The Defense Department claimed the sequester is forcing it to potentially reduce the size of the Army in such a manner that the country will no longer be able to fight two simultaneous wars.
On Wednesday, the Pentagon said “one scenario being considered would shrink the Army from 490,000 tobetween 380,000 and 450,000 troops.” The “Marine Corps would be slashed from 182,000 to between 150,00 to 175,000, and the number of aircraft carrier strike groups would be reduced from 11 to eight or nine.”
As The Hill noted, “another scenario outlined in the sequester strategy would keep current troop numbers, but abandon vital weapons programs designed to replace several aging systems in the Pentagon’s arsenal.” The Pengaton claimed these cuts would “reduce spending by $52 billion a year,” but the country would have its smallest fighting force since 2001.
Under the sequester, the Pentagon is mandated to cut $500 billion from its budget over the next decade. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel urged Congress to end the sequester on Wednesday.
“It is the responsibility of our nation’s leadership to work together to replace the mindless and irresponsible policy of sequestration,” Hagel said, according to The Hill.
Beginning in 2015, Hagel said the Pentagon would submit two budgets–“one at the President’s budget level and one at sequester-level caps.”