- - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Department of Defense sent out separation notices to 1,200 Army captains, including 48 captains deployed to Afghanistan. These officers received eight to nine months of notice so they could prepare for civilian life — but what good is the notice for the captains deployed to Iraq for the next eight or nine months? How will this affect their performance in a war zone?

The next group to get the ax will be majors, and I can only assume the pattern will continue on up the line to officers who have not served the 20 years needed to retire and receive their retirement benefits.

These separations are part of the force reductions necessitated by the sequestration defense cuts. The projected savings in defense spending across all branches of the service will be $3.5 billion over five years.

Our foreign aid is $37 billion annually. If we cut it by 2 percent, or $740 million per year, we will save $3.7 billion over five years without having to cut our military forces. Surely with some rational thinking, we can squeeze 2 percent out of the foreign-aid budget without jeopardizing our interests overseas. Doing so will allow us to maintain our current force levels and enhance our national security.

DONALD A. MOSKOWITZ

Londonderry, N.H.