Gates, Mullen Support Force Reduction Plans

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2011 — Reduc­tions in end strength for the Army and Marine Corps begin­ning in 2015 will be con­di­tions-based, and can be tai­lored if required when the time comes to imple­ment them, defense lead­ers told Con­gress today.
Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the House Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee they sup­port plans to reduce ground forces end strength. The plan fac­tors in the draw­down of all U.S. forces in Iraq by the year’s end, and a reduc­tion of forces in Afghanistan, Gates told the pan­el.

“A big assump­tion in this is that we have a very much small­er pres­ence in Afghanistan at the end of 2014 than we do now,” he said. “And I think you will know as ear­ly as the end of 2012 [or] begin­ning of 2013 whether that is going to happen.” 

Gates and Mullen said the plan also sup­ports con­tin­u­ing efforts to increase “dwell time” at home sta­tions between deployments. 

The Marine Corps lead­er­ship ful­ly sup­ports reduc­ing the Corps’ end strength when it com­pletes oper­a­tions in Afghanistan, Gates said. Both Marine Corps Com­man­dant Gen. James F. Amos and his pre­de­ces­sor, retired Gen. James T. Con­way, believe the cur­rent Marine Corps is “both too large and too heavy to ful­fill its tra­di­tion­al mis­sions going for­ward,” the sec­re­tary said. 

“They are the nation’s sec­ond land force, which is not what they want to be,” Mullen said. “And they have got to get back to some degree, as we move ahead, to their roots — which is lighter and smaller.” 

Though it’s still unclear exact­ly how many com­bat brigades the Army will require, Mullen said, plans gen­er­al­ly call for between six and 10. 

“The Army has become much more expe­di­tionary, and that is where we are head­ed,” Mullen said. “And I am very com­fort­able with that.” 

Mullen said he’s also com­fort­able that end-strength deci­sions aren’t locked in stone. The ser­vice chiefs will have ample oppor­tu­ni­ty to change their rec­om­men­da­tions if the con­di­tions war­rant it, he said. 

But at a time when the mil­i­tary is seek­ing effi­cien­cies and the most effec­tive use of every defense dol­lar, the chair­man said, per­son­nel costs have to be addressed. The ser­vice chiefs report that when fac­tor­ing in mil­i­tary, civil­ian and direct-sup­port con­trac­tors, per­son­nel costs rep­re­sent 60 to 70 per­cent of their bud­gets, he noted. 

“We are on our way to becom­ing almost immo­bi­lized by just what it costs in terms of our peo­ple,” he told the committee. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →