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  • Obama Admin’s Official Policy Is To Slash The Military Far Beyond Sequestration Cuts

    The Obama administration is cutting the military down to size, and those cuts are far more expansive than mandated by sequestration, reflecting a deliberate strategy to slash the military.

    Brookings Institution senior fellow Michael O’Hanlon wrote an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal Wednesday arguing that while the Army doesn’t necessarily need to grow substantially, it should not be further cut in the midst of potential crises.

    As stated clearly in the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance and reiterated in the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review, the official policy of the Obama administration is that the U.S. military should no longer be able to conduct “large-scale prolonged stability operations.” In other words, the Obama administration has considered dropping down to 380,000 active-duty soldiers. As O’Hanlon pointed out, those numbers are less than half as many from the Reagan administration and also 100,000 fewer than during the Clinton administration.

    Sequestration is one thing. Calling for a smaller standing army is another, O’Hanlon argued.

    A possible reason for bringing down the size of the standing Army is that operations are shifting away from intensive, boots on the ground operations. Technological development is making it much more feasible to wage war via drones and other devices.

    But putting too much stock in high-tech ventures is a mistake, according to O’Hanlon.

    “With defense budgets declining, China rising, and high-tech frontiers beckoning, the temptation is again to put all of our strategic eggs in the baskets of cyber operations, high-tech air and sea operations, robotics, space technologies and special forces,” O’Hanlon wrote. “All are important and should be pursued in certain ways. But history suggests they will not be enough.”

    Large-scale operations would definitely be required in the event of additional aggression directed by the Kremlin against Baltic states, or in the case of serious conflict between North and South Korea. But the military isn’t just used as a combat force. Other crucial missions include stabilization, relief provision in the event of natural and humanitarian disasters and even peace enforcement.

    “It is one thing for President Obama to try to avoid more Mideast quagmires on his watch,” O’Hanlon noted. “It is quite another to direct the Army not to be ready for the plausible range of missions that history, as well as ongoing trends in demographics and technology and global politics, counsels us to anticipate.”

    The Heritage Foundation noted in its report on U.S. military strength released Wednesday that the services are quickly approaching one-war capability, instead of the usual standard of simultaneous deployment in two arenas. Meanwhile, threats from Russia, China, North Korea and Afghanistan and Pakistan-based terrorism are on the rise. (RELATED: Report: US Military Strength In Deep Decline As Threats Rise)

    Still, the situation is not overly dire. The Global Firepower index places the U.S. at a comfortable first place in terms of military strength.

    Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter

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    Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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