Army Drawdown and Restructuring: Background and Issues for Congress
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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On January 26, 2012, senior DoD leadership unveiled a new defense strategy based on a review of potential future security challenges, current defense strategy, and budgetary constraints. This new strategy envisions a smaller, leaner Army that is agile, flexible, rapidly deployable, and technologically advanced. This strategy will rebalance the Armys global posture and presence, emphasizing where potential problems are likely to arise, such as the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East. As part of the Administrations proposal, two armored brigade combat teams ABCTs in Europe will be eliminated out of a total of eight BCTs that will be cut from Active Army force structure. The Army has stated that it may cut more than eight BCTs from the Armys current 44 Active BCTs. Army endstrength will go from 570,000 in 2010 to 490,000 during the Future Year Defense Plan FYDP period. As part of this reduction, the Army would no longer be sized to conduct large-scale, protracted stability operations but would continue to be a full-spectrum force capable of addressing a wide range of national security challenges. The Army National Guard and Army Reserves were not targeted for significant cuts. Army leadership stated the impending decrease in Active Duty Army force structure would place an even greater reliance on the National Guard and Reserves. The Army drawdown will likely be achieved in large degree by controlling accessions. If limiting accessions is not enough to achieve the desired endstrength targets, the Army can employ a variety of involuntary and voluntary drawdown tools authorized by Congress. The Administrations proposals to drawdown and restructure the Army have a number of strategic implications. These implications include the capability to conduct stability and counterinsurgency operations, the ability to fight two simultaneous wars, shifting strategic emphasis to the Asia-Pacific region, and how the Army will maintain a presence in the Middle East.
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