Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is calling for a cut to the Army to Pre-World War II levels. The proposed 2015 budget calls for a smaller force than any since before WWII but keeps defense spending at levels above that of cold war spending.
According to Times,
“Today’s “low-cost” warplane, the F-35, costs $160 million per copy, compared to its predecessor, the $20 million F-16. The cost per troop jumped from $55,000 in 1998 to $80,000 by 2009. Atop those rising costs, Congress has steadfastly refused to shutter unneeded military bases. All the services have said they have at least 20% more real estate—Army and Marine ranges, Air Force runways and Navy ports—than they need.”
Still Congress refuses to allow any of the these bases to close for fear of job loss in their districts. That means more money, less defense.
Hagel will outline his proposed budget cuts in a press conference. Some other things that will be cut are (From Times.com):
- The Army, current about 540,000 troops, will drop by about 20% to 440,000
- The Air Force’s A-10 Warthog will be scraped
- The National Guard will surrender its AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to the active-duty force. In exchange, the Guard will get the active-duty Army’s troop=carrying UH-60 Black Hawks.
- Hagel wants to limit pay hikes for troops to 1%, while admirals and generals would see their pay frozen for a year.
The proposed budget does have the support of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The reason for this according to Times is that:
“the Pentagon’s proposed five-year spending plan will drive like a tank through the military-spending caps set under sequestration, calling for spending $115 billion more than the law currently allows”
Even though massive cuts to the military are being proposed the money is still rolling in.