Obama’s ‘Realistic Vision’: Less Ground Troops and More Warplanes

Plan Would Cut Tens of Thousands of Ground Troops

The Obama Administration plans on unveiling what officials are calling a “more realistic” vision of the future of the US military on Thursday, promising significant cuts in the number of available ground troops at America’s disposal.

If you think that’s going to be an overall cut in the size of the US military or its budget, however, you haven’t been paying attention for the last several decades, as officials say the move will be coupled with an increase in spending on warplanes and warships.

Nominally, the plan is designed to move from the US being able to sustain two major occupations at any given time to one major occupation and enough forces to “block another conflict.” In real terms, it means an increase in spending, as usual.

In terms of the ground troops, officials say that instead of bringing army brigades home from Afghanistan the plan is for them to “basically disappear.” Even though the plan amounts to a net increase in spending going forward, it is expected to face resistance from hawks who feel it doesn’t increase spending enough.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.