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Pentagon proposes to shrink US Army to pre-WW II level

Published on Feb 25, 2014 6:01 AM
US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel speaking to the press on looming budget cuts at the Pentagon on Feb 24, 2014. The Pentagon is proposing a reduction in the size of the US Army to its smallest manpower since before WWII and scrapping a class of Air Force jets. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Pentagon plans to scale back the US Army by more than an eighth to its lowest level since before World War II, signalling a shift after more than a decade of ground wars.

Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel recommended shrinking US forces from 520,000 active duty troops to between 440,000 and 450,000.

In a speech outlining the proposed defence budget on Monday, Feb 24, 2014, he said that after Iraq and Afghanistan, military leaders no longer plan to "conduct long and large stability operations".

If approved by Congress, the move would reduce the army to its lowest levels since 1940, before the American military dramatically expanded after entering World War II.

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