US Army aims to cut 40,000 soldiers by 2017

US Army aims to decrease number of soldiers by 40,000 over next two years

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

According to a document obtained by USA Today daily on Tuesday, the army will reduce its number of soldiers and will have 450,000 soldiers by the end of the 2017 budget year, a reduction which will affect all domestic and foreign areas.

The reduction in the number of soldiers and civilians is due to budget limitations, the document adds.

Under the plan, 17,000 other army civilian employees will also be laid off, which officials aim to announce this week.

The reduction was not all a surprise, as some were expected. The US Army had about 570,000 soldiers during the war in Iraq and Afghanistan in order to make sure deployments would be limited to one year. After the wars, the army had a plan to reduce the number of its soldiers.
In addition to reductions foreseen by the army, automatic budget cuts known as sequestration can cause a further 30,000 troops to be cut if government does not take action to prevent them before October.

In this situation, the army will not be able to meet current deployments and requests for soldiers in other regions.

“Cutting more would make me quite nervous," said Michael O'Hanlon, a military analyst at the Brookings Institution.

The army did not further comment regarding the proposed plan.

According to the International Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the United States has the largest military expenditure with more than 610 billion dollars in 2014, larger than the total amount next to five top military expenditures by China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France and the United Kingdom.

TRTWorld and agencies