The Pentagon has proposed some major cuts to the military, and some members of Congress worry this could have a big impact on our ability to defend the country. Chuck Hagel, the Secretary of Defense, says, "As we end our combat mission in Afghanistan, this will be the first budget to fully reflect the transition D.O.D. is making from after 13 years of war." The government has started to tighten its belt when it comes to the defense budget, proposing shrinking the U.S. Army to 450,000 soldiers, the smallest it has been since 1940.
Hagel also says, "We make choices based on strategic priorities, clear facts, unbiased analysis, and fiscal realities, and with the bottom line focus on how best we can defend the United States." Some members of Congress are worried these cuts would cripple the Army's ability to defend the country, including Mississippi Congressman, Steven Palazzo, who says, "My number one constitutional responsibility is providing for our nation's defense. I will fight to kill any budget plan that fails to uphold that commitment, just as I successfully fought damaging and senseless sequester cuts over the past two years.” Other members of Congress echo Palazzo's thoughts, saying this is not the way to trim the budget. Rep. Buck McKeon (R) California, says, "What we're trying to do is solve our financial problems on the backs of our military, and that can’t be done." Hagel goes on to say that the military has some difficult decisions to make, but he believes they will be able to make the proper adaptations.
Hagel closes, "We must now adapt, innovate, and make difficult decisions to insure that our military remains ready and capable.” Many budget analysts believe the Pentagon is heading in the right direction with these cuts. Local military groups say it’s still too early to tell how the cuts will impact them.