February 24th, 2014
01:34 PM ET

Get real, Hagel tells nation in proposing military cuts

By Tom Cohen

Get real, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told America on Monday in proposing a scaled back, modern military that would cut the Army to its pre-World War II size, retire the A-10 "Warthog" attack jet and reduce some benefits for fighting forces.

"This is a budget that recognizes the reality of the magnitude of our fiscal challenges, the dangerous world we live in, and the American military's unique and indispensable role in the security of this country and in today's volatile world," Hagel said in unveiling the Defense Department spending plan for 2015 and beyond.

"There are difficult decisions ahead," he added. "That is the reality we're living with."

Downsizing due to modernization and budget constraints began under Hagel's predecessor, Robert Gates, and the proposal outlined on Monday described a new phase in the transition.

"Not a war-footing budget"

"For the first time in 13 years we will be presenting a budget to the Congress of the United States that's not a war-footing budget," Hagel said in response to reporters' questions. "That's a defining budget because it starts to reset and reshape."

Under it, the former senator from Nebraska said the military would become a smaller, more tactical force capable of fighting on one war front and maintaining effective defenses for a second while shifting to more specialized capabilities.

"Our analysis showed that this force would be capable of decisively defeating aggression in one major combat theater - as it must be - while also defending the homeland and supporting air and naval forces engaged in another theater against an adversary," he said.

The proposal endorsed Monday by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, who appeared with Hagel at the Pentagon news conference, is certain to face strong opposition in Congress - especially with midterm elections coming up in November.

Hagel's budget will be formally proposed next week and legislators from states or districts with major military bases or a heavy presence of contractors are expected to rail against it.

In recent years, Republican hawks have battled military force reductions under President Barack Obama's attempts to reduce defense spending as part of overall deficit reduction.

Conservative Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a possible GOP presidential contender in 2016, questioned the planned cuts in forces at a time of varying threats and a U.S. shift in emphasis to the Asia-Pacific region, saying it "does not make strategic sense."

"It's going to be a far slimmer military," noted CNN Military Analyst and retired Maj. Gen. James "Spider" Marks, predicting a rough reception in Washington. "This is the toughest part - the political part."

Retired NATO commander: It's necessary

Retired Army Gen. George Joulwan, a former NATO supreme allied commander in Europe, said he thought the changes were necessary.

"Whether it's smart or not is yet to be seen. But I think it's necessary to do, given the constraints that we face fiscally within the United States," he told CNN.

For now, the Pentagon budget for the rest of this fiscal year and for 2015 is about $500 billion for each, as set by a congressional compromise in December.

Hagel acknowledged the changes he proposed mean assuming more risk, but said the military would be better situated to respond to the evolving security challenges facing the country.

The recommendations in the budget plan for 2015 and ensuing years "favor a smaller and more capable force - putting a premium on rapidly deployable, self-sustaining platforms that can defeat more technologically advanced adversaries," Hagel said.

He added that the proposal includes "important investments to preserve a safe, secure, reliable, and effective nuclear force."

All military forces, both active and reserve, would be cut under the budget plan.

It calls for reducing the Army to a level of 440,000 to 450,000 troops, which would be the lowest total in more than 70 years. At its height, the Army had 570,000 troops after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and currently has about 520,000.

According to Hagel, the budget proposal protects funding for cyberwarfare and special operations, and preserves money for the controversial and costly F-35 fighter jet.

Warthogs retired?

His plan would retire the A-10, which Hagel called a 40-year-old, single-purpose aircraft designed for Cold War operations, at a cost savings of $3.5 billion over five years.

Separately, Hagel said 900 additional Marines would be assigned to bolster security at embassies around the world under his proposal.

Diplomatic security has received close scrutiny since a terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012 killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Also, Hagel said the plan envisions increasing special operations forces from 66,000 today to 69,700 in the future to better meet tactical needs of a modern military requiring counterterrorism and crisis response.

Other provisions would reduce some benefits for military personnel, resulting in them having to shoulder more of their housing and medical costs. Reducing the federal subsidy to commissaries would mean smaller discounts for groceries on U.S. bases.

Through his remarks, Hagel warned that if Congress fails to eliminate planned across-the-board spending cuts beyond 2016, the military reductions would be on a greater scale and significant enough to compromise U.S. national security.

Some of those forced cuts, known as sequestration, were eased for this year and next under the budget deal worked out by Congress in December.

CNN's Halimah Abdullah and CNNMoney's Jennifer Liberto contributed to this report.

Post by:
Filed under: Hagel • Military
soundoff (2,527 Responses)
  1. contractors near me


    June 16, 2021 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  2. RV Repair Shops Near Me


    June 16, 2021 at 10:15 am | Reply
  3. Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me


    June 16, 2021 at 10:02 am | Reply
  4. Sprinter Repair Near Me

    Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Spending some time and actual effort to produce a very good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I procrastinate a whole lot and never seem to get anything done.


    June 16, 2021 at 4:58 am | Reply
  5. Sprinter Repair Costa Mesa


    June 16, 2021 at 4:04 am | Reply
  6. Camper Repair Shops Near Me


    June 16, 2021 at 3:35 am | Reply
  7. Camper Repair Places Near Me


    June 16, 2021 at 12:12 am | Reply
  8. RV Repair

    I need to to thank you for this very good read!! I certainly enjoyed every bit of it. I've got you book marked to look at new things you postÖ


    June 15, 2021 at 11:16 pm | Reply
  9. RV Repair Shop Near My Location


    June 15, 2021 at 9:46 pm | Reply
  10. RV Repair Places Near Me

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It is the little changes that produce the most significant changes. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 15, 2021 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  11. RV Repair Near Me Now

    I really like looking through a post that can make people think. Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment!


    June 15, 2021 at 8:53 pm | Reply
  12. RV Repair Santa Ana

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this article! It's the little changes which will make the greatest changes. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 15, 2021 at 7:50 pm | Reply
  13. Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me

    Great web site you have here.. Itís hard to find excellent writing like yours these days. I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    June 15, 2021 at 7:23 pm | Reply
  14. RV Repair Mission Viejo


    June 15, 2021 at 6:15 pm | Reply
  15. RV Repair Shop

    You are so awesome! I do not suppose I've truly read through something like this before. So good to discover someone with original thoughts on this subject matter. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This site is something that's needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!


    June 15, 2021 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  16. Camper Repair Near Me

    Very good info. Lucky me I discovered your blog by chance (stumbleupon). I've saved as a favorite for later!


    June 15, 2021 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  17. Sprinter Repair Costa Mesa

    Great web site you've got here.. Itís difficult to find excellent writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    June 15, 2021 at 10:46 am | Reply
  18. RV Repair


    June 15, 2021 at 10:12 am | Reply
  19. RV Repairs Near Me


    June 15, 2021 at 7:58 am | Reply
  20. Nearby RV Repairs


    June 15, 2021 at 4:45 am | Reply
  21. RV Repair Santa Ana

    Everything is very open with a clear description of the challenges. It was really informative. Your site is very useful. Thank you for sharing!


    June 14, 2021 at 11:28 pm | Reply
  22. labcorp near me

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and the rest of the site is also very good.


    June 14, 2021 at 8:02 pm | Reply
  23. Louella Sorley

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life authors and blogs


    June 14, 2021 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  24. dispensary near me

    You're so cool! I don't suppose I have read through anything like that before. So great to find somebody with a few unique thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing that is required on the web, someone with a bit of originality!


    June 14, 2021 at 6:14 pm | Reply
  25. seafood near me

    You're so cool! I do not suppose I have read a single thing like that before. So good to find someone with a few genuine thoughts on this subject. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that is required on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!


    June 14, 2021 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  26. baskin robbins near me

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to come back once again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.


    June 14, 2021 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  27. social security office near me

    Iím amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog thatís both equally educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you've hit the nail on the head. The issue is something not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy I found this in my search for something regarding this.


    June 14, 2021 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  28. puppies for sale near me


    June 14, 2021 at 2:22 pm | Reply
  29. kinkos near me

    Good site you've got here.. Itís difficult to find excellent writing like yours nowadays. I truly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!


    June 14, 2021 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  30. ashley furniture near me


    June 14, 2021 at 11:45 am | Reply
  31. museums near me


    June 14, 2021 at 8:54 am | Reply
  32. waterfalls near me


    June 14, 2021 at 6:57 am | Reply
  33. dispensary near me


    June 14, 2021 at 1:46 am | Reply
  34. harbor freight near me

    Everything is very open with a very clear description of the challenges. It was truly informative. Your website is useful. Thanks for sharing!


    June 13, 2021 at 9:30 pm | Reply
  35. Brooks Course

    I don't know about you people but I infatuated with airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/01/chinas-arj21-looking-to-get-certified-by-faa/


    June 13, 2021 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  36. food open near me

    This site definitely has all of the information and facts I needed concerning this subject and didnít know who to ask.


    June 13, 2021 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  37. chiropractors near me


    June 13, 2021 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  38. fires near me

    Hi, I think your blog could be having web browser compatibility problems. Whenever I take a look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in I.E., it's got some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Aside from that, fantastic website!


    June 13, 2021 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  39. office supplies near me

    I absolutely love your blog.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you create this site yourself? Please reply back as Iím planning to create my own personal website and would like to learn where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Appreciate it!


    June 13, 2021 at 10:56 am | Reply
  40. butcher near me


    June 13, 2021 at 7:42 am | Reply
  41. carmax near me

    Can I simply say what a comfort to find a person that really knows what they are discussing on the web. You actually realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people have to read this and understand this side of the story. I was surprised you are not more popular because you most certainly have the gift.


    June 13, 2021 at 2:26 am | Reply
  42. Paul Gusa

    I don't know about you guys but I am obsessed with airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loves airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/07/alaska-airlines-boeing-and-others-work-towards-using-sustainable-biofuels/


    June 13, 2021 at 2:04 am | Reply
  43. furniture stores near me

    Good web site you have got here.. Itís hard to find quality writing like yours these days. I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    June 12, 2021 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  44. Brian Saetern

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl articles and blogs


    June 12, 2021 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  45. food open near me


    June 12, 2021 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  46. coinstar near me


    June 12, 2021 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  47. Tommy Lifland

    Saved as a favorite, I really like your web site!

    June 12, 2021 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  48. Camellia Mewes

    Great web site you have got here.. Itís difficult to find good quality writing like yours nowadays. I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    June 12, 2021 at 1:28 pm | Reply
  49. Romana Laroque


    June 12, 2021 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  50. Wilber Lightfoot

    After exploring a few of the blog articles on your blog, I really like your technique of blogging. I saved it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Take a look at my website as well and tell me your opinion.


    June 12, 2021 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  51. Bus Repair Shop Near Me

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post! It's the little changes that will make the biggest changes. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 12, 2021 at 6:11 am | Reply
  52. Sprinter Mechanic


    June 12, 2021 at 5:53 am | Reply
  53. the truck shop orange


    June 12, 2021 at 5:22 am | Reply
  54. Rv Upholstery

    An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment. I do think that you should publish more about this issue, it may not be a taboo matter but typically people do not discuss these issues. To the next! Cheers!!


    June 12, 2021 at 5:17 am | Reply
  55. RV Mechanics Orange County


    June 12, 2021 at 5:17 am | Reply
  56. rv inspection service near me


    June 11, 2021 at 9:47 pm | Reply
  57. Sprinter Repair Mechanics

    Good write-up. I absolutely appreciate this website. Keep it up!


    June 11, 2021 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  58. Sprinter Window Regulator Repair

    Great post. I will be facing many of these issues as well..


    June 11, 2021 at 6:14 pm | Reply
  59. High Top Van Repair


    June 11, 2021 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  60. RV Mattresses Riverside

    After I initially commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. There has to be a way you can remove me from that service? Kudos!


    June 11, 2021 at 6:12 pm | Reply
  61. progressive photo inspection near me


    June 11, 2021 at 2:30 pm | Reply
  62. near me


    June 11, 2021 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  63. Cornell Gangel

    Good information. Lucky me I found your website by accident (stumbleupon). I've saved it for later!


    June 11, 2021 at 7:51 am | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Leave a Reply to Video Marketing Companies Near Me


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.