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Hagel proposes big cuts in Army in 2015 budget

Ina Ronquillo

Hagel proposes big cuts in Army in 2015 budget

CREATED Feb. 24, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is proposing to shrink the Army to its smallest size in 74 years.

At the Pentagon today, Hagel revealed details of the defense spending plan that will be part of the 2015 budget that President Barack Obama will submit to Congress next week. Hagel describes it as the first Pentagon budget to fully reflect the nation's transition from 13 years of war.

The plan would close military bases and shrink the Army from today's 522,000 soldiers to between 440,000 and 450,000. That would be the smallest number since 1940, just before the U.S. entered World War II.

Hagel says the nation can afford a smaller military so long as it retains a technological edge and the agility to respond on short notice to crises anywhere on the globe. He says U.S. military forces need to be more nimble to confront a more volatile and unpredictable world.

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