Lehigh Valley

Department of Defense proposes reduction in Army size

Local political columnist reacts to budget proposal

Department of Defense proposes reduction in Army size

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Obama Administration is calling for a reduction in military spending and size.

Some fear that could put national security on the line.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is pushing for a defense budget plan that would reduce the army from 520,000 soldiers to 450,000 soldiers.

The U.S. hasn't seen an army that small in 70 years.

"You have fewer troops, fewer ships, fewer planes. Readiness is not the same standard--of course there is going to be risk," Hagel said.

But supporters of Hagel's proposal believe the risk is minimal. Matthew Rozsa is a columnist for PolicyMic and a Ph.D. candidate at Lehigh University.

"The idea that there is going to be some kind of land invasion because we reduce the size of our military is ludicrous," Rozsa said.

Rozsa said most Americans are used to a large-scale military.

He said that is largely because of the military needs of World War II, the Cold War, and September 11th.

But a monstrous military wasn't always the American way.

"The idea was, we would not have a larger standing army except during periods of crisis," Rozsa said.

Rozsa argues the biggest U.S. threat is terrorism--something he believes is better combated with mind than massive military.

"Evidence finds intelligence actions are more effective at combating terrorism than military campaigns," Rozsa said.

Supporters argue the cuts are necessary to get spending back in check, but the Republican head of the House Armed Services Committee said the Obama administration is trying to "solve our financial problems on the backs of our military.''

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