DOD Directs Army, Marine Drawdowns for 2015, 2016
Thu, 06 Jan 2011 15:25:00 -0600
By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 6, 2011 – Budget pressures that have proven greater than anticipated mean the Defense Department will trim end strength in its ground forces beginning in four years, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said today.
“Under this plan, the U.S. Army’s permanent active-duty end strength would decline by 27,000 troops, while the Marine Corps would decline by somewhere between [15,000] and 20,000, depending on the outcome of their force structure review,” Gates said.
The secretary and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke to reporters at the Pentagon on the results of defense efficiencies initiatives begun in May to trim support costs and ensure funding for military modernization.
“The projected reductions are based on an assumption that America’s ground combat commitment in Afghanistan would be significantly reduced by the end of 2014, in accordance with the president’s strategy,” Gates said. The Army also will lose the 22,000 troops it added in a temporary end-strength increase approved in July 2009, he added.
“Ever since taking this post, now more than four years ago, I have called for protecting force structure and for maintaining modest, but real, growth in the defense topline over the long term,” Gates said. “I would prefer that this continue to be the case, but this country’s dire fiscal situation and the threat it poses to American influence and credibility around the world will only get worse unless the U.S. government … gets its finances in order.”
Gates said even after force reduction, both services would remain larger than they had been when he became secretary — the Army almost 40,000 troops larger, and the Marine Corps anywhere from 7,000 to 12,000 troops larger.
Both services support the decision, the secretary said, noting Marine Corps leaders have spoken of trimming back the increases their force structure has seen in recent years.
“I think [the Marines] see this as … more of an organic process within the Marine Corps in terms of their priorities and their needs,” Gates said. “In the case of the Army, this is a situation where the Army is supportive of this decision. I think … that support derives from understanding the importance of this in terms of their other priorities, as well.” (What does that even mean?)
This worked so well before.
Whenever the Suits go after defense cuts, it usually ends up hurting the Troops, no matter how many times they claim “we’re just going after waste and inefficiency”. These people wouldn’t know waste and inefficiency if it came up and introduced itself to them with nametags predominately displayed.
Strategic Weapons Win in Gates’ New Budget Plans
U.S. Military Direct Orders: Do More with Less
(How about looking at all those entitlement programs that keep people tied to the government trough – funded by the productive citizens of this country. How about cutting those departments that do more harm than good for our nation’s economy; such as the EPA, Dept of Energy and Dept of Education for starters. And repeal the damn Obamacare atrocity!)
It’s not as if the Military hasn’t been through all this before, usually during a Democrat President’s term:
In less than a three-year period under Clinton, America’s military manpower decreased from 2.1 million to 1.6 million. Of the 305,000 employees removed from the federal payroll by Clinton, some 286,000 (or 90 percent) were military cuts. Over the entire course of the Clinton years, the Army was cut from 18 divisions to 12. The Navy was reduced from 546 ships to 380. Air Force flight squadrons were cut from 76 to 50. Moreover, the Administration enacted a pay freeze on U.S. troops, 80 percent of whom earned $30,000 or less annually.
Inattention to defense did not, however, prevent the Clinton Administration from pursuing massive social experiments in the military in the name of gender and diversity reform, which included requiring “consciousness raising” classes for military personnel, redefining physical standards if women were unable to meet the traditional norms, and in general undermining the meritocratic benchmarks that are a crucial component of military morale.
While budget cuts forced some military families to go on food stamps, the Pentagon spent enormous sums to re-equip ships and barracks to accommodate co-ed living. All these efforts further reduced the Pentagon’s ability to put a fighting force in the field-a glaring national vulnerability dramatized by the war in Kosovo. This diminished the crucial elements of fear and respect for American power in the eyes of adversaries waiting in the wings.
During the Clinton years, the Democrats’ insistence that American power was somehow the disturber-rather than the enforcer-of international tranquility, prompted the White House to turn to multilateral agencies for leadership, particularly the discredited United Nations. While useful in limited peacekeeping operations, the UN was in large part a collection of theocratic tyrannies and brutal dictatorships which regularly indicted and condemned the world’s most tolerant democracies — specifically the United States, England and Israel — while supporting the very states providing safe harbors for America’s al Qaeda enemy.
Read it all. These leopards will never change their spots.
And let’s not forget Carter:
After his 1976 election as President, Carter slashed defense spending by $6 billion (in 2003 dollars) during the first two years of his administration, canceling the B-1 bomber and decimating the U.S. fleet.
Carter would later boast that, as president, he set about “convincing the Soviets of our ability and resolve to respond.” But as political analyst Ben Johnson puts it, “Unfortunately, his response was naïvete and unilateral surrender.” Carter failed to consult either the Pentagon or the Kremlin before removing U.S. missiles from South Korea within hours of his inauguration, a move that Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev interpreted as weakness rather than conciliation. In 1979, Brezhnev refused to remove Soviet submarines and aircraft from Cuba.
Also during his presidency, Carter offered to remove all U.S. troops from South Korea.
And he did so well in the Middle East…
‘If he [the liberal] thinks that his country’s weapons or strategy menace peace, then Peace, he feels, [and] not his country’s military plans, should take precedence.’
James Burnham, from his 1964 book, Suicide of the West
Let’s just hope Sec. Gates means what he says about cutting just the bureaucracy and moving the money to get our Troops more and better equipment. And certain leopards members in Congress don’t muck it up, as usual.