The United States military branch will be slashing the number of its Army troops by 40,000 over the next two years. The lay-offs affect all domestic and international posts. The Army is currently composed of 490,000 soldiers.
The U.S. Army needed to implement the personnel cuts to ensure the realization of plans to spend more on a number of defense measures being laid across the next decade. A document obtained by USA Today said the cuts are needed to save money.
Apart from soldiers, about 17,000 civilian personnel working for the Army will also lose their jobs.
During the height of the conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2012, the U.S. Army had about 570,000 troops. But the two wars had been costly. In 2014, the then Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel proposed to slash the number of active-duty Army to 450,000.
The Army cautioned going below 450,000 troops might mean it will no longer be effective in winning a war. “Cutting more would make me quite nervous,” Michael O’Hanlon, a military analyst at the Brookings Institution, told USA Today.
The report mentions among those to be affected are the brigades stationed at Fort Benning in Georgia and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska.
Senator Dan Sullivan, a Republican from Alaska, blasted the cutdown as it “makes no strategic sense,” specially in the light of the country’s involvement in the wars in Syria and Iraq against the radical ISIS.
The 450,000 planned number of troops target would be the U.S.’ lowest since 1940, BBC states. A year before the U.S. entered World War II it had 270,000 active-duty soldiers.
“One person who’s going to be very pleased with this is Vladimir Putin,” Sullivan said. Russia is likewise conducting its own military reforms reductions, but if compared with the U.S., its armed forces, despite slashes, is still one million strong by 2016.