From the looks of it, the sequester is hitting the Army in all the right places.
The Department of defence must slash $487 billion from its budget over the next 10 years. The Army is responsible for $170 billion in that deduction.
While on paper, slashing 12 combat brigades looks bad, in actuality, it’s a relatively normal reduction for peacetime, coming mostly from rearward units and build-ups ordered for the wars.
These cuts will make the remaining 33 brigades more dynamic, this according to Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army Chief of Staff.
“So if we remember history here, as we had to increase the size of the Army when we were involved in Iraq and Afghanistan, the large majority of the increase happened in the active component. We were at actually 482,500 in 2001. We grew to 570,000,” Odierno said at a June 25 press conference.
So while the reduction in combat brigades will save the Army hundreds of millions of dollars, the Army is also “increasing our tooth to tail ratio,” Odierno said, indicating that it will take less support personnel to supply a stateside infantry.
Reducing the amount of brigade headquarters will also save the Army from having to cut other places, like on the technology and development side.
“The principle is that you can build brigades quicker than you can develop weapons systems. So that’s where they’re saving,” defence expert Dr. Andrew Exum said on Twitter.
But while this reduction seems to make sense, if congress allows the sequester to stand as it is “there’s going to be another reduction in brigades — there’s no way around it,” Odierno said.
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