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US army to shrink after Afghan withdrawal


The US Defence Secretary, Chuck Hagel, will recommend shrinking the Army to its smallest size in decades to balance military needs with budgetary realities, officials said.

In a speech at the Pentagon, Mr Hagel is expected to propose cutting the Army to between 440,000 and 450,000 from its wartime peak of 570,000 as the US ends its combat role in Afghanistan.

Navy Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said yesterday:  “We must be pragmatic. We can’t escape tough choices. He [Mr Hagel] and the chiefs are willing to make those choices.”