Shrinking budgets have forced the U.S. Army to cut 80,000 troops from its rolls since 2010. Officials plan to reach 120,000 by 2017.
A report to Congress obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request by the Washington Free Beacon says roughly 450,000 active duty U.S. Army soldiers will remain in 2017. That translates to a 21 percent reduction across the board.
Former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told the Army Times prior to his Aug. 14 retirement that planned troops cuts pose a gave threat to U.S. national security.
“If we get small enough where some of these [world] leaders don’t believe the Army can respond or deter them, if you can’t … deter them from believing they can accomplish something … that increases the threats and danger to the United States,” Gen. Odierno told the newspaper Aug. 11. “And I don’t know what that level is, but I think we’re getting dangerously close to that level now.”
The report, released to the Free Beacon Oct. 15, issues a similar warning to policymakers.
“These force structure reductions and the resulting impacts on installation populations could be significant to both military communities and to the defense posture of our nation,” the report reads.
Military installations that will see a reduction of at least 1,000 troops include: Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska, Fort Benning in Georgia, Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, Fort Bliss in Texas, Fort Hood in Texas, and Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.
“The Army will employ all possible measures to minimize personnel turbulence [to both Soldiers and their Families] associated with the force structure reductions on the six installations in question,”the report adds, the Free Beacon reported. “There will be instances where Soldiers (and Families) will depart an installation on an accelerated timeline.”