Cutting the Army to historic low troop levels

A resurgent People's Republic of China is in the midst of a military buildup, terrorism is rampant through the Middle East, and Venezuela and the Ukraine are nearing civil war. In short, the world is as dangerous as it's ever been.

Some scholars point to an ominous number of political similarities in the world today to what was seen in the world of Pre-World War II in the late 1930s. A nuclear-capable North Korea and soon-to-be-nuclear-capable Iran are less than reassuring.

So what is the United States government about to do? Reduce the U.S. Army to its lowest troop levels since 1940 before Pearl Harbor; eliminate the Army's Ground Combat Vehicle program; retire Air Force A-10 close-air-support aircraft; cut the size of the Marine Corps; and place half the Navy's cruiser fleet offline or in reduced operating status for upgrading.

President Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced plans to reduce the nation's military forces to levels not seen in decades. Even Hagel admits the planned defense cuts will pose new national security risks for the U.S. in the future.

There are many reasons for these upcoming defense cuts, which have been piling on top of one another for years. The current force is "larger than we can afford to modernize and keep ready," Hagel says. Others say it's time the U.S. stepped down from its role as World Policeman. Cutting defense, some say, will free up money for domestic programs. Some people call this smart economics. I call it whistling past the graveyard.

History shows us time and again that weakness and hesitancy on the world stage encourages stunts that lead to instability and can result in far worse. It was perceived lack of strength and unwillingness to step up to international threats on the part of Great Britain that helped lead not only to the start of World War II, but also to the start of World War I a hundred years ago this summer. A power vacuum in the world creates opportunities that are impossible to resist for adversaries.

History tells us that prolonged periods of weakness on the part of world powers in any era leads to big changes. Sometimes change is good, but history's lessons tell us that these kinds of changes have a tendency to kill millions and rearrange the global power structure in a way that leaves millions of others vulnerable to exploitation.

I realize that I'll be condemned in some quarters for holding this kind of view. The U.S. has been on top of the heap now for more than half a century. Perhaps it's time for others to step up to world leadership roles.

I can see the position that the U.S. has had its time in the sun, and it's time for a change. The results of the past two national elections show us that a growing number of our citizens might agree.

For those who believe it's time for the U.S. to step off the world's stage, I have a question: Is this really what you want? Is this really in your own personal interest? Consider what's at stake. Most people alive today have no experience with the U.S. as a secondary power subject to the will of others. Think what we take for granted: a free and open Internet, inexpensive imports at Walmart, a say in human rights issues throughout the world, travel access to most countries in the world, affordable education, and the list goes on. I'm not saying all those things will go away with the U.S. out of the spotlight, but are they guaranteed to continue in a reshuffling of world power? There are no guarantees.

Maybe what we value will continue, but then again maybe not. By the time things started going bad, most likely it would be too late. Before we rush headlong into a new world order, which a hollow U.S. military could usher in, let's take a look back at what we've enjoyed for so long, and at what might lie ahead.

Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:

  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles

Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:

  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles

Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

Flexible Printed Circuit Board

Flexible Printed Circuit Boards are one of the most popular types of circuit boards used in a var...

Rigid Printed Circuit Boards

Rigid printed circuit boards can only meet diverse industrial applications if the best materials ...

Printed Circuit Board Assembly

Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCB ASSY) is as critical a process as circuit board manufacturing.

UniSlide® Stages

UniSlide Assemblies deliver precise movement in one, two or three dimensions with linear motion. ...

Velmex VXM™ Motor Controller

Velmex VXM Controller Systems are integral components of the power systems that efficiently drive...

Velmex XSlide™ Stages

The Velmex XSlide Assembly is a compact positioning stage highly suitable for high performance in...

BiSlide® Stages

Velmex manual or motorized BiSlide positioning stage's modular design makes it highly configurabl...

Video Borescope ORION

Ø 4mm (0.16”) to 10mm (0.44”)Working Lengths: up to 30 meters (98')3.5” color LCD display, with 7...

Rigid Video Borescope HERON-A with Tip Articulation

CMOS Camera Chip: 450,000 pixels 340° Rotation of the Probe Articulating Tip (180˚in each directi...

Micro Borescope Ultra Thin

German made, it is the best choice for extremely small inspection areas, with diameters as small ...

Related Companies

Uniforce Sales and Engineering

Provides solutions to machine vision and image acquisition in many applications, including in the fields of medical, ...


Provides customized Printed Circuit Board fabrication in California. The entire process can be customized according t...

Velmex Inc

Manufactures linear and rotary motion-control positioning equipment for scientific, research, photonics, machining an...

TASC Technical & Assembly Services Corporation Electronic Equipment Manufacturing

Electronic Manufacturing sub-contractor. Circuit Board assembly, Cable Assembly, Wire Harness Assembly, Box Build Ass...

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc

GA-ASI is a leading manufacturer of proven, reliable Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-opt...

BellowsTech LLC

Develops, designs and manufactures metal bellows using edge welded bellows technology. Expertise in design, machining...

HC Controls Inc

Specialists in design, installation, commissioning, calibration, training and support services to aero engine test fa...

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions

About Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions (CWDS) is a long established techno...

Medit Inc

Supplies remote visual inspection devices. The company is one of the important players in the industry, serving clien...


Offers complete solutions for embedded software developers with a focus on mission- and safety-critical applications....
Wire News provided by   

Press Releases


Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that its Defense Solutions division has received a contract from Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) to supply its small form factor ...

Innovative Integration Announces the FMC-Servo

Camarillo, CA June 19, 2015, Innovative Integration, a trusted supplier of signal processing and data acquisition hardware and software solutions, today announced the FMC-S...


Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that its Defense Solutions division has further enhanced its innovative VRD1 high definition (HD) video management system (VMS) w...


Harsh Environment Protection for Advanced Electronics and Components

This webinar will offer an opportunity to learn more about ultra-thin Parylene conformal coatings – how they are applied, applications they protect today, and the properties and benefits they offer, includin...

New Design Tools That Help You Develop Radar That Sees the Un-seeable and Detects the Undetectable

Xilinx EW/ISR System Architect, Luke Miller, has new tricks and he’s going to tell you all about them in a new Xilinx Webinar—for free. His Webinar will cover new ways to implement Radar functions including ...
Sponsored by:

All Access Sponsors

Mil & Aero Magazine

June 2015
Volume 26, Issue 6

Download Our Apps




Follow Us On...


Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information

Cyber Security

Monthly newsletter covering cyber warfare, cyber security, information warfare, and information security technologies, products, contracts, and procurement opportunities

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles