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General Keane: Proposed Budget Cuts Into Bone of Army

• February 24, 2014 10:13 am

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Retired Gen. Jack Keane said the proposed budget cuts by the Pentagon would "cut into the bone and the capabilities of the Army" of the United States Monday on America's Newsroom.

The budget being reportedly proposed by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, according to the New York Times, will shrink the U.S. Army to its smallest number since before World War II and eliminate an entire class of Air Force attack jets.

Keane said this move reflected a poor understanding of the last century of U.S. military history.

"The assumption that's being made in the Pentagon, and it's almost laughable if it wasn't so serious, is they don't believe the United States will involve itself in a ground war of any consequence again," Keane said. "The fact of the matter is those assumptions have been made after World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Cold War, and every single time they have been proven wrong. Here we are making that same assumption again."

Keane also said he found the cuts very disappointing but not surprising.

Full exchange:

MARTHA MACCALLUM: In terms of the specific cuts, you say the military accepts that when you pull out of this war footing in two war zones, that you are likely to do some trim back. Is it being done in the areas that the Pentagon want it to be done in, or is it sort of a slash-and-burn method?

JACK KEANE: Most analysts looking at it would tell you that the cuts to the Army are deep and cut into the bone and the capabilities of the Army. They are disproportionate. The assumption that's being made in the Pentagon, and it's almost laughable if it wasn't so serious, is they don't believe the United States will involve itself in a ground war of any consequence again. The fact of the matter is those assumptions have been made after World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Cold War, and every single time they have been proven wrong. Here we are making that same assumption again. The Army is taking a much more severe cut, and the numbers of the Army are going down to pre-World War II numbers, which, on the surface of it, is irresponsible. Anybody looking at that knows it is far too much.

Published under: Army, Chuck Hagel, Jack Keane, Military