Hagel proposes big cuts in Army in 2015 budget

By: ROBERT BURNS AP National Security Writer
By: ROBERT BURNS AP National Security Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is proposing shrinking the Army, closing military bases and making other military-wide savings as part of a broad reshaping of priorities following more than a decade of war.

Hagel outlined his vision in a speech at the Pentagon Monday, a week before President Barack Obama is expected to submit his 2015 budget plan to Congress.

Hagel said the military needs to adjust to the reality of smaller budgets, even as he asserted that the United States faces a more volatile, more unpredictable world that requires a more nimble military.

Under the Hagel plan, which Congress could change, the active-duty Army would shrink from its current 522,000 soldiers to between 440,000 and 450,000. That would make it the smallest Army since just before the U.S. entered World War II.

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