February 24th, 2014
10:00 AM ET

Defense Department to cut Army to pre-WW II size

By Halimah Abdullah

The Department of Defense plans to scale down the nation's Army to its pre-World War II size and do away with an entire class of Air Force attack jets in an attempt to cut military spending, which mushroomed after the attacks of September 11, 2001, according to reports.

The plan, backed by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, as first reported by The New York Times, positions the military to handle any enemy but will leave the armed forces with much fewer resources to take on lengthy missions abroad. The dwindled budget also reflects the current political climate, with a President who has pledged to pull back from extended and expensive wars abroad in an era of federal funding cutbacks.

The budget is to be presented Monday.

Hagel proposes cutting the Army to 440,000-450,000 troops, according to the Times. Army troop levels already were supposed to go down to 490,000, from their height of 570,000 after the 9/11 attacks.

The budget, does, however, protect funding for cyberwarfare and special operations, a reflection of the evolving way in which the U.S. has approached fighting overseas, using tactics that don't necessarily rely so heavily on land fighters. The proposal also preserves money for controversial and costly F-35 fighter planes.

The proposed cuts will probably draw sharp criticism from some members of Congress, especially those with large Army bases in their states and districts, or whose economies depend on building and servicing parts for the Air Force planes that will be eliminated.

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Filed under: Army • Pentagon
soundoff (1,714 Responses)
  1. musclecarhound

    Bout time. The right wingers say they want to cut spending. They say they want less government. Well here you go!

    February 24, 2014 at 10:57 am | Reply
  2. Jason

    Different world......drones, cyber and long range weapons, maybe even space based are the future.......future wars will most likely look like Grand Theft Auto

    February 24, 2014 at 10:56 am | Reply
    • Paco

      Yeah right. They'll look like Grand Theft Auto to the cowards waging them, but the death and destruction visited upon actual civilians in far off countries will be no different than if it were enemy boots on the ground and firing squads.

      February 24, 2014 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  3. KML

    Great now lets use the saving to re build our infrastructure so we can have sewers that work and bridges that are not about to cave in. But that would make too much sense.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:55 am | Reply
    • Modine

      For sure, but nothing will change when it comes to that money being put to good use. It will be used to continue to socialize this country and other pork barrel cronie projects

      February 24, 2014 at 11:01 am | Reply
    • Bob

      THATs not the FEDERAL GOVERMENT JOB, but PROTECTING US IS....Hope your are ready for a DRAFT (an with the PC of the Governement that will mean Femails ALSO.....

      February 24, 2014 at 11:02 am | Reply
    • gekaap

      What a remarkably foolish thing to say. You decry wasteful spending, but then single out the military for insulation of continued wasteful spending. To say that reducing the size of the army is going to weaken the military is pure nonsense. Our military strength is at an all time high, and will remain so.

      February 24, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  4. edog355

    Defense Department to cut Army to pre-WW II size? Sounds like a good start to me.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:55 am | Reply
    • Glenn

      A good start to what? Raising the unemployment levels.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:57 am | Reply
      • M

        There are better ways that money could be used that would grow the economy and reduce unemployment.

        We have a ridiculously large army for what we do with it.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:58 am |
    • hkirwin

      Good only until we need them, and I bet you will be the first to enlist.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:58 am | Reply
  5. john

    want to cut a program cut the f-35, its turning into a modern day bradley.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:54 am | Reply
  6. Otis Guelpe

    Deja vu.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:54 am | Reply
  7. Farrok

    Good. Long overdue.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:54 am | Reply
  8. Protect the rank and file

    The cuts will first hit the lowest ranked soldiers....the rank and file soldiers. The military needs to look at eliminating the wasteful spending first, then look at how large of a military is needed. ie: The top brass do not need all the perks they currently receive...imagine how much could be saved by that alone!

    February 24, 2014 at 10:53 am | Reply
    • M

      Just replace everyone with drones and be done with it.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • Carrie

      Lets cut the politicians pay!!!!

      February 24, 2014 at 10:58 am | Reply
    • james1time

      your definitely mistaken. They have not touched the rank and fiile like you think. They've all ready eliminated a lot of brass and are conducting Q&MP boards to eliminate more. the 2nd group they've been hitting are the disciplinary issues. They're reinforcing standards that were always there but were relaxed on during the wars and now with the wars coming to a end, they no longer except stupidity from soldiers who should know better. 3rd group they've been hitting are the people who cant meet the core standards, I.E physical fitness tests, or professional development! So don't start crying about the rank and file. The army is still recruiting the same number of people. They will continue to have the many number of indians but will have fewer chiefs!

      February 24, 2014 at 11:04 am | Reply
  9. ELMO

    Year Army Air Force Navy Marine Corps Total
    1940 269,023 160,997 28,345 458,365

    February 24, 2014 at 10:53 am | Reply
    • Sidewinder

      Not to be nit-picky ELMO, but the air force did not exist in 1940. The Army Air Corps is probably what you mean there, and your number may be a bit high there.

      February 24, 2014 at 11:01 am | Reply
    • Chuck

      Elmo, where did you get your numbers...there was no Air Force in 1940!!!!!

      February 24, 2014 at 11:02 am | Reply
      • Chuck

        Of course those numbers were based on a world after a war that was suppose end all wars (WWI), how did work out for us and rest of the world!?!? And what was U.S. population and the worlds back then???

        February 24, 2014 at 11:10 am |
  10. truthdefender

    Obama likes to use a scalpel, and tries to be surgically precise, when It comes to fighting a war. Bishop, and the right wing likes the expensive bull in the China shop way of fighting a war. Massive invasions, and occupation, is the way off the past. Taking a super sharp knife/micro precise energy weapon (special ops, smart weapons, etc. ) And cutting out the cancer, is the way to go.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:53 am | Reply
    • truthdefender

      I meant to say Bushco. Lousy auto correct....

      February 24, 2014 at 10:57 am | Reply
  11. mikeandpamh

    Those who forget history are bound to repeat it. Be afraid... be very afraid.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:52 am | Reply
    • Glenn

      Oh no..... Now you are about to get a bunch of pseudo military geniuses telling you the world has changed and there never will be another war like WWII

      February 24, 2014 at 10:56 am | Reply
      • James

        Yeah because it's so likely that we're going to have another tank war with p51's in the air! Duffus!

        February 24, 2014 at 11:32 am |
    • mkat2

      Exactly! We'll have all those pink Unicorns to keep us safe...........

      February 24, 2014 at 11:06 am | Reply
    • craig

      You have nothing to fear but You yourself. The rest of us can be happy Obama is doing the right thing and cutting down on the $3 TRILLION DEBT DIRECTLY CAUSED BY BUSH'S LIIES. IT'S ABOUT TIME WE CUT OUT THE WASTE. JUST TALK TO ANYONE WHO HAS SPEND A MICROSECOND IN THE MILITARY, IT A GIGANTIC WASTE OF MONEY! YOU OLD FOGEY MILITARY RATS JUST WILL NEVER GET IT. CHANGE IS THE ESSENTIAL PROCESS OF ALL EXISTENCE. CHANGE AND BELIEVE OR YOU WILL BE LEFT BEHIND!!!!!!!!!

      February 24, 2014 at 11:07 am | Reply
  12. flaneasu

    It's about time....

    February 24, 2014 at 10:52 am | Reply
  13. Barry Boy

    So, electronic spying and death squads will remain untouched? Anyone surprised?

    February 24, 2014 at 10:52 am | Reply
  14. Jamie

    It's time to focus our military on defense of homeland.

    We do NOT need 1000+ bases overseas and 39 aircraft carriers when our education, health and other human indexes are falling behind other modern countries.

    Remember what happened to the Russian Empire before it collapsed. It bankrupted itself by making the biggest military which came to no use. All that hardware is now rusting in open air.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:51 am | Reply
    • Randy barker

      You need to get your facts straight before making such a comment. Number of overseas installations is less than 300 (even if you count small radar sites). Number of aircraft carriers is currently 10 with one already planned for deactivation in 2015.

      February 24, 2014 at 11:04 am | Reply
    • Eric

      We don't have 39 aircraft carries. Lol.

      February 24, 2014 at 11:05 am | Reply
    • Chuck

      1000+ military bases overseas and 39 Aircraft Carriers...you must live in a state where pot is legal. Where do you come up with these numbers????

      February 24, 2014 at 11:17 am | Reply
  15. Randy

    Great news for the economy.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:50 am | Reply
    • fact

      No its not, where will they get jobs in this economy?

      February 24, 2014 at 10:57 am | Reply
      • mkat2

        Well, per this Administration, they'll have time now for their hobbies & arts & crafts!

        February 24, 2014 at 11:09 am |
    • Natrldiver

      Not sure how that it is good for the economy when most of the defense budget goes right into the economy. From defense contracts to soldiers paychecks. Small fabrication shops have been sustained by the bigger companies like GD, Boeing and Bell who outsources many projects which kept money going to the smaller companies. Scaling back means less money to the economy.

      February 24, 2014 at 11:00 am | Reply
  16. Jeff

    It's about time. With our deficit, we can't afford to throw an obscene amount of money at a problem that doesn't exist.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:50 am | Reply
    • Barry Boy

      Yeah, take them out of the military where they at least pay taxes and put them on welfare, that a REAL good deal.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:53 am | Reply
      • edog355

        Nobody is putting someone on welfare. When your job goes away, you then go and find another one. Ask construction workers who do that after every job is completed.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:57 am |
      • Jamie

        It's unfair to suggest that all the money that is pulled out military is forwarded to welfare. But if even that was true, that would boost the economy. Welfare people spend the money primarily on basic needs such as housing, food and clothing which feeds the economy.

        But in reality, some of the fund pulled from military will be spent on infrastructure projects which creates further jobs without creating enemies overseas.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:58 am |
      • Zac

        They pay taxes with taxpayer money. Considering the fact that the military contributes nothing to the economy, it is functionally no different than welfare.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:59 am |
      • Robert

        It is easier for those who served in the military to go to school and get funding. If you study STEM, you are going to get a job. Why should tax dollars continuously spend for an Army that is not needed? Many people I know who left the military are now doing helicopter manufacturing, trade, security contracting, other manufacturing, and two of my friends are studying to be lawyers. Just because you spent a few years in the military doesn't mean you sit back and be lazy. There are still many non military people who fight for this country everyday without the benefits of even a GI Bill.

        February 24, 2014 at 11:00 am |
      • Rachell Newson

        Try fixing the infrastructure with that money which would mean JOBS we don't need a huge military sucking up the $$

        February 24, 2014 at 11:06 am |
      • Scar

        ZAC, you are WRONG. The military does have an effect on the econony. Think of the 10's of thousands of people who work for defense contractors. Civilian workers on bases. Civilian contractors who support the infrasture of bases. Being in the Air Force for over 10 years, you see them. A military base just doesn't have military people only on it.

        February 24, 2014 at 11:53 am |
  17. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    We don't live in the dinosaur age that's why we have a graveyard of military equipment that has never been used that we've paid contractors millions. War has always been for profit for a few who were willing to sacrifice human lives and just considerate lives as collateral damage.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:50 am | Reply
  18. ELMO

    I will believe it when I see it. Hagel proposes cutting the Army to 440,000 to 450,000 troops, according to the Times. That's way above pre-WWII levels.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:50 am | Reply
  19. Lisa

    Great idea..Then bring back the draft for when men are needed, like for instance against China's MILLIONS on troops!

    February 24, 2014 at 10:50 am | Reply
    • CommonSense

      If you think China has any interest in a fixed war with us, then your knowledge of economics is nonexistent.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:51 am | Reply
      • Jay Craig

        China wants to be a super power and already becoming one. I think you're right in that China doesn't necessarily want to go to war.. as in for no reason... but there's also a reason why they have a million+ man army.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:54 am |
      • Natrldiver

        Take the time and do some research. You might be surprised to see what China has been quietly building up. Their naval power is becoming quite impressive that its capabilities could be the next threat to national security. We already know that they are on the opposite spectrum with regards to political views and freedoms. What's to say they don't go out and flex their power?

        February 24, 2014 at 11:04 am |
    • armyvet19kilo

      you want equality? then women should be part of Select Services Act (i.e. draft)

      February 24, 2014 at 11:01 am | Reply
  20. Greg

    A note to the President and Mr. Hagel:
    Before you reduce Troops why don't you tighten your own house first. Too much in the way of misuse of funds, welfare fraud, IRS abuse, etc. Clean it up before you weaken our military. That should be the last place you look to save money, not the first.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:49 am | Reply
    • armyvet19kilo

      Corporations paid the taxes set forth to them...then none of this would be needed to be discuss

      February 24, 2014 at 11:02 am | Reply
  21. Alex

    Great. These cuts should be done in a manner planning for a long term and sustainable lower level of spending. In particular, overseas military bases need to pared by at least 50%. Balancing the buget will require cuts outside the military as well, and also include additional tax revenue. But cutting the massive military that had so much bloat that does not protect americans is a great first step.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:49 am | Reply
    • B Bob

      You hit it right on the head

      February 24, 2014 at 11:03 am | Reply
  22. James

    "The proposed cuts will probably draw sharp criticism from some members of Congress, especially those with large Army bases in their states and districts, or whose economies depend on building and servicing parts for the Air Force planes that will be eliminated."

    That says it all, they're all for small government and private industry until the army base is closed. Though it's not socialism it's The Army!

    February 24, 2014 at 10:48 am | Reply
  23. 1CentFree

    This is no different than why the number of jobs have shrunk over the years. You can blame Obama and Congress all you want, but the fact is, technology has more to do with this than anything else. We need a lot less "boots on the ground" as a direct result of advanced technology, drones and "eyes in the sky".

    It used to take a lot of covert ground troops to go into a country and take out an enemy target. Now, all you need is a predator drone and two or three soldiers hundreds of miles away controlling it. And the technology will only get better, which means the military will continue to shrink and still remain dominant.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:48 am | Reply
  24. toveri

    add another 120,000 to the unemploemnt numbers and the Health Care

    February 24, 2014 at 10:48 am | Reply
    • johne7

      Or take that 120k and have them do something productive like fixing bridges and road.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:55 am | Reply
      • Graci

        They won't have Americans building infrastructioure-cheaper foreign labor.

        February 24, 2014 at 11:08 am |
    • BWD

      That's an odd comment. You do realize even if 120,000 suddenly went on un-employement, it's still a drop in the bucket compared to the amount previously spent to have them in uniform.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • Larry L

      We pay Soldiers now and provide 100% of their healthcare. They will enter the work force like Soldiers have always done. Many will take advantage of tuition assistance programs resulting from the terms of their service.

      February 24, 2014 at 11:02 am | Reply
  25. Jessica Samuels

    I have a major issue with this. Those already serving are going to have a difficult time staying in, whether they know their MOS or not, while new recruits will still be allowed to enlist. I suppose it may save money, in regards to higher VA disability rates, retirement, etc, but it's basically screw the vets.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:47 am | Reply
    • Edwin

      What large business does differently? If you cut those with a higher pay grade, you can hire new recruits more cheaply and still get work done.

      That is the American Business Model.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:50 am | Reply
      • Jessica Samuels

        I know what you're saying. I just think it's morally corrupt. Plus, it isn't only those that are much older. An entire re-enlistment window got shut down this year. Didn't matter if your pt score was perfect, you were proficient at your job or you were 21 and on your first enlistment. I just know that if my husband gets deployed again, I wouldn't prefer a bunch of 18 year olds watching his back.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:57 am |
    • Jeremy

      This won't happen all at once and they're already raising the standards and slowing down entry rates on new recruits. I know a few kids that are already enlisted and aren't allowed to actually join for a few months yet.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:56 am | Reply
      • Jessica Samuels

        I suppose there is no easy answer.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:58 am |
    • Larry L

      We have always reduced forces when the need decreases. The primary methods will be Selective Early Retirement Boards (SERB), incentives for voluntary reduction (like cash settlements depending on time invested), requirements to change skill specialties, reduced enlistment quotas, and increased enlistment standards and higher required test scores. Officers will see fewer ROTC graduates accepted to active duty. We handle our reductions better than most civilian industries.

      February 24, 2014 at 11:10 am | Reply
  26. ru serious

    Will reductions of the meatheads behind the troops also be reduced? Yah right............no way that's going to happen. We will still have a bloated government and a reduced military. Way to go Demwits.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:47 am | Reply
    • Edwin

      Your comment makes no sense. Can you list two programs that are actually "bloated" like you say they are? All I ask is two programs - that should be easy if the government really IS too big, like you say. Be specific - a general feeling that 'the gov'ment is too big' is not really useful.

      Additionally, why do you blame only one party? The Republican Party controls the House of Congress with an iron fist. Although they have been eager to cut programs for the poor, they have actually INCREASED funding to the government more than democrats did.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:54 am | Reply
      • bckerr

        Have to somewhat agree on that. According to reports, in 1966 there were 2,721,000 Fed jobs. In Sept 2013 that number is 2,723,000. So to say that government is bloated, well, then it's been bloated since before 1966. Those numbers do not account for military either.

        As for the second question. People will hate what they want and believe what they want because they think opinions are facts and therefore makes them ignorant.

        February 24, 2014 at 11:19 am |
    • John Soldier

      Hagel is also pushing for the elimination of military retirement benefits. He wants to give a one time lump sum payment instead. It will save billions of dollars, but will anger those in uniform. It will destroy the morale in the military, if Obama goes ahead and approves this.

      February 24, 2014 at 11:02 am | Reply
      • Larry L

        "Hagel" isn't pushing for the lump sum payment. That was one of the options put on the table by the panel commissioned to look at military compensation. The more likely reduction would come in delaying retirement compensation until the retiree reaches 62 years of age, then giving them the "missing" compensation in a lump sum – plus starting their promised benefits. That reduction was included in the recent budget package and originated as a part of Paul Ryan's Republican budget proposal – ultimately agreed upon by both sides of the aisle. I believe that part of the budget was removed later.

        It is typical for our politicians to go after the military following a war. Once they've reaped the benefits from campaign contributions (defense contractors) and stood on the stage wrapped in the flag, they throw the military under the bus. It will be easier now since so few have actually served and so many are wealthy.

        February 24, 2014 at 11:26 am |
  27. Redeye Dog

    Barking up the wrong tree!! Guaranteed!

    February 24, 2014 at 10:47 am | Reply
  28. ceejay

    Cutting back one area, slightly, isn't indicative of the whole situation now is it? See, we can cut people now sure but if you aren't asking yourself why then I would look at the exponential growth of drones in the military. What we are doing, in my opinion, is doing nothing short of replacing people with technology. Just like the supermarkets which have self checkouts where one person can man 4 to 6 stations at a time. The money is being spent still, it's just being spent In a different area. When you take one step forward and then two steps back, it's not called progress. I hope people understand the difference.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:47 am | Reply
  29. Rochambeau

    Why show an image of South Korean soldiers? This demonstrates the disconnect with the U.S. military, the media and the citizens of the U.S. The person that selected the image of South Korean soldiers jumping off a 2.5 ton truck must have thought that this was representative of what the U.S. military does. The subjects are probably shouting, "Hut! Hut! Hut!" like some 80's sit-com.

    The 0.45% of the U.S. population that has actually served in uniform since 2001 actually has a range of opinions on our nation's defense and involvement in current and future conflicts. But don't canvass the opinions of those people. They might have valid arguments that won't fit into a black or white narrative for the readers of CNN. After 1940 the nation was forced to draft a military. Who remembers Task Force Smith form the Korean War time frame?

    February 24, 2014 at 10:46 am | Reply
    • Ginger

      The soldiers in the photo appear from the Westpoint US Military Academy.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • guest

      Those are Cadets at the US Military Academy (aka West Point)

      February 24, 2014 at 11:11 am | Reply
      • Rochambeau

        The initial photo within the article showed South Korean soldiers in a digital camouflage not unlike UCP (Universal Camouflage Pattern) of U.S. Soldiers. The equipment and truck are no longer in use with the U.S. military so I looked into the photo a bit more and commented. The image has since changed to an A-10 with ground crew.

        February 24, 2014 at 11:45 am |
      • Rochambeau

        The original image within the article was this: http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/130319102655-02-sk-training-story-top.jpg

        February 24, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
  30. Sheila

    A great man said once, "Peace through strength." We are free because we do have a strong military and those who are prepared to fight for our freedoms. These fools who govern us have no appreciation for the people who stand by for that purpose. We should be giving them anything they need! Liberals will sit and wait for the downfall!

    February 24, 2014 at 10:46 am | Reply
    • CosmicC

      First, we'll still have a strong military. Second, that really hasn't worked so well for us, never mind those we've decided to make examples of.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:51 am | Reply
    • James

      Do you know that we spend MORE THAN THE NEXT TEN (10) biggest military spenders in the world? Oh and only China isn't an actual ally. So all that spending and how much peace have we had in the last dozen years? We did a bang up job in Iraq. I'm sure you could go there for vacation and be welcomed as a friend just because you're American! We're still not entirely out of Afghanistan and we were there to Kill Bin Laden, and he's dead. You're probably one of the whiners who blames the deficit all on Obama, but you don't know your facts.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:54 am | Reply
  31. JohnRJohnson

    OUTSTANDING. We could cut by half and still be spending more on defense than the next 6 countries combined. China spends 1/6th of what we spend. Put that money into rebuilding and upgrading the country's infrastructure. Make us a first world country again. We don't need a super-military. The major powers in the world are too inter-dependent economically to risk another major war. Those are things of the past.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:46 am | Reply
  32. craig

    for as much as we spend we should own everything. we have NOT gotten a good payback for this blackhole of funding.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:46 am | Reply
  33. truthdefender

    As long as the readiness state stays at the same level or better. The US military was in poor shape prior to WW2, and was woefully unprepared for war when we were dragged into it. The readiness state can stay the same, even if the military is shrunken. New technology can help keep the military ready. Drones, and robots, advances in survellience/data acquisition, and advanced weapons systems can make up for the loss of bodies. Just look at auto manufacturing, and its use of robots.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:46 am | Reply
    • Texas

      I would agree that we need to stay ahead of everyone technologically, but that doesn't mean we have to deploy everything that a defense contractor pitches over lunch to some senator or brass.

      I have always thought that whether it was world war 2 / or policing a civil war, that our boots on the ground were the most important asset. Not to mention the mundane jobs in support, like engineers, cooks and mechanics give our less fortunate citizenry a way out of their current environment, if they can't afford college or to move to another city. The people seem to be our greatest asset, in my opinion, not the suits and overpriced gear.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:55 am | Reply
    • Texas

      Sorry for two replies. I do agree with you that we need to modernize. And I guess I am still showing my people-centric view of things. But I have long thought that the prospect of hydraulic suits, adaptable the way our tanks in WW2 were, where a single base suit can be retrofitted for different jobs, would be a fantastic advantage in almost any situation other than traveling great distances by air or water.

      February 24, 2014 at 11:00 am | Reply
  34. Richard Bamberg

    What a misleading headline. In 1940 the combined USA/USAF forces were about 270 thousands, the new budget would reduce the USA to 490 thousands and the USAF would still have over 300 thousands. How is a combined 790 thousands compared to 1940 levels of 270 thousands. This is just another example of the media trying to scare everyone rather than stating the truth up front.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:46 am | Reply
    • The REAL Truth...

      Very common from the media... I'm sure that if they say there's a recession coming that folks believe it, act accordingly and we have a self-fulfilling prophesy, and hence a recession.
      Too many folks assume the media are reporting the truth, whereas most outlets tend to spin it toward those predisposed to the message.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:51 am | Reply
  35. Jay Craig

    How bout we cut Congress, White House, and Senate budgets. They should start with themselves first.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:45 am | Reply
  36. Jamison

    Great, now how about close all foreign bases and redeploy all troops, aircraft, & ships to our home territory, and our defense will be solidified

    February 24, 2014 at 10:45 am | Reply
    • CommonSense

      Not only that, but we'd still be able to reduce size. So, truly massive savings.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:50 am | Reply
      • Jamison

        i wouldnt reduce much more than what they plan. We still have to secure 2 ocean approaches and our entire hemisphere is largely defended by us, however with the 900+ base closings, the savings would be gigantic from that alone. Not to mention all those soldiers deployed overseas are now home spending their money here vs other countries. Our fighter protection screen would be better, we could deploy our ballistic missile defense system here, not to mention another carrier BG to reinforce our coast. With more ships to defend the coast, we could save fuel just on the fact that not as many ships have to be deployed at the same time.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:54 am |
    • kevin

      Not exactly. If you pull all your defenses to within or just outside your own fence, then you practically invite your enemy to park his weapons (personnel, listening devices, strike weapons etc) right outside your fence. What you want to do is put your guard out farther so you have a better chance of detecting and deterring the enemy before he gets anywhere near your fence.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:52 am | Reply
  37. Juergen

    We're spending over 800B a year on the military. That's more than 3 times as much as China. We can use some trimming.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:45 am | Reply
    • Glenn

      China doesn't pay their army or grant them benefits the way we do.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:47 am | Reply
    • KnightofMalta

      Yes we could trim the military down. More importantly trim down the amount of bases over seas. Attack jets such as the A-10 for example don't need to just vanish, but crap like the F-35 does. If you haven't checked though its not even half of our spending. Most of what we spend is to whiny liberals "poor" liberals.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:50 am | Reply
    • Inciteful

      Of course, this will increase the unemployment stats.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:52 am | Reply
    • ganv

      Absolutely right. The arguments made for maintaining our hugely expensive military usually boil down to either irrational 'Rah Rah America' or 'Don't touch the government money coming to me and my people' or 'I'm afraid of a scary world and am willing to mortgage my children's future to make myself feel safer.' These argument are as often as not made by 'small government' conservatives. The answer to all the arguments is 'Grow up.' We live in a dangerous world where economic power is often more important than military might in influencing the course of events. We have to get our fiscal house in order. We should maintain a military that is stronger than other countries because it is more efficient, not because it receives many more resources. We should maintain military superiority by building strong alliances rather than by the narrowminded notion of unilateral military supremacy.

      February 24, 2014 at 11:01 am | Reply
  38. Indrid Cold

    With our enormous nuclear deterrent, we could just as easily pare down the military to about 50,000 troops. A simple policy statement to the effect that we will answer ANY attack on this nation with nuclear retaliation would likely end the terrorist threat once and for all.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • CommonSense

      Well, yes, but we'd also sound like Kim Jung Un.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:50 am | Reply
    • kevin

      That's very short-sighted. We're not barbarians.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:54 am | Reply
    • derek

      stunningly ignorant idea. Where exactly would target those nukes in case of terrorist attack? You do realize many terrorists are not state sponsored (or middle eastern) What if a london-based terrorist group attacks, do we nuke great britian? Why some people share their opinion is beyond me.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:54 am | Reply
    • ken

      The reason we don't do that is because we basically just handed nuclear weapons to Terrorists…any attack? We respond to the blowing up of the Cole with nuclear weapons? The Lebanese Embassy? Benghazi? Sir, you need to think before you rant...

      February 24, 2014 at 10:58 am | Reply
    • Matt

      That was essentially Eisenhower's strategy for shrinking the military. The limits of that position were felt in Vietnam – it turned out there were still wars that America wanted to fight, but without using nuclear weapons. Of course, that doesn't prove or disprove the strategy – after all, inability to meddle in foreign wars on behalf of the French may be a feature, not a bug. And we never did directly fight the Soviet Union – mission accomplished? The real show stopper here is, do you want our national policy to be that "If you attack American interests, our categorical response will be nuclear annihilation of your country and all of its inhabitants"?

      February 24, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Reply
    • Joseph

      Indrid...so the US attacked Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, Iraq in 91, Iraq in 03, pushing for war with Iran, nevermind all the medelling in affairs of countries in central and south america, africa, middle east, and asia for economic rape because all these countries attacked the US?

      February 24, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  39. kebcarerra

    The world police are cutting back

    February 24, 2014 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • Langor1

      Our police happy government? Not a chance.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:59 am | Reply
  40. B Ash

    I can go along with this, as long as we ALSO reduce the government to pre-w2 II levels!

    February 24, 2014 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • natfka

      I can go along with it too, as long as we are reducing govt and taxes to pre-WWII levels.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:50 am | Reply
      • derek

        do a little research on tax rates next time

        February 24, 2014 at 10:56 am |
  41. shorething32

    Lets keep broadcasting this all over the internet and news media outlets. It is not like terrorists and people that hate America have access to this news. Why not just give them the keys to the kingdom since you just admitted it is not as well protected as it could be. America is so screwed up, its like a dog chasing its tail.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • Kristin

      So a military state is your answer to dealing with diplomatic matters? ohhh kay.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:46 am | Reply
    • CommonSense

      I'm not sure you understand this, but the year isn't 1940. War has changed significantly; and the possibilities of a massive global war that would actually require such manpower are unlikely. As others have pointed out, we still outstrip much of the rest of the world combined; arguing that we are somehow "weak" now is a little foolish.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:48 am | Reply
      • Glenn

        Funny your comments were parroted right before WWI and WWII.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:52 am |
  42. Greenspam

    This is the opening Republicans are waiting for!

    February 24, 2014 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • CommonSense

      Which just proves that "fiscal conservatism" is something they were never interested in in the first place.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:49 am | Reply
    • skyatimus

      You mean like 'horses and bayonets?'

      February 24, 2014 at 11:34 am | Reply
  43. CommonSense

    Good. Warfare has ceased to be a matter of massive standing armies; force from afar is and should be the emphasis. Besides of which, we were never able to afford all this in the first place. But, there's the limit of so-called "fiscal conservatism".

    February 24, 2014 at 10:44 am | Reply
  44. UN Ministry of Defence

    Why not cut the entire F35 program, and instead use the money to maintain, train and equip the same number of troops (500k), and upgrade systems like F18, F16 and F15s? The latter are still proven systems with plenty of potential still left in them.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:43 am | Reply
  45. mdwestrngirl

    Hype. Pure hype. Yes we have less feet on the ground now. the money is being spent in other areas of the military. It has been this way for quite awhile now. remember Rumfeld's vision of a small mobile military with a high-tech edge?

    This is hype to keep funding. we spend more than the 10 countries combined after us...

    February 24, 2014 at 10:43 am | Reply
  46. C HALL

    So instead of cutting troops and trashing the equipment.. Like you did in Iraq, leaving millions possibly billions of dollars of equipment there. Store it; Dont Shred it. The Army is one place a lot of Americans that are struggling go to for a job and a future. And with 850,000 defense contractors... Lets talk about there numbers to... Time to Drop the hammer...

    February 24, 2014 at 10:43 am | Reply
  47. James

    This is way long overdue. All this whining about deficits and we've been paying for a bloated military for ages. We should have the military that can defend our nation and not a military that can go on misadventures the world over.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:43 am | Reply
  48. Addie

    This will mean smaller government, but the people behind the uniforms not disappear. How will we incorporate former soldiers into a workforce where skilled and middle class jobs are disappearing? Many of our enlisted men and women are not "tech" people, not academic scholars....many chose the military because they could only find minimum wage jobs in their communities. Who will retrain and provide jobs for those who are being turned out? Where will they go; where will they live? How will this impact the rest of the workforce? No good deed goes unpunished.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • syd

      ...and you think the fed gov't. can afford to support them? Have you seen this country's budget deficits and total debt?

      February 24, 2014 at 10:46 am | Reply
      • Addie

        Whether they are in the service of the military or on public assistance they will have to be supported unless there is a plan for finding them a path to the middle class. Everyone is not a leader or an entrepreneur. Many of enlisted soldiers are not capable of new economy jobs, which is why they joined the military in the first place. We don't want another post-Vietnam where ex-soldiers found themselves on the street. Yes, we have a debt crisis, but abandoning those who served will not save our economy. A reduction in military spending must be accompanied by a like increase in domestic manufacturing. Those on both sides of the aisle must combine education programs and tariffs/taxes to make off-shoring jobs tremendously costly to provide "middle class" employment to our former military and domestic workforce.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:57 am |
    • Kristin

      Yes, go on public rolls. That's the answer!

      February 24, 2014 at 10:48 am | Reply
      • Addie

        We, as a society, are judged by how we greet our returning soldiers.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:58 am |
  49. DeadLedHead

    At a time when the rest of the world is in the midst of violence and KAOS? When there are rulers such as Kim Jung Un out there?

    February 24, 2014 at 10:42 am | Reply
    • Greenspam

      USA spends more on military spending than the next top 10 countries combine. Source: wikipedia – list of countries by military spending

      February 24, 2014 at 10:45 am | Reply
    • 99

      I blame Bernie Coppell!

      February 24, 2014 at 10:48 am | Reply
    • John Smith Super Fan

      Understand your concern. I welcome the downsizing, albeit, I hope they do it in such a fashion that does not impact (weaken) our "defensive" position. With the rise in the use of Special Forces and technology a massive, on the ready Army, I feel, is not necessary. Other strengthening or steps to mitigate the downsizing are: increasing the Army Reserve, closure or downsizing of foreign bases (versus domestic ones) and being more judicious with our Program spending (e.g. Crusader, F-35/ F-22, Air Tankers, etc.).

      February 24, 2014 at 10:59 am | Reply
  50. Julie MS

    Ya let's just let the world know we're cutting back and lowering our defensive capabilities and show how weak we are. Then the next time we are threatened or someone declares war on us, we won't have enough soldiers to defend our country. The we may have to instill a draft, just to be able to. Oh boy them will the liberal be whining!

    February 24, 2014 at 10:42 am | Reply
    • John Smith

      We could cut our spending and troops in half, and we'd still be the strongest, most advanced military on the planet!

      February 24, 2014 at 10:58 am | Reply
  51. DWAT

    A very positive step would be not punishing DoD program managers for saving money in their programs. As it is, PM's that do not spend ALL of their budget are strongly criticized, unfavorably evaluated, and removed.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:42 am | Reply
  52. slomo

    That's Obama's plan, weaken the U.S. economically, politically, and now militarily.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:40 am | Reply
    • ProudACLU

      You really don't have a clue do you?

      February 24, 2014 at 10:41 am | Reply
    • James benedict

      Well your an idiot..... THE PENTAGON.... not the president has made this decision.... not only that we live in a completely different military environment where boots on the ground will not be needed on the same scale as before.... republicans are hilarious and setting themselves up for epic failures in future elections....

      February 24, 2014 at 10:42 am | Reply
    • beatdude

      This is done after every conflict. They reduced the army after we returned from Desert Storm. I believe you a stirring a pot and haven't a clue of what is in it.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • Spencer

      How can Hagel propose cutting the Army to 440,000 to 450,000 troops? That's an increase. Come on CNN, this is why I applied for a job with you guys...

      February 24, 2014 at 10:47 am | Reply
    • xgirl360

      This isn't really what it seems. Warfare has changed. You don't need as many boots on the ground and boats in the ocean. We fight our wars primarily by drone and air these days. This isn't cutting as much as it is evolving and accepting the new reality. We don't need as many soldiers. The biggest enemies we have hide in caves all over the world. They aren't governments and they aren't fighting like an army. An Abrams Tank isn't going to help against an underwear bomber.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:50 am | Reply
    • Jessica McGwin

      With Hillary in the winds for the house make one wonder? China has her by the balls. She will do as they command. I am just an idiot, I do not know what they are up to?

      February 24, 2014 at 10:50 am | Reply
    • CW Messenger

      This does not coincide with the looming Martial Law that will take affect before 2016.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:51 am | Reply
    • Robert

      The army is too large for the specific warfare of today's era. We are wasting money on an Army that basically doesn't do much. If there is another full scale war, the Army would have no problem filling the ranks as soldiers can be recalled or the large recruiting network can be utilized. Having such a large Army when it is currently not needed reduces funding in other areas that are needed and actually weakens us. You need to use your head for once. Educate yourself please. You are an American! This isn't propaganda plagued Soviet Russia!

      February 24, 2014 at 10:52 am | Reply
    • Kristin

      slow motion, indeed

      February 24, 2014 at 10:52 am | Reply
  53. sr_cactus

    Just roll over and play dead. This is more of the same mentality that brought us Obamacare. I'm not saying that cuts are not in order but why in secret until the die is cast.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:40 am | Reply
    • ProudACLU

      Because all those congress critters who scream for cuts in OTHER peoples states will go apecrap when it happens to THEIR state.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:42 am | Reply
  54. Frank

    There is nothing wrong with doing this, as long as it's done right with balance. Do we need all of that? No. But do we need to cut too much? Of course not. Balance is the word.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:40 am | Reply
  55. Greenspam

    It's about time. USA has a military budget that is bigger than the sum of the next top 10 countries combine

    February 24, 2014 at 10:39 am | Reply
    • Glenn

      Well it is mostly because we pay our soldiers well comparatively and also offer good retirement packages. Other countries like China, and India simply do not

      February 24, 2014 at 10:46 am | Reply
    • EntilZha

      Actually our budget is higher than the next 13 countries combined...most of which are our allies.

      It's way past time we did this. The US has operated on a war economy since the end of WWII, and that sort of spending is no longer warranted.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:47 am | Reply
  56. Oppy

    The military is shrinking down to what it basically was during the end of the Great Depression because the military brass know that in a few more years the economy will undergo a fiscal crunch which will be like the Great Depression. The US dollar has a 95% probability of disintegrating in real purchasing power by April 10, 2019. The ongoing reduction of the US military is not being done discreetly. Rather it is being done in tandem with other economic policy changes in a sort of stage managed economic 'Depression 2'. The government needs to preserve the basic functions and structure of the government and have the framework to do so must completed prior to the dollar crisis hurricane hitting the public in the choppers. So do not think that Secretary Hagel is making these decisions on his own somehow. He is merely following his marching orders to 'right size' the military so that it can perform its function in the midst of the upcoming 'Great Depression 2'.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:38 am | Reply
    • dan

      95% of the time I make up bs stats too.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:41 am | Reply
      • EntilZha

        I thought it was 87.5% of the time that happened. But yes, it's exactly what the original poster is doing.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:48 am |
      • curtis

        Haha.. well played Dan, well played..

        February 24, 2014 at 10:54 am |
  57. Soldier 1

    Okay. Thanks for your service. Now get out and go get unemployment. Then get help form an already taxed VA system and die of a disease that the VA won't catch in time cause doctors have 2000 plus patients. By the way did we say we love our vets?

    February 24, 2014 at 10:38 am | Reply
    • syd

      They're talking about making less future veterans in this article, not screwing the current vets (tho that does happen)

      February 24, 2014 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • DeadLedHead

      Don't worry There is plenty of heroin out there for them to ease the pains of being rejected by their govt.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:46 am | Reply
  58. Lieutenant Dan

    So, now the US can't participate in civil wars half a globe away? Oh well.

    I'll believe these cuts if they actually happen, which is doubtful. Long term, however, this will be the forced direction.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:38 am | Reply
  59. babbette

    Yeah, that whole 'pre-war' levels of manning worked really well for us until 1939 and Europe went up in flames. Fortunately, we had a couple of years to get ready while France, Britain, and Eastern Europe kept Germany busy. The problem is, this time there won't be time to build new weapons, draft new personnel and train them. We'll go to war with what we have and that.will.be.it. There won't be time to prepare.
    Secondly, individuals and units of the ANG, the AG, and the Reserves have been 'non-volunteer deployed' since 1996. We've been cutting into bone for nearly 20 years. Now we're going to make it worse. Good plan, Hagel.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:38 am | Reply
    • syd

      cutting into bone....LMAO. There's less excessive drama in an episode of General Hospital

      February 24, 2014 at 10:42 am | Reply
    • EntilZha

      The probability of a sudden world war requiring high levels of US forces is practically nil. Traditional warfare has been dying off for decades in the face of special operations and minor skirmishes. There is no force on the planet that can challenge even the allegedly "weakened" US military, nor is one likely to appear in the near future. We already spend more than at least the next 13 nations combined, and most of them are allies.

      The battlefield is increasingly turning toward cyber warfare and small unit tactics, which is (rightly) where we're focusing resources as noted in the article. Spending piles of cash on big new weapons is a waste of resources when the other guys are using IEDs and small unit tactics.

      The world market of today puts a lot of restrictions on the ability to wage "traditional" warfare, since no one wants to see their own economy slump as the result of aggression.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:56 am | Reply
  60. sam mazz

    smells more like Jimmy Carter every day, and we all know how that ended

    February 24, 2014 at 10:37 am | Reply
  61. Vij

    Good....we also needs to cut defense contractors as well... they are having too much profits......

    February 24, 2014 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • James

      That's where the real problems lie! It's called buying politicians for military contracts!

      February 24, 2014 at 10:46 am | Reply
  62. Dh

    Thank you gladiator girl. Bush and company never paid for Iran or Afghanistan!!!!!!!

    February 24, 2014 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • idiot

      Bush went to war with Iran ?

      February 24, 2014 at 10:44 am | Reply
  63. Dave

    This is the best news I have heard in a long time and it's about time! The Military has put us in a poor house that we might never get out of!

    February 24, 2014 at 10:36 am | Reply
  64. L.H

    cut military spending and pay convicts for a college education. SMART

    February 24, 2014 at 10:34 am | Reply
    • Greenspam

      Where can you get paid to go to college? Care to post any link about that?

      February 24, 2014 at 10:39 am | Reply
  65. Guest

    I don't think that picture is of U.S. Forces.....

    February 24, 2014 at 10:34 am | Reply
    • Guest

      .....and they just changed it.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:35 am | Reply
      • Glenn

        What was it before?

        February 24, 2014 at 10:40 am |
    • Glenn

      Which picture are you talking about? The one of the West Point Cadets or the video with the A10 Warthog?

      February 24, 2014 at 10:39 am | Reply
      • Guest

        The original picture looked like South Korean soldiers to me, (I was stationed there). Also, as an Air Force member I assure you I'm familiar with the A-10.

        February 24, 2014 at 11:23 am |
    • Kay

      Those are Westpoint Students...

      February 24, 2014 at 10:41 am | Reply
    • Rochambeau

      It was a photo of South Korean soldiers jumping off a deuce and a half (2.5 ton truck). I commented on it earlier.

      February 24, 2014 at 11:40 am | Reply
  66. skyatimus

    This is a good move for the U.S. in terms of cutting down debt and while becoming leaner and more flexible to optimize fighter response in a more dispersed and fluid threats globally.

    Say goodbye to 'Hulk smash' and hello to Bruce Lee.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:34 am | Reply
    • Sheila

      Sure, cut the military and leave us to our enemies! If you want to save money, cut the budget to the illegals – why do they get our money and the very people who preserve our freedoms get cut???? Dumb Democrats!

      February 24, 2014 at 10:40 am | Reply
  67. pauloblitzz

    this should have happened years ago, better late than never. We should only spend what is needed to be number 1 and not number times 2. No one is going to attack in this age with a military style force attack. Evolve!

    February 24, 2014 at 10:33 am | Reply
    • t2vodka

      as much as I want to believe that, you should always assume that there is an idiot out there, because history has proven over and over, their are idiots out there. China comes to mind, their population is only getting bigger, and they are running out of resources fast. That is usually a recipe for conflict.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:43 am | Reply
  68. Jason

    Why stop with the military? Why not cut social welfare programs to pre-1940 levels as well? Talk about a black hole.....

    February 24, 2014 at 10:33 am | Reply
    • mark hensley

      Then let's bring minimum wage levels up to what they should have been had they kept up with inflation. And get income equality back to PRE Ww2 levels as well. When ceo's didn't make 300 times what a regular employee made.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • pauloblitzz

      apples and oranges bro....one thing is small compared to the other and one helps american the other does nothing at all what so ever....

      February 24, 2014 at 10:37 am | Reply
    • Einstein

      Start with the corporate welfare...

      February 24, 2014 at 10:40 am | Reply
    • GonzoG

      OH, You mean Great Depression levels?

      February 24, 2014 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • Uncertain

      Given the huge number of social welfare programs during the depression, I'm not certain that going to pre-WWII levels would mean a decrease in spending for those programs. In fact, I'd guess there would be an increase.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • Habsfan

      Here's a better idea. Our social support programs to provide for poor and underserved citizens is about $49 billion a year. At the same time, we provide over $90 billion in corporate welfare payments to some of the richest companies in the country. You want to cut welfare? Let's start with the corporate welfare that the rich live off first.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:44 am | Reply
  69. Big_D

    The GOP forgot the Defense Department was part of that government they wanted to starve to death.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:33 am | Reply
    • Sheila

      Don't blame the GOP – blame this entire administration! What a stupid move!

      February 24, 2014 at 10:42 am | Reply
  70. CPTObvious

    Did anyone else notice right away that the picture for this article is of Republic of Korea soldiers and not US Army Soldiers? Takes a little bit away when the article is about one thing and the picture is something completely different.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:32 am | Reply
    • NoSoObvious

      I think the cover story photo you are referring to is actual the US Military Academy (West Point) Corps of Cadets....

      February 24, 2014 at 10:41 am | Reply
      • CPTObvious

        Yes, USMA (West Point) Cadets were on the cover story photo. I was refering to the pic after you click on the headline to view the article. It showed 4 ROK Soldiers jumping out of the back of a truck. They changed the photo since then to an A-10 "Warthog."

        February 24, 2014 at 11:11 am |
  71. Steve In Florida

    We still spend more on military by several times over more than the largest countries combined. The Republicans want cuts. This is where it's going to be. Or would you rather kids, military vets, and the sick starve and jobs not be created at grocery stores and food suppliers with food stamps spent for a tax base of income? Yes there are leaches. But there are also leaches in the rich elite getting 154 BILLION a year in subsidies while food stamps for the entire nation is 80 BILLION. Bush's tax cuts didn't create jobs obviously.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:32 am | Reply
  72. rplat

    Ok, now where are the cuts in Obama's Marxist social programs and redistribution of wealth initiatives?

    February 24, 2014 at 10:31 am | Reply
    • Steve In Florida

      The Republicans want cuts. This is where it's going to be. Or would you rather kids, military vets, and the sick starve and jobs not be created at grocery stores and food suppliers with food stamps spent for a tax base of income? Yes there are leaches. But there are also leaches in the rich elite getting 154 BILLION a year in subsidies while food stamps for the entire nation is 80 BILLION. Bush's tax cuts didn't create jobs obviously.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:34 am | Reply
    • Einstein

      Those cuts have been made. Not enough for you, I'm sure. Probably won't be until it's zero.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:41 am | Reply
    • Einstein

      Obama's a Marxist....do you even know what that means? It's funny that the left has moved so far right that the right thinks the center is Marxist. And the right...they're shooting for Fascism.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:45 am | Reply
    • Amused

      Specifically WHICH "programs" are those??????

      February 24, 2014 at 10:50 am | Reply
  73. Matt

    The pre-WW2 comparison is extremely misleading. 1940 was not exactly 1930. Furthermore, people may confuse the number of active duty personnel in the United States Army with the number of soldiers currently serving. That is, if you're going to compare numbers, you may want to do a full personnel count, including the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, National Guard, and any mercenaries currently employed by DoD or other agencies.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:31 am | Reply
    • Squeezebox

      The comparison is also misleading because the Air Force didn't exist before WWII. It was originally the Army Air Corps. So Army + Air Force is still larger than pre-WWII levels.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:53 am | Reply
  74. Big_D

    You get what you pay for and the GOP has been basically borrowing future money for decades to keep the tax cuts. The reckoning time has begun. You either make the rich pay taxes or you watch the US lose it's power. You can't have it both ways.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:31 am | Reply
    • Miguel

      Maybe we should cut those programs which allows a growing percentage of young people to choose not to work.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:33 am | Reply
      • bigmikeatl

        You have any statistics to back up that claim? Or do you just them from Fox "News"?

        February 24, 2014 at 10:35 am |
      • SAM

        That's such a stupid arguement. The majority of people will leave their job for a job that pays more if they can get it. You clowns that think people on government assistance want to stay that way need to smarten up. Government assistance isn't a middle class income. The majority of people who are capable would take a job that pays more than their assistance. Which is most likely most jobs out there. So again, you clowns need to quit your jobs since you're incompetent at thinking and rationalization and let those on assistance into those jobs.

        February 24, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
  75. Joe

    This should have happened a lot sooner after WWII. There is no need for one country to maintain an army larger than the next 5 largest. If, somehow, Hitler does rise from the grave to wage WWIII maybe Europe can fend for themselves this time.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:31 am | Reply
    • Dave

      It wouldn't be a problem... If recent pop-culture has taught us anything, it's how to handle Zombies. It'd be real simple- just have funding for Michonne & her katana, Daryl Dixon & his crossbow and Shaun and his cricket bat (and maybe some old Sade' vinyl) and station them around Germany in case Zombie Hitler shows up.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • JDG

      With folks already unable to find a job, where do you expect all of these Airmen, Soldiers and Sailors go to find work? We'll end up paying for them through unemployment and other subsidies when their DoD skills don't translate to skills needed in the workplace.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:46 am | Reply
  76. joelc

    Drop the F35. It is a lousy aircraft that will kill pilots in combat.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:31 am | Reply
    • rplat

      How the hell do you know . . . when was the last time you flew it?

      February 24, 2014 at 10:33 am | Reply
  77. Bill D

    Bill Clinton made heavy cuts to the military, that's how he balanced the budget. While he was cutting back, Osama bin Laden was planning his attacks. When 9/11 happened, our military lacked the proper equipment (amored humvees) to go into Afghanistan with. Then Bush made things worse by going into Iraq. I hope we don't cut back too far this time around. Our enemies are watching....

    February 24, 2014 at 10:30 am | Reply
    • caw

      A large standing army is not necessary in modern warfare. We are not going to war with Russia or China and we can't throw brigades after a few terrorist. Drones and intelligence is much more important.

      Financial collapse is much more likely in the future of the US with our current military spending.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • Guest

      That is very misleading. A growing economy and a tax increase on the wealthy is what balanced the budget. Blaming Clinton for Bin Laden is also misleading. Other than Obama, Clinton came the closest to killing Bin Laden. Bush had a CIA report "Bin Laden Determined to attack within the United States" and where was Bush? At his Crawford Ranch on vacation.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:38 am | Reply
    • krivka

      A country cannot really be prepared for all contingencies when a war breaks out. You mention Humvees, but the need to up armor them wasn't a need until the Afghans developed a way (IED) to destroy them. It is easier to develop ANTI- weapons to neutralize out expensive kit than people realize. There are billions of dollars in weapon and surveillance systems being delivered to the Military every day that are only good against enemies with sandals. The PTDS systems would be shot out of the sky the minute it was raised against any enemy with aircraft, but we are spending hundreds of millions on it. Of course it is a very good welfare program for poor Lockheed Martin and that's why it is and others like it are still around.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:41 am | Reply
    • Jessica McGwin

      I can see where it is headed as well. I would do things differently. The changes made to our forces are a set up. Our enemies are not just watching they are running our government and our military. They have a plan and thus far it has been going smoothly. The only way to take it out of their hands is to elect Americans paid by Americans. We need to elect everyday people, if we do not we will not stand much longer.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • Hydian

      The lack of uparmored humvees and MRAPS had nothing to do with funding. They weren't in short supply...they didn't exist because there wasn't a perceived need for them at the time.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:44 am | Reply
  78. Bruce

    It's not near enough...cut all defensive spending by 50% at least.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:30 am | Reply
  79. john vance

    This absolutely needs to happen, but with caution. Some of the unnecessary programs in the DOD and various military branches directly or indirectly employ Americans who buy things and pay taxes. That is no justification for keeping them in place but paring them down gradually rather than with large "cold turkey" cuts may be less economically painful and more politically palatable.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:30 am | Reply
  80. Walter

    Clearly thousands of people, both inside the military and outside, will lose their jobs. It's unfortunate, but we are in debt up to our eyeballs and we need to scale back government expenditures big time. Unfortunately, this will eliminate another option for young people to enter. I really wonder what the children of today will be doing for their vocations in the next 20+ years.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:30 am | Reply
  81. HindiAnna Jones

    Why don't we just announce to the world that our defenses are going down?!?

    February 24, 2014 at 10:30 am | Reply
    • Zayah V

      Yes because having the military power to conquer the entire planet cut a bit means mexico is going to invade us. You dummies and your dummy logic.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:31 am | Reply
  82. Boger

    BULLSHlT!

    February 24, 2014 at 10:30 am | Reply
  83. duane - st.pete FL

    meanwhile....China is gearing up it's military big time.....liberals make us WEAK.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:30 am | Reply
    • whatever123

      We spend more than the next 24 countries combined on our military. We spend 6 times what China does and we're cutting our forces by ~20%. Stop screaming the sky is falling...

      February 24, 2014 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • Geofflives

      No, fear makes people weak. Look at concealed carry people SOOOO crippled by fear that they feel like they need a gun at all times; weak.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • bigmikeatl

      Are you aware that we spend more on our military than the rest of the world combined? And that we've invented these things called "bombs" and "drones" to replace tanks and reduce the number of flag draped caskets that get sent home? Where's your brain?

      February 24, 2014 at 10:37 am | Reply
    • Einstein

      You make you weak.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • ManWiththe1000PoundBrain

      There is no other country in the world that comes even close to the amount that the U.S. spends on its military. U.S. taxpayers are subsidizing their allies that do not spend nearly enough. U.S. allies do not spend more because they know that the U.S (taxpayers) are happy to foot the bill. U.S. military spending accounts for 40% of all global military spending. The U.S. spends more on its military then the next 10 countries combined. Even with these cuts, spending will dwarf what China is spending. U.S. military spending is unsustainable and we have to start looking for ways to spend smarter. I spent 24 years in the military and anyone that has spent any amount of time in the military knows that there is a lot of waste.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:46 am | Reply
    • Amused

      You were already WEAK! Liberals want more efficient and more effective military capabilities which actually make us FAR STRONGER! It is ignorant Republicans who don't want more efficiency, just more troops and guns, DUH!
      You can fight "big" and slow like a tired old lumbering Giant or you can fight smart and efficient like a deady hornet!
      Which method do YOU think will be more effective against Terrorism?

      February 24, 2014 at 11:00 am | Reply
  84. cboy

    A friend of mine was an accountant on a base and told me that if they were under budget by the end of the year, they'd buy office furniture and useless things to spend at the budget level since the next years budget would be no higher than the previous years spend.

    An ABC News report a few years ago showed Pentagon officials change their commercial flights at a moments notice and don't claim the credits from the airlines. A spokesman for one of the airlines said the company would be willing to give the credits if they were requested, but they were never requested. In one year alone, there were $1 million in airline credits un-requested.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:30 am | Reply
  85. Jeebusss

    ABOUT TIME!!!!! Gee you think we should be down below WWII levels, due the to the fact that WE HAVEN'T BEEN IN A WORLD WAR FOR THE LAST 70 YEARS!!! We have some real geniuses running our military.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:30 am | Reply
    • colmtnmojo

      All the while China is building its military. Meanwhile we put more people on the unemployment roles when we can't find work for those already unemployed.

      Nice thought genius.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:35 am | Reply
    • I hate your guts

      And you sleep like a baby at night.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:39 am | Reply
    • Larry L

      The Congress funds our military. Quite often Congressmen ask for pork projects the military doesn't want. We have been at war for 12 years and many of our troops have done 5 deployments. Our military leadership has done a magnificent job while less than 1% of our adults have served.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:40 am | Reply
    • Dave

      Yes,
      We could use the money on rebuilding this country's infrastructure, instead of wasting it on the military !!

      February 24, 2014 at 11:21 am | Reply
    • Squeezebox

      You think we're not in WWIII? The towelheads are itching to come over here and suicide bomb us into submission to their idol. They kill anybody who says anything bad about thier idol and yet they claim they're not idolaters? They're obsessed with world conquest. Still, we have to admire them. They do a lot more with a few el-cheapo IED's than we do with our uber-expensive hardware and soldiers. We have to wise up and learn to fight dirty like they do.
      We have to train every civillian to think like a soldier and make bombs out of bleach bottles. Then maybe we can win without going broke in the processs.

      February 24, 2014 at 11:36 am | Reply
  86. andres

    Yes indeed about time. A large standing military in peace time has been the greatest threat to peace itself. Our forefathers were correct in their assertion that a president with a large military at his beck and call does just that. Now if we could get congress to take back the exclusive power to declare war, that it willingly handed over to the presidency, we would be much more likely to stave of adventurous wars

    February 24, 2014 at 10:29 am | Reply
    • PW ONeill

      Congress approved both the Iraq and Afghan wars.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:41 am | Reply
  87. Miguel

    Are the threats we face and our role in the world the same as they were pre- WWII?

    Obama is going to figure out he cannot balance the budget even if he cuts defense to zero.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:29 am | Reply
    • Bob Ramos

      No President can "balance" the budget. In the case of defense, Gates became convinced that the DOD could never be audited. He was right. Also, as long as powerful political forces such as Cronyn protect the F-35 fighter, we will continue to waste funds.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:36 am | Reply
  88. Zayah V

    About time we cut back on corporate welfare AKA the "real leechers".

    February 24, 2014 at 10:29 am | Reply
    • colmtnmojo

      Where are you going to place all of the new unemployed you create?

      Let's start with your job.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:45 am | Reply
  89. joey

    the cycle continues

    February 24, 2014 at 10:29 am | Reply
  90. JCK

    Cut troop strength back to pre WW2 levels and the next conflict America gets in the DRAFT will be activated. Every young man and young lady will get the chance to come home in a box. Gonna be fun watching the college campuses explode and the children of the rich and connected can join the Coast Guard.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:28 am | Reply
    • Miguel

      Invest in weapon systems that allow a smaller force to be more effective or wait until the next conflict and you will get the draft again.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:31 am | Reply
    • bczu

      Just because you think it, doesnt mean its true. And guess what? Its not. If conflict arises young men and women will flood the recruitment offices. Its exactly what happened after 9/11.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:32 am | Reply
      • Larry L

        Modern warfare needs relatively few "bullet-launcher operators" and a good number of highly skilled technicians. War of the future will be cyber-war, special operations-heavy, and unfortunately, likely to include exotic energy, nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. We will not be looking for PVT Ryan. The time required to train the force will be long and the time allowed before the war is lost short. We require a smaller, more capable, more survivable, and more integrated force than ever in history.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:47 am |
    • Bob Ramos

      Also, Congress will have to pass a special war tax. The draft and this tax guarantees we will not enter another war unless we are attacked directly. Maybe not even then?

      February 24, 2014 at 10:37 am | Reply
  91. mdwestrngirl

    hype. pure hype. yes we have less feet on the ground now. the money is being spent in other areas. this is hype to keep funding. we spend more than the 10 countries combined after us...

    February 24, 2014 at 10:28 am | Reply
  92. obawendon

    Yep, lets just advertise to the world we have less military to protect us.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:28 am | Reply
    • Zayah V

      Yes because having the military power to conquer the entire planet cut a bit means mexico is going to invade us. You dummies and your dummy logic.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:30 am | Reply
      • colmtnmojo

        Hitler once thought the same thing- he could dominate the world. Look where it got him.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:38 am |
      • Scarface86

        Mexico is invading us.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:54 am |
    • bigmikeatl

      We spend more on our military than the rest of the world COMBINED. Get real.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:33 am | Reply
    • Bob Ramos

      Cut the annual budget by at least an additional $200 billion and we will spend over 5X what these 10 countries combined spend. Are they that much more efficient than the USA?

      February 24, 2014 at 10:39 am | Reply
    • Zayah V

      colmtnmojo that comment has absolutely nothing to do with the topic.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:43 am | Reply
  93. War is good business...invest your son

    Great. How about cutting all those useless high tech weapons programs too.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:28 am | Reply
    • Miguel

      "Useless" weapons systems allows a smaller force to be more effective. Would you prefer conscription when the next conflict comes up?

      February 24, 2014 at 10:32 am | Reply
  94. GenPatton

    Gee, imagine that, the Military being raped by a Democrat.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:26 am | Reply
    • bczu

      We spend more on "defense" than the top 13 countries in the world, combined. I think well be alright....

      February 24, 2014 at 10:33 am | Reply
      • colmtnmojo

        What do we do with all of the unemployed being added when there are no jobs for those already unemployed?

        February 24, 2014 at 10:40 am |
  95. gladiatorgrl

    about time!!! WHO PAID FOR THE WARS??? ANYONE YET??? fiscal conservatives.... anyone??

    February 24, 2014 at 10:26 am | Reply
    • Bob

      Who pays for the programs for the deadbeats? Liberal democrats?

      February 24, 2014 at 10:36 am | Reply
      • Paco

        Probably the worst reply I've seen here. We ALL pay for these stupid, unnecessary wars. Only an idiot would call the beneficiaries of social programs "deadbeats", especially someone affiliated with the US Military, perhaps one of the largest employers of deadbeats around. Oh, BTW, did you know that US Military members' food stamps usage has skyrocketed under Bush and Obama? Looks like the "conservatives" and "liberals" both crap on the little guy. Big surprise.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:54 am |
  96. rad666

    With all the strife going on in the world that seems like a good plan........NOT

    February 24, 2014 at 10:26 am | Reply
  97. TYRANNASAURUS

    Defense Department to cut Army to pre-WW II size...........................

    It's about time...and while you're at it cut their budget too ...it's a black hole of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$for years..

    February 24, 2014 at 10:24 am | Reply
    • colmtnmojo

      Let's include your job in with the cuts.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:41 am | Reply
      • Paco

        @colmtnmojo:

        Why do you think he works for the DoD? It's about time to cut the military down to size, since it's the biggest socialist welfare program that nobody talks about. Go out and make your living by competing in the market based economy, for a change and quit asking us taxpayers to subsidize your unnecessary jobs. You didn't protect us against 9/11, and you're creating even more enemies all around the world every day. Good riddance.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:51 am |
  98. J W Mcsherry

    Good news for National Guard & Reserves if anything happens will be called up that much sooner & more offen

    February 24, 2014 at 10:11 am | Reply
    • JED

      Probably as it should be. We shouldn't be paying for a Guard if they are seldom needed.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:53 am | Reply
    • Bob

      And for a much LONGER TIME.... That will cause folks to LEAVE the Guard FASTER... We will be in BIG Trouble....

      February 24, 2014 at 10:58 am | Reply
    • Texas

      We already depend on the gaurd WAY more than we should be. They need to make enlisting more attractive, not less. They should also get rid of those haliburton contracts for kitchen, laundry, mechanics, etc... and give those to enlisted civilians who can be cross trained for combat duty if need be. Then when we need to supplement the force during an escalation, we can use haliburton or whoever wants the work, temporarily, while they replace the support personnel who have been deployed as combat.

      February 24, 2014 at 11:10 am | Reply
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