Gates proposes Defense cuts including troop reductions

Scotth

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Washington (CNN) -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates staged a pre-emptive attack Thursday in Washington's looming budget battles, announcing cuts of $78 billion to the U.S. military and defense department, including reducing the size of the Army and Marine Corps.
In addition, Gates said the Army, Navy and Air Force had found $100 billion of savings that they would retain, allowing them to continue developing major weapons and modernizing their forces over the next five years.

"These reform efforts, followed through to completion, will make it possible to protect the U.S. military's size, reach and fighting strength despite a declining rate of growth and eventual flattening of the defense budget over the next five years," Gates said at the start of a lengthy opening statement at the Pentagon.

Under the Gates plan, the Marine Corps would slash 15,000 to 20,000 people, a 10% reduction. The Army would shrink by 27,000 active duty personnel, 4% cut, on top of an already planned reduction of 22,000 -- for a total of 49,000 fewer soldiers.

Remainder of story: http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/01/06/pentagon.budget.cuts/index.html?hpt=T2

Defense cuts are going to happen considering our budget problems. But cutting troop strength is not the answer and leaves me bitter.:mad:
 

Diamondback 2/2

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LOL 2 years ago they were saying we needed to grow; now we need to get smaller. I guess we'll be going back to 18+ month deployments, well not me but someone will. Every day I wake up, read things on here, other information sites and in emails, before I even turn on the news I say to myself "yep defiantly time to get out".

This is going to suck for a lot of soldiers...
 

Mac_NZ

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We are in the middle of a cull. We aren't kicking out any actual workers though. Majority are older senior enlisted and officers who have been hiding in made up jobs collecting a pay check well after retirement.

I don't think we should get rid of anyone before their 20 is up if they can still perform but to keep them past that needs to be on a case by case basis. Not oh you were my mate at OCS/TAD/LTDG so I'll hook you up with a job because you can't cut it on civvy street never mind the fact you aren't going to be doing sweet F all and can't pass an RFL/BFT anymore.

To put it in context we had the command structure of the British Army but a Bde worth of troops. That needed to change.
I don't know if you guys have the same problem in terms of nebulous people sucking up salaries. Hopefully they don't disband units only to reform them in 10 years time.
 

0699

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We are in the middle of a cull. We aren't kicking out any actual workers though. Majority are older senior enlisted and officers who have been hiding in made up jobs collecting a pay check well after retirement.

I don't think we should get rid of anyone before their 20 is up if they can still perform but to keep them past that needs to be on a case by case basis. Not oh you were my mate at OCS/TAD/LTDG so I'll hook you up with a job because you can't cut it on civvy street never mind the fact you aren't going to be doing sweet F all and can't pass an RFL/BFT anymore.

To put it in context we had the command structure of the British Army but a Bde worth of troops. That needed to change.
I don't know if you guys have the same problem in terms of nebulous people sucking up salaries. Hopefully they don't disband units only to reform them in 10 years time.

I don't think we have it in the same way. We do have people that are only in the military for the pay & benefits, ducking out of deployments and training exercises. Believe it or not, in 2008 there were still Marines that hadn't done a combat deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan.

I think the bigger problem in the US military is bloated staffs and HHQs; filled with military and civilians that have no real vital job. How many people work in the Pentagon? I'm not asking how many people suck down the air conditioning there, but how many of them perform jobs that are vital to our national defense. I was there for a meeting many years ago (I was still a SSgt) and I no-shit saw a LtCol sent to get coffee for all of us in the meeting. How many people at JFCOM are vital to "jointness"? How many division HQs are needed to supervise one brigade?
 

policemedic

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This is ridiculous. Clearly the country has fiscal issues, and needs to cut spending. But there are so many places to do it other than hitting the armed forces. I'd even wager that if we truly cut the fat in other areas, we could probably increase the size of our Army and Marine Corps as well as improve training.
 

Scotth

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I was really amused, in a bitter kind of way, that Gates is annoucing proposed troop cuts at the same time they are annoucing sending an additional 1000 Marines to Afghanistan. I understand he is saying troop cuts won't take affect until 2015 but still.

I think the Army can absorb the cuts a little easier and depending on what units get cut can still retain much of it's current capabilities. Cutting 10% of the active Marine Corp is going to seriously affect the Marines overall mission capability and not in a good way.
 

RackMaster

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Same shit is happening here and I'm sure it's the same all over. The "war" is over, people feel safe unless their in a country where bombs and gunfire are the norm. So time to cut the budget and start with the troops because we don't need them any more. The sheeple have spoken! :confused: In due time, something else will happen and we'll all have to ratchet up recruitment again...
 

AWP

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Something to consider, look at the training and gear our guys have seen since 9/11. Do we really want to go back to the readiness levels of the 1990's?
 

policemedic

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IMNSHO, infantry and other combat arms types still don't fire enough live ammo in training and we're looking to cut the budget? Fuck that. These are perishable skills, for fuck's sake.
 

mike_cos

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it is curious that after the declaration of Timothy Geithner
having to raise the debt ceiling, the new speaker of the congress
Boehner said that this could be done only with spending cuts ... someone
said "yes we can" and cut troops :mad: ... (We were hoping for a cut
different) ...
 

Teufel

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I can see reducing some units and billets but to cut that many across the board? Doesn't make sense to me. Also, the Marine Corps isn't a very big organization. Look at how much battlespace we hold compared to our percentage of personnel in the DOD. Does it make any sense to reduce us further? There are 540,000 active duty soldiers in the Army and 400,000 more in the National Guard. There are only 203,000 active duty Marines and another 40,000 reservists! 15 to 20 thousand is a big chunk of that!
 

is friday

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Wow, I wonder if that means the Marine Corps no longer offers dwell time to anyone. I already know a good chunk (30-40%) in my unit that deploy before their dwell time is up--and we're not infantry.
 

Viper1

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Here are a couple links from DOD.mil that talk about some defense budget cuts and reinvestment of certain funds. There are also statements by the service chiefs.

http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=14178
The Department of the Army would use its savings to:
  • Provide improved suicide prevention and substance abuse counseling for soldiers;
  • Modernize its battle fleet of Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, and Stryker wheeled vehicles;
  • Accelerate fielding to the soldier level of the Army’s new tactical communications network.
  • Accelerate procurement of the service’s most advanced Grey Eagle UAVs; and
  • Buy more MC-12 reconnaissance aircraft to support ground forces, and begin development of a new vertical unmanned air system to support the Army in the future.

The Army proposed $29 billion in savings over five years to include:
  • Terminating the SLAMRAAM surface to air missile, and the Non-Line of Sight Launch System, the next-generation missile launcher originally conceived as part of the Future Combat System;
  • Reducing manning by more than 1,000 positions by eliminating unneeded task forces and consolidating six installation management commands into four;
  • Saving $1.4 billion in military construction costs by sustaining existing facilities; and
  • Consolidating the service’s email infrastructure and data centers, which should save $500 million over five years.

http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=14181 (AF SEC Statement)
http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=14182 (SEC ARMY Statement)
http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=14180 (NAVSEC/CNO Statement)
http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=14179 (Marine Commandant Statement)
 

Ravage

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http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2011-01-06-gates-budget_N.htm

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert Gates, citing the country's "dire fiscal situation," announced Thursday that U.S. ground forces will be cut by up to 47,000 troops in 2015 as part of Pentagon belt-tightening.
The Pentagon, like all government departments, will have to live with slimmer budgets, given "the nation's grim financial outlook," Gates said.
The White House has ordered the Pentagon to budget for relatively small annual increases for the next five years. Its budget next year will be $553 billion, or $13 billion less than expected, but still 3% higher than last year.
In all, Gates announced plans that will allow the military to save $150 billion over five years in part by cutting some programs such as the Marines' $15 billion amphibious-landing craft program.
The money saved by the services will be transferred to other programs, such as buying more drones for the Air Force and to pay for higher-than-expected costs for fuel, health care and other bills.
The loss of 27,000 Army soldiers and as many as 20,000 Marines won't take effect until after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been wound down, Gates said. The reduction will leave the Army with more soldiers than when Gates took charge of the Pentagon in 2006. The Army has about 550,000 soldiers, up about 40,000 since Gates became Defense Secretary in 2006. There are about 200,000 Marines, up from 175,000.
Reducing the ground forces would save about $6 billion in 2015 and 2016, according to the Pentagon.
Cutting troop levels is easier to announce than it is to enact, said Thomas Donnelly, a military analyst at American Enterprise Institute, a think tank. He pointed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "These wars have an annoying habit of lasting longer and requiring more troops than Pentagon planners would prefer," Donnelly said.
Gates acknowledged that predictions for 2015 are made with a "pretty cloudy crystal ball," and decisions on troop levels and other cuts could change.
Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the top officers in each service supported the plan.
The Marine Corps Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle is the highest-profile casualty of the cost cutting. In development since the Reagan administration, the lander is designed to launch beyond the range of most missiles and guns, and skim across water at high speed to allow Marines to storm beaches.
The Marines have spent $3 billion to develop it and needed an additional $12 billion to build a fleet of 600 vehicles. It has been plagued by reliability problems and cost overruns.
"As with several other high-end programs canceled in recent years, the mounting cost of acquiring this specialized capability must be judged against other priorities and needs," Gates said.
In the past, Gates criticized the vehicle for its flat bottom, a vulnerability to the buried bombs that have been the top killer of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He also has noted that the EFV could be vulnerable to anti-ship missiles. U.S.-designated terrorist group Hezbollah, for example, hit an Israeli ship with a missile that has a range is 75 miles, according to the Congressional Research Service.
The Marine Corps will receive money to design a new amphibious lander that is more affordable, Gates said. Meantime, it will upgrade its existing landers with new engines, electronics and weaponry.
In the end, cost — not threats from bombs or missiles — probably sunk the EFV, said Dakota Wood, a retired Marine officer and military analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
"The EFV's chief vulnerability in this debate is its cost and delay in development," he said.
Savings from the EFV and other programs cut by the services total more than $70 billion and will be spent on more urgent priorities, Gates said.
For example, the Army will fund better suicide prevention and drug counseling.

 

Manolito

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I watched the funding for the AAV dry up and blow away. AVTB spent the entire time trying to make the AAAV at that time work. When cost and failure was associated with the AAAV they renamed it the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle and spent another Billion. Putting the Bradley suspension under the older AAV helped extend the life of the AAV. I can't guess the condition of the vehicle after nine years of war. doesn't appear a replacement is soon to arrive. The Marine Corps has the smallest budget the smallest force and takes the biggest hit. Way to go Gates close a couple more bases while you are at it. I don't have words for how I feel. I feel the anode for the DOD is the Marine Corps.
Bill
 

is friday

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I watched the funding for the AAV dry up and blow away. AVTB spent the entire time trying to make the AAAV at that time work. When cost and failure was associated with the AAAV they renamed it the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle and spent another Billion. Putting the Bradley suspension under the older AAV helped extend the life of the AAV. I can't guess the condition of the vehicle after nine years of war. doesn't appear a replacement is soon to arrive. The Marine Corps has the smallest budget the smallest force and takes the biggest hit. Way to go Gates close a couple more bases while you are at it. I don't have words for how I feel. I feel the anode for the DOD is the Marine Corps.
Bill

All we gotta do is pull a few crusty lifers from running our USOs in their red Marine Corps hats and put them on TV.
 
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