A force of 174,000: Corps will cut Marines to save readiness

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by USMCGrunt, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Article on future manning levels of the USMC

    http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/art...174-000-Corps-will-cut-Marines-save-readiness

    "A 174,000-member Marine Corps is the “minimum acceptable” force, Amos said on Capitol Hill, adding that it would leave the service able to respond to only one major contingency. It will force broad slashes to the combat arms and aviation communities, requiring twice as many units to deactivate than first envisioned. Eleven combat arms battalions and 14 aviation squadrons will be cut, Amos said."

    Part of the new reality: "To minimize cuts to the operating forces, there is a concerted effort to cut headquarters staffs across the service, Mullen said. Some will be reduced by by 10 percent, and others by 20."
     
  2. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    They are looking at an Army only twice that size.
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Yeah Grunt. I read an article about that last week in some other news media. I'm a little worried about our defense but especially worried about our boys. That's a lot of 2 LTs.

    On a humorous/sad note, when I followed your link there was a pop-up to an article titled "Naval Academy Considers Golf Course Improvements". God forbid the midshipmen and officers there should experience a less than fulfilling round of golf in these tight budgetary times! :rolleyes:
     
  4. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Don't know if we discussed Thomas Ricks' The Generals on this form. I am about 3/4 finished and he makes many valid points. A point made in the book is how generals need to facilitate the connection between politics and war/military. I think the challenge we have is that we don't have a clear national security strategy, accordingly no clear defense strategy, hence no clear military strategy.

    I hearing General Amos saying 174K as minimum acceptable to HIM or in HIS mind there is a requirement to fight more than major contingencies.

    Read a book about the collapse of Soviet Union several years ago. The author's thesis was that Soviet Union spent too much on its military to compete with the Unite States.
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    There was a book written back in the 1980s, sitting on the shelf right beside me. "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers" by Paul Kennedy. It argued the same theme drawing upon the several powers of the past, Spain being one. Of course his point, at that time, was to argue against the Reagan buildup.

    We do spend a lot on the military, but I don't think we spend too much. What really drives me nuts is our "allies" spend nearly zilch. I hope one thing that comes from our cutbacks in military spending (along with imaginary red lines) is that maybe allies get the message and step up their own spending. Japan seems to be heading down that path, but then they have some threats right next door and a constitution that needs changing. But they are working on that as well, so we shall see. When western European navies are down to a handful of ships, something is wrong.
     
  6. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Ding, Ding, Ding!!!! We have a winner!

    Interesting thought piece from a few former senior leaders (since I can't link an Early Bird article, I will just cut-and-paste it here):

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    Yahoo.com
    September 24. 2013

    STUDY: Pentagon Could Cut Thousands of Employees

    WASHINGTON — The Defense Department could shed 60,000 more troops than planned and 50,000 civilian employees without hurting U.S. fighting power, four former members of the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a new report on military strategy and spending.

    Nearly $50 billion in budget cuts are recommended in the report released Tuesday and authored by a 17-member panel including two former vice chairmen of the joint chiefs, a former Air Force chief and former Navy chief. Writing for the Stimson Center think tank, the authors suggested cuts they said would replace future rounds of automatic, across-the-board cuts in the Pentagon's budget called for in a deficit reduction deal two years ago. The Stimson Center is a nonpartisan global security group in Washington.

    The biggest proposed saving — $22.4 billion in the fiscal year starting October next year— would come in cutting overhead such as civilian employees, headquarters staff and contractors as well as reforming pension and health programs, the report said.

    "The Defense Department is not a jobs program," Barry M. Blechman, one of the authors and a Stimson co-founder, said in a Capitol Hill conference where the report was released. He said lawmakers have "stood in the way" of some of the cuts because they mean job losses among constituents.

    Another $21.4 billion in savings would come from recommendations for restructuring and shrinking the force. "These would maintain robust space, air, naval and special operations forces and expand investment in cyber capabilities, but reduce active forces best suited for protracted wars," the think tank said in a statement, referring to cuts suggested mainly in ground troops.

    The Pentagon has been looking at cuts in some of the same areas, but on a smaller scale.

    For instance, officials already plan to shrink the uniformed force, cutting the Army from a wartime high of 570,000 to 490,000 by 2017. The new report recommends going down to 450,000 soldiers. It also suggests a Marine Corps of 160,000, some 22,000 fewer Marines than is currently planned.

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel also announced in mid-July a plan to save up to $2 billion over five years by cutting staff and spending in his office, that of the Joint Chief's chairman and also the Pentagon headquarters offices of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The Stimson report suggests headquarters cuts that authors think could save $4.5 billion.

    The report said other savings would come from the Pentagon's modernization program, including cutting or delaying some weapons systems.

    The former military brass among authors included former vice chairmen, retired Gen. James Cartwright and retired Adm. Bill Owens; former Naval chief, retired Adm. Gary Roughead, and former Air Force chief, retired Gen. Norton Schwartz and former commander in Korea, retired Gen. B.B. Bell.

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    Last man out of the building, don't forget to turn off the lights...
     
  7. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    From the article I posted:

    -----

    "The Defense Department is not a jobs program," Barry M. Blechman, one of the authors and a Stimson co-founder, said in a Capitol Hill conference where the report was released. He said lawmakers have "stood in the way" of some of the cuts because they mean job losses among constituents.

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    Time for our leadership to 'fess up -- we have reaped what we have sowed. For decades now the military has hawked it's budget and latest "toys" to the Congress as just that --"a jobs program", where we told them that increasing our budget and buying all these fancy toys brougth money into their districts. And NOW we complain when we are told by Congress to finally tighten that budget, but are hand-cuffed by them to do it in ways that can't hurt jobs in a Congressman's district.

    We're a victim of our own long term gluttony, and our push for even more.
     
  8. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Reminds me of the 350 Tanks the Army has said over and over they do not want or need, only to be told they have to take them, led by the Congressmen whose district builds the Tanks.
     
  9. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Link to the study, 37 pages,

    http://www.stimson.org/images/uploads/Strategic_Agility_Report.pdf

    The study proposed a military strategy (above). Like to see how each services can justify their requirements based on the strategy (this is a theoretical exercise as the strategy is just a recommendation).

    Something along the line of Congressman Y asking General Amos, what strategic requirement makes you state that "A 174,000-member Marine Corps is the “minimum acceptable” force."
     
  10. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Thanks for the link MemberLG! I had come across the report earlier today but didn't have the time or determination to wade through it. I whole-heartedly agree with the quote you included. Don't see why we need to be nation-builders. Leave it to others. Of course it breaks Colin Powell's Pottery Barn rule, but I never understood that rule anyway. I much prefer "... if you're a threat we'll break you..." as opposed to ".... if you're a threat we'll break and try to rebuild you in our own image".
     
  11. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Kinnem:

    "The Rise And Fall of The Great Nations" was a great book and should be read by anyone interested in military and world history.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  12. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Yes, it was an educational and enjoyable read.
     
  13. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    If my memory serves me correctly, this was the original strategic vision of Sec Def Rumsfeld, prior to and during the early days of Operation Enduring Freedom. The whole thing was forgotten after the first $trillion was spent in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    No political agenda here. I just remember thinking his vision of a lighter, smarter and more mobile force made sense.
     
  14. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Correct, but Rummy forgot one of the underlying linch-pins of this strategy: Don't get stuck in a long, drawn out engagement. Twice!
     
  15. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    And make sure you have enough troops to close the door behind you as you race toward the objective.
     

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