Via our buddy Phil - the NYT is playing ... well ... the contrary logic that can be the NYT when it comes to Strategic thinking.
Once the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down, the administration must look at trimming troop strength, beginning with the Navy and the Air Force.OK, let's look closer at that idea.
If you are the NYT - then you want to get American ground forces home once we are through with the two present wars (me too). I would go a step further and take all but perhaps the 173rd out of Europe and about half the USMC in Japan and 2/3 of the forced in South Korea ... but I won't hijack my own post, today. As a (r) republican, the only thing I can't stand more than Titles and Hereditary Monarchy is Empire ... but back to the point.
If you wish to maintain the ability to project power globally with minimal risk of entanglement and loss of American lives - the best way to do that is via air and sea forces.
If you are a maritime nation surrounded by friendly land borders (relatively) and large oceans, if you have a land-centric force without the ability to have air and maritime supremacy - then you cannot move them anywhere without unacceptable risk.
There is a lot more here to argue than the simple fact that it takes less time to grow a new Army or USMC Division than in does a Carrier Strike Group of Fighter WIng, no - there is something much for basic going on.
If you have a small land-centric force and a small air and sea component - then you are no longer a global power. You are a regional power - like Brazil.
You no longer have an ability to be a global force for anything. Others will step in, and with them will come their cultural norms for the conduct of international business and relations.
Ah, ha; you say. See that?
I've been reading The Nation since high school. Starving the beast is not a new concept.