Would a smaller Army mean a smaller mission?

The Obama administration wants to shrink the U.S. Army to the smallest number of troops since prior to World War Two, according to the New York Times.

But, in my opinion, this does not necessarily mean a reduction in the number of U.S. military operations overseas.  I think it means a greater reliance of flying killer drones and Special Operations assassination teams.  I would be happy to be proved wrong about this.

The U.S. Army is already on track to reduce the number of soldiers from the post 9/11 peak of 570,000 to 490,000.  The New York Times reported that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced plans to further reduce the Army’s forces to between 440,000 and 450,000.  This is ample to defend the U.S. homeland, he said.

Hagel also announced plans to eliminate an Air Force wing whose primary mission is to fight enemy tanks — a vital capabililty in case of a Soviet invasion of western Europe, but less likely to be needed now.

Special Operations and cyberwarfare will be exempt from budget cuts, and the Navy will keep its 11 aircraft carriers.

I would be glad if this signified the Obama administration and the Pentagon generals have adopted more modest military goals.  But what I suspect it means is that the new policy is a recognition that U.S. ground forces cannot cope with insurgencies, and that the quest for global military domination will be pursued by other means.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/24/us/politics/pentagon-plans-to-shrink-army-to-pre-world-war-ii-level.html?_r=0

http://pando.com/2014/02/20/the-war-nerd-driverless-trucks-cant-mask-the-us-militarys-problem-with-insurgent-warfare/

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3 Responses to “Would a smaller Army mean a smaller mission?”

  1. EthnicKonflict Says:

    You are entirely correct. The military is merely investing more in tactical strategies rather than capitalization. There’s no point in having a huge army when your enemy is a needle hiding in a haystack. You need more intelligence and more precision.

    Like

  2. philebersole Says:

    On sober second thought, I think I exaggerated the significance of the reduction. As Ed Kilgore pointed out for the Washington Monthly, the size of the Army before World War Two is not that meaningful a comparison.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2014_02/the_defense_budget_horses_and049200.php

    Like

  3. whungerford Says:

    I welcome any reasonable reduction. Reportedly, the Defense Dept. would like to close unneeded bases, but is prevented from doing so by Congress. That’s unreasonable.

    Like

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