The wages of austerity are coming due for America’s military. On Monday, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced a major downsizing of the US Army. He wants to retire the A-10 Warthog fleet of ground-support aircraft and the venerable U-2 manned spy planes. And he’s cutting the operations of the Navy’s cruiser fleet in half.
So far, Hagel has been silent about reductions in nuclear forces, promising to preserve all three legs of the so-called triad – missiles, bombers and submarines – while making “important investments to preserve a safe, secure, reliable and effective nuclear force.” But reductions in nuclear forces are coming: It’s not a question of whether, but when – and how deep.
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