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Declining Army Budget Means Shrinking Troop Sizes

The New York Times reports that “for the first time since the end of the Cold War in the 1990s, the Army is shrinking. Faced with declining budgets, the Army, the largest of the services, cut its force this year to 508,000 soldiers from 530,000, with plans to trim an additional 20,000 troops next year. If funding cuts mandated by Congress continue, the Army could have fewer than 450,000 soldiers by 2019 — the smallest force since World War II.”  

“The cuts have largely come through attrition and reductions in recruiting, and have, so far, mostly affected low-ranking enlisted soldiers who have served only a few years. But this summer, the cuts fell on officers as well, 1,188 captains and 550 majors, many who were clearly intending on making a career of the military. More are expected to lose their jobs next year.”  

“And for reasons the Army has not explained, the largest group of officers being pushed out — nearly one in five — began as enlisted soldiers.”

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