What Would a Smaller Military Look Like?
USA Today reports “that the Army has been told to plan to lop off 100,000 soldiers if the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration continue until the end of the decade. Army brass are coming to terms with what a force of 420,000 could and could not. do. It has about 530,000 soldiers now. The other services will be taking hits, too, according to a senior Pentagon official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the details are not public.”
“First, what smaller armed forces probably won’t do: wage long-term wars. A few years ago, the White House declared in its strategy that the Pentagon would no longer maintain forces big enough to to conduct stability operations, such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan. Don’t forget how to fight counterinsurgencies, the strategic guidance states. Just don’t plan on having forces big enough to sustain them over a long period of time.”
“Sequestration, though the Pentagon loathes it for cutting fat, muscle and bone, does provide the excuse to shrink its forces and budgets to align with the White House strategy.”