The Department of Defense has begun to scale back its operations to comply with $487 billion in spending cuts that were imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA).
The Army plans to remove combat forces from 12 bases and reduce its troop strength by 80,000 over the next five years. The Marine Corps is reducing its active-duty troops from 194,000 today to 182,000 by the end of 2017.
Additional cuts will be necessary if nothing is done to reverse sequestration. The Marine Corps would shrink by another 6,000 troops, for example.
The chairman and ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee each recently praised the initial reductions to comply with the BCA spending caps. But they warned that the consequences of sequestration could be much more serious if it is not addressed soon.
The Concord Coalition supports a balanced approach to fiscal reform that reaches into all parts of the federal budget, including defense. Concord continues to encourage elected officials, however, to find a more thoughtful and responsible alternative to sequestration.
Army Announcement on Force Reorganization
Army Chief of Staff’s Press Conference on Force Reductions
Budget Cuts Mean 8,000 Fewer Marines (DOD)