T Nation

Military to Cut 70,000



"But now we learn from Secretary of Defense Robert Gates that the force is going to shrink again. Last week he announced that, starting in 2015, the Army is going to lose 27,000 soldiers on top of an already planned cut of 22,000. That will bring the Army's active duty strength down to 517,000â??still larger than it was in 2001 but far smaller than it was in 1991, and not big enough to meet all of the contingencies for which it must prepare. The Marine Corps will lose 15,000 to 20,000 personnel. So our ground combat forcesâ??the most heavily deployed forces since the end of the Cold Warâ??will be deprived of 70,000 troopers or almost 10 percent of their strength.
We wish that President Obama, who forced these cuts on Gates and the Defense Department, would explain what in the international situation gives him confidence that we can meet all of our security commitments with so many fewer grunts. The president thinks that most of our troops will be gone from Afghanistan by 2015, but how certain is he that the drawdown will occur as envisioned? How certain is he that Pakistan, Yemen, or Somalia won't be the staging ground for another 9/11, thereby requiring another massive commitment of U.S. troops? How certain is he that we won't face a war on the Korean Peninsula or in Iran or in some other land where we cannot currently envision sending American forcesâ??any more than anyone could have envisioned on September 10, 2001, that America would eventually have 100,000 troops in Afghanistan?"

Maybe we can bow and scrape, just ask people like the North Korean leadership, to please be nice?


We can always use harsh language HH.


This is a travesty of justice. There is no end to the cow-towing that Robert Gates will do to keep his job. Ronald Reagan is rolling over in his grave right now.


Remember that this is the Dept of Defense that is building submarines to fight insurgencies. Personnel are the easiest to cut, troops don't cost much and they don't have lobbyists. It is easier on Capitol Hill to cut troop strength than cut bases or systems. Gates killed the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, that needed to go and congress was already against it. If he tried another round of base closures or kill off a ship or cancel the F-35, congress would shit.


Yup, money and politics.

The military is grossly bloated and cutting heads is easiest.


The military isn't bloated at all. The Army, for instance, has very mobile, streamlined figting force.

The military industrial complex/Pentagon system is indeed bloated, but not the military per se.



We need to stop empire building, and have a smaller, better-trained, more high-tech force.

We should also close/drastically reduce the of our bases in Europe and our presence in South Korea.

I don't believe that our government exists to be a jobs program, the DoD is one of the worst for employing useless paper pushers, and promoting redundancy.


According to the most recent Woodward book, Gates has tried to quit a few times and been asked to stay on by the president.


That's what we did in Iraq in 2003. That didn't work out so well.


There is a point to be made for redundancy in military operations.


Au contraire, from a military perspective that worked magnificently.

From a nation building perwspective probably not so much, but that is not really the job of a military anyway.


Yes, that military strategy assumes we aren't out to empire build ("nation building"), and that our military is for our defense only, able to make surgical strikes, anywhere in the world rapidly, but not take and hold large amounts of territory for extended periods of time.


I wonder how much cash Area 51 absorbs...


This could be completely wrong but, I thought that the intelligences agencies budgets weren't public knowledge.


We could got 100,000 contract jobs and nonone would notice.



I think the Navy has more admirals than ships.

Does anyone know this statistic?


So the Navy is overstrength on Admirals? If that is true, so what?

The Army goes through fluctuations like that all the time. Right now, AG Officers are in demand on the Army Active Duty side. A few years ago, bonuses, to the tune of 25K to 30K, depending on one's branch, were being offered because junior officers were getting out of the Army in droves.

I've been in for five years guy, we can delve into this deeper, but I'll be right and you will be wrong.


Wow, five whole years. You must be the expert.

It is top heavy and bloated. There is no doubt.

We could close most of our bases in Europe, even more in the States and not compromise anything except the electability of the local congressmen.

You don't seem like you believe in America running an empire but the only argument for not cutting military is just that.


Which is five more years of experience that you don't have.

I have no problem with closing bases and using the military in the way it was meant to be used.

But as for overall numbers, the ability to train, equip, and mobilize, the military is far more streamlined now than it probably has ever been.


Only looking back through the Cold War years. Pre WWI and pre WWII the military was very stripped down. It was basically a skeleton for citizen soldiers to fill out. We have a long way to go to get back to that.