Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will ask for permission to downsize the United States Army to levels not seen since before World War II when he presents the Pentagon's budget plan
to Congress on Monday. Mr. Hagel will also request to end funding for Cold War era U-2 spy planes and A-10 attack jet's. The Defense Department will need Congressional approval for both of these requests.
In a wide ranging speech at the Pentagon, Secretary Hagel laid out his vision for the future of the American armed forces. The world is changing and our Armed forces must change with it. The days of armies meeting each other on the battle field are gone, possibly forever. Technology has ushered in a new era of fighting and our military must adapt. We can not afford to invest in new technologies to keep America safe while keeping a manned force of the size we currently have.
The cuts that the Defense Department is proposing include shrinking the Army by roughly 100,000 soldiers, eliminating the Air Force's fleets of A-10 aircraft and U-2 spy planes, an unknown reduction in size of the Army National Guard, and a new round of military base closings beginning in 2017. Congress must approve all of these cuts and many of them face tough prospects in the deeply polarized environment we currently live in.
It is high time for the military to begin rethinking the way it uses the taxpayer dollars that it is provided. American treasure and lives have been wasted in an ill fated fight against an ideology and we need to refocus the way we will protect our homeland without invading and occupying as many countries as we can.
America spends more on her military than most of the other countries in the world combined. Not just that, but America has positive diplomatic relationships with most of the countries that have a military. That is not to suggest that every one of these relationships is perfect, but what diplomatic relationship is always peaches and cream? History shows us that empires fail when they stretch their forces too thin. Let us not repeat history once again.
I applaud Secretary Hagel, the Department of Defense, and President Obama for having the courage to say that it's time to adapt to a changing world. I just hope that Congress will go along with it.