Pay, benefits, troop reduction ‘on the table’ as Pentagon wrestles with budget cuts

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WASHINGTON (CNN) – The size of the active-duty U.S. Army could fall to levels not seen since the 1950s if the Pentagon fully carries out voluntary and forced spending cuts totaling $100 billion annually over the next decade, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Wednesday.

Hagel outlined a series of worst-case scenarios — including potential pay and benefit reductions for active duty forces, civilian personnel and retirees — that would also impact the Navy, Marines and the Air Force if steps to ease the one-two austerity punch are not taken.

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“This strategic choice would result in a force that would be technologically dominant, but would be much smaller and able to go fewer places and do fewer things, especially if crises occurred at the same time in different regions of the world,” Hagel said.

Hagel said “everything is on the table.”


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