Video: Hagel announces plan to shrink army to pre-World War II levels

posted at 5:51 pm on February 24, 2014 by Allahpundit

This is the whole reason he was brought on as SecDef in the first place, Legal Insurrection reminds us. Obama knew that he’d take heat from Republicans for downsizing the military, but maybe not quite as much heat if he had a nominal Republican in charge of the process.

For the United States, the age of occupation is over. Whether that means an age of occupation is beginning for someone else, stay tuned.

Officials who saw an early draft of the announcement acknowledge that budget cuts will impose greater risk on the armed forces if they are again ordered to carry out two large-scale military actions at the same time: Success would take longer, they say, and there would be a larger number of casualties. Officials also say that a smaller military could invite adventurism by adversaries.

“You have to always keep your institution prepared, but you can’t carry a large land-war Defense Department when there is no large land war,” a senior Pentagon official said…

The Army, which took on the brunt of the fighting and the casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq, already was scheduled to drop to 490,000 troops from a post-9/11 peak of 570,000. Under Mr. Hagel’s proposals, the Army would drop over the coming years to between 440,000 and 450,000.

That would be the smallest United States Army since 1940. For years, and especially during the Cold War, the Pentagon argued that it needed a military large enough to fight two wars simultaneously — say, in Europe and Asia. In more recent budget and strategy documents, the military has been ordered to be prepared to decisively win one conflict while holding off an adversary’s aspirations in a second until sufficient forces could be mobilized and redeployed to win there.

Among the specifics: The army will swap its Black Hawks for the National Guard’s Apaches, which have more firepower; funding for cyberwarfare and Special Ops, two of Obama’s priorities, will continue at current levels; and the A-10 Warthog, which was designed to target Russian tanks in case they invaded Europe, will be retired. (Anyone in Kiev want to buy a jet?) I’m not qualified to say which cuts are smart and feasible and which are dangerously short-sighted but I know we have plenty of readers who are, so here’s your thread to sound off. I am qualified to say that a few years ago this type of move from a liberal president who’s already seen as provocatively weak would have raised holy hell on the right. Today, after a few more years of war-weariness, urgency among tea partiers for meaningful spending cuts, and the mainstreaming of “non-interventionism” by Rand Paul and other libertarians, it’s a closer call. Try gaming out the responses onstage at the first GOP 2016 debate when this subject is raised and you’ll find it’s not so easy. Some of it is — Rubio, a hawk in the McCain mold, will rip Obama for retreating — but candidates like Walker and Christie will try to walk a line between hawks and doves. So will Paul, actually: His big liability potentially is being seen as Ron Jr. on foreign policy so he may feel obliged to balance his praise for the “smaller, leaner military” approach with criticism of Obama for not beefing up certain areas. And what about Cruz? In a sense he has the opposite problem of Paul, wanting to attack Obama for weakening America but needing to find some merit in cuts to the budget.

Needless to say, this is the tip of the iceberg in decades to come as entitlements cannibalize more of America’s discretionary spending.


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Hagel is an azzwipe…

OmahaConservative on February 24, 2014 at 5:54 PM

I sure hope the Germans don’t try to bomb Pearl Harbor again.

dentarthurdent on February 24, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Agree 100%. Entitlement reform should be a bigger priority, but our military spending is ridiculous.

Xasprtr on February 24, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Yahoo. The world will be safer if we downsize our military. I’m sure China, Russia, Al Queedder, Al Aqsa etc. will lay down their arms and we will all hum happy tunes together. Utopia is finally here. Open the borders, we can finally afford to feed to world and provide free health care, at least for a few months.

oldroy on February 24, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Mistake.

Midas on February 24, 2014 at 5:55 PM

I wonder if China or Russia will be downsizing as well. :-P

ThePrez on February 24, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Tell ya what; give me a functional A-10, and I’ll waive all rights to any social security payments I’ll be eligible for in the future… (as if there will be any money/SS payments by the time I get there, lol)…

Midas on February 24, 2014 at 5:56 PM

For the United States, the age of occupation is over.

If Obama is is going to shrink the military, then he can raise the number of border patrol agents, right?

Because I think But the beginning of our occupation is just beginning.

portlandon on February 24, 2014 at 5:57 PM

While I’m leery of reducing military spending, if they’re going to start cutting, I hope they start at the top of the bloated bureaucratic mess that our armed forces have accumulated over the decades.

Mohonri on February 24, 2014 at 5:57 PM

I wonder if China or Russia will be downsizing as well. :-P

ThePrez on February 24, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Of course! That’s what unilateral disarmament means, right? Right? Oh, wait…

Midas on February 24, 2014 at 5:57 PM

************** Remember, Under A LibTard Administration ***************!!

canopfor on February 24, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Because the world is becoming a much less dangerous place….oh, wait…

ElectricPhase on February 24, 2014 at 5:57 PM

These cuts are utterly insane in these very troubled times. Republicans need to announce that they will fight to the death cuts that are this ridiculous.

SC.Charlie on February 24, 2014 at 5:58 PM

US Department of Defense 2015 budget
2h
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., on Defense Department budget proposal: ‘Reducing the size of the Army to its lowest levels in seventy years does not accurately reflect the current security environment’ – statement via @NBCNews
end of alert

canopfor on February 24, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Maybe we can count on our European cousins and Israel to help defend us…

OmahaConservative on February 24, 2014 at 5:59 PM

For the United States, the age of occupation is over.

Which is a good thing!

HillAREwe on February 24, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Defense.gov Special Report: 2014 Budget Proposal
http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2013/0413_budget/‎
Ramsay on the Fiscal 2014 Defense Budget Proposal from the Pentagon · Army News Briefing on the FY 2014 Defense Budget Proposal from the Pentagon …
[PDF]
==========

Summary of DOD’s fiscal year 2014 budget proposal – United States …
http://www.defense.gov/news/2014budget.pdf‎
FY2014 budget the department seeks to: 1. Act as good stewards of the public funds. 2. Implement and deepen program alignment to the new defense strategy.
[PDF]
========

Defense Budget Priorities and Choices – Fiscal Year 2014
http://www.defense.gov/…/DefenseBudgetPrioritiesChoicesFiscalYear2014.pdf‎
inflation-adjusted defense base budget between 2010 and 2014. …. In its FY 2013 budget submission, the Department proposed changes to military …
==============

https://www.google.ca/?gws_rd=cr&ei=GGtcUuuYCOrs2QX52IHgDQ#q=+FY+2014+BUDGET+PROPOSAL+MILITARY

canopfor on February 24, 2014 at 2:39 PM

canopfor on February 24, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Maybe we can count on our European cousins and Israel to help defend us…

OmahaConservative on February 24, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Hyperbole much?

HillAREwe on February 24, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Obama & his ilk have a very popular bumper sticker seen around Portland:

“It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the Military has to hold a bake sale to buy a weapons”

portlandon on February 24, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Maybe we can count on our European cousins and Israel to help defend us… – OmahaConservative on February 24, 2014 at 5:59 PM

And, what are you smoking these days? I did not know that Nebraska legalized the smoking of weed.

SC.Charlie on February 24, 2014 at 6:00 PM

but our military spending is ridiculous.

Xasprtr on February 24, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Problem is, he’s cutting the muscle and not the fat.
I’ve been in the DoD business my entire career, over 30 years, and from what I’ve seen, they could save billions by eliminating fraud, waste and abuse – mainly bureaucratic red tape, rice bowls, petty empires, and just a lot of unnecessary overhead – thousands of people whose only job is make work designed only to protect their own job or whatever littel empire they’ve built.

dentarthurdent on February 24, 2014 at 6:00 PM

I’m not qualified to say which cuts are smart and feasible and which are dangerously short-sighted but I know we have plenty of readers who are, so here’s your thread to sound off.

Killing the Warthog is incredibly dumb.

Stoic Patriot on February 24, 2014 at 6:00 PM

The army will swap its Black Hawks for the National Guard’s Apaches, which have more firepower

Huh? That doesn’t even make sense. The two aircraft have completely different missions.

Hayabusa on February 24, 2014 at 6:01 PM

US Department of Defense 2015 budget
1h
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley calls proposed National guard cuts a ‘slap in the face’ – @*NN
read more on blogs.*nn.com

canopfor on February 24, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Jeeenus!

Laura in Maryland on February 24, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Military thinkers have been trying forever to predict how the next war will be fought, they always get it right after the last war is over.

Sven on February 24, 2014 at 6:02 PM

[PDF]
Defense Budget Priorities and Choices – Fiscal Year 2014
http://www.defense.gov/…/DefenseBudgetPrioritiesChoicesFiscalYear2014.pdf‎
inflation-adjusted defense base budget between 2010 and 2014. …. In its FY 2013 budget submission, the Department proposed changes to military …
===========================================================================

http://www.defense.gov/pubs/DefenseBudgetPrioritiesChoicesFiscalYear2014.pdf

canopfor on February 24, 2014 at 2:45 PM

canopfor on February 24, 2014 at 6:03 PM

I’ve seen this movie before. It doesn’t end well.

RadClown on February 24, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Obama’s plan to disarm America proceeds apace. Look forward to Task Force Smith redux soon.

Hayabusa on February 24, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Everyone knew the only reason Obama offered a Republican the SecDef job was to provide political cover as we forfeited superpower status.

Yet Chuck Hagel took the job anyway.

Boomslang Joe on February 24, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Summary of DOD’s fiscal year 2014 budget proposal – United States …
http://www.defense.gov/news/2014budget.pdf‎
FY2014 budget the department seeks to: 1. Act as good stewards of the public funds. 2. Implement and deepen program alignment to the new defense strategy.
=============

http://www.defense.gov/news/2014budget.pdf

canopfor on February 24, 2014 at 2:43 PM

canopfor on February 24, 2014 at 6:03 PM

This guy is as phony as a $3 bill and is nothing more than an incompetent mouthpiece stooge for Obama. The military is being raped of funding for only one reason . . . to free up money for Obama’s Marxist social programs. It will be extremely difficult to field a competent army when all the benefits are trashed. Sad times for this once great Republic.

rplat on February 24, 2014 at 6:04 PM

A-10
****

Hmmmmm,……

Bill Blocks Air Force from Retiring A-10 Warthog
by Kris Osborn on December 13, 2013
***********************************

http://defensetech.org/2013/12/13/bill-blocks-air-force-from-retiring-a-10-warthog/

canopfor on February 24, 2014 at 2:25 PM

canopfor on February 24, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Meanwhile…

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-23/pla-officer-china-must-establish-south-china-sea-adiz-will-fight-when-appropriate

A senior researcher and officer in China’s People’s Liberation Army said that establishing an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) is essential to China’s national interest.

The establishment of another ADIZ over the South China Sea is necessary for China’s long-term national interest,” Senior Colonel Li Jie, a researcher at the PLA Navy’s Military Academy and frequent media commentator, said on Friday, according to a report in Reuters.

Li’s remark came in the context of a discussion about remarks made by U.S. Captain James Fanell, director of intelligence and information operations at the US Pacific Fleet. As The Diplomat previously reported, at a recent U.S. Naval Institute conference Capt. Fanell said that the PLA had held a drill to practice defeating Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Forces in the East China Sea as a prelude to seizing the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands.

On Thursday, however, the Pentagon distanced itself from Fanell’s remarks….“What I can tell you about what Secretary Hagel believes is that we all continue to believe that the peaceful prosperous rise of China is a good thing for the region, for the world. We continue to want to improve our bilateral military relations with China.”

Chan Kai Yee of China Daily Mail, a blog with no connection to Beijing, Feb. 22, 2014, provides the following summary translation of an article in Qianzhan.com, a Chinese-language news site headquartered in the city of Shenzhen in China’s southeastern Guangdong province, with offices in Beijing and Hong Kong:

Quite a few people have said that the conflict over the Diaoyus (known as Senkakus in Japan) has passed the stage of oral confrontation and what follows may very probably be direct military conflict.

It is especially so as, relying on US support, Japan is obviously declaring war against China already.

Sources say that China’s Central Military Commission has directly given Chinese military the instruction: “Fight if it is appropriate to fight.”

Sources pointed out that they had received information that Xi Jinping, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, gave a relevant warning to a Japanese economic and trade delegation that recently visited China.

Xi specially pointed out to the delegation when he met them, if Japan kept provoking China and thus gave rise to an unstable situation, it alone has to be responsible for all the consequences.

sharrukin on February 24, 2014 at 6:05 PM

I sure hope the Germans don’t try to bomb Pearl Harbor again. – dentarthurdent on February 24, 2014 at 5:54 PM

I do hope you a kidding. But, some people in this White House might really think it was the Germans who bombed Pearl Harbor and the atomic bomb was used to end World War I.

SC.Charlie on February 24, 2014 at 6:05 PM

It was either the real Army or Obama’s Free Sh*t Army. Both cost a lot to equip, but the one only protects the country while the other votes the right way.

Boomslang Joe on February 24, 2014 at 6:05 PM

I’d be happy to see the military cut to the size it was before the American Revolutionary skirmish. That way, us gun owners would not have to fear OUR gubmint.

they lie on February 24, 2014 at 6:05 PM

I’ve seen this movie before. It doesn’t end well.

RadClown on February 24, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Where? How does this end?

HillAREwe on February 24, 2014 at 6:05 PM

We have bigger issues with entitlement spending, but the will to tackle that won’t exist until we’re beyond the point of no return. Killing the A-10 is also a terrible idea IMO. However, we do spend too much on a military built to fight large-scale land wars against identifiable nation-state enemies, while our enemies are increasingly non-state actors of one or the other terrible ideological persuasion.

I also have no confidence in Hagel to do an intelligent job of this. The guy’s confirmation hearings were an utterly emasculating (for him) embarrassment.

xNavigator on February 24, 2014 at 6:06 PM

A-10′s are a stupid thing to cut.
But then again this proven platform doesn’t line pockets like the F-35.

wolly4321 on February 24, 2014 at 6:06 PM

Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 2m

Both *NN & FOX leading the 6pm/ET newscasts with the Pentagon budget cuts.
Expand

canopfor on February 24, 2014 at 6:06 PM

I said in another thread earlier today, effectively – you can predict what Obama will do in any given situation by first calculating the absolute worst possible choice he could make in terms of what is good for the country.

Midas on February 24, 2014 at 6:07 PM

“You can’t carry a large land-war Defense Department when there is no large land war.”

Great. Such deep chess playing thinking and strategy. These people are not only dangerous to the republic but also the civilized world.

anuts on February 24, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Military thinkers have been trying forever to predict how the next war will be fought, they always get it right after the last war is over. – Sven on February 24, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Sadly, as the Greek poet said, “Only the dead have seen the last of war.”

SC.Charlie on February 24, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Maybe we can count on our European cousins and Israel to help defend us…

OmahaConservative on February 24, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Sounds like an excellent idea :) I would especially rely on the Europeans for it :)..they are known to raise to the task in difficult times :)

jimver on February 24, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Hagel announces plan to shrink army to pre-World War II levels

Alternate headline:

Hagel delivers on his promise to destroy the Department of Defense.

The Jew-hater was hired for this very reason.

Happy Nomad on February 24, 2014 at 6:09 PM

However, we do spend too much on a military built to fight large-scale land wars against identifiable nation-state enemies, while our enemies are increasingly non-state actors of one or the other terrible ideological persuasion.

xNavigator on February 24, 2014 at 6:06 PM

And yet to address the primary purpose for which we have armed forces, you have to be prepared for both.

There is not an either/or scenario here. Focusing on one to the exclusion of the other is… well, foolish.

Midas on February 24, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Where? How does this end?

HillAREwe on February 24, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Someone has to open his mouth to see.

RickB on February 24, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Military Times ‏@MilitaryTimes 4h

DoD proposes deepest compensation cuts in all-volunteer era http://bit.ly/1ebBDrp
Expand
==========

DoD budget seeks cuts in BAH, commissary, Tricare benefits
Feb. 24, 2014 – 03:36PM

http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20140224/BENEFITS02/302240023?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

canopfor on February 24, 2014 at 6:12 PM

swap its Black Hawks for the National Guard’s Apaches

That makes no sense at all.
2 different helicopters with different purposes.
The Apache is a 2 seater designed solely for ground support/attack.
The Blackhawk was designed as a multi-purpose utility helicopter (to replace the Vietnam era Huey and CH-53) capable of carrying troops and cargo, and doing many other things.

This is like saying we’re going to take away the Army’s transport trucks and give them tanks instead.

dentarthurdent on February 24, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Hagel is a traitor to NE, the US and he is an azzwipe…

OmahaConservative on February 24, 2014 at 6:13 PM

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Rio Linda Refugee on February 24, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Huh? That doesn’t even make sense. The two aircraft have completely different missions.

Hayabusa on February 24, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Is it possible the intent is to use the Apaches as a substitute for the A-10? Is that feasible?

Mark1971 on February 24, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Where? How does this end?

HillAREwe on February 24, 2014 at 6:05 PM

You tell us. You’re sooo smart.

CWchangedhisNicagain on February 24, 2014 at 6:13 PM

But it makes sense, from Obama’s perspective. Our enemies are not out *there*, they are in *here*. He (and the GOP establishment, frankly) are ever more so concerned about conservatives/TEA party folks/2nd amendment supporters than they are anything else.

Midas on February 24, 2014 at 6:14 PM

The gutting of the US military was part of Obama’s broader plan all along. He means to destroy the next president’s ability to project force, because he thinks American power is inherently evil. Only a transcendental being like himself can be trusted with it.

novaculus on February 24, 2014 at 6:14 PM

The military wastes a tremendous amount of money. That’s why countries like Russian and China can spend a lot less and still pose a major threat. Having said that, it is dangerous to make comparisons with force structures of the past. Sure, our weapons are more lethal and effective than in the past, but so are those used by everyone else.

The comparison Hagel is trying to make is that we had a small force between the world wars because we had no major adversaries and if one pops up we can just spend some money and rearm. Unfortunately, it takes a long time to introduce new weapons systems. It’s not like WWII, where the Pentagon puts out a request for a new fighter and 18 months later, P-51s are rolling off the assembly line at the rate of dozens per day. Complicated weapons take much longer do design, test, and build. Soldiers take much longer to become proficient. Our adversaries know this and you can sure as hell bet that they’ll attempt to get their way before the U.S. can mobilize and become a threat.

ReaganWasRight on February 24, 2014 at 6:14 PM

SC.Charlie on February 24, 2014 at 6:00 PM

I forgot the sarc tag…

OmahaConservative on February 24, 2014 at 6:14 PM

However, we do spend too much on a military built to fight large-scale land wars against identifiable nation-state enemies, while our enemies are increasingly non-state actors of one or the other terrible ideological persuasion.

I also have no confidence in Hagel to do an intelligent job of this. The guy’s confirmation hearings were an utterly emasculating (for him) embarrassment.

xNavigator on February 24, 2014 at 6:06 PM

I agree

shubalstearns on February 24, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Yet DHS needs every hollow-point on the planet.

Who do they fear?

wolly4321 on February 24, 2014 at 6:15 PM

swap its Black Hawks for the National Guard’s Apaches

That makes no sense at all.
2 different helicopters with different purposes.
The Apache is a 2 seater designed solely for ground support/attack.
The Blackhawk was designed as a multi-purpose utility helicopter (to replace the Vietnam era Huey and CH-53) capable of carrying troops and cargo, and doing many other things.

This is like saying we’re going to take away the Army’s transport trucks and give them tanks instead.

dentarthurdent on February 24, 2014 at 6:13 PM

It makes sense if their intention is to largely remove the National Guards combat role and replace it with civil affairs and disaster relief.

sharrukin on February 24, 2014 at 6:15 PM

“Fundamentally changing weakening America…”

d1carter on February 24, 2014 at 6:15 PM

I do hope you a kidding. But, some people in this White House might really think it was the Germans who bombed Pearl Harbor and the atomic bomb was used to end World War I.

SC.Charlie on February 24, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Just a hat tip to Harold Ramis – in an oddly relevant thread.

dentarthurdent on February 24, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Is it possible the intent is to use the Apaches as a substitute for the A-10? Is that feasible?

Mark1971 on February 24, 2014 at 6:13 PM

No. Not in the majority of cases. And F-16s and F-35s are not a good substitute either.

ReaganWasRight on February 24, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Rome not available for comments…

Kraken on February 24, 2014 at 6:17 PM

Civilian National Security Force…next?

d1carter on February 24, 2014 at 6:17 PM

sharrukin on February 24, 2014 at 6:05 PM

sharrukin:)
==============

https://twitter.com/ChinaDailyMail

China Daily Mail ‏@ChinaDailyMail Jan 12

The reasons why a battle for Zhongye (Pag-asa) Island seems unavoidable http://wp.me/p2fmUD-8Zg
==========================

China Daily Mail ‏@ChinaDailyMail Jan 11

Chinese troops to seize Zhongye Island back from the Philippines in 2014 http://wp.me/p2fmUD-8YB

canopfor on February 24, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Is it possible the intent is to use the Apaches as a substitute for the A-10? Is that feasible?

Mark1971 on February 24, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Yes, to some degree.

It makes sense if their intention is to largely remove the National Guards combat role and replace it with civil affairs and disaster relief.

sharrukin on February 24, 2014 at 6:15 PM

But the other side of that swap is taking away the main tool for the Army to quickly transport small units of troops and supplies in theater – without using the Guard.

dentarthurdent on February 24, 2014 at 6:19 PM

In more recent budget and strategy documents, the military has been ordered to be prepared to decisively win one conflict while holding off an adversary’s aspirations in a second until sufficient forces could be mobilized and redeployed to win there.

So our political masters have no problems with another Bataan Death March or Wake Island.

Right?

Hey! Maybe King Barack would rather go back to Wilson’s pre-WWI army. You remember Wilson; after declaring war against Germany he promised the allies a 2 million man army was coming. Only we didn’t have a 2 million man army. We didn’t have 2 million modern rifles. At the time, we were 16th in the world as far as military strength was concerned. Portugal had a bigger army than we did.

GarandFan on February 24, 2014 at 6:19 PM

If the Constitution authorizes the federal government to do something, liberals want to cut or weaken it.

If the Constitution does not authorize the federal government to do something, liberals want to spend like crazy on it.

itsnotaboutme on February 24, 2014 at 6:20 PM

So our political masters have no problems with another Bataan Death March

GarandFan on February 24, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Hagel’s response:

“Huh? Marching with batons?”

itsnotaboutme on February 24, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Let’s see. Same suzerainty military as 1940 in an increasingly dangerous world, where our enemies are becoming aggressive? Dud we not see thud movie before?

Techster64 on February 24, 2014 at 6:23 PM

“Speak like a wuss and carry a small stick” – Barack Hussein Obama

God protect us.

kingsjester on February 24, 2014 at 6:23 PM

civil affairs and disaster relief. sharrukin on February 24, 2014 at 6:15 PM

That makes no sense.

Maybe I read it wrong.

Which one serves that purpose better unless a civil disaster involves us getting mowed down?

wolly4321 on February 24, 2014 at 6:23 PM

SAY WHATS:

Military Times ‏@MilitaryTimes 3m

Hagel: Ground forces can fight in one theater, support air, sea forces in another http://bit.ly/1plGwCH
================================

Hagel: Ground forces can fight in one theater, support air, sea forces in another
Feb. 24, 2014 – 05:59PM
***********************

WASHINGTON — When it comes to the Army and Marine Corps, there were no real surprises in Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s peek today of the 2015 defense budget.

The Marines only merited one line, when Hagel confirmed that the Corps would lose 8,000 grunts in coming years as it drops to 182,000 personnel, and if sequestration returns in 2016, would shrink further to 175,000.

The Army, on the other hand, actually leaped ahead of the secretary in recent months, laying out time and again everything that would happen to the force in coming budgets.

n summing up his budget, Hagel nodded to the obvious reason for the pain that the services have been enduring, acknowledging that “as we end our combat mission in Afghanistan, this will be the first budget to fully reflect the transition DoD is making after 13 years of war — the longest conflict in our nation’s history.”

His comments reflected those made by Lt. Gen Keith Walker, director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center,

who bluntly stated on the opening day of the Association of the United States Army’s symposium on Feb 19: “We have transitioned from an Army at war to an Army preparing for war.”

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140222/DEFREG02/302220025/US-Army-Focuses-Boosting-Tech
(More….)
============

http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20140224/NEWS05/302240038?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

canopfor on February 24, 2014 at 6:24 PM

But the other side of that swap is taking away the main tool for the Army to quickly transport small units of troops and supplies in theater – without using the Guard.

dentarthurdent on February 24, 2014 at 6:19 PM

They will have the NG units mobilized when such are needed for operations overseas. I don’t think its a good idea, but I also don’t think they much care if it harms the military.

sharrukin on February 24, 2014 at 6:24 PM

Could’ve sworn the last two wars (one of which is still in progress) were large-scale land wars.

Huh…….

BobMbx on February 24, 2014 at 6:24 PM

Which one serves that purpose better unless a civil disaster involves us getting mowed down?

wolly4321 on February 24, 2014 at 6:23 PM

I don’t agree with it, but that’s probably thier thinking. They have talked about just such a force for some time now.

sharrukin on February 24, 2014 at 6:25 PM

For the United States, the age of occupation is over.

We weren’t occupiers in 1939, either.

Hat Trick on February 24, 2014 at 6:26 PM

I don’t object to cutting Defense. I object to only cutting Defense. Liberal sacred cows need to be cut as well. Let’s have some shared sacrifice.

SAZMD on February 24, 2014 at 6:26 PM

Chinese troops to seize Zhongye Island back from the Philippines in 2014 http://wp.me/p2fmUD-8YB

canopfor on February 24, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Things seem to be spiraling out of control everywhere. Its only going to take a spark.

sharrukin on February 24, 2014 at 6:27 PM

canopfor on February 24, 2014 at 6:18 PM

I live in the Philippines.
The threat of a Chinese takeover of those islands an important issue for this US ally.

But for Joe Biden, it’s just like China’s brutal forced abortions.
Jolted Joe says he doesn’t want to second-guess his Chinese overlords.

itsnotaboutme on February 24, 2014 at 6:28 PM

I’m sure Russia is celebrating this news. They probably hope Hagel is put in charge of US Olympic Hockey, too.

So, is the current Pentagon plan going to involve asking radical Islam to reduce their operations as well? Or are we unilaterally scaling down?

hawksruleva on February 24, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Let’s cut funding to PP completely. That would be a good first start…

OmahaConservative on February 24, 2014 at 6:29 PM

How about making it proportionate to the pre-war US population ratio?

That’s the only way this makes any logical sense.

connertown on February 24, 2014 at 6:30 PM

So, does Hagel thing 1940 force levels were a good thing? “Walk softly and don’t carry a stick” helped bring about World War II, and to our involvment via Japan’s attack.

hawksruleva on February 24, 2014 at 6:30 PM

They will have the NG units mobilized when such are needed for operations overseas. I don’t think its a good idea, but I also don’t think they much care if it harms the military.

sharrukin on February 24, 2014 at 6:24 PM

Not if they’re busy with civil affairs and disaster relief.

dentarthurdent on February 24, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Agree 100%. Entitlement reform should be a bigger priority, but our military spending is ridiculous.

Xasprtr on February 24, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Entitlement spending dwarves Military spending. Care to discuss that?

Johnnyreb on February 24, 2014 at 6:31 PM

Not if they’re busy with civil affairs and disaster relief.

dentarthurdent on February 24, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Or have much relevant training in combat operations rather than disaster relief.

sharrukin on February 24, 2014 at 6:32 PM

Oh, look! All sorts of other stuff is going back to pre-WWII levels, too: unemployment, fascist activity, regulatory action…

brentspolemics on February 24, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Problem is, he’s cutting the muscle and not the fat.
I’ve been in the DoD business my entire career, over 30 years, and from what I’ve seen, they could save billions by eliminating fraud, waste and abuse – mainly bureaucratic red tape, rice bowls, petty empires, and just a lot of unnecessary overhead – thousands of people whose only job is make work designed only to protect their own job or whatever littel empire they’ve built.

dentarthurdent on February 24, 2014 at 6:00 PM

+1

bazil9 on February 24, 2014 at 6:33 PM

I agree with the idea of cutting military spending if our goal is to reduce across-the-board government spending. The military, like everything else in government, has wasteful and outdated expenses we can cut or reduce funding to; cutting the A-10 shouldn’t be near the top of the list. Of course this isn’t about reducing spending, the funds cut here will be appropriated to other, more-wasteful programs and the welfare state will only continue to grow.

midgeorgian on February 24, 2014 at 6:33 PM

In regards to the whole apache/blackhawk statement, active army and the NG are just swapping a certain amount of the two. The NG is going to be less oriented on the attack mission in the future for rotary wing so they don’t need attack helicopters, but active duty is still retaining a large amount of blackhawks for utility missions. The only “firepower” on a blackhawk (besides machine guns) would be on those outfitted as DAPs which are only really used for the 160th, so a 1 for 1 switch wouldn’t make much sense. Considering around 70-80% of new active duty LTs and WO1s in aviation are being selected for the UH-60 I can almost guarantee this isn’t happening, you may have just misread a source.

Kriggly on February 24, 2014 at 6:34 PM

canopfor on February 24, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Things seem to be spiraling out of control everywhere. Its only going to take a spark.

sharrukin on February 24, 2014 at 6:27 PM

sharrukin: Agreed:)

Heres another Twitter site:

SCMP 南華早報 Verified account
@SCMP_News

The South China Morning Post is Hong Kong’s premier English language newspaper, delivering news and analysis on #HongKong, #China and the rest of #Asia.

Hong Kong · scmp.com

https://twitter.com/SCMP_News

canopfor on February 24, 2014 at 6:35 PM

Cuts like these may ultimately make nuclear war more likely.

Aplombed on February 24, 2014 at 6:35 PM

Retire the A-10 mistake

gxbhkt on February 24, 2014 at 6:35 PM

the one only protects the country while the other votes the right way.

The “other” is quite happy to vote the right way and content and as comfortable as can be as long as they continue to get free stuff from Bammy.

hawkeye54 on February 24, 2014 at 6:35 PM

When a full-scale war is required again (and it will), there will be the gnashing of teeth about how the military isn’t up to par. We will know where to point our fingers.

thebrokenrattle on February 24, 2014 at 6:36 PM

he didn’t think he would get as much blow back because he picked hagel….

puhleeze

cmsinaz on February 24, 2014 at 6:37 PM

canopfor on February 24, 2014 at 6:18 PM

I live in the Philippines.
The threat of a Chinese takeover of those islands an important issue for this US ally.

But for Joe Biden, it’s just like China’s brutal forced abortions.
Jolted Joe says he doesn’t want to second-guess his Chinese overlords.

itsnotaboutme on February 24, 2014 at 6:28 PM

itsnotaboutme: I think they’ll try it, and heres something I didn’t hear:)
=========================================================================

China Daily Mail ‏@ChinaDailyMail Dec 20

China’s behaviour in South China Sea ship encounter is irresponsible says U.S. http://wp.me/p2fmUD-8S6
==================================

China Daily Mail ‏@ChinaDailyMail Dec 15

Chinese naval vessel tries to force U.S. warship to stop in international waters http://wp.me/p2fmUD-8PX

canopfor on February 24, 2014 at 6:40 PM

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