US: Secretary of Defense Hagel Poised to Slash US Military to Pre-WW II Levels
According to NBC News, and in a shocking turn of events at a time when the US Department of Defense is war-weary after multiple tours of duty in combat zones, US Secretary of Defense continues to be a disappointment. Momentarily, Hagel is planning to drastically cut the defense budget that would potentially place one of the world's finest military forces to levels not seen since before World War II. COMMENT: Hagel's disturbing plan, to be unveiled later today (February 24), EST, is likely to face stiff opposition on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers will battle for every troop, weapons program and dollar.
The proposal calls for the Army to be cut to about 450,000 troops, down from a peak of 570,000 after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. Troop levels were already slated to drop to 480,000, yet even more troops are now on the chopping block.
Hagel also wants to eliminate the fleet of A-10 "tank killer" aircraft, designed in the 1970s to go after targets on the ground. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), whose husband was an A-10 pilot, has already vowed to fight plans to retire the aircraft.
As a Marine veteran of the Vietnam War, my personal disappointment in Secretary Hagel cannot be overemphasized. He did so poorly during his nomination hearings that I never expected that he would be confirmed. Then again, just look at the politically biased configuration of the US Senate today. Since 2009, retired Army General Eric K. Shinseki has served as US Secretary of Veteran Affairs, yet he no doubt will go down as one of the most ineffective secretaries on record, simply because of his mismanagement of the services that all veterans from all wars have rightfully earned. In the meantime, the vital needs of contemporary veterans and their comrades-in-arms, men and women both, have seemingly fallen upon deaf ears at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Worse, veterans of both Iraq and Afghanistan commit suicide every week, largely because they are emotionally exhausted in waiting for treatment. A final note, which is the most debilitating of all: Hagel's master plan is also to cut military pay. Thank you kindly, Mr. President.
I retired from the US State Department in April 2006, after a career as a special agent, Senior Regional Security Officer (SRSO), director of training, chief investigator of the Cyprus Missing Persons Program, director of security of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and as a senior adviser in the Office of Anti-Terrorism Assistance.
My book, STAYING SAFE ABROAD: TRAVELING, WORKING AND LIVING IN A POST-9/11 WORLD was published in May 2008.
A complete update of STAYING SAFE ABROAD 2015, will be release during early 2015 for the iPad, Kindle and Nook and other e-readers.
I am a former Federal Firearms Dealer (US), a certified NRA pistol instructor and a certified NRA Range Safety Officer.
My career has also included 15 years as an international security consultant; for ten years I served as the security adviser to the Inter-American Development Bank.
I additionally, served six years in the Marines, which included combat service in Vietnam.
I am available for operational assignments, lecturing opportunities and in providing security solutions anywhere in the world.