Army announces troop cuts and more could be coming

On Thursday the U.S. Army announced that it plans on cutting its force by 40,000 active troops.

The cuts will affect six domestic Army bases that could each lose 1,200 personnel or more, both officers and enlisted men.

The Army will also be cutting 17, 000 civilian personnel during the same time period.

By 2016 and 2017 nearly every Army installation will see some form of reduction but Fort Benning, Ga., and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska, will be most affected.

General Ray Ordierno said that he accepted the troop cuts and hopes that the move will bring some certainty to the political wrangling that has plagued the army’s budget in recent years.

“The thing I worry about is it has put a lot of turbulence in the Army and brought a lot of angst to our soldiers,” he told reporters May 28.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter agrees.

“We’ve been going one year at a time budgetarily now for several years straight, and it’s extremely disruptive to the operations of the department,” Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. “It is managerially inefficient, because we’re in this herky-jerky process.”

The reductions will take the Army from 490, 000 active-personnel to 450, 000. In 2012 the army had 570, 000 active soldiers.

The reduction of 40, 000 troops will save the army $7  billion over four years.

The Army has also said that if Congress cannot find a way to avoid this year’s scheduled cuts to the military budget, there may be more troop cuts to come.

Below is a graph compiled by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a think tank that tackles American fiscal challenges.

The graph below compares U.S. military spending in 2013 with the next eight top countries.

[AP]