WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel proposed shrinking the Army, closing military bases and making other military-wide savings Monday as part of a broad reshaping of priorities after more than a decade of war.
Hagel outlined his vision in a speech at the Pentagon, a week before President Barack Obama is to submit his 2015 budget plan to Congress.
Hagel said the military must adjust to the reality of smaller budgets, even as the United States faces a more volatile, more unpredictable world that requires a more nimble military.
Under the Hagel plan, which Congress could change, the active-duty Army would shrink from its current 522,000 soldiers to between 440,000 and 450,000. That would make it the smallest since just before the U.S. entered World War II.