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Old 02-24-2014, 10:31 AM  
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Pentagon Plans to Shrink Army to Pre-World War II Level

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/24/us...evel.html?_r=0

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel plans to shrink the United States Army to its smallest force since before the World War II buildup and eliminate an entire class of Air Force attack jets in a new spending proposal that officials describe as the first Pentagon budget to aggressively push the military off the war footing adopted after the terror attacks of 2001.

The proposal, described by several Pentagon officials on the condition of anonymity in advance of its release on Monday, takes into account the fiscal reality of government austerity and the political reality of a president who pledged to end two costly and exhausting land wars. A result, the officials argue, will be a military capable of defeating any adversary, but too small for protracted foreign occupations.

The officials 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.

Outlines of some of the budget initiatives, which are subject to congressional approval, have surfaced, an indication that even in advance of its release the budget is certain to come under political attack.

For example, some members of Congress, given advance notice of plans to retire air wings, have vowed legislative action to block the move, and the National Guard Association, an advocacy group for those part-time military personnel, is circulating talking points urging Congress to reject anticipated cuts. State governors are certain to weigh in, as well. And defense-industry officials and members of Congress in those port communities can be expected to oppose any initiatives to slow Navy shipbuilding.

Even so, officials said that despite budget reductions, the military would have the money to remain the most capable in the world and that Mr. Hagel’s proposals have the endorsement of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Money saved by reducing the number of personnel, they said, would assure that those remaining in uniform would be well trained and supplied with the best weaponry.

The new American way of war will be underscored in Mr. Hagel’s budget, which protects money for Special Operations forces and cyberwarfare. And in an indication of the priority given to overseas military presence that does not require a land force, the proposal will — at least for one year — maintain the current number of aircraft carriers at 11.

Over all, Mr. Hagel’s proposal, the officials said, is designed to allow the American military to fulfill President Obama’s national security directives: to defend American territory and the nation’s interests overseas and to deter aggression — and to win decisively if again ordered to war.

“We’re still going to have a very significant-sized Army,” the official said. “But it’s going to be agile. It will be capable. It will be modern. It will be trained.”

Mr. Hagel’s plan would most significantly reshape America’s land forces — active-duty soldiers as well as those in the National Guard and Reserve.

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.

The Guard and Reserves, which proved capable in their wartime deployments although costly to train to meet the standards of their full-time counterparts, would face smaller reductions. But the Guard would see its arsenal reshaped.

The Guard’s Apache attack helicopters would be transferred to the active-duty Army, which would transfer its Black Hawk helicopters to the Guard. The rationale is that Guard units have less peacetime need for the bristling array of weapons on the Apache and would put the Black Hawk — a workhorse transport helicopter — to use in domestic disaster relief.

The cuts proposed by Mr. Hagel fit the Bipartisan Budget Act reached by Mr. Obama and Congress in December to impose a military spending cap of about $496 billion for fiscal year 2015. If steeper spending reductions kick in again in 2016 under the sequestration law, however, then even more significant cuts would be required in later years.

The budget to be presented Monday will be the first sweeping initiative that bears Mr. Hagel’s full imprint. Although Mr. Hagel has been in office one year, most of his efforts in that time have focused on initiatives and problems that he inherited. In many ways his budget provides an opportunity for him to begin anew.

The proposals are certain to face resistance from interest groups like veterans’ organizations, which oppose efforts to rein in personnel costs; arms manufacturers that want to reverse weapons cuts; and some members of Congress who will seek to block base closings in their districts.

Mr. Hagel will take some first steps to deal with the controversial issue of pay and compensation, as the proposed budget would impose a one-year salary freeze for general and flag officers; basic pay for military personnel would rise by 1 percent. After the 2015 fiscal year, raises in pay will be similarly restrained, Pentagon officials say.

The fiscal 2015 budget will also call for slowing the growth of tax-free housing allowances for military personnel and would reduce the $1.4 billion direct subsidy provided to military commissaries, which would most likely make goods purchased at those commissaries more expensive for soldiers.

The budget also proposes an increase in health insurance deductibles and some co-pays for some military retirees and for some family members of active servicemen. But Mr. Hagel’s proposals do not include any changes to retirement benefits for those currently serving.

Under Mr. Hagel’s proposals, the entire fleet of Air Force A-10 attack aircraft would be eliminated. The aircraft was designed to destroy Soviet tanks in case of an invasion of Western Europe, and the capabilities are deemed less relevant today. The budget plan does sustain money for the controversial F-35 warplane, which has been extremely expensive and has run into costly delays.

In addition, the budget proposal calls for retiring the famed U-2 spy plane in favor of the remotely piloted Global Hawk.

The Navy would be allowed to purchase two destroyers and two attack submarines every year. But 11 cruisers will be ordered into reduced operating status during modernization.

Although consideration was given to retiring an aircraft carrier, the Navy will keep its fleet of 11 — for now. The George Washington would be brought in for overhaul and nuclear refueling — a lengthy process that could be terminated in future years under tighter budgets.
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:01 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Amnorix View Post
Your post made it seem like all Obama supporters have that view, when in fact only a distinct minority hold that view.
It's a minority, but only a slightly smaller minority than the Obama supporters who view Radical islam as the top terror threat (29% vs 26%). Furthermore, when you limit it to people who strongly support Obama, more of them think the tea party is the biggest terror threat than radical islam.
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:18 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Furthermore, when you limit it to people who strongly support Obama, more of them think the tea party is the biggest terror threat than radical islam.
These people are sick, this poll is simply another data point proving it. It takes a special kind of mental health problem to have witnessed 9/11 happen on our own soil, yet still point out "Tea Partiers" as a bigger threat. It's a sickness that cannot be explained by any rational mind.


But you forgot something Pat. 6% of those polled named "local militia groups". If we assume they were all Obama supporters (and it's obvious they are), then we double that number to get 12% of Obama supporters naming militias. Putting that with Tea Party threats, and you're approaching HALF of Obama's base who points fingers at Americans rather than radical Muslims.
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:19 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
It's a minority, but only a slightly smaller minority than the Obama supporters who view Radical islam as the top terror threat (29% vs 26%). Furthermore, when you limit it to people who strongly support Obama, more of them think the tea party is the biggest terror threat than radical islam.

The article wasn't all that well written, to be honest. It would've been more helpful if they'd presented a better summary of the data, margins of error, etc. etc. I don't even know what the rest of the folks (other than those who fell within the 26 and 29 percent) had to say at all.

Then, of course, is the fact that it's Rasmussen, which I think is generally acknowledged to lean to the right.

Some percentage of Obama supporters are nutcakes. This isn't really news.
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:21 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Prison Bitch View Post
These people are sick, this poll is simply another data point proving it. It takes a special kind of mental health problem to have witnessed 9/11 happen on our own soil, yet still point out "Tea Partiers" as a bigger threat. It's a sickness that cannot be explained by any rational mind.


But you forgot something Pat. 6% of those polled named "local militia groups". If we assume they were all Obama supporters (and it's obvious they are), then we double that number to get 12% of Obama supporters naming militias. Putting that with Tea Party threats, and you're approaching HALF of Obama's base who points fingers at Americans rather than radical Muslims.

To quote Pat earlier in this thread:

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Old 02-24-2014, 04:21 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Amnorix View Post
Some percentage of Obama supporters are nutcakes. This isn't really news.

On this poll question, it's a huge number dude.
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:26 PM   #51
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:31 PM   #52
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On this poll question, it's a huge number dude.

Yeah, let's just say you probably shouldn't apply to Rain Man for a job with your statistical "analysis".
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:37 PM   #53
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Yeah, let's just say you probably shouldn't apply to Rain Man for a job with your statistical "analysis".
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:45 PM   #54
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I disagree with the idea that you're telling me something I don't already know.



I take it you don't remember all the concern about how we were breaking our military in Iraq by over committing and how we were leaving ourselves stretched too thin if trouble erupted in another part of the world. And that was with one major war in Iraq and a 2nd much more limited involvement in Afghanistan. No one has justified, to my satisfaction, the idea that we should change our approach and size our military 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".

Were you one of the people worried that we were stretching our military too thin during the Iraq years? Or that we were demanding too many extended deployments? Or that we were sending our troops to battle with unarmored Humvees (i.e. "the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have"). We should make every effort to have the army we want the next time we need it instead of the army that was left over after we got done paying for a few more years of medicare at unsustainable prices.
I don't disagree that we need to be better prepared and have the right equipment and enough of it. The military is like any business or organization there is incompetent people everywhere though.

I will add I don't know if I agree we need 2 full fighting forces sitting around when it is possible to use our technological advantage to offset more troops. Drones are capable of flying pretty much anywhere and destroying the enemy instead of sending a Marine platoon.
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:54 PM   #55
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makes sense, they need the funds for the DHS...
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Old 02-24-2014, 05:01 PM   #56
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I don't disagree that we need to be better prepared and have the right equipment and enough of it. The military is like any business or organization there is incompetent people everywhere though.

I will add I don't know if I agree we need 2 full fighting forces sitting around when it is possible to use our technological advantage to offset more troops. Drones are capable of flying pretty much anywhere and destroying the enemy instead of sending a Marine platoon.
I'm not arguing for two full fighting forces of a particular type. I'm arguing that we need to size our military based on the threat-driven requirements, not conceive of a threat based on the size of the military budget we want. All indications are that we are doing the latter, not the former.
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Old 02-24-2014, 05:14 PM   #57
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Should be interesting to watch. I have a family member who is a bird colonel moving to DC. His pov is the fight has not yet begun. The soldiers will build from the ground up what it takes for force reduction while maintaining rediness and have personnel in place to meet basic needs. He is AirForce with a specialty they need and have very few of. Bottom line from his view is the real work has not begun and this is a political football that will take a ton of work to move past the decision makers who actually understand the business
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Old 02-24-2014, 05:31 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Amnorix View Post
Yeah, let's just say you probably shouldn't apply to Rain Man for a job with your statistical "analysis".
It sucks that such a high portion of Obama supporters think the Tea Party/Militias are a bigger terror threat than Muslims. I'm not happy with the findings either, but I'm smart enough to realize it does accurately reflect his nutball voter base.
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:19 PM   #59
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Should be interesting to watch. I have a family member who is a bird colonel moving to DC. His pov is the fight has not yet begun. The soldiers will build from the ground up what it takes for force reduction while maintaining rediness and have personnel in place to meet basic needs. He is AirForce with a specialty they need and have very few of. Bottom line from his view is the real work has not begun and this is a political football that will take a ton of work to move past the decision makers who actually understand the business
I wish him well. Of course it's a political football but the good news is that we are back to "regular order" sort of. “All relevant information for the Congress and the public to understand and evaluate the president’s budget will be released on March 4,” according to OMB spokesman Steven Posner. The President is required by law to release his budget request to Congress by the first Monday in February-what the state of the union is tied to. Hasn’t happened for the last several years. This portion has been publically released by SecDef today and at least folks can discuss it like we are as to its merits.
It also means that the DoD, Service, SOF and Congressional budgeters will be able to work it line by line- and that is the “fight” he is likely referring to. The tension is between services, branches /tribes within services going straight to Congress and OMB/President and SECDEF. Regular order.
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:53 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
I'm not arguing for two full fighting forces of a particular type. I'm arguing that we need to size our military based on the threat-driven requirements, not conceive of a threat based on the size of the military budget we want. All indications are that we are doing the latter, not the former.
Agree. And if you're going to run small, you damn well better run streamlined/efficient. Nothing Obama does is streamlined. Additionally, if you're going to run small and tote tech, you're tech had better be better than everybody else's. That means R&D money. I doubt that's in the budget.

Look, I know that military has to get cut. There is no way around it.

But this leadership is precisely the last people on the planet outside of our enemies that I want to administrate the transformation.
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