The Obama administration will unveil a "more realistic" vision for the military on Thursday, with plans to cut tens of thousands of ground troops and invest more in air and sea power at a time of fiscal restraint, officials familiar with the plans said on Wednesday.
The strategic review of U.S. security interests will also emphasize an American presence in Asia, with less attention overall to Europe, Africa and Latin America alongside slower growth in the Pentagon's budget, the officials said.
Though specific budget cut and troop reduction figures are not set to be announced on Thursday, officials confirmed to Reuters they would amount to a 10-15 percent decline in Army and Marine Corps numbers over the next decade, translating to tens of thousands of troops.
The most profound shift in the strategic review is an acceptance that the United States, even with the world's largest military budget, cannot afford to maintain the ground troops to fight more than one major war at once. That is a move away from the "win-win" strategy that has dominated Pentagon funding decisions for decades.
This is the follow-through from President Obama on the promise he made back in April 2011 in his speech about fiscal responsibility to reduce defense spending by $400 billion over the next 10 years. So it does not include the cuts that are scheduled to kick in next year as part of the debt ceiling deal.
If you're looking for an issue progressives have rallied around for decades, none has been more consistent than our commitment to reigning in the military industrial complex. To put it in context, here's a graph showing our military spending vs the rest of the world.
Today President Obama will put forward his plan on how we can begin to address this progressive goal.