To find $350 billion or more in savings from its budget over the next decade, the Pentagon is re-evaluating its long-term acquisition plans for a variety of weapons systems and contemplating significant cuts in personnel, the Washington Times reported last week.
The Army is considering reducing the number of brigade combat teams in the fiscal 2013 budget and, ultimately, it may shed six to eight of its 45 active brigade combat teams, one industry source told the newspaper.
The Army already planned to shrink its active force of 570,000 soldiers to 520,000. Now the service’s end strength could drop to 485,000 troops, according to the source.
“The normal inclination of our political system when a budget crunch comes is to cut investment and keep funding people programs. But at the level of cuts currently being contemplated, that would wipe out the next generation of weapons systems. So some major cuts to personnel are unavoidable,” Loren Thompson, who directs the Lexington Institute, told the Times.
Depending on the outcome of the congressional super committee charged with finding $1.2 trillion in additional spending cuts, the military may need to prepare for a much greater degree of sacrifice.