With all the attention surrounding the anticipated cuts to the Pentagon budget, there has been concern about whether the Armed Forces will still be able to function as well as they are now without the same amount of funding. A new report from former military officers and defense experts suggests that military capabilities can stay the same as long as they avoid prolonged ground wars, according to Military Times.
The report, released by the nonpartisan Stimson Center, says that the Armed Forces has to do several things to cut costs while not sacrificing capabilities. For instance, it has to reduce the size of its nuclear arms while also placing an emphasis on researching new advancements rather than building them right away. The group also said the United States must avoid long ground conflicts like those in Iraq and Afghanistan, a burden that falls on the country's lawmakers.
"U.S. leaders should think long and hard before committing U.S. ground forces to contingencies that might lead to lengthy commitments of sizable scale, particularly when the goal is to stabilize failing states or to unseat despotic rulers," the report states.
The report's authors also suggested making some changes to compensation and benefits, something that may not go over too well with many veterans and active duty soldiers. Among the proposed changes are closing some health care clinics, gyms and other community buildings. They also recommend cutting up to 100,000 active duty jobs, according to the publication.
The recommendations from the Stimson Center echo the doing "more with less" strategy that has been espoused by the Obama Administration. Earlier this year, the president outlined some of his plans for a leaner, more streamlined military. The Pentagon plans on cutting about 27,000 soldiers and 20,000 Marines by 2015, according to USA Today.
The smaller size of forces is meant to place a greater emphasis on special operations and intelligence gathering. Additionally, the switch is being made largely in part to help facilitate the pivot from the Middle East to Asia. Above all else, however, the administration has to find a way to cut about $480 billion from the Pentagon budget over the next 10 years.