Saturday, January 8, 2011

Pentagon plans to cut 47,000 ground troops in 2015

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, citing the country's "dire fiscal situation," announced Thursday that U.S. ground forces will be cut by up to 47,000 troops in 2015 as part of Pentagon belt-tightening.

The White House has ordered the Pentagon to budget for relatively small annual increases for the next five years. Its budget next year will be $553 billion, or $13 billion less than expected, but still 3% higher than last year.

In all, Gates announced plans that will allow the military to save $150 billion over five years in part by cutting some programs such as the Marines' $15 billion amphibious-landing craft program.

The money saved by the services will be transferred to other programs, such as buying more drones for the Air Force and to pay for higher-than-expected costs for fuel, health care and other bills.

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