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.

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Filed under: Hagel • Military
soundoff (2,738 Responses)
  1. Bobby from Jersey

    So our Military cuts spending, but the department of Homeland Security increases spending.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:49 pm | Reply
    • john

      I take it you missed Chuck Hagels speech where he said we must rely more on civilian instruments of power.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:51 pm | Reply
      • Big Bob

        I guess that's why so many civilian agencies are buying up all of that hollow point ammo. Doesn't that ring any alarm bells for you John? Or haven't you heard?

        February 25, 2014 at 8:10 am |
  2. conelrad

    The haters and the bulletheads will foam at the mouth but the plain fact is if they cut the war budget in half we'd still be spending too much. General Eisenhower warned us about the military industrial complex in his farewell speech and what he said is true and worse than he ever imagined. The greed and waste of military contractors and warmongers is destroying the country it was supposed to protect. Look what happened to Russia when they occupied Afghanistan. 2 billion dollars a week it costs us to play deadly games in the desert.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:48 pm | Reply
  3. Randy

    The military does not pay a living wage to our soldiers Do not reduce the benefits to our soldiers or our veterans. The military rules of engagement limited what our military could do in Afghanistan.

    Instead of reducing our soldiers and veterans benefits, why not stop or reduce benefits to illegal aliens?

    Every American at reaching the age of 18 should be required to join one of the 5 branches of military. That would benefit the economy, reduce crime and train people for a career outside the military.

    Military bases have a large impact on local economies. Bases hire local civilians, and paying local taxes. The military shops in a local economy providing sales revenue and employment. Therefore base closing harm the economy.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:48 pm | Reply
    • Medically Retired army Veteran

      Oh give me a break. The military pays INCREDIBLY well compared to the civilian sector unless you are talking about some very nice professional jobs which most people frankly are not working in. I laugh at anyone who says the military does not pay well because that is absolute nonsense.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:51 pm | Reply
      • john

        all depends on the rating or mos you hold, some jobs like admin and non technical jobs the military pays well but when you move into technical jobs like communication techs and electronic techs the military pays crap compared to the civilian world.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:54 pm |
      • andrew

        Don't worry, military people don't have to pay for any of their technical training. They may not get compensated at the same level as their civilian counterparts but they aren't paying off loans for the training either. And while their healthcare isn't always stellar, it is free. Don't get me started on non-pay benefits.

        /15 years on active duty

        February 24, 2014 at 11:02 pm |
      • Yacker

        You're an idiot

        February 24, 2014 at 11:03 pm |
    • Michael smith

      WRONG! Military pays, and especially so these absurd tax free surmised "housing" allowances have made joining and staying in the mil a guaranteed entryway into the solid middle as well as the upper incomes of our society. These pays and allowances need to be drastically cut and even zeroed out!

      From a vet

      February 24, 2014 at 11:01 pm | Reply
      • andrew

        Cut or zeroed out?

        That's just silly.

        February 24, 2014 at 11:03 pm |
      • Yacker

        You're an idiot

        February 24, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
      • JordanBoudway

        yeah, how dare we pay them a middle class wage for getting shot at by the taliban for us.

        February 24, 2014 at 11:18 pm |
      • john

        I dont know what branch you served in or claim to have served in but all depends on where you lare stationed, in you are navy like I was I would say 95% of the navy is stationed near a shore line someplace and anyplace that exists on a coast is stupid expensive to live, like for example I was stationed at Nas Pax River for 2 years for shore duty and many the people who worked in DC lived in the area and drive prices through the roof. In early 2000 the rent for a 2 bedroom apartment was $1200-1400 a month and that was for a dump, if you wanted a home you better jack that rate to at least $2k for a dump more like $2500-$3000 for a decent home.

        February 24, 2014 at 11:43 pm |
    • JordanBoudway

      Not that welfare abuse isn't a problem, but it's not as big a problem as the rate at which we spend money on defense.

      The average american earning $50,000 a year pays about $67 into welfare, SNAP, and unemployment insurance, collectively. That same person pays about $248 a year in defense.

      Next to corporate subsidies (a whopping $4000 a year), defense is our biggest expenditure, followed pretty closely by medicare. So I'd say there is some fat to trim in the defense budget, among other places. It's a poor choice for us to keep ramping up our military just for the sake of jobs. We should help our veterans find work when they come home, but we can't keep building up the army if we're not using it, and we shouldn't just go looking for a reason to use it just to keep building it up. We're at a point where we could scale back and still have the defenses necessary to defend our country.

      February 24, 2014 at 11:13 pm | Reply
  4. Fred

    The U.S. spends 6 times more than China, 11 times more than Russia, 27 times more than Iran and 33 times more than Israel on it's military.

    Stop the madness.

    No nation can sustain that level of military spending.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:46 pm | Reply
  5. JET

    well I hope obomr doesn't get too overly confident to try and take on the putin over the Ukraine...

    February 24, 2014 at 10:46 pm | Reply
  6. kudu

    Hagel is an idiot. He couldn't pour urine out of a boot if the instructions were printed on the heel!

    February 24, 2014 at 10:45 pm | Reply
    • Fred

      Based on what exactly?

      February 24, 2014 at 10:48 pm | Reply
  7. ophu

    Is anyone else wonderin where Rubio gets off telling the PENTAGON they're not making "strategic sense"? What does Rubio know about "strategic sense" that the Pentagon doesn't?

    February 24, 2014 at 10:43 pm | Reply
  8. Tony

    Reducing the subsidies for the Commissary system will save pennies compared to cutting back slightly on some of the larger weapons systems, and hurt who? The junior enlisted folks and retirees that use the Commissary the most.

    Same with increasing costs of health care, the families of junior enlisted, and retirees.

    How about fire a few generals instead.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:43 pm | Reply
  9. Mopery

    This is the best decision the military has made since the end of the Cold War. No nation can maintain a large standing army that produces no income, it will bankrupt the country. There's no need for 1500 fighter jets, 5000 tanks, 18 Supercarrier fleets, in today's world the only real threat is nuclear, and in a nuclear exchange we all die.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:42 pm | Reply
    • Tatonka_usn

      Hate to break it to you, but you are horribly misinformed in the numbers you quote. Not sure if that was meant to be a generalization or not but, as someone who has served many years in the Navy, I can tell you from firsthand experience that 1) we have nothing close to 18 aircraft carriers (try 10), and 2) the material readiness of our fleet is abysmal. Not sure where all that massive amount of funding went, Post-9/11, but it certainly wasn't to all areas of the military. So, before folks like you pronounce a need to vast reductions, keep in mind that no matter how much we cut the missions don't go away. Our service members only have less to work with/more to do, which is a recipe for disaster.....

      February 25, 2014 at 11:05 am | Reply
  10. Texas

    It's all positioning. Chuck will accept less than he's asking for.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:39 pm | Reply
  11. Mr Dalloway

    A passport and $5 million and I an out of here

    February 24, 2014 at 10:39 pm | Reply
    • Fred


      February 24, 2014 at 10:42 pm | Reply
  12. Tatonka_usn

    So, we're going to take our military back to a force level not seen since the pre-WWII days of the US being an isolationist nation with ZERO world commitments? Sounds like a viable plan, given we are globally involved with any number of strategic issues, which span the entire world...NOT! If we want to proceed forward with this foolishness, our leadership (on BOTH sides of the aisle) must be willing to accept a concurrent reduction in the mission sets which our military performs. "Doing more with less" is no more viable than uncontrolled spending.....

    February 24, 2014 at 10:38 pm | Reply

    Not the Thunderbolt! Noooo

    February 24, 2014 at 10:38 pm | Reply
  14. zylofone

    Is anyone else as sick as I am of hearing America referred to as "the homeland"? That type of terminology is borrowed right out of the Nazi propaganda playbook (when they came to power, they referred to Germany as "the fatherland"). When I was growing up, no one referred to the US as the "homeland". It was "our country", or "America", or "the United States". None of this "homeland" propaganda.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:36 pm | Reply
    • Tom

      Well said

      February 24, 2014 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  15. Fred

    Our military spending is out of control because lobbyists pay politicians to keep it that way.

    There's no practical, logical reason why we spend more on our military than most of the rest of the free world combined.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  16. concerned42

    The saying is "Wars are won by soldiers. Not by machines."...that is still just as true today as it was any other day. And if we keep cutting our military. Then we leave ourselves open for being over run. We're almost prime for the taking as it is now. Don't make it any worse.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:34 pm | Reply
    • Technology

      We don't need as many people anymore. Our technology has changed. War has changed. We use drones and guided missiles with amazing precision. Having so many personnel and bulky equipment is clearly as old fashioned as stock piling horses and swords.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:40 pm | Reply
    • zylofone

      "Overrun"??? By who? How? What country? You need to put down the tinfoil hat. There aren't massed enemies waiting to parachute into Kansas.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:41 pm | Reply
    • sam stewart

      LOL!! By who? find another job Mr. Defense Contractor. It's coming. No more gravy train.

      BTW, I am an honorably discharged military veteran with 8 years of service. Thanks.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:43 pm | Reply
    • Linda

      Who do you think is going to overrun us? We are currently spending more than 3 times the amount of Russia and China combined.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:51 pm | Reply
    • jiminauburn

      Not really true. The gulf war was won by machines. Our equipment was so much better, that there was nothing they could do. We won in Afghanistan and Iraq very easily because of the machines we had. It is this stupid staying behind and nation building that is causing us all the problems.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:52 pm | Reply
    • chrisx5566

      Many people in US are struggling putting food on table and we spend 1/4 of total revenue on military to invent new weapons to kill. This sound not right. Need to move money to where American need most.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:53 pm | Reply
  17. Princetonbob

    Great first step. Next, let's use at least a small part of these savings for education – everything from Pre-K to increased funding for vocational schools.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:34 pm | Reply
    • Toadstool

      ...er the idea of "Savings" is you SAVE money.. you don't spend it somewhere else...

      February 24, 2014 at 10:42 pm | Reply
    • jiminauburn

      We should cut the nukes by 75%. No need for so many. You can only destroy the world so many times.I would close most of our overseas bases. Cut the forces, and bring most home.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:54 pm | Reply
  18. Truth

    He needs to get real. We need to stop this insane military spending. He needs to get ready for a 70% cut in funding of everything, including his luxurious salary.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:32 pm | Reply
  19. broggin1968

    A single one of our carriers has more firepower and capability than the entire airforce of most nations. That alone should say most of what needs to be said about our military might. With ground wars really not being considered a major likelihood anymore, cutting size of the military without reducing its quality only makes sense. There is nothing to stop the US from doubling or even tripling the size of its fighting forces should the need arise, and that is just how it should be. Maintain the capability, but keep it in reserve unless needed.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Reply
    • Bob

      Wars generally don't come to our shores because of those carriers you speak of.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:46 pm | Reply
      • Medically Retired Army Veteran

        Wars don't come to our shores because we have 2 massive oceans as a natural defense. It has nothing to do with our military. That is just an extra perk to prevent the possibility of a major nation being able to do such, but even that is highly improbable. Logistically, it is nearly impossible to invade the United States.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:52 pm |
  20. Tax.Payer

    I am a tax payer contribution 6 figures to US Treasury every year. I vote for military spending cuts.

    In the past 10-15 years, very little of what military has done was necessary.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Reply
  21. john

    I would rather see the A-10 stay and the expensive Bradley-esque F-35 program get cancelled, it has turned into nothing but bloated program that Lockheed Martin has failed to meet contract obligations in cost and timeline.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:28 pm | Reply
    • TheThinker

      I don't see what the A10 can do that the AC-130 can't do better.
      The J35: meh. I'd just go into really limited production, just to field the technology. I don't want America to forget how to build a warplane. (We only have one company that can build an airliner.)

      February 24, 2014 at 10:37 pm | Reply
      • john

        f-35 isnt really bringing anything new to the table that the f-22 didnt do already.

        February 24, 2014 at 11:15 pm |
    • John

      It is a single purpose aircraft, but its purpose is demanded on the battlefield and no other aircraft does that purpose better than the A-10.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:39 pm | Reply
    • peter


      February 24, 2014 at 10:41 pm | Reply
  22. Fred

    Our military spending is six times more than China, 11 times more than Russia, 27 times more than Iran and 33 times more than Israel.

    We don't need to spend that much and we can't afford to spend that much.

    Cut it!!

    February 24, 2014 at 10:27 pm | Reply
    • Navy Vet

      And the minute we do, South Korea, China and Russia will run your puny ass right over. The only cut we should be making is the the removal over your foul tongue!

      February 24, 2014 at 10:36 pm | Reply
      • Navy Vet

        North Korea that is.....

        February 24, 2014 at 10:37 pm |
      • Fred

        Then I'm sure that you'll volunteer to pay more taxes so that we can afford this gargantuan military right?

        February 24, 2014 at 10:41 pm |
      • Mopery

        If the Russians and Chinese ganged up on us, it would become a nuclear war very quickly. When that happens, everyone dies.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:46 pm |
    • david burrows

      The truth about china is they are a country that is willing to do anything to rule. Like take over areas that they don't own and say they will do what ever is nessary to keep it. We can not compare what they spend with what they do. They pay pennies to their people in the miltary. They also lie about their funds they spend. Wake up China has one goal to rule. I like the bill of rights.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:49 pm | Reply
      • American_Ignorant

        You're wrong. But thanks for playing!

        February 24, 2014 at 11:10 pm |
  23. Crom!

    The A-10 was THE MOST EFFECTIVE attack jet the US has ever had and now it wants to dump for a multimillion dollar POS plane that lacks a dedicated gun and effective loiter time needed for CAS. Wow these pencil pushers as the pentagon are really smart.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:27 pm | Reply
    • john

      I agree the if I did contract work like these defense companies do with cost overruns and not meeting deadlines my customers would sue me into oblivion for breach of contract.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:29 pm | Reply
    • Dave Wile

      The A10 is a tank killer. When was the last time there was a combat involving enemy tanks? Oh, yeah.. right.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:35 pm | Reply
      • john

        its a close air support aircraft that works great for these low intensity conflicts and operations.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:45 pm |
      • Tony

        The A-10 was the best air frame in Afghanistan, bar none.

        I saw them in action, I know.

        You don't get rid of a capability, you have no replacement for.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:47 pm |
      • Jason

        If you knew anything about the A-10 and it's role in the recent wars, the "tank killing" gun makes great work of insurgents inside brick/mortar homes. A quick spray punches through the house killing the enemy combatants inside. It's much cheaper for a quick burst of that gun than dropping a 500lb JDAM.

        I advocate that only those who saw combat get to decide if the A-10 should be scrapped. You will not hear a peep, many a brave men have been saved by the BURRRRRRP sound a 1,000 ft in the air. It improves moral and is still an important CAS plane for Afghanistan and Iraq wars and future low key wars that we always find ourselves in.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:49 pm |
      • The PBI

        Maybe 20 years ago. Now the A-10 is a troop saver first. I know of no other aircraft I'd rather hear incoming when suppression is in order.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:52 pm |
  24. Jumpy

    The US gets more like 1930's France every day.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:26 pm | Reply
    • Fred

      Based on what exactly?

      February 24, 2014 at 10:29 pm | Reply
      • clark

        Based upon him just wanting to flap his uninformed gums. These clowns are transparent.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:52 pm |
  25. Weather Terrorist

    I am a Marine combat vet...Time to saw off all the dead limbs, the size of our military is ridiculous. Cut away!

    February 24, 2014 at 10:23 pm | Reply
    • Realist

      Cut away is right! Starting with Hegel and the CinC. After that we can let up a bit...

      February 24, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Reply
    • Tony Montana

      Kick gays and lesbians out of the military!

      February 24, 2014 at 10:35 pm | Reply
      • Ken Margo

        You must be from Arizona.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:43 pm |
  26. Terry in Florida

    Right now, there are some very angry phone conversations between contractors, execs, lobbyists and the Senators and Representatives they backed. Very. VERY. Angry.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:23 pm | Reply
    • lol


      February 24, 2014 at 10:29 pm | Reply
  27. mrl

    Hagel – please post the FULL cost – increase in food stamps, welfare, etc... and please – cancel your military benefits you are receiving as part of this

    February 24, 2014 at 10:23 pm | Reply
    • john

      a sad fact for military members if you are married and have a couple dependents you qualify for food stamps until you hit e-5 or be a real senior e-4.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Reply
  28. Name

    But we continue to pay for illegal aliens' health care and unlimited number of babies.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:22 pm | Reply
    • TomCom

      Republican president Ronald Reagan made that a law when he was president. He was one of those socialist presidents you guys elected.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Reply
  29. Redeye Dog

    The key to winning wars is to strike your enemy at his weakest point of defense with overwhelming force. If you believe for one moment that we do not need tanks or jets or Armies, you are falling into the enemy's strategy of our pending defeat. Special forces take care of small problems, like OBL, but do nothing to stop the advance of an Army.

    Maintaining a military commensurate with the global threat must be a top priority and not an afterthought. The cost of getting caught with our pants down is getting bigger each day. Making these kind of cuts to the military will completely destroy our chances of keeping an effective volunteer military intact who already suffers from the lowest moral in decades.

    It's difficult to understand what these people are thinking. This country has resources and infrastructure that would make any potential enemy salivate for the day we become vulnerable to defeat. Previous cuts have already made us vulnerable and these cuts bring that day nearer to reality.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:19 pm | Reply
    • John Doe

      K... Let's have an army, with a nation so indebted by its huge amounts of spending that it surrenders due to economics when China comes over the horizon.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:21 pm | Reply
      • Redeye Dog

        In fact, the military may cost a lot of money but it's a great economic driver...

        February 24, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
      • Shawn

        If you truly cared about our economy, you'd stop the Social Security retirement subsidy for irresponsible seniors as well as Medicaid for people who need to die instead of draining the life out of our country with their free medical care. Where is the true savings. Social Security and Medicaid. End them both!!!!

        February 24, 2014 at 10:31 pm |
    • Gman

      Lets live within our means. There is no sanity in borrowing from china and spending money on military might of the next 14 countries combined.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:24 pm | Reply
      • Redeye Dog

        Our means greatly relies on our ability to defend ourselves.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:26 pm |
    • Josh

      I'm sure the greatest minds in military intelligence did not even consider this..

      February 24, 2014 at 10:26 pm | Reply
    • Really

      Our country has a military budget of the next 10 militarized countries combined. The wasteful spending that occurs in our country when it comes to our military is alarming and if a country is not sustainable with its resources, numbers will count for nothing. If you think for a second you know better then a man that has been involved with the military for decades now your wrong keyboard warrior

      February 24, 2014 at 10:27 pm | Reply
      • Redeye Dog

        ..and the first thing they taught you is "never assume anything."

        February 24, 2014 at 10:29 pm |
      • john

        also military budgeting policy of if you dont use it you loose it mentality has to change, I was active duty for 6 years and every year in the fall the units I was stationed with would start buying all kinds of tools and start sending flights all over the country under the guise of training flights to burn up left over funds.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
    • adamx

      you are a very scared person.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Reply
      • Redeye Dog

        You sound like you feel secure..

        February 24, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
    • nojusticed

      Cutting the A-10 is a no brianer, its an antique. We have much better, more modern tools where low level strafing with a big gun is almost primitive combat. Along with the modern tools comes with the fact that we can defend ourselves just as well with less manpower, sound like money well spent.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:33 pm | Reply
      • Redeye Dog

        Modern tools like what?

        February 24, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
      • john

        we havent been fighting the most advanced forces in the world lately, its all been terror/guerrilla type groups that use nothing but ak's rpgs and other small arms you dont need a $85-100M F-35s to kill people who are using light weapons. the a-10 cost less than $20m a pop what makes more sense to you to use

        February 24, 2014 at 10:49 pm |
      • david burrows

        Hey they want drones. The big question is are they as capible. I liked the A10 too. There are going to be drones everywhere soon. Even here at home watching even or roads. I think cops should be worried about their jobs. They will be replaced too

        February 24, 2014 at 10:55 pm |
    • Really

      you sir are whats wrong with America, if we rid our society of inbred Mississipi folks like you we would still be on top in the world

      February 24, 2014 at 10:33 pm | Reply
      • Redeye Dog

        Wrong again...

        February 24, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
    • Charles

      Our current military is larger than the 12 largest militaries in the world combined. We take up a huge amount of our GNP to support it. It is fat, redundent, has weapons systems driven by Congressional pork, like one part for the V1 Bomber program build in each of the lower 48 states. Not for defense but for politics.

      We need a tailored leaner force that is technologicaloly superior, better trained and equiped than the potential enemy. The mass tank battle of WWII are done, the world has built everywehre. It is potentially urban warfare, conterinsurgency operations and small scale operations involving one or two divisions or smaller units, peace keeping, training and support operations. We need LAVs instead of a huge number of main battle tanks. We need less men with the land warfare computer system. We need less support because we use contractors instead of military truck drivers, warehousemen, administrators, IT professionals, mechanics and cooks.

      Makes sense financially and tactically.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:38 pm | Reply
      • Redeye Dog

        It makes sense financially and tactically only if you gamble..

        February 24, 2014 at 10:41 pm |
  30. mskatfud

    How about kicking out the rapists? Or would that reduce the headcount to much too quickly?

    February 24, 2014 at 10:10 pm | Reply
    • FightTheLastWar

      If we kick therapists out, there won't be anyone to help the service members deal with their post-traumatic stress disorders.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:36 pm | Reply
  31. Hawk

    Disgusting Demo-Craps. If we can send Piers Morgan packing we can send O'Bumbler too!

    February 24, 2014 at 10:07 pm | Reply
    • Alexis

      Hillarious !!!

      February 24, 2014 at 10:20 pm | Reply
  32. Deac

    Hagel is just one idiot taking orders from another idiot

    February 24, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Reply
    • hefailed

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

      Well, let's hope they at least give the Marines some rounds to protect themselves with...

      February 24, 2014 at 10:23 pm | Reply
      • Really

        yeah I hope our 500 Billion dollar budget for the military in 2015 probably wont be enough for our Marines. It must be amazing with what China does with its little 100 Billion dollar budget

        February 24, 2014 at 10:31 pm |
    • tg

      @ Really – you do know that the Marine Corps is allocated about 5-7% of the defense budget right?

      February 25, 2014 at 10:43 am | Reply
  33. Russ

    Please don't retire the warthog. It's on of my favourite attack planes in Call if Duty and Battle Field. :(.

    February 24, 2014 at 9:48 pm | Reply
    • looknclick

      It probably would be enough stopping misplacing funds to achieve the financial goal.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Reply
  34. Bubba

    Good luck Chuck. The fat , bloated Military Ind. Complex and their Army of Lobbyists is gonna fight these cuts tooth and nail. I do hope you succeed.

    February 24, 2014 at 9:48 pm | Reply
    • Michael smith

      Agreed 100%!

      February 24, 2014 at 9:49 pm | Reply
      • BAH is too low

        I hope we get our BAH doubled instead. How do they expect me to buy five houses on $27,000 per month? What a rip off!

        February 24, 2014 at 10:04 pm |
      • Michael smith

        These BAH tax free handouts ARE A JOKE!

        February 24, 2014 at 10:06 pm |
  35. Richard

    DOD is really an offensive power house. Lets cut and protect our shores and not invade county after country. US troops have died in Afghanistan, Irag, Korean, Germany, Italy, Vietnam, ...... Again lets cut but if someone puts a foot on shore we kick ass. Tired of my taxes going off shore.

    February 24, 2014 at 9:46 pm | Reply
    • citizenatlarge1

      While it is imperative that we reduce the waste as much as possible within the US military budget, I don't agree with deep cuts being proposed at this time. The dangers we face from hostile terrorist organizations are growing and that is a confirmed fact. Countries like China and Russia are increasing their military budgets and rogue nations like Iran are pursuing nuclear capabilities. Many people say we cannot be the world's policeman and I agree to a point. But the benefit of being a superpower affords us the opportunity or if you prefer the responsibility of shaping world events. And make no mistake about it, if we don't lead, someone else will, leaving us in the dangerous position of reacting to world events. We should choose our battles wisely and refrain from making idle threats that we are not prepared to follow through on. It only detracts from our credibility. The world is a dangerous place and it's getting worse. Without peace through strength we can only look forward to uncertainty and chaos.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:49 pm | Reply
      • Maputo59

        C@L: It's great that you feel like "we" need to address the ills of the planet, but Hagel does NOT HAVE THE BUDGET to accomplish this lofty goal, thanks to our deadbeat Congress and their ongoing efforts to thwart ANYTHING Obama puts forth. I believe there will never be a time when our world won't need a super-power to step up and "do the right thing", but our allies are very capable of handling things in their regions of the world, without the U.S. having to lead the way. It would be different if all of these countries PAID in advance for the services they are asking of our forces, but that's simply not the case. We've neglectfully entered several countries, with good intentions, but with nary any exit strategy. We're all for "beating our chests" and booming the "rally the troops" call, but those "conventional" wars of old are simply that; out-of-date!!!

        The new conflicts are a bit more intrenched and we simply can't use our old tactics to get the job done. Nowadays, it takes "diplomacy" (sanctions) to squeeze countries into doing the right thing. I'm all for using drones and sanctions to a degree, but if you ask that we put "boots on the ground" on foreign soil, then that's where I draw the line. Our allies need to step up to the plate and bear the same burdens we've held solely, for the last several conflicts. Let our allies "fund" these tasks, so that U.S. citizens don't have to see our tax dollars used for non-U.S. tasks. Maybe then we'd be able to address our ailing infrastructure woes, secure our borders and fix our immigration law(s).

        Just so you know, I'm not comfortable with the reductions in force for our military, but until Congress can stop securing their pay raises and bickering over the latest "bail out packages" for their lobbyist friends, then Hagel is going to have to do what unfortunately needs to be done. Slash our military. By the way, have you noticed that there is no mention of what will happen to the 70K+ folks that are being furloughed? Where exactly are they going and what JOBS will they be taking on? Of course, no "thoughts" have been given to their needs (as usual). Shameful ... simply SHAMEFUL!!!

        February 24, 2014 at 11:14 pm |
    • Maputo59

      Agreed. It's beyond time for us to stop being the world's "cops". It's time we use our tax dollars on "AMERICANS". What happened to "NATO" and our other allies? Every time there's a conflict or uprising, other countries look to the U.S. to fix things, of course, at OUR expense (both in lives and taxes). Enough already. Let the Middle East implode; time to bolster our shores, improve our infrastructure and stay the heck out of other country's politics!

      February 24, 2014 at 10:55 pm | Reply
    • david burrows

      What if they landed in Mexico and set up shop. Where do you draw the line

      February 24, 2014 at 10:58 pm | Reply
  36. Andrew

    Gov't has no money, people are poor, companies are sending less revenue to Gov't. Nobody wants higher taxes, and also don't want to print money, or cut the biggest expense (Medicare/Medicaid). They want soldiers but aren't willing to support veterans. And the intelligence and Homeland Security have bigger budgets now. There's no compromise. Offensive capability has to be cut.

    February 24, 2014 at 9:33 pm | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      You can cut or even eliminate medicare and medicaid and you'll still have to pay for it. Unless you have magic powers to keep uninsured people from getting sick or injured, they will still go to the hospital. If they can't pay, guess who pays. THE TAXPAYER. So you'll pay for it anyway. So keep medicare and medicaid because since they are health programs there are discounts built in so it cost LESS just like having private health insurance.

      February 24, 2014 at 9:42 pm | Reply
  37. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    February 24, 2014 at 9:21 pm | Reply
    • Damien DuBois

      so what ur saying is we are just paying what is do to us...... i dont know if u know this or not but its us or them

      February 24, 2014 at 9:45 pm | Reply
    • Rick Lafferty

      Mr. Smith
      Maybe you should just go live in another country ?
      Rick Lafferty

      February 24, 2014 at 9:51 pm | Reply
      • Michael smith

        Why are you afraid?

        February 24, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
      • david burrows

        There are places where people are better off. Not to say it would be like you have your head in the sand. Not tring to be mean about it. Being the worlds police has kind of hurt us a little. I do like being strong though

        February 24, 2014 at 11:01 pm |
    • Debbie

      I was thinking the very same thing. I am embarassed to even consider our so called President to be a Commander in Cheif. My dad retired from the Navy and let me tell you that Obama is a disgrace to our Military.

      February 24, 2014 at 9:52 pm | Reply
      • Ken Margo

        "I was thinking the very same thing. I am embarassed to even consider our so called President to be a Commander in Cheif. My dad retired from the Navy and let me tell you that Obama is a disgrace to our Military."

        President Obama started only ONE war. Libya. I know you forgot about it because it was a sucess. Khadafy was killed and every service member that went out, came back.(alive) The cost 1 billion. The cost for bush's war 1 trillion. Bush was commander in chief during one of the darkests days in US history, 9/11. Do you have any complaints about bush?

        Oh by the way who was in the white house when the worlds #1 terrorist was killed? I'll give you a hint. It wasn't a white president.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:05 pm |
      • Bob

        "My dad retired from the Navy and let me tell you that Obama is a disgrace to our Military."

        I'm glad you put your well-suited qualifications out there like that. For a moment there, I thought you were just another armchair anylyst running their ignorant mouth on the internet.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:10 pm |
    • BThorn

      " In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people"

      Er... KAL-007 in 1983 was... what?

      February 24, 2014 at 9:55 pm | Reply
      • Mike

        Actually we did shoot down an Iranian airliner, but I thought it was 88. I served on another of the escort ships in Operation Earnest Will and we almost shot one down too. The Iranians would fly one of the F14s we sold them in Shahs time over an airliner and light us up, so we would aim back. Should have let the Viccinnes crew know that.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
      • david burrows

        That was bad and your right. Everyone makes mistakes and the miltary makes big ones. We target cell phones and were not to sure if who is holding the phone when the missle hits

        February 24, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
    • hefailed

      America was the only country ever to shoot down a civilian aircraft? Did you forget about Korean Air 007, shot down by the Soviets in 1983? How about Libyan Arab FLGHT 114, Air Rhodesia #825, Aerolinee Itavia 870, Polar 3, Air Malawi 7Q-YMB, Siberia Airlines 1812 (China).

      February 24, 2014 at 10:33 pm | Reply
    • Peter

      This guy is as bad as the one on CNBC always posting about the same thing...I've seen the same post by "John Smith" over in the Venezuela section, the Russian section, even some piece on warming relations with Iran. Whoever and where ever this dude is typing from: get some new material or at minimum make the same tired story more interesting.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:37 pm | Reply
    • tm0802

      Hey John Smith,
      Post your address so we know where you live.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:49 pm | Reply
  38. Af member

    As an active duty member I really resent the statement that BAH is a handout. I don't get to choose where my family lives. In a civilian company, if you transfer to another location, you would assume that the company would adjust the salaries of its workers taking into account local living conditions. BAH does the same thing. BAH allows personnel to maintain a specific standard of living regardless of location. $$1200 might get a family of four a nice home in AR, but they would live in the projects if they were paid that much and made to live in DC.

    February 24, 2014 at 9:20 pm | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      There's a blogger here that's tearing the military a new one with accusations of military men/women ripping off the military. I've seen some military vets. As far as I'm concerned the military doesn't pay enough. Get every cent you can. If we can pay Boehner, Cantor and the rest of the repubs for doing nothing. True heroes like military men and women desrve more.

      February 24, 2014 at 9:34 pm | Reply
    • Tech1

      You are so right Af member. You should resent the comment. People who feel that way don't understand what servicemen and their families have to put up with. I don't know of any individuals who joined the service to get rich. Go ahead close bases and destroy local economies. It fits right in with more failed Obama economic policies! I'm a proud son of a WW 2 Airforce Vet and a working Taxpayer

      February 24, 2014 at 10:10 pm | Reply
      • SnakePlissken

        Once upon a time, the men of the USA worked in factories, which make money. The military is an expense, not an income. Can you show me the Accounts Receivable of a military base? Replace those bases with factories – that is how you will reduce the deficit long term. True, if the only thing you do is wipe them out, that;s bad, but replacing them with factories for those guys to work in – that's how to fix this problem, you know, the way the USA used to be.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:15 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        @snake...............What factories would you like to replce them with? Factories tend to be privately owed. So who are you going to get to build these factories?

        February 24, 2014 at 10:30 pm |
    • SnakePlissken

      "you would assume that the company would adjust the salaries of its workers taking into account local living conditions"

      Why should a private company do that? They don't lower the cost of their product, do they? Nope, they just increase their profit margin – more for the 1%. Of course, that's what we fight for – the right of the capitalist pig to crap on our heads? The military service on the other hand – does lower the price of their product (their service) when they have lower costs due to location – but private companies do not.

      February 24, 2014 at 10:11 pm | Reply
      • john

        I work for a fortune 200 company and if I transfer to a either coast I will see a substantial pay raise, its company policy.

        February 24, 2014 at 11:36 pm |
  39. skyking169

    Those whining are those closet bigots incapable of changing with the changing threats to America, and want to keep on fighting their fathers' wars.
    The current military is as outmoded and incapable of defending against the threats to the USA as swords and shields.
    The President's administration is correct.
    President Eisenhower warned us to beware of the military-industrial complex that wants to continue selling expensive weapons. The Eisenhower descendants recognize that the current President is more like their family's president than the past President (Vice President) and past candidates for President.
    We need special forces, like those who got bin Laden, and made rescues of Americans.
    We need to defend against cyber attacks of US Commerce in almost every aspect.
    We need intelligence on what those who would harm us are doing.
    That means we need smart, educated, skilled people more than we need regiments of soldiers toting guns.
    Our enemies are attacking the US in ways that guns are of no use.
    Count your blessings.
    The sitting President and his administration have seen what we need to protect America and are doing it.
    Those who whine that morale in the outmoded military are also correct. It is hard to accept that one's outmoded outlook and skills are no longer needed.
    God Bless America.

    February 24, 2014 at 9:18 pm | Reply
    • david herring

      Thank you for your response! I agree. Also, your point on special forces. They should decrease the army and navy personnel and double the size of special forces. They are the key to fight the new battles!

      February 24, 2014 at 9:21 pm | Reply
      • barrowsmav

        Easier said than done, you can't just double the SF overnight without lowering the standard which is something that CAN NOT be done. Sure, we could add another Ranger battalion and get a couple more Scrolled Rangers, but the rest of our SOCOM community would need a budget increase that would outway the costs of cutting POG positions.

        February 24, 2014 at 9:35 pm |
    • david burrows

      Since the begining of time man has killed weaker man. That has not changed. Greed and fear drives everything

      February 24, 2014 at 11:09 pm | Reply
  40. jamesnyc

    I also find it interesting that they are still willing to spend money on the F-35 when billions are already in the toilet.

    February 24, 2014 at 9:16 pm | Reply
    • david herring

      That is right! Why on a plane that will do what exactly? We are not fighting in the air? Plus the land warfare can be used with existing plane. What a waste of money!

      February 24, 2014 at 9:19 pm | Reply
      • BThorn

        Nice crystal ball you have there. F-35 will be around for 40 years. How do you know we'll never be fighting in the air again?

        February 24, 2014 at 9:58 pm |

    Other WEAPONS SYSTEMS may disappoint over the short term:-RAIL GUN tech reportedly requires the power of a minor city in total to power on.Even half loss of power would be a total power out to the system at present.Tritium produces,however the hugest bang for bucks spent and short term irradiates metallic hulls.

    February 24, 2014 at 9:16 pm | Reply
  42. david herring

    I agree what he is doing. All you people who are saying that this is wrong. Tell me why we couldn't win the war in Iraq or Afghan? All that military power and we couldn't defeat the taliban. It shows that all these weapons are no match on ground warfare. Our budget should be the same has china and no more. Secure our borders and that is it.

    February 24, 2014 at 9:16 pm | Reply
    • barrowsmav

      If you've ever fought the Taliban you'd know its A: not just them, they are nearly extinct in Iraq and B: They do no follow the Geneva convention, they do not wear a military uniform, they stick to civilian uniforms.

      February 24, 2014 at 9:38 pm | Reply
    • Really

      Buddy a ground warfare with the Taliban insurgents is completely different from a ground warfare with a country that sticks with its own uniforms and codes. You obviously have no military background and are sheltered. I am glad that we are cutting back, but you are no better then those bigots complaining about making America vulnerable. Don't speak about something you have NO idea about

      February 24, 2014 at 10:38 pm | Reply
  43. jamesnyc

    One thing we might do with some of those drill sargeants. Send them to teach in High Schools. Some idiot tries to do a Columbine or Newton, he would get his butt kicked. A teenager thinks he's unmanagable and all that...will be managed and he won't want to do anything stupid again.
    I see a lot of messed up teenagers and brats. Let's give them a drill sargeant to help them get their acts together.

    February 24, 2014 at 9:15 pm | Reply
    • Guest

      The schools would have to hire additional janitors. Those teenagers would ship their pants daily if they had to take orders from an actual drill instructor.

      February 24, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Reply
    • david burrows

      How about we lock our guns up so confussed kids can't get them. people how leave there guns out should be locked up. think how many kids we could save. I like our 2nd admement.

      February 24, 2014 at 11:12 pm | Reply
  44. David

    These reductions in the force will haunt the US in years to come. Cutting spending is fine, reducing the size of the military is foolish and just like opening trade with China in the 90's we will regret it

    February 24, 2014 at 9:03 pm | Reply
    • david herring

      How did it help us in our wars in Iraq or Afghan? Our military size didn't do that much. We couldn't destroy them. Explain me this please david?

      February 24, 2014 at 9:18 pm | Reply
    • Guest

      We need to stop spending money on military equipment we don't need, just so some congressman can appease his district. Retrain those who lose their jobs for the 2-4 million jobs that are vacant in technology fields.

      February 24, 2014 at 9:48 pm | Reply
  45. just wondering

    America spends more on Defense than the next 15 Countries Combined and most of them are Allies....
    300 + overseas military bases... with over 200 golf courses.
    Were fighting the? Russians, Chinese, North Koreans, Al Qaeda, Taliban, Syrians, Iraqis, Iranians, Somalis, Yemen, who are we being attacked by.... PARANOIA, IGNORANCE, BIGOTRY, RACISM, GREED... The only ones loosing are The American Citizens... The only ones making out are Politicians BRIBERY and CORRUPTION and BIG, BIG, BUSINESS... Selling us ridiculously expensive BS usually at 5 to 10 times the price they said they could manufacture it for... WAKE UP YOU MORONS

    February 24, 2014 at 8:54 pm | Reply
    • Puat America First

      I think that you are oversimplifying things. It isn't all corruption and waste. First, most of our expenses have been because we protect our soldiers as individuals more than any other country. How much is a life worth? Second, it is hard to guess how the globe might be different if we were not the strongest military in the world. We have used our might for good most of the time.

      February 24, 2014 at 9:02 pm | Reply
      • Prometheus

        Agreed. The amount of money that was spent to up-armor vehicles, purchase new vehicles to sweep for mines, upgrade soldier's body armor and weapon systems and so forth was not a result of a "waste" of resources or budget, it was what was required to fight the war and defend our personnel. The amount of things we learned, the technology that was developed for and a result of the expenditure of those funds cannot be overstated in terms of the return upon investment and we as a nation, both the military AND the public will be GUARANTEED a return on that that dwarfs what we all now think of in terms of 'wasted' monies.

        February 24, 2014 at 9:09 pm |
      • Mike

        We treat them human alright. My step brother retired from AF at 42, married another retired military gal, and they basically don't work, just travel on vacation. Basically we can't support this benefits program that occasionally gets a terrorist. We are broke. Also, many guys without a job would gladly do military duty for less money, it isn't that damned bad even in the war zone.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:42 pm |
  46. Prometheus

    That's just great. Our current LARGE military has spent more time deployed than at any other time in our nation's history and even though the wars we fight are being scaled down currently, they are also scaling down troop levels across all services except for SOC forces.

    That will result in nearly the same levels of troop deployment loads on the average soldier as current, which will result in injuries and hardships upon their families. Simultaneously they are cutting housing, commissary, retirement and medical benefits.

    I guess they didn't expect so many injuries and deaths since 2001 and are now simply willing to put more military persons into 'the meat grinder' at a reduced cost to do so.

    AND- Mr. Hagel's description (/eyeroll) of the A10-Warthog's combat role is laughable. Did you know that before Desert storm nobody wanted the A10 anymore and then suddenly EVERYONE wanted them. This sentiment reached a FEVER-PITCH among the services during and post 9/11. So how is it that it is suddenly seen as 'useless' again when Mr. Hagel waves his wand?

    I agree that military budget cuts are needed, but you can CERTAINLY find fat to trim elsewhere that doesn't cut so close to bone & arteries.

    February 24, 2014 at 8:52 pm | Reply
    • Michael smith

      The majority of military volunteers are neither in combat arms nor saw any combat whatsoever. Relatively few are combat decorated. Why are you so smug and self-righteous?

      From a humble volunteer veteran

      February 24, 2014 at 8:55 pm | Reply
      • Prometheus

        I don't see how my comment was taken by you as me 'being so smug'. I was in a Combat Support MOS; EOD but even a truck driver or a clerk can see combat when forward deployed. Not every war can be manned and won by REMFs & Drones.

        Counter question: Why did my post strike a nerve with you? I am just curious.

        February 24, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
      • Dennis

        Playing xbox doesnt make you a vetetan.

        Dont buy his line about being a veteran he has been way off on so many things that any veteran would know its laughable,hes an internet poser.

        February 24, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
      • Michael smith

        Poser my ass. I was in and out of the mil when you were in your diapers. But I get it, those of you riding this $21 billion per year "housing" tax free gravy train never ever want it to end. Too damn bad!

        February 24, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
    • david burrows

      Our only problem is China and we made it. What if we spent that money in mexico. I don't think we would have border problems.

      February 24, 2014 at 11:14 pm | Reply
  47. John

    Are we an empire? What is the definition of an empire? We do not occupy foreign lands, but I strongly believe we are an empire and I could prove it to anyone.

    February 24, 2014 at 8:50 pm | Reply
    • Puat America First

      Empire is a strong word, but I get your point.

      February 24, 2014 at 8:54 pm | Reply
    • Major Tom

      We are an empire. Just not an old school empire where we enslave foreign peoples and bring back spoils of war. Well, not openly anyway. But we actually do do both.

      February 24, 2014 at 9:01 pm | Reply
      • Puat America First

        Just where do we "enslave" the people we conquer? Just who have we "conquered" exactly? If you are going to make a bold claim, please back it up.

        February 24, 2014 at 9:05 pm |
  48. JED

    Probably the right move for the country, but it's not good news for unemployment.

    February 24, 2014 at 8:47 pm | Reply
  49. Puat America First

    First, I want to say that I think that the idea of cuts in the military is probably a good thing, but I am going to act like a democrat complaining about republican cuts.

    Obama wants to starve our service men.
    Just imagine vets dying in the streets.
    Democrats save the 1% at the expense of everyone else.
    Obama campaigned on focusing on jobs like a laser and now he wants to cut thousands of jobs.
    What about the corporations?
    Obama wants to see WWII vets to fend for themselves.
    Blah, blah, blah.
    Democrats, please stop being so melodramatic every time republicans suggest cuts.

    February 24, 2014 at 8:47 pm | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      First things first. Hagel is a republican. These cuts will be negotiated just like everything else. Please cut the drama.

      February 24, 2014 at 8:54 pm | Reply
      • Puat America First

        I wasn't talking about these cuts, but every single other cut. And Hagel is no longer a republican, but a political appointee of Obama. It is foolish to think that he does much that Obama doesn't want.

        February 24, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        Hagel is still a republican. That doesn't change. The "prol life" repubs want to cut/gut every program poor people need. Programs people need to FEED children the repubs want to be born. The repubs like to quote god before birth, pay god no mind after birth. that's why the repubs cuts are more galling.

        February 24, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
  50. Fred Penner

    Big Deal. You'll still have 440,000 troops and state of the art everything else. If you have to invade someone then I doubt you will be going it alone....unless W runs again.

    February 24, 2014 at 8:44 pm | Reply
    • david burrows

      If you need more troops everyone here has at least 4 or5 guns and they know how to use them. In Finland the troops go home with their machineguns and are told to keep them at home. True story

      February 24, 2014 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  51. bkmeis

    I did not read all the comments above, but believe I am not standing alone when I say...
    I could never have predicted the morale damage and lack of leadership, but am so very glad I retired immediately when Obama took the seat of Commander in Chief. Financially speaking, I remember some very tight times in the 80's while living in the barracks. But never did I feel that any one of the Presidents had such a lack of understanding of what goes on in the services as the current Oval Office occupier. With two exposed coastlines, and the potential for extremist uprising from both directions – at this time more than ever, why would the USA be not concerned with maintaining a two front strategy? And I don't mean just defensive posture. I can only say in regard to America's state and where it continues to go, that for the average American citizen, ignorance is bliss, and those that are aware of even the slightest ignorance of political abuse and ignorance, knowledge is a heavy weight that can pull the strongest and proud man down.

    February 24, 2014 at 8:44 pm | Reply
    • Ron B.

      Maybe you don't like Obama because he has never been in the military. For your information, out of 44 presidents, 16 or 17, depending on what you read, have never been in the military. That's over 25% who never served. Why do you think we have the Joint Chief of Staff as advisors to the president? Are they there just for looks?

      February 24, 2014 at 9:01 pm | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      "I could never have predicted the morale damage and lack of leadership, but am so very glad I retired immediately when Obama took the seat of Commander in Chief."

      So let me get this straight. You were perfectly happen when george "9/11" bush was in office. The worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil in HISTORY happened when your guy known as "dubya" was in office! How proud you must be.

      February 24, 2014 at 9:12 pm | Reply
    • Zwei Stein

      No offense bkmeis, (well, maybe a little) but I get the distinct impression that YOU are the one who doesn't comprehend the role of the current military and what it has been in the past 30 years. And as far as protecting our coast etc, what President (since Eisenhower) ever did anything to bolster any sort of homeland DEFENSE? The deFacto role of the military is about offense and has been so for many decades.

      February 24, 2014 at 9:30 pm | Reply
      • bkmeis

        Whoa.... take a deep breath gentlemen and read the words without your spin. Can we have a conversation via blog or does this have to be a blog yelling, one way conversation because everyone does not think as you do? Open your mind for just a minute to read what I said... You are too quick to turn this into a Democrat / Republican battle.
        First Ron B., Thank you for educating me on the military chain of command – not sure where I would be if I were trying to discuss my OPINION regarding this topic without it. I trust behind the disgruntledness, you are a logical, intelligent individual. I know this because you said that the Joint Chiefs are ADVISORS to the CiC. So in that regard do not think for an instant that there is harmony between the JCS, his staff and the CiC. If you did, I think you would have had your eyes and ears closed these last several years missing the TV news, internet news and even books written about those relationships. Think what you may, but power struggles are hard and heavy at that level – so everyone does not speak openly as the US public would like them to. Also, I never said that the President should have been in the Service – only to better understand it. I'll thank you for not redefining my thoughts.
        Next Ken Margo, you just took the liberty to redefine any and all of what I had to say and none of it was relevant to the conversation. I did not mention once favoring one President over another – and simply because I showed no favor to the current President, you made significant assumptions that I am in favor of the previous President and that an attack was made on our land during his time. Are you insinuating that you have identified my political affiliation (I submit you would likely be wrong) and were taking the opportunity to make some political point? Your comments were just simply not thought through and was all just to get a rise from your audience. I'd prefer to have meaningful, intelligent conversation, but at best, all I can provide to you is... you performed poorly.
        Zwei Stein, I welcome your attempt to be cordial. So I will respond in kind. If you reread my initial post, you will see that I made the comment "at this time more than ever, why would the USA be not concerned with maintaining a two front strategy? And I don't mean just defensive posture." I suppose I could have been more explicative and identified this was in reference to the SecDef's comments about going from what our current military strategy is (with regard to force strength) in that we currently define ourselves as having the ability to conduct to separate wars, to leaning our capability to having an offensive capability in one war while maintaining a defensive posture in another. Neither one of us is ignorant that we currently define our overall preferred military role as offensive – but according to the SecDef and possible new strategies, that may be changing.

        With all that said, lets discuss – and not argue – our opinions. One thing each of you have proven is that Obama did not succeed in one thing he was "destined" to do – and that was bring us all together. Can you remember another time when political disdain was at such high levels? Where no matter what someone said, another would interpret that there was some political tie to what was said? It disturbs me as a citizen.
        I stated in another post on this page that I believe there can be budget reductions from the Services. I think a small bit of that may even be evident to those who have not served – and I'm not talking about just stealing some speaking points from someone else who has that opinion – but truly see it (if some of you study or are engaged with our military). Unnecessary travel and travel settlements are a large part of the service budget – a good place to start. Some branches of service are unsure about what to do with their recent acquisition of mine detection vehicles. Maybe sell them to one of our allies. Drop one or two future development projects (those are big $ and alot of waste). And finally, for all elements of government, I believe the penny plan (or maybe the two penny plan) can be accomplished with minimal impact.

        February 25, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
  52. wxqz

    Gosh, eliminate the Osprey and keep the A10. The A10 is combat capable a proven battle platform and instills fear inthe hearts and minds of the enemy.

    February 24, 2014 at 8:41 pm | Reply

    A10_Cheap battle hardy air to ground fighter.Proven in quick dispatch of massed and dug in tank forces and trucks.(3.5Billion)Possilble Ukraine gift 30 Billion

    February 24, 2014 at 8:38 pm | Reply
  54. John

    Someone would expect responsible and constructive postings. Instead, one can see a high level of ignorance, hate and blame towards liberals and very low IQ of some of the posters. Our Military has become a magnet of high School drop outs. There is no doubt that we overspend on our Military and we can drive our country out of business. We can not keep borrowing more and more. Our politicians must do something about overspending. Instead, no political party wants to tell the truth. Each political party wants to find a chance to blame the other for Military spending cuts and our debt keeps growing. For how long can we sustain this high level of debt? Time for our politicians to say the truth and fix our finances.

    February 24, 2014 at 8:36 pm | Reply
    • Puat America First

      This is the primary place where republicans are hypocrites. How can anyone take them serious when they talk about cuts when they don't even consider cuts to the military?

      February 24, 2014 at 8:51 pm | Reply
    • bkmeis

      Tell me John, in what war did you serve? While I believe that reduction of budget is very possible in our Military, your scornful comments are that of someone who is not open to hear various opinions. Whether intuitive or not, even your comment is nothing more than opinion. Nonetheless, this media allows you to convey your thoughts just like any other. Do you have any strategic knowledge of military operations or structure? I am curious to know if your opinion means any more than all the other opinions given

      February 24, 2014 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  55. Tony46

    How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst WEAKEN THE NATIONS..!

    February 24, 2014 at 8:33 pm | Reply

    The complexity of let us say NSA systems in future years may be in comparison to a WIKI encyclop. or similar book of ref. not in far distant future and its summaries.In otherwise words a whizbang miserable waste of manpower. The A10 "WART" is a proven mover and shaker of tank forces.. AND saves lives potentially in removing hard targets,again saving time and battlefield losses,unless the political sees the fog and not the clearing and lasers are very useless in smoke and fog. 30 BILLION in GIFTS to Ukraine may be returned in Tripoli coin and a literal run over in battle hardy ground troops. With a minor three and a half billion required...to keep the overruns in their right place...BACK

    February 24, 2014 at 8:30 pm | Reply
    • david burrows

      They Want drones. One drone shot down compared to leg surgery and a life time of help. The drone is cheaper

      February 24, 2014 at 11:20 pm | Reply
  57. druffmaul

    About freaking time. The size of our military is ridiculously huge, larger than the next 13 countries combined, or whatever the figure was they were throwing around. There's no reason to have a military that bloated and humongous. We could cut in half and still have more than enough to handle anything that could possibly come our way.

    February 24, 2014 at 8:28 pm | Reply
    • Michael smith

      What do you think about the military "housing" handouts I reference below?

      February 24, 2014 at 8:30 pm | Reply
      • Michael smith

        These "housing" handouts in te military are a joke! Singles should be living on their ships and bases and NOT get handed upwards of $3,000 a month above salary to live the high life off the backs of the US taxpayers!

        And no, when two volunteers marry they SHOULD NOT get two off these handouts to te tune of $3,000-$6,000-$9,000, yes $9,000 a month TAX FREE via this pseudo welfare handout program that costs the taxpayers $21 billion per year and growing!

        February 24, 2014 at 8:39 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        @mike..you've been riding the military really hard during this blog. I've never been in the military, so I can't really reply with any knowledge of the info you put out there. I can only go by what I see. I see military men and women struggling with PSD, Drug addiction, mental and physical disabilities etc. etc.......The freedom we all enjoy is because of the sacrifice these men and women make. Could there be people abusing the system, of course. I bet those are few and far between. I don't begrudge ANY soldier for any benefit they get. For the sacrifices they make, they deserve every penny.

        February 24, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
      • Dennis

        Married couples do NOT cocurrently draw BAH, thats a lie. Concurrent draw only happens if both are allowed to live off base AND are forced to live geographically seperated. Something you clearly dont understand as the yellow streak down your back prevented you from joining but gives you internet courage to lie here.

        February 24, 2014 at 8:52 pm |
      • Guest

        Two E-9s living together in one of the most expensive BAH areas in the world wouldn't get $9000. You're making numbers up out of thin air.

        February 24, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
      • marv

        Typical drum beating liberal, spouting nonsense "facts" they think they know, that are more fantasy than anything else. Your average enlisted person gets nowhere near the low end figure you're spouting, $3000/month, to live off base. Senior officers are provided on-base housing, so they're not getting it either.

        Not sure where you think your figures are from, but you need a good dose of reality injected into your brain.

        February 24, 2014 at 9:06 pm |
      • Eddie

        Obviously you don't know the truth. Single military personnel very rarely, if ever, receive basic allowance for housing. They live in the barracks or on-ship. Married personnel do receive it, but all those high dollar figures you see go to very senior ranking personnel.

        February 24, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
      • ptmom02

        "Military couples stationed together can live off-base and receive a housing allowance, or can give up the housing allowance and live free in on-base family housing, just as members married to a civilian can. If there are no other dependents (children), each member is treated as "single" (for housing allowance purposes), and each will receive the single-rate Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for their rank and assignment location. If there are children, one member receives the with-dependent rate, and the other member receives the single rate. In most cases, the couples choose the senior-ranking member to receive the "with dependent" rate, as it means more money."

        February 24, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
      • Dennis

        Ptmom, thats an old version. Only one member may draw full bah now. Second member draws some proportion lower, around 50%

        February 24, 2014 at 9:12 pm |
    • mark blankenship

      We need to cut Congress who are getting there yearly pay increases and do away with military contractors who are providing all the perks and under the table payments to ALL the corrupt Congress.

      February 24, 2014 at 8:40 pm | Reply
    • soul316

      Druff, I think you are talking about total dollars but when you look at it, we spend 4% of our GDP on military, which is high, but not the highest. Also, if you seriously think that we could cut our military in half and sustain combat against any near peer military, you are sorely mistaken because the burden put on the smaller military would be to large.

      While I wholeheartedly agree there are things in the military that can be cut to save millions and billions, the retention problem with be enormous when they start cutting benefits which will result in a less experienced and smaller military and that is down right scary.

      February 24, 2014 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  58. hello4

    I have to wonder how much the country would save if Michelle didn't require so many secret service agents when she goes on her weekly retreats with Oprah and Beyonce.

    February 24, 2014 at 8:23 pm | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      Probably not as much as we would have saved if Laura Bush didn't go to the mortician to get her makeup done!

      February 24, 2014 at 8:41 pm | Reply
  59. Alex

    Terrible idea to cut reserve force. If s..t hits the fan – unexpectedly, as it always does (Pearl Harbor, 9/11, Arab Spring, now this Ukrainian revolution they may trigger all sorts of consequences we can't even fathom), how will US respond? By hiring one of the Blackwater spin-offs? or outsourcing to French like we did in Mali and Lybia (not that it wasn't a good thing for Europeans to step in, but their military forces are tiny)?

    February 24, 2014 at 8:18 pm | Reply
  60. Hank

    Where in all this is prudence and accountability. Troops are a disposable calculation in war ; so I applaud a reduction

    Economics seem to drive these type of articles; but really we don't use or have not seen our capacity to use our military strength

    This is a factor when others want to play

    Don't loose our ability to respond when necessary

    February 24, 2014 at 8:17 pm | Reply
  61. John

    Even though I believe this a bunch of B.S, I am glad to see that many reasonable people are seeing the fact that our leaders approving huge Military budgets, will bankrupt this country. Many empires came, ruled and are gone. Some powerful ones felled victims and taken over by some very insignificant tribes. The longest time an empire lasted was a little over 1000 years. For now we are an empire too. How long can we last? History repeats itself and those who ignore History are going to be the next victims.

    February 24, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Reply
    • JAFO

      The USA isn't an Empire and never was.

      February 24, 2014 at 8:10 pm | Reply
      • newshound

        No, but we are the greatest nation on the face of the earth.

        February 24, 2014 at 8:14 pm |
      • ptmom02

        We are one of many great nations on Earth.

        February 24, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
    • Spirit2TT

      Clueless.....That's all I have to say to people like you. Probably haven't served a day in your life.

      February 24, 2014 at 8:16 pm | Reply
  62. Thylacines

    So we cut back our defense budget, but we pay for all of Europe's military spending. How about we stop funding the EU and protect our own nation.

    February 24, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Reply
    • JAFO

      We have to protect Europe. Otherwise, we wouldn't have any friends. Not too many people like the USA. Especially after that evil illegal war in Iraq.

      February 24, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Reply
      • Spirit2TT

        No, we don't have many friends because of our current leader and his inability to build relations with any foreign country

        February 24, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
      • Thylacines

        25% of the funding comes from the U.S, and countries in Europe are contributing less and less to NATO each and every year. Our contribution as a % of GDP is ridiculous compared to what other countries contribute, hate to open this can of worms but that is why socialism works there, they don't have to pay for their defense. If they were encouraged to manufacture and export goods, they might be be able to contribute more as a % of GDP. Sure they are a tremendous ally, but it's been 60 years since the Cold War! Come on!

        February 24, 2014 at 8:21 pm |
    • Steve

      We also must cut the spending to Israel as well.

      February 24, 2014 at 8:31 pm | Reply
      • Thylacines

        I am ok with us helping Israel, everyone picks on them. Europe on the other hand, is like providing security to the biggest kid in elementary school. They need to learn how to defend themselves.

        February 24, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
  63. James

    Total stupidity with the A-10. It's a battle tested close support aircraft. Liberals just keep gutting the military. Can't wait to get rid of them.

    February 24, 2014 at 8:03 pm | Reply
    • JAFO

      We need to worry more about America. Thank god, a Republican will never be president again. It's time to rebuild America.

      February 24, 2014 at 8:09 pm | Reply
      • Spirit2TT

        You are such a fool. We continue with people like you and our countries security will be at risk over the next decade.

        February 24, 2014 at 8:20 pm |
    • JAFO

      A-10s were proven against Vietnam era militaries. Times have changed and the A-10 is no longer effective. They went over budget with the F-35. This is why they're getting rid of the A-10. Because the F-35 was going to replace the A-10 in 2019, anyways.

      February 24, 2014 at 8:13 pm | Reply
      • Thylacines

        Actually the A-10 was proven to be a tremendous asset in Iraq, even the F-35 can't take engine damage and continue to operate.

        February 24, 2014 at 8:44 pm |
      • marv

        The F-35 is a boondoggle, and will never replace the aircraft it's intended to replace, at the level of performance they will. Take away the stealth capability (pretty useless against a ground target, like a main battle tank), and the F-15 would likely shoot it out of the sky, every time.

        February 24, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
    • mikado4501

      Anyone with significant knowledge of the subject realizes these cuts – and in particular the A-10 – are a bad idea.

      February 24, 2014 at 8:26 pm | Reply
      • Extender32

        Getting rid of the A-10 is STUPID...some of the above posters have NO CLUE about the aircraft, it's mission, or what it is doing in TODAY'S conflict...the A-10 has saved more lives in the Stan than can be counted...just ask ANY veteran who has been "In the SH&T"...the hog is a BAD ASS aircraft that can deliver more firepower than any other platform...get rid of this aircraft and the body count will go up...on our side unfortunately...ask any Iraqi Armor vet what they feared the most...they will tell you #1 was the "Cross of Death"...the A-10 (That is what THEY called it) The F-35 is not needed and is TOO EXPENSIVE...not to mention, it's a PIECE...wana save money...get rid of the B-1...useless...get rid of the all officer pilot force...the army does just fine with Warrant Officers...STOP paying "Pilot Retention Bonuses" of 25K per year up to 15 years...there is NO OTHER aircraft that can do what the A-10 does...PERIOD...

        February 24, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
  64. Todd

    The current occupant of the White House & his staff are ignoring the basic tenants of life – ignore history and you are destined to repeat it!

    If I recall, Hitler’s admirals promised they could win WWII if they were given a 1000 U-boats. The RAF and USAAF air staffs promised they could win WW II with airpower alone. In Viet Nam, the strategy was to seek and destroy – go out to villages and try to engage the enemy and then come back to camp. Everything they had just gained, they walked away from and the Viet Cong just went back to what they were doing before.

    Battles/wars cannot be won by technology alone. Battles/wars have always been won and will always be won by having “boots on the ground” to go in and occupy territory.

    Our former Cold War enemies are growing their militaries; stretching their reach beyond what it was during the Cold War. China is developing their air force and navy to project their power unlike during the Cold War; they now have an aircraft carrier and are expanding their ballistic missile submarines. Russia is fielding new mobile nuclear ballistic missiles and once again their bombers are being intercepted off both coasts of the United States. There are rogue states like Iran with nuclear weapons and they are willing to share them with terrorists.

    If anything, we should be growing and modernizing our military, not stripping it of weapons and manpower!

    February 24, 2014 at 8:01 pm | Reply
    • Michael smith

      Get out from under your bed, Todd. Your fear is as palpable as it is sickening. Man up and come to terms with your fears. You'll feel better about yourself. Cowardice is very unbecoming for an American male!

      February 24, 2014 at 8:09 pm | Reply
      • Todd

        I am not afraid – those are the facts. If you think the Russians and Chinese are our benevolent friends who mean us no harm, you need to get your head out of the sand and face reality.

        China has publicly stated they want to replace the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency with their own. The Russians want to base their military in central and south America. They aren't shrinking their military – they are growing it! Wonder why?

        February 24, 2014 at 10:41 pm |
    • JAFO

      Wow, Faux News has done a number on you kiddo. America is doing the right thing. I'm glad a Republican will never be a president again. Thank God. Godbless our Liberals.

      February 24, 2014 at 8:17 pm | Reply
      • Spirit2TT

        God bless are liberals (hahahahha). You fools don't belong in society. Go back to that rock you crawled out from under

        February 24, 2014 at 8:23 pm |
      • Todd

        I hope the mid-term elections in November put an end to the democrat stranglehold on congress and put an end to the nonsense the current administration is trying perpetrate of the American people.

        February 24, 2014 at 10:43 pm |
  65. YoonYoungJo

    Maybe some brain storming might be good. You know get all ideas no matter how outer space they may seem because I'm not sure if huge cuts to the millitary is the best way to save money either. Although I do believe the future lies in the internet and communication. China actually has the right idea about pumping up its net capabilities. The US should do the same. Perhaps its a little premature but the new arms race isn't going to be counted by nukes. It might just be calculated by how many internet soldiers a country has. The internet is a massive thing and possibly as powerful as any nuclear weapon. Hopefully cuts to physical millitary will be to make way for cyber millitary.

    February 24, 2014 at 7:58 pm | Reply
  66. SeeThruIt2

    I can understand cuts to the military, as long as they stop the use of drones and other intentions in countries when liberals call for it. No more cries of how inhumane it is to standby while Assad uses gas on his own people. We don`t care if it costs too much to have the military ready to handle it.

    February 24, 2014 at 7:57 pm | Reply
    • American_Ignorant

      Ehm. Drones are used because, one, they're cheaper than deploying soldiers to the front lines, and two, they can conduct military operations without endangering the lives of US troops. I absolutely LOVE to see conservative Republican's whine about the use of Drones. Because if any Republican in the White House were using them in the same manner as our current President, we would already have a national holiday to celebrate the use of DRONES IN COMBAT, and have monuments built to their success across the nation.

      February 24, 2014 at 8:04 pm | Reply
  67. John Geheran

    These military cutbacks are the greatest idea since the New Deal of the 1930's. We don't need to go on killing people needlessly overseas as in Afghanistan and Yemen. Besides, it makes us all look bad as Americans!

    February 24, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Reply
    • Michael smith

      Most military volunteers NEVER SEE COMBAT!!!! The vast majority ARE NOT COMBAT DECORATED! Most, and especially so the careerists, sit behind a series of desks year after year after year.

      February 24, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Reply
      • Dennis

        Actually, no. Most 'careerists' as you call them, have been in all through Iraq and Afghanistan, they were the Lts and Sgts crossing the border in 2003, assaulting Fallujah, leading companies in the helmand, and working their way on convoys up hwy 1, sitting in bunkers being pummeled with mortars.
        Your little liberal party line sound bite is indicative of a punk who's never served a day and tries to denigrate those who do so you dont feel like such a coward.

        February 24, 2014 at 8:44 pm |
      • Michael smith


        February 24, 2014 at 8:48 pm |
      • Dennis

        Being in the military for 15 years, no, you are full of it. Cite a single stat to back your little slander.

        February 24, 2014 at 8:54 pm |
      • Eddie

        You, my friend, are a uniquely uninformed person. Obviously you have never served your country. MOST "careerists" as you put it have multiple deployments to COMBAT. Stop letting others inform you, get off your butt, and do the research yourself. The uninformed drivel on this gets me steamed.

        February 24, 2014 at 9:01 pm |
      • Michael smith

        The plain and unambiguous FACT OF THE MATTER is that relative few military volunteers opt for combat arms and/or served in combat and/or earned the right to wear ANY DIRECT COMBAT MEDALS OR AWARDS OR DEVICES OR RIBBONS!


        February 24, 2014 at 9:05 pm |
      • Extender32

        Seriously, Michael Smith??? Where are YOUR Medals, Badges and where is your info coming from??? I deployed 5 times...count them...5...for OEF/OIF...almost EVERYONE I KNOW have been deployed at least 2 times...I know of NO ONE who hasn't gone at least once...and I now teach the ones going over...and including Desert Shield/Storm and Southern Watch, Bosnia, Kosovo, etc...I deployed a total of 19 times...BTW...from every Veteran who HAS been there and DONE THAT...You are welcome...

        February 24, 2014 at 9:05 pm |
  68. Lars

    Budget austerity is the buzz word repeatedly being expressed by congressional GOP these days.

    Now, when it comes to cutting their sacred military-industrial complex programs and supporters, who BTW, don't want to support paying additional taxes to finance their profit generating military toys, they cry foul.

    Who would have imagined that Secretary Hagel's initiative to right-sizing this particular segment of the biggest draw drain on the federal budget would be so controversial.

    Given the much reduced major threats to our national interest around the world, it would be foolish to waste excessive funding on military personnel, infrastructure, and equipment which we don't currently need. We've already spent and gone into debt paying for major tax cuts to corporate America; and for two unfunded wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

    I feel sorry for those who will loose their jobs because of these proposed cuts, but to continue putting scarce tax dollars into those industries at the expense of currently hard pressed social programs and national infrastructure repairs and improvements would certainly be the wrong thing to do...in my opinion.

    February 24, 2014 at 7:55 pm | Reply
  69. me

    Now we just need to stop giving billions into the 3rd and 4th generation of baby making welfare recipients and we'll be good.

    February 24, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Reply
    • Michael smith

      $21 BILLION is handed out via DOD's pseudo welfare program known as "basic allowance for housing."

      Many Singles get handed upwards of $3,000 a month tax free, and tens of thousands of dual married volunteer couples get handed from $3,000-$6,000-$9,000 a month via these quasi WELFARE handouts that are tax free!

      February 24, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Reply
      • Michael smith

        Google "basic allowance for housing 2014" and you will see the absurdity for yourselves!

        February 24, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
      • John

        Actually only HIGH cost of living areas get high rates. Your average soldier will only receive enough for housing and utilities. Without that the average soldiers paycheck would not support rent, utilities, and food much less a family. I am one such soldier. You call it a welfare program, but you are completely ignorant to the concept and need for it. You have to understand the majority of the military is enlisted and the majority of them are lower enlisted in the pay grades of E-1 through 4. Making about 1-3k a month. Without BAH enlisted soldiers would not be able to survive. Your opinion is flawed. I also bet you want to see fast food workers making a livable wage which if you took BAH down you risk even the military not being able to make a livable wage.

        February 24, 2014 at 7:57 pm |
      • Jay

        Michael you appear to hold a lot of anomosity toward the military. Did you serve and if so what left such a bad taste in your mouth?

        February 24, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
      • servicemember

        Every now and than I read these comments, and have never once written one, but your comment requires a response. As an active duty service member I would simply like to point out that your comment about housing allowance welfare is incorrect. BAH (basic housing allowance) as you pointed out is in fact tax free. It is not considered part of my salary and is in fact a benefit of serving: no argument there. However, as it is not part of my salary, I am unable to use it in TSP (thrift savings program, a service member UNMATCHED 401K). Where you are incorrect is the value you placed on the BAH payment. BAH is based on the cost of living in a specific zip code and therefore fluctuates significantly from base to base. A single soldier stationed in California will receive significantly more BAH than if he were stationed in Neveda. The purpose of BAH is to offset the cost of living in a specific geographic location. As service members are often forced to take orders to a geographic location, the BAH is used to ensure that because someone is sent to California, it doesn't mean they go broke taking those orders for 3 years. As soon as the service member is reassigned the BAH is adjusted for the new base. If you are smart with the money (rent cheap, have roommates) you can probably come out ahead, but in many cases such as family with a mortgage, you break even or come up short a little each month. The below link from military.com explains it clearly with all past and current BAH rates for those with dependents and without. (If you have dependents you get slightly more considering you need a large living area and pay more for utilities). I have gone ahead and found the highest BAH rate for 2014; an 07 (general or Admiral) with dependents living in San Francisco earns just over 5000 a month. However, as an example, a PVT with dependents living in Fallon NV earns 855/month. Noone earns 6K-9K a month in BAH. I recommend you check out the link and do some research. It's better than making up facts. Also, don't respond with a thank you for my service because based on your comments, you clearly don't feel that way.

        February 24, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
      • Dennis

        Concurrent draw doesnt exist at that level, you have no idea what you are talking about. You looked at a bah chart and have no idea of the regs used to apply it. Youre an internet poser. Get over yourself, go back to xbox.

        February 24, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
      • john

        it all depends on where you live, in you are navy like I was I would say 95 of the navy is stationed near a shore line someplace and anyplace that exists on a coast is stupid expensive to live, like for example I was stationed at Nas Pax River for 2 years for shore duty and many the people who worked in DC lived in the area and drive prices through the roof. In early 2000 the rent for a 2 bedroom apartment was $1200-1400 a month and that was for a dump, if you wanted a home you better jack that rate to at least $2k for a dump more like $2500-$3000 for a decent home.

        February 24, 2014 at 11:32 pm |
  70. Michael smith

    The tax free off-base and off-ship "housing" allowances are a de facto $21 billion per year tax free GRAVY TRAIN for many military volunteers, the vast majority of are NOT combat decorated (to neuter that commonly parroted myth and fiction).

    February 24, 2014 at 7:43 pm | Reply
    • Marc

      What you rather have, a minimum wage military defending the country? Members needing food stamps to live on? You get what you pay for.

      February 24, 2014 at 8:10 pm | Reply
      • Michael smith

        The housing handouts for off-base "housing" that can reach upwards of $9,000 a month for the dual marrieds IS NOT EVEN CONSIDERED FOR MONTHLY INCOME WHEN FOOD STAMP ELIGIBILITY DETERMINATIONS ARE MADE!!!! Wake up!

        February 24, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
    • RHONDA


      February 24, 2014 at 8:26 pm | Reply
      • Michael smith

        Yes, I am a veteran. And I am also a prior Section Chief in the IRS's CFO Office. I care about wasteful federal expenditures. And the $21 billion per year and growing gravy train aka "housing" handouts takes the cake in that regard!

        February 24, 2014 at 8:28 pm |
      • Michael smith

        Are you even aware that only a small minority of military volunteers sign up for combat arms and/or ever saw any combat whatsoever?

        Relative few are combat decorated. Most literally sit behind desks. As a vet I am telling you to GET THE HELL OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE!

        February 24, 2014 at 8:33 pm |
      • Dennis

        What branch micael, what occ field, what mos.

        February 24, 2014 at 8:56 pm |
      • Dennis

        You were never in the military except on xbox michael, you have bern completely wrong on bah, and fail to mention anything else about our pay that falls in the same category like bas, per diem, and so on. You are an internet poser go back to xbox in your parents basement where you live.

        February 24, 2014 at 8:59 pm |
    • RHONDA

      I am not on a high horse, however I feel that you are bitterly trying to tear apart the very way of life you once shared. I am sorry that for whatever reason you feel the need to bash the men and women that choose to fight for the opportunity for people ex-military or not to have the freedom to speak. Ok, you once fought that fight as well. Thank you for your service, but don't attack the ones who choose to continue the fight! Obvious your issue goes way beyond them and the amount of assistance they get.

      February 24, 2014 at 8:48 pm | Reply
    • john

      I dont know what world you live in but I work for a fortune 2000 company and if I transfer to either coast or a major urban area I will see a substantial pay raise to offset the cost of living. This is company policy.

      February 24, 2014 at 11:41 pm | Reply
  71. Israel

    People do not want peace. If they can draft our children to fight while the companies that make the guns, bullets and machines of war make BILLIONS, then war is CORRUPT. We have enough food, housing and clothing for 12 billion people. The problem is that we no longer need MONEY!! Get rid of that, and ALL EVIL GOES AWAY. This whole system is corrupt.

    February 24, 2014 at 7:42 pm | Reply
    • Michael smith

      Most military volunteers are neither combatants nor combat decorated. Stop parroting that myth and fiction!

      February 24, 2014 at 7:45 pm | Reply
      • Dom

        You, Michael Smith, the so called combat vet, are a complete ignorant troll. If you were really a combat vet and actually in the military as you so very will claim, you would not make such false claims as much as you do unless you were Dishonorably discharged.

        February 24, 2014 at 9:19 pm |
  72. T

    ......ABOUT TIME......When we have these "TOYS" for the provocative minded leaders of the USA.......they will USE THEM..............when they should NOT

    February 24, 2014 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  73. bergus

    any chance the commander-in-chief is going to take a budget cut too? of course not... he's busy on his 20M dollar vacations to hawaii.

    February 24, 2014 at 7:36 pm | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      Like bush didn't go on vacation. Some would say he was on vacation more than he was in office.

      February 24, 2014 at 7:41 pm | Reply
      • DontDroneMeBro

        Bush never went anywhere at taxpayers expense requiring millions for SS, separate planes, AF1 etc, Bush went home to his ranch or Camp David where he worked as he had a fully operational facility there. Bush believe that while men and women were in harms way, he did not golf nor actually went anywhere lavish while away fr the WH. But the libs like and the media lied that he was on vacation. So don't let facts get in the way of a good talking pt lie. Just like the "97% of scientist agree that climate change is man-made".

        February 24, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
      • DontDroneMeBro

        Funny how when Obama is on vacation or out golfing, oh he can still do his "duties". When Bush goes to his ranch in Texas on the weekends, oh look he is on vacation again.
        I thought Obama was not going to be anything like Bush? CHANGE! Yet everything he does u libs, justify by saying well Bush did it so can he. So the next President can do the same as Obama and I bet u libs will be A-Ok with that. that is as long as there is D next the name lol!

        February 24, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        WOW fox news really has you brain washed. You think bush went anywhere w/o security? No matter local or abroad it cost taxpayers money too. Hawaii is part of the U.S., so Obama'a trip are as much local as bush. I also recall 'ol bushkie playing a round of golf or two while on "vacation" during wars HE started.

        February 24, 2014 at 8:00 pm |
  74. Eddie

    Wait a minute... this is a country that every time I blink, have something to say about 'god' saving America... If there IS a magical ghost up there and it likes us and everything that happens is according to the magic ghost's will – we don't need any weapons, the magic ghost will strike down or enemies. UNLESS, of course, all that god nonsense is just something that our politicians invoke to placate the ignorant and they know there is nothing out there to protect our butts, but us.

    Either way, glad to see them reduce the wasteful expenditures on the military. This country bankrupts itself by involving itself in wars that were totally discretionary and unnecessary.

    February 24, 2014 at 7:36 pm | Reply
    • RHONDA

      I am sorry you feel that way. I know that God is REAL in my heart and He is protecting our butts. He gives us free will and this is what happens. But isn't it awesome that even though we make a mess of things because we do have free will, that He is always there to clean up our mess!!! Thank you Father!!

      February 24, 2014 at 9:28 pm | Reply
  75. Chris

    This is great news. I would've went further.

    Increase Spec Ops to 100k. Reduce Army to 300k. More reserve to regular ratio. Cut more bases. Cut unspecialized vehicles like Humvees, Trucks and Transport jets. Contract/outsource some of the logistics. Increase medical to soldiers who have deployed in hot zones but, reduce spouse benefits for those that haven't.

    February 24, 2014 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  76. Donald George MacDonald

    The motherload:


    February 24, 2014 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  77. Donald George MacDonald

    Our more evolved descendents will realize that we humans of the 21st century do not yet completely understand and control our primal, hereditary influences of anger, hate, violence, territorialism, and predation.

    Our more evolved descendents will realize that we humans of the 21st century are presently entering an especially dangerous period in our evolution. Our gradually growing intellect does allow us to develop the technology needed for our desired comfort and prosperity. Yet, they will also know that since our Second World War, leaders of nations and movements have also chosen to try to use the imposing technology to produce and sell and buy invisible bombers and smart missiles and quiet subs and fast tanks and many, many more weapons of our mass, self-destruction.

    Our more evolved descendents will realize that even though our heads appear large to us, we still possess the eyes of predators.

    Our more evolved descendents, looking back at us with sadness and scorn, will realize that our world citizens and leaders should have condemned, long before now, ALL hate and violence and barbaric wars against ANY fellow, equally perfect, feeling, living being.

    Our more evolved descendents, looking back at us with sadness and scorn, will realize our world citizens and leaders should have long ago condemned our continuing, conformist allegiance to hate and violence and barbaric wars.

    Our more evolved descendents will realize that our hate and violence and barbaric wars must be replaced with empathy and kindness and patience and communication and mutual respect and compassion and love.

    February 24, 2014 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  78. Little Joe

    No mention of cutting a carrier group or two or three? Seriously, we have 10 carriers when the next biggest navy in the world has 1? I don't know how much a carrier group costs, but it seems we could cut a couple, save the A10, keep the commissary discounts, and have billions left over.

    All the complaining is a waste of time anyway, given that Congress wouldn't even allow one carrier (USS GW) to get retired as scheduled. Congress is great on rhetoric about saving money but terrible at actually following through. They'll probably end up raising the military budget instead of cutting it.

    February 24, 2014 at 7:29 pm | Reply
  79. rp1588

    This article contains a lot of BS. It does not cite any cuts to defense spending, only offense spending, and still maintains a level far in excess of any other country. Instead of invading two different countries on the other side of the world with impunity, it will be invading one and holding a second. Who else can do this? Why do we need to do this? The answer to the latter is real easy: to recruit enemies and maintain the excuse to rob the taxpayers.

    The comparison to pre-WW2 levels for the Army is also misleading. As far as manpower goes, what is now the USAF was part of the Army then, and the combined total will still exceed those prior levels by a lot. And, since modern weapons are a great force multiplier, bodies are not the issue by itself, the budget is. Pre-WW2 combined War and Navy budgets, converted to this dollars, were several tens of billions, not hundreds of billions.

    February 24, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      Offense spending?

      February 24, 2014 at 7:55 pm | Reply
  80. sick of it all

    This Hagel is fn insane. Military cuts – you have got to be kidding me. What is going to keep us safe? Obama is going to disseminate our military now. Perfect! Just what all those terrorists and China, Russia and all of the middle east must love this move. They are laughing like crazy at the USA. Obama is a disgrace to America.

    February 24, 2014 at 7:24 pm | Reply
    • bryguy

      If we continue to increase our debt, eventually we will default and there will be no military. There is not the political will to make cuts in other areas of the government. Severely cutting the military is our only choice. We may be less safe, but just see what happens if the dollar collapses.

      February 24, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      Since you are so afraid, why don't you pull an Edward Snowden and leave so you can feel all warm and fuzzy.

      February 24, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Reply
    • Tony46

      How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst WEAKEN THE NATIONS!

      February 24, 2014 at 7:53 pm | Reply
    • Fierce Badger

      You're an idiot. Go prep for some fantasy disaster.

      February 24, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  81. RHONDA

    Cut the Military? Really? What idiots!! If you remember..Clinton cut the military and look what happened!! USS Cole Bombing, 9/11..Surprise not Bush's doing. The soldiers are already working for nothing!! Here is an idea..All those working in Congress as well as the President and his assistants take a PAY CUT and lets see how much we can save the Country!! The working class are the ones who are suffering at all this supposed change. Insurance increasing and covering less. I am all about helping anyone, but I don't feel it is right that I have to break my back while they lay on theirs.

    February 24, 2014 at 7:22 pm | Reply
    • ptmom02

      Even if you cut their pay to zero, it's a drop in the bucket compared to the military.

      February 24, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Reply
      • RHONDA

        At least we won't be sitting ducks. It is stupid to think ..Oh Let's cut the military to save money and then cry for Justice and expect safety when we are attacked. It is to late then. Stop sending money to other countries and take care of home. There are more than enough people here that are starving and homeless. They get sent to jail here if they sleep in a park. Stop over paying those in office. They are not acting like they care about us by the choices they are making. They are there to represent us the people. That is not happening. They are serving their own agendas. I work hard every day and have since I WAS 15 YEARS OLD. I struggle every day to make sure my kids eat and have clothes on their back. But I keep going. I GET UP and I GO TO Work. Taxes eat a good portion of my check. Let's see how many of those in office can feed their kids and pay their bills on $29,000 a year. I don't even get to take my family on one vacation much less several a year. If I do it is on a very tight budget. The problem isn't the military. It is the wasteful things that our money is being spent on. I have to pay back my school loans. I give back to my community by service. Congress should not be exempt of the same standards they are placing on us. There is more ways to save money other than leaving us defenseless and from the backs of the middle class. I don't mean to offend anyone but I feel I have the right to voice my opinion. I pay my taxes.

        February 24, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
      • B0B

        If you have children and make $29,000 per year you pay exactly $0 in federal income tax.

        February 24, 2014 at 9:20 pm |
      • RHONDA

        I get it back at the end of the year, but I still pay it through out the year!!

        February 24, 2014 at 9:30 pm |
      • B0B

        You can change the little number on your W-4 withholding form at work and they will take $0 in taxes from your paycheck.

        February 24, 2014 at 9:36 pm |
    • Jay

      we salute people like you who work hard to keep things going. Not sure why government has to pay for people who don't work when there is so much opportunity. if everyone works, if every one pays their bills then we will be in a better shape.
      making military/internal forces smarter is a good idea. should have smart-military bases in most big cities

      February 24, 2014 at 7:50 pm | Reply
    • Tony46

      How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst WEAKEN THE NATIONS...!

      February 24, 2014 at 7:54 pm | Reply
    • RedBull

      US defenseless?? Do you even know that US military budget is 6 times the military budget of China????
      If we are 'defenseless' with this type of excessive miilitary budget, then we should spend the funds more efficiently. You Republicans are dumb as rocks! Why in the hell do we need a military budget larger than 2-10 COMBINED??? It's insanity and these idiots are calling military cuts are ridiculous?? You people amaze me with your stupidity...

      February 24, 2014 at 8:46 pm | Reply
      • RHONDA

        Spoken like a true democrat..Just saying..

        February 24, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
      • RedBull

        So when will you be satisfied? when US spends 10x more money than China?? it's rediculous...600 billion vs 125 billion....do we really need to increase spending?

        February 24, 2014 at 8:55 pm |
      • RHONDA

        I am not saying we need to increase spending. I am saying no cuts in the military. You want to cut spending...like I said before...let those in office reduce their pay and experience what I have to deal with on a daily basis. Limit the extras and the numerous vacations, student loan forgiveness and whatever other incentives they get. It is over kill. That is what is wrong with our budget!!! The wining and dining and the extra frills are a big part of the problem. Tax those that have an abundance the same way I am taxed.

        February 24, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
      • B0B

        Again, Rhonda, if you have children and make $29,000 per year you pay exactly $0 in federal income tax.

        February 24, 2014 at 9:30 pm |
      • ASFD


        February 24, 2014 at 11:56 pm |
  82. ellas mcdaniel

    Great Idea,

    Lets stop spending so much money on weapons systems and personnel that we no longer need for our defense and security.

    We can take that money and use it to improve roads, bridges, schools etc, so the money will continue to creat jobs and flow through the economy. But, it will be spent on a product that we all can actually use, rather than ridiculously overpriced jets we do not need.

    February 24, 2014 at 7:21 pm | Reply
    • RT Colorado

      The question not asked (and obviously not answered) is what cuts are going to be made within the civilian sector of the Defense Department? Also we could go a long way in cutting costs by making Defense contractors adhere to contractual obligations for producing defense materials. The reason the F-35 and the F-22 are so expensive is that the projects were over promised (they claimed the aircraft could perform in an engineering envelop that they couldn't deliver on) to sell it to Congress and then when they were held to the claims they couldn't produce the aircraft at the costs they had promised. The same thing happened with virtually every new system. The USS Zumwalt ( a new Destroyer) is so far behind schedule and so over costs and under the promised capability that the program has been cut to only three ships. The US Marine Corps new "fast amphibian" assualt craft was so far behind schedule and so over budget the program was cut. The US Air Force scrapped a multi-billion dollar logistics program because they couldn't make it work. The US Navy builds a whole new class of warship (LCS) even after having to scrap the coastal patrol craft program ten years ago because they couldn't find a use for them, so the Navy asks for another littoral class of ships that are poorly built and costs too much. Do you know who is to blame? You are! It's your Congressman/Congresswoman who passes this crap through and you voted them in. So it's your fault!

      February 24, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Reply
  83. CaptainDorkOfTheWeeniePatrol

    The military is due for some cuts. We do need to change direction and reverse the obsolete trend of gearing up, and training for, another WWII.

    We learned that lesson during the Vietnam war.

    During WWII, countries provided uniforms that clearly identified each soldier, airman, and sailor. Now, our opposition doesn't provide us with clues.

    We don't need tanks and we don't need aircraft carriers. We don't need bombers.

    What we need are special ops that can discreetly and quickly target key people and places much like playing chess where strategy - not brute force - prevails.

    As for person power ... do not be alarmed. Instead, look up how many "military" people we have who are contractors.

    Those who would have joined the military still have a place to go. America will not reduce its military budget.

    It will simply cook the books.

    February 24, 2014 at 7:20 pm | Reply
  84. Michael

    How about paying only for equipment that works? That would save trillions.
    Stop paying billions to contractors just for political contributions

    February 24, 2014 at 7:16 pm | Reply

      Since 9/11 We have increased the Government Services (GS) sector of employees by 700%. Increased the military by about35%. So we are downsizing the soldiers who average cost is about 60-70,000 dollars if they are married. And keeping those who average 85,000 to well over 100,000 dollars a year. Why don't we reduce the civilians and save ten times the money. My Command is allowed 1200 GS employees, we have not been within 10,000 of that number in 6 years. And we are still hiring and wasting money EVERY SINGLE DAY

      February 24, 2014 at 7:21 pm | Reply
      • Michael smith


        February 24, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
    • RT Colorado

      Michael....your observation is onpoint and exactly correct. You should be running things. Add to your observation things we don't need that cost too much. New infantry weapons with mini-computers built into each round fired so the cost per round fired is $ 1,000 and the weapon itself costs $ 30,000. Oh yeah it weighs twenty three pounds and has a five round magazine. How about sniper rifles at $ 60,000 a pop? Wait, there's more...if you call now we'll throw it at 400% the original costs uniforms that nobody likes, don't hide soldiers from observation and in fact makes them more visible to the enemy. But wait...operators are waiting to take our orders for new headgear that nobody, but nobody likes and serves absolutley no useful purpose, the beret. There was a time when $ 400 for a hammer or a toilet seat seemed expensive, but hell that would be a steal today.

      February 24, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  85. Skullsmasher

    Funny how Dimocraps force the Army to get tanks they do not want, the Air Force to get planes they hate.

    February 24, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Reply
    • Sean

      You really don't think that any politician, regardless of party affliction...err affiliation, doesn't do the same thing. Get real.

      February 24, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Reply
    • Fierce Badger

      You are why this country has problems with your one dimensional partisan BS.

      February 24, 2014 at 8:01 pm | Reply
  86. Dennis Mack

    Just keep cutting our military in order to keep giving money to those who HATE US. Lets cut money from those Arab countries that continue to leech off of us taxpayers. How about cutting welfare by a few billion. Can't you people see what he is doing to this country. God bless our grandchildren and the mess they will inherit.

    February 24, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  87. Skullsmasher

    Isn't this the same load of garbage they said when the cold war ended, then we got caught short when Afghanistan and Iraq happened.

    February 24, 2014 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  88. Beverly

    Budget cut to the military is simply not a cut in spending, it is a cut in borrowing to fund unsuccessful wars in other countries. We need to cut the brass in the pentagon, not the benefits to the men and women in the front lines. I'm all for cutting government borrowing and spending but I'd rather see the cuts on Capitol Hill, campaign finance and life-time benefits to members of Congress for doing little or nothing to benefit the American public.

    February 24, 2014 at 7:09 pm | Reply
    • Guest

      Sure would be nice to see an equivalent cut in the housing allowance for Congress huh?

      February 24, 2014 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  89. Tyler


    le sigh

    February 24, 2014 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  90. FreedomStorm

    “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”
    - - Barack Hussein Obama
    Notice how the large civilian agencies, such as the DHS, EPA, IRS, TSA etc, are growing by leaps and bounds with armored vehicles, weapons, and ammo.

    February 24, 2014 at 7:01 pm | Reply
  91. greg

    No problem with hardware cuts...the a-10 will certainly be missed, but the f35 fully capable of filling that void...Id rather have more personal cuts then cuts to personal subsidies, they just don't make enough...the reflubicans will block this of course, they will because they don't believe in useful spending cuts....just cuts that allow for them to pocket more corporate money and pay for everything by pillaging the poor...screw them...the responsible cuts are coming and the more they get in the way the more of them get voted out...

    February 24, 2014 at 6:59 pm | Reply
    • Guest

      The F-35 is $167 billion over budget. How is retiring a perfectly capable plane that we already own and replacing it with something many times more expensive supposed to save money?

      Hint: It's not supposed to save money. It's supposed to pay lip service to saving money while actually saving a very lucrative contract.

      I'd wager that the defense budget could probably be cut by 20% without any loss in capability if they gave up things like the Global Hawk that the Air Force openly says they don't want and other useless projects. Close bases we don't need, reduce the number of General and Flag Officers to a ratio more akin to the pre-WWII manning levels the Army is going to get. Reform the retirement system to be a 401(k) with matching equivalent to most private companies for new troops only.

      It's hard to really know what the Pentagon can/should cut when they haven't been audited in something like 40 years though..

      February 24, 2014 at 7:12 pm | Reply
      • RT Colorado

        Guest...I swear...you and Michael should be running things. Absolutely correct, but don't forget...while you're trimming the Flag Officers (to which I wholeheartedly agree) let's trim that civilan civil service force back to pre-World War Two levels. Let's consolidate training facilities to greater effect. The Army and the Marines could share bases (we need the US Marines). The days of "special" and "purpose-built" equipment has got to end. A clue is look at what the "other guys" are building if you want to know what they are thinking and what you'll have to fight against. An issue Chuck Hagel isn't smart enough to consider is the amount of waste that goes into having to defend against technologies the bad guys steal from us after we've spent trillions to develop it.

        February 24, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
    • Skullsmasher

      Blaming just Republicans and using a deliberate fake name for them. You rode the short bus, didn't you.

      Me party good, you party bad.

      February 24, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Reply
    • JWoody907

      The better solution would simply be to move the military to a more normalized pay structure. Quit trying to raise this subsidy and cut that wage, etc.

      Why not pay the military like employees at a company? Give them a set wage that is a working-level wage, then charge for services.
      Living in base housing? Rent is X per month (to maintain the building)
      Need medical coverage? NG/Reservists are covered (soldier only) and Active Duty families are covered at all military hospitals/clinics for free. If the military doesn't provide it then it's provided for them via contract connections to local hospitals/clinics, or the soldier can be moved to another military facility for aid. After 25 years service, when they retire they are enrolled in medical insurance coverage paid by the government.

      Criminalize "convenience marriages" under UCMJ (soldier gets married wage, "spouse" gets free healthcare) and require married couples to provide proof of cohabitation to receive benefits. Proof to be provided yearly. Exempt legally separated couples from this rule provided they have a valid court order, if they remain married but separated longer than 2 years the spouse loses benefits. If they reconcile, obviously they keep benefits.

      COLA to be paid based on the location of the base that they are sent to.

      February 24, 2014 at 7:20 pm | Reply
  92. Running for cover

    Chuck Hagel inspires little confidence. Through in Chairman Dempsey and it's HEAD FOR THE HILLS!

    February 24, 2014 at 6:56 pm | Reply
  93. VegasSmitty

    First thing that needs to be cut is all the feather-merchants that sit behind desks and are paid by the DOD.

    February 24, 2014 at 6:56 pm | Reply
  94. Tyler

    But wait...didn't Obama JUST promise us that he was not going to weaken our military in the Presidential primaries? But...but....Obama never tells lies.....

    February 24, 2014 at 6:55 pm | Reply
    • Ken Margo

      Smaller doesn't mean weaker!

      February 24, 2014 at 7:23 pm | Reply
      • georgex9

        The size of the military is not the only factor. The present day threats may require more targeted developments rather than sheer numbers of ground troops. Besides the future economy will determine our ability to maintain adequate military. If the money saved is better invested in the US we may have a stronger economic future.

        February 24, 2014 at 9:33 pm |
  95. Combatmedic

    why start with the military? Need to start chopping all that Washington pork and fluff first.... there are so many other areas that need trimming first BEFORE you mess with the military. Do you people really thing that a toilet seat really costs 100.00 in DC but you can get the same one at walmart for 20.00 each? Do we really need to pay for all the political crap we have now that is senseless and stupid? why do congressman need 1500.00 desks? why does Obama need to go on so many vacations? was it really necessary to send Billary overseas so damn much when a freaking phone call or video conference would have done the same job? Wake the hell up people!!!!!!!

    February 24, 2014 at 6:54 pm | Reply
  96. Roy

    With midterm elections coming expect congress to do less than their usual NOTHING!

    February 24, 2014 at 6:51 pm | Reply
  97. Guest

    If they want to cut personnel they should start with the Generals and Flag officers. Look at how many O-7 thru O-10 per enlisted troop during WWII and how many there are now. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs makes in two months what many enlisted make in a year.

    There are so many places that the budget can be cut. The F-35 has multiplied in cost so many times it's funny and it STILL can't do the job the services want it to do. They're clamoring to keep the planes they have.

    The Army tried to tell Congress they don't need any more tanks and they got forced to buy them anyway.

    The Air Force's leaders testified before Congress that they don't want the Global Hawk but they were forced to purchase it anyway. They asked to keep the planes they already have but were told no.

    The Pentagon flushes millions of dollars down the toilet every hour and then we're told they can't afford to keep the promises they made.

    A lot of service members qualify for federal and state assistance because they're paid so little. Why are people upset that Wal-Mart uses these assistance programs to subsidize their low wages but not okay that the DoD basically does the same thing and just announced that they want to expand the program?

    The President wants to peg minimum wage to inflation. It's a good idea. Surely it's good enough for service members too.

    February 24, 2014 at 6:50 pm | Reply
    • BRB

      Completely agree that the high level staff is bloated, expensive, and non-productive. They are mostly on their "twilight" deployment in Washington, so they can be seen on TV sitting in meetings with their chest full of medallions. Send them home and have them deal with the real world for a change. Waiting until 100% retirement is not a real job and they should be embarrassed cashing their checks. Go home; bang the wife and/or mistress, and enjoy life. Maybe even get a job outside of the military industrial complex.

      February 24, 2014 at 7:03 pm | Reply
  98. sratsj

    study history Chuck! Everytime we have downsized military we became less safe less capable and less prepared for the next eventual conflict. Why must we continuously have to relearn these lessons?

    February 24, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Reply
    • Ryan

      Seems you should do the studying. Tell us all about the times America cut military spending and that caused America to suffer terrible losses. When was America invaded and conquered? You clearly don't have the first clue about history, and I say that as someone with a bachelors degree on the subject. The military budget is bloated and wasteful, and cutting it by far more than they intend to still wouldn't cause this country one bit of harm. Several Navy vets have told me that they threw perfectly good food and other supplies over board so it looks like they use everything up, because if they roll into port and don't need much, someone might cut their budget.

      February 24, 2014 at 6:57 pm | Reply
      • sratsj

        we cut after World War 1 after World War 2 and most recently after the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, which emboldened the terrorist to attack our warships, our embassies, and our homeland. Or...didnt they teach you that in college?

        February 24, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
    • ThaGerm

      If you "study the history" you will find that that kind of cuts we did in the past FAAAAAAAAR exceed the kinds of cuts he is now purposing. In the past we completely eliminated entire branches of the military and ceased all R&D; hardly what is being suggested now. We spend so much money on pet projects that never even come to light because some Congressman is getting kickbacks from the defense industry. Billions each year; how do I know? Oh, I just spent several years of my life selling products to these very same defense contractors that's all... General Dynamics, Raytheonm, Bechtel, Teledyne, Bell to name a few, not to mention Sandia National Labs, Fort Huachuca and White Sands. What are you credentials again?

      February 24, 2014 at 7:08 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      i agree. This is what happens when you stick a E-4 with 2 years of service in the pentagon.

      February 25, 2014 at 7:54 am | Reply
  99. bryguy

    This is great news! As a veteran I have respect for the military but I don't believe a large land army is necessary at the moment. It might by hard to believe, but I really think there are millions of Americans that would volunteer to defend the country if needed. All we need is a small elite force and training core. Our military was relatively small before ww1 and ww2 but we still prevailed.

    February 24, 2014 at 6:44 pm | Reply
    • sratsj

      literally tens of millions of people died during those two conflicts waiting for us to get our act together. We did not have the right equipment the right training for the right numbers of war fighters to take care of business and it cost people there lives, soldiers and civilians alike. Preparedness and constant vigilance are what is required to prevent war.

      February 24, 2014 at 6:57 pm | Reply
      • bryguy

        I believe that the world is very different now. A large conflict between developed nations is unlikely due to the mutual nuclear threat deterrence. Also democracies don't often fight democracies. We should keep our navy and especially air force, but I don't see how a huge land army is necessary. Also remember that our economic power is important during wartime. If we continue our path of ruining or finances, we won't have money for an army anyways.

        February 24, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
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