Cuts in Army troop levels to continue in new budget

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Monday reinforced the Pentagon’s ongoing plan to save money while emphasizing special operations and technology for the future by calling for a smaller Army, changes in pay and the elimination of some venerable aircraft, weapons and bases.
Hagel also said the cuts could get worse if Congress doesn’t agree to the Obama administration’s plan to add an extra $26 billion to the Pentagon budget to prevent some of the more dramatic cuts called for by the 2011 Budget Control Act, which is also known as sequestration.
The new budget proposal calls for the Army to shrink to its smallest size in decades, between 440,000 and 450,000 soldiers by 2019, Hagel said. If Congress doesn’t restore money to the Pentagon budget, the number of soldiers would instead drop to 420,000 by 2019, as USA TODAY reported last month.

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