- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the Army should seriously think about adopting a U.S. coastal defense force.

Speaking at the annual Association of the United States Army convention in Washington on Wednesday, Mr. Hagel said “such a mission is not as foreign to the Army as it might seem — after the War of 1812, the Army was tasked with America’s coastal defense for over 100 years,” the Army Times reported.

Mr. Hagel said that if the Army leveraged its “current suite of long-range precision-guided missiles, rockets, artillery and air defense systems,” then Navy Aegis destroyers on other naval assets would have more mobility.

The defense secretary said the idea is “worthy of consideration going forward,” although he also asserted that budget cuts have left U.S. readiness levels “short of what I believe is sufficient to defend our nation and our allies with minimum risk,” the Army Times reported.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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