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.
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.
This was great! I would like you to clean up all this spam though
Great blog here! great article 328652595
Hello there, I believe your web site might be having web browser compatibility problems. When I take a look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in IE, it has some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Apart from that, wonderful blog!
Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article! It is the little changes that will make the biggest changes. Thanks for sharing!
I blog frequently and I genuinely thank you for your information. Your article has truly peaked my interest. I'm going to take a note of your site and keep checking for new details about once per week. I subscribed to your RSS feed too.
I really like it when folks come together and share views. Great website, keep it up!
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 would like to see more you can see these second life authors and blogs
Howdy! This blog post could not be written any better! Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I most certainly will forward this post to him. Fairly certain he will have a great read. I appreciate you for sharing!
Great post. I am dealing with a few of these issues as well..
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 articles and blogs
I'm pretty pleased to uncover this site. I wanted to thank you for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely savored every little bit of it and I have you saved as a favorite to check out new stuff in your site.
I love it when individuals come together and share opinions. Great site, continue the good work!
You need to be a part of a contest for one of the most useful blogs on the net. I most certainly will recommend this website!
Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon every day. It's always useful to read through articles from other writers and use something from their websites.
Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life authors and blogs
Aw, this was a really nice post. Spending some time and actual effort to make a top notch article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.
Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It's always exciting to read articles from other writers and use a little something from other sites.
Howdy, I do think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues. Whenever I take a look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Other than that, wonderful blog!
Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon everyday. It's always useful to read content from other writers and practice something from other websites.
I could not resist commenting. Exceptionally well written!
You have made some really good points there. I checked on the web to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.
Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article! It is the little changes which will make the greatest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!
Excellent write-up. I definitely love this site. Continue the good work!
That is a really good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise info… Thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!
Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and also the rest of the site is very good.
Having read this I thought it was rather enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!
Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a 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 websites and blogs
Spot on with this write-up, I really believe this site needs much more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the advice!
Everything is very open with a clear explanation of the challenges. It was really informative. Your site is useful. Many thanks for sharing!
I seriously love your site.. Great colors & theme. Did you build this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m attempting to create my very own site and would love to learn where you got this from or what the theme is called. Kudos!
Aw, this was a really good post. Spending some time and actual effort to make a great article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.
I absolutely love your blog.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you make this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m trying to create my own personal blog and would like to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called. Thank you!
Hi, I do think this is an excellent blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to revisit yet again since I saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.
Hi, I do think this is a great web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to revisit yet again since i have saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.
I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!
Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to generate a very good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I procrastinate a lot and don't seem to get nearly anything done.
Hi, I do think this is a great site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to revisit once again since i have bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.
https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ tadalafil generic https://tadalafilww.com/ – tadalafil daily online lowest price cialis
where to order tadalafil tablets tadalafil cost in canada where to buy generic cialis online safely tadalafil side effects https://tadacipetadalafil.com/
Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It will always be interesting to read through content from other writers and use something from their web sites.
tadalafil blood pressure https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ – tadalafil online with out prescription tadalafil order online no prescription cost tadalafil generic https://tadalafilww.com/
https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ cialis tadalafil https://apcalisetadalafil.com/ – generic tadalafil from uk cialis without a prescription
I really like reading through an article that will make people think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!
It’s hard to find experienced people in this particular topic, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks
I’m amazed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s equally educative and engaging, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy that I found this in my search for something relating to this.
Great blog you have here.. It’s difficult to find quality writing like yours nowadays. I really appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!
Everyone loves it when people get together and share views. Great site, keep it up!
I really like looking through an article that will make men and women think. Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!
There is definately a lot to learn about this issue. I love all of the points you have made.
This is a topic that's close to my heart... Best wishes! Exactly where are your contact details though?
That is a really good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise information… Thank you for sharing this one. A must read article!
Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and also the rest of the site is very good.
After I initially commented I appear to have clicked on 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. Is there a way you are able to remove me from that service? Kudos!
https://cttadalafil.com/ canada generic tadalafil tadalafil blood pressure tadalafil cost in canada tadalafil generic
Hi there! This article couldn’t be written any better! Going through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I most certainly will forward this post to him. Pretty sure he'll have a great read. Thank you for sharing!
You have made some really good points there. I looked on the internet for more info about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.
avanafil avana canada
avanafil stendra dosage avana 50 mg
https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ cheapest tadalafil cost https://cttadalafil.com/ – tadalafil price walmart tadalafil online
I couldn’t resist commenting. Exceptionally well written!
Very good info. Lucky me I found your blog by chance (stumbleupon). I have saved as a favorite for later!
brimonidine generic brimonidine tartrate ophthalmic
tadalafil cost in canada generic cialis tadalafil generic cialis tadalafil https://tadalafilol.com/
Very good information. Lucky me I recently found your blog by accident (stumbleupon). I've bookmarked it for later!
Pretty! This has been a really wonderful article. Many thanks for supplying this information.
side effects for tadalafil https://tadalafilww.com/ cialis without a prescription canada generic tadalafil tadalafil side effects
You need to be a part of a contest for one of the highest quality sites on the internet. I'm going to recommend this site!
Right here is the right webpage for anyone who wants to understand this topic. You know a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic that's been written about for decades. Great stuff, just great!