US troop reduction raises concerns: Senator McCain
The decision of the Pentagon to reduce the strength of its armed forces by a whopping 80,000 is reflective of diminishing global influence of US.
Washington: The decision of the Pentagon to reduce the strength of its armed forces by a whopping 80,000 is reflective of diminishing global influence of US, a top American Senator has said.
"Tuesday`s announcement by the Army of its decision to deactivate 10 combat brigades as part of its ongoing draw-down of 80,000 troops raises concerns about America`s diminished influence and role in world affairs," Republican Senator John McCain said on Tuesday.
The United States Army has announced on Tuesday to reduce its strength by a whopping 80,000 by 2017 as part of a budget-cutting plan, making it one of the largest force reductions since World War II.
The cut will include the elimination of entire brigades (approximately 3,000 to 4,500 Soldiers) at 10 installations and two bases in Germany, which would effectively bring the US troop strength to the pre 9/11 level.
"We as a government have been, as Secretary Bob Gates articulated so well, utterly unable to predict what future threats we may face or what forces we will need to respond to them," McCain said.
"The Army is our insurance policy and I remain concerned that these reductions will be compounded by future troop cuts caused by budget sequestration - cuts that would leave us with the smallest ground force since 1941," the former Presidential nominee added.
"We retreat from international obligations at our peril; I urge the Administration to carefully asses the risks of continued troop reductions," McCain said.
However, US Army Chief General Raymond Odierno has assured that this reduction would have no impact on the presence of the US troops in the Asia Pacific region, though it would impact a number of US bases and its overseas troops presence.
"As a result of budget cuts, the drawdown of forces in Afghanistan and Iraq and the 2012 Defence Strategic Guidance, the Army is reducing the authorised end strength of the active Army from a wartime high of 570,000 to 490,000," Odierno said.