Army to cut 40,000 soldiers by 2017

Army to cut 40,000 soldiers by 2017

[Ed. – That’s a big cut, and the key point about this is that it is NOT being done in response to a rethinking of national strategy or priorities.  It’s entirely driven by prospects for the defense budget.]

The Army plans to cut 40,000 soldiers from its ranks over the next two years, a reduction that will affect virtually all of its domestic and foreign posts, the service asserts in a document obtained by USA TODAY.

The potential troop cut comes as the Obama administration is pondering its next moves against the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria. President Obama said Monday he and military leaders had not discussed sending additional troops to Iraq to fight the Islamic State. There are about 3,500 troops in Iraq. …

An additional 17,000 Army civilian employees would be laid off under the plan officials intend to announce this week. Under the plan, the Army would have 450,000 soldiers by Sept. 30, 2017, the end of the 2017 budget year. The reduction in troops and civilians is due to budget constraints, the document says. …

If the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration, set to begin in October, take place, the Army would have to slash another 30,000 soldiers, according to the document. At that level, the Army would not be able to meet its current deployments and respond to demands for troops in other regions. …

In 2013, the Army maintained in budget documents that dipping below 450,000 soldiers could prevent it from prevailing in a war.

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