Top Army officials late last month briefed Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on the Army’s future and the risks associated with cutting its forces. The presentation’s slides draw dire conclusions about reducing the Army’s size beyond the 490,000 active-duty soldiers — down from a war-time high of 570,000 — it plans to have in 2017.This is perhaps what they meant.
An Army with 450,000 soldiers is “too small” and at “high risk to meet one major war.” The bottom line on one slide reads, “Extremely High Risk in Meeting Even One Major Combat Operation.” The Pentagon has been structured for decades to win two separate wars.
And war will likely break out again, according to the briefing. “History says the Army will fight again ... much sooner than we think.” At 420,000 active-duty soldiers, the Army “cannot execute (Defense Strategic Guidance).”Argue that our eyes are bigger than our stomach? That is fine ... but crying impotence? No - that destroys credibility if the report is accurate on the nature of the brief to Carter.
That guidance “deemphasizes large, protracted, and manpower-intensive stability operations,” according to budget documents.
Hyperbole of flaccidity concerning the world's most technologically superior army of 450,000 - especially with the USAF, USMC, and USN backing its play? Child please.
The fact that they would throw that out to Dep. SECDEF Carter should be all the signal you need that a house cleaning is in order. The nation cannot afford larger - if you can't figure it out, give someone else a chance.