The U.S. Army plans on cutting 80,000 soldiers by 2013. This will be done by cutting the number of combat brigades from 45 to as low as 32. This restructuring comes as the Pentagon works on its 2013 fiscal year budget, which much reflect $260 billion in savings over the next five years. On January 26, 2012 senior DOD leaders released a new defense strategy, this is based on the current budget constraints. “This new strategy will focus on a smaller, leaner military that is agile, flexible, rapidly deployable, and more technologically advanced (Feikert & Henning page 5, 2012).” This new military will rebalance global presence, emphasizing where potential problems exist, such as Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. The new Army will also maintain a presence in Europe, Africa, and Latin America, developing new partnerships and strengthening key alliances. THE ARMY RESTRUCTURING PLAN 3 THE ARMY RESTRUCTURING PLAN
The Army Drawdown
The U.S. Army plans to slash the number of combat brigades from 45 to as low as 32, and broadly restructure its fighting force to save money and cut the size of service by about 80,000 soldiers. General Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, said the drawdown would begin this year and take place mainly through the next decade. “It would include withdrawal of two heavy infantry brigades from Europe, one in 2013 and another in 2014, both of which would be removed from the force rather than relocating to the United States (Alexander, 2012).” The army has stated that it might cut as many as 8 or more Brigade Combat Teams. The Army's final numbers will go from 570,000 troops in 2010 to 490,000 troops by the end of 2017. As part of this reduction, the Army would no longer be conducting large scale operations, it will be focused on a wide range of national security operations.
The Army will follow a draw down that will allow them to take care of soldiers and families while maintaining a ready and capable force to meet any requirements, including the current operations in Afghanistan. Military leaders insist they will come up with budget cuts without hurting the overall force. Many of the top Army leaders who have been putting together these cuts have been around since the massive budget cuts in the Vietnam Era. Those cuts left an Army undermanned and not fully equipped. Some of the ways they plan to cut troops is by planned retirements, separations for medical or behavioral problems, and scaling back the number of people able to enlist or re-enlist. One of the Army's main priority is to make sure mid-level officers stay in. It usually takes about ten years for an officer to reach the rank of major. These officers should have multiple tours and the knowledge to lead these Brigade Combat Teams.
“The 2013 budget is Panetta's first as defense secretary and is the first to take into account the Budget Control Act passed by Congress in August that requires the Pentagon to cut $487 billion in projected spending over the next decade (Alexander & Wolf, 2012).” This budget plan is a struggle THE ARMY RESTRUCTURING PLAN 4 between President Obama and Congress over how much the Pentagon should spend on national security. As of right now the United States is in a Trillion Dollar Budget Deficit. Panetta will be asking for a $525 billion base budget for 2013. He would be using $88.4 billion to support combat operations in Afghanistan, that number is down from $115 billion in 2012. Only $3 billion will be used for the war in Iraq. Congress ultimately controls the spending of the Pentagon and can change it in a instant. The Defense department spending is about 20% of...