The Associated Press reports that "the Pentagon on Tuesday unveiled a proposed 2015 defense budget that shrinks the armed forces while keeping a commitment to support European allies at a time of tension over Russia's military involvement in Ukraine."
"The spending plan reflects what Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel calls a choice to field a smaller but more modern force rather than a larger one less prepared for combat. Some in Congress, however, see that as an approach that weakens U.S. capabilities in a period of growing uncertainty in Europe and Asia."
"The proposed $496 billion in spending -- unchanged from this year's budget total -- is part of a $3.9 trillion federal budget that President Barack Obama sent to Congress Tuesday."
"Under the proposed defense plan, the Army would shrink from 490,000 active-duty soldiers to 440,000-450,000 over the coming five years — the smallest since 1940, prior to the buildup for World War II, when the Army had 267,000 active duty troops."