They United States is widely considered to have the strongest military force in the world. This is a title that may be in jeopardy as it was recently announced that historic military cutbacks might occur in the near future. This military downsizing has been proposed in an effort to reduce the United States’ vast military spending.
While a smaller military budget would leave the U.S. in a better financial situation, many believe that a smaller military would make the country vulnerable. Below is a summary of the proposed changes and a discussion of the negative impact that they would bring.
The 2015 military budget has recently been settled, as the U.S. will allot $500 billion dollars to military spending during that year. Although the number has been decided, how it will be spent is another story.
A new plan will be submitted that aims to reduce the size of the military in an effort to create a more versatile and cost-effective force. Proposed by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, this plan will reduce the size of the U.S. ground force as the government steers away from waging prolonged ground wars, according to MSN News.
Aircraft associated with this style of warfare would also be reduced, as the A10 Warthog tank-killer would be completely eliminated from the U.S. arsenal. Also, U-2 spy planes that have been utilized since the Cold War will be taken out of service.
Although the removal of these aircraft is significant, the reduction in U.S. military personal represents the biggest change proposed in the plan. The total number of active-duty Army soldiers would be reduced to somewhere between 440,000 and 450,000 troops. If this reduction takes place, it will mark the first time since 2005 that the Army has had fewer than 500,000 troops.
These headlines likely have staunch military supporters hoping they’ve read a typo, as the proposed military cuts would leave the U.S. with its smallest military force of the post-WWII era. Sadly for conservatives, this is not simply a matter of tracking down improved proofreading services, as the government intends to strip the U.S. of its military prowess.
In theory the plan makes sense, as the U.S. continues to replace human military elements with safer technological alternatives. With this in mind, the plan to remove the A10 Warthog and the U-2 spy plane from service are good decisions. The duties that these aircraft carry out can be completed using unmanned drones that do not put U.S. pilots at risk.
It is the historic reduction in U.S. ground forces that raises the biggest concerns. Proponents of these reductions would argue that this vast army isn’t necessary, as it is never fully deployed. This means that every year thousands of soldiers are kept in waiting for a deployment that never comes, all the while costing the government large sums. What these people fail to consider is the power of the United States’ reputation as the most powerful military force in the world.
Having a large and powerful military serves as a deterrent to those who would consider testing our country’s strength. Removing this buffer isn’t a wise move, especially at a time when unrest and conflict continues to spread. These reductions will also cause our allies to question the resolve of the U.S., as suggested by Sen. Marco Rubio.
Plans to enact historic military cuts have conservatives fearing that the U.S. will leave itself vulnerable and weak heading into an uncertain future. Given current conditions across the globe and threats in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia, it would seem that the government would be better off maintaining its forces rather than crippling them.