WASHINGTON - The Defense Department announced major spending cuts Monday that will be felt across each military branch.
Since 9/11, the U.S. Military has bulked up its resources enabling it to wage wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and a global War on Terror.
Now, in a carefully-crafted plan announced at the Pentagon, the military says it will scale back to force levels not seen since before World War II.
"We must now adapt, innovate and make difficult decisions to ensure that our military remains ready and capable," Hagel said.
The details of the proposed cuts:
- The Army will reduce its forces from a high of 570,000 to around 450,000 troops.
- The Marine Corps will cut its forces by 8,000, or about 4%.
- The elimination of the A-10 warthog attack jet, which would save $3.5 billion over 5 years.
"Our recommendations favor a smaller, more capable force, putting a premium on rapidly deployable self-sustaining platforms that can defeat more technologically advances adversaries," Hagel said.
The cuts not only reflect a changing political climate, but also an evolution in how the military engages its enemies. For example, cyber-warfare and special operations will not be impacted.
Critics argue fewer resources will leave the U.S. more vulnerable to attacks at home and abroad.
Hagel recognized these cuts do not come without uncertainty.
The Pentagon will present its plan to Congress next week.