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recommended shrinking American forces from 520,000 active duty troops to between 440,000 and 450,000.

In a speech outlining the proposed defense budget, he said Monday that after Iraq and Afghanistan, US military leaders no longer plan to “conduct long and large stability operations.”

If approved by Congress, the Pentagon move would reduce the army to its lowest manning levels since 1940, before the American military dramatically expanded after entering World War II.

The smaller force would entail some “added risk” but it would still be able to defeat an adversary in one region while also “supporting” air and naval operations in another, he said.

The Pentagon for years had planned to ensure the army could fight two major wars at the same time but that doctrine has been abandoned.

Full article: Pentagon plans to shrink US Army to pre-WWII level (Yahoo!)

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