Study: Pentagon Could Cut 100,000-Plus Troops, Maintain Fighting Power

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 24 2013 7:04 PM

Study: Pentagon Could Cut 100,000-Plus Troops, Maintain Fighting Power

163691338
Secretary of DefenseChuck Hagel is ceremonially sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden on March 14, 2013 at the Pentagon.

Photo by PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

With leaders in Washington looking to cut costs wherever they can, a report released on Tuesday, finds that the Defense Department could bear a greater burden of the cost cutting and make significantly deeper cuts than initially proposed.

The report, authored by former military leaders for the non-partisan Stimson Center think tank, recommends an array of reductions that would amount to nearly $50 billion in budget cuts to American defense spending. The report’s biggest proposed savings, according to the AP, would amount to a $22.4 billion reduction next fiscal year and would include cutting overhead costs, such as civilian employees, headquarters staff and contractors, as well as reforming pension and health programs.

Advertisement

Military officials were already planning a reduction in the 570,000 uniformed soldiers in the Army by 80,000, along with reducing the size of the Marine Corps. The report suggests that the Defense Department could go farther in troop reductions, shedding an additional 60,000 troops and 50,000 more civilian employees than planned without hurting American military power.

Other savings, according to the report, would come from the Pentagon's modernization program, which includes cutting or delaying certain weapons systems.

"The Defense Department is not a jobs program," Barry M. Blechman, one of the authors of the report, said in a Capitol Hill conference Tuesday. “He said lawmakers have ‘stood in the way’ of some of the cuts because they mean job losses among constituents,” according to the AP.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Do the Celebrities Whose Nude Photos Were Stolen Have a Case Against Apple?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company

Food

How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

Scotland Is Inspiring Secessionists Across America

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
Moneybox
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
The World
Sept. 18 2014 1:34 PM Americans Fault Obama for Giving Them Exactly the Anti-ISIS Strategy They Want
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
  Life
Doonan
Sept. 18 2014 2:00 PM On the Death of My Homophobic Dog I named him Liberace, but I couldn’t have chosen a less appropriate namesake for this coarse, emotionally withholding Norwich terrier.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 12:03 PM The NFL Opines on “the Role of the Female”
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Everyday That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 2:03 PM Ryan Adams’ New Song Is a Reminder That He’s One of His Generation’s Best Songwriters
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 1:24 PM Can the Celebrities Whose Photos Were Stolen Really Sue Apple? It may be harder to prove “harm” than it seems.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 18 2014 7:30 AM Red and Green Ghosts Haunt the Stormy Night
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.