The Obama administration believes the U.S. Army’s total force size is too large, and is seeking to cut 25,000 soldiers by 2018, according to a new congressional report.
The effort would bring the U.S. Army’s force strength down 475,000 to 450,000.
The Washington Free Beacon reports:
While the Obama administration’s Defense Department is seeking to cut the force by 25,000 over current levels, the House is proposing to grow the Army by 5,000. The Senate is proposing to cut levels by 15,000.
The disparate plans highlight a lack of cohesion in the U.S. government about how strong the Army should be as America stretches its fighting forces across the globe to counter Islamic terrorism and a range of other threats.
“The debate about the size of the Army may well continue into the next Congress, as the Department of Defense plans further reductions in the size of the Army, proposing FY2018 end strength of 450,000,” the report states. “There will be also be a new president in January, and his or her policy priorities may revise the contours of this debate.”
The report adds: “The divergence between the administration request and the House and Senate bills reflects differing assessments of a variety of factors, including operational tempo, budgetary constraints, and, most frequently, readiness.”
Growing global threats such as Russia and North Korea have been a large point of contention between the governing bodies. In addition, the emergence of terror groups such as ISIS, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and other terrorist regimes across the globe are a large factor in the U.S. Army’s force strength.
The Obama administration “strongly objects” to efforts to increase the Army’s end strength. The White House released a statement saying that increasing the size of the Army would “force the [Defense] Department to take additional risk in training and readiness of the current force, as well as investment in and procurement of future capabilities.”
Military leaders on the other hand have stressed the need to modernize and develop new equipment which requires manpower.
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(H/T: Free Beacon)