Chuck Hagel to shrink Army to pre-World War II levels, report says

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is due to decrease the size of the U.S. Army to its lowest levels since before World War II, The New York Times reported on Monday.

He’s due to unveil the new budget plan on Monday. Among his plans: Reduce the troop level in the Army from its high of 570,000 — the number recorded just after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on American soil — to 440,000 or 450,000, the smallest since 1940, The Hill reported.

“You have to always keep your institution prepared, but you can’t carry a large land-war Defense Department when there is no large land war,” one senior Pentagon official said to The New York Times.

The troop reduction comes as the White House is going forth with plans to withdraw most of the U.S. military presence from Afghanistan before year’s end.

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