Pentagon Sources: U.S. Army to Be Shrunk to Pre-WWII Level

Military will be left incapable of carrying out protracted foreign occupations

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United States' entire fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt, designed to destroy Soviet tanks, will be eliminated in Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's new spending proposal.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s spending proposal to be announced Monday will see the American military scaled down to its smallest force since before World War II, according to reports.

Described to the New York Times by several unnamed Pentagon officials, the proposal aims to take the armed forces off its post-9/11 war footing and adapt to austere fiscal realities. While retaining a sufficient force to defeat any adversary, the military will no longer be capable of prolonged foreign occupations, the officials say.

The proposal is expected to draw criticism from the defense industry, advocacy groups for military personnel and members of Congress representing port communities that could be affected by initiatives to slow Navy shipbuilding.