In a recent article in the “Stars and Stripes” Defense Secretary Robert Gates is planning to reduce the strength of Soldiers and Marines by up to 70,000 by 2015 due to “this country’s dire fiscal situation…” He also plans cuts for “overpriced and controversial weapons systems.”(READ MORE)
The cuts in forces seems to be based on the “hope” that “Afghan forces are expected to take over the lead in combat operations there…” by 2015. However up to 22,000 Army personnel could be dropped before then.
All of this while Soldiers and Marines are seeing back-to-back deployments to Afghanistan. Units of the 82nd Airborne Division returning from Afghanistan just a few months ago will be returning within a year. We can speculate that they will be replacing another unit perhaps the 101st Airborne Division.
Many soldiers in combat units have seen 3 to 5 tours in combat zones in the last 5 years. Suicides are the worst ever in the history of the Army, but not all are attributed to soldiers who have seen combat. Regardless the Army does not have a good handle on why the suicide rate has increased.
January 12, 2011
Jack L. Treese, CWO US Army, Retired: Cutting Defense: Save Money, Cost Lives
Jack L. Treese, CWO US Army, Retired: Cutting Defense: Save Money, Cost Lives -