proposal, released on Monday, takes into account the fiscal reality of
government austerity and the political reality of a president who
pledged to end two costly and exhausting land wars. A result, the
officials argue, will be a military capable of defeating any adversary,
but too small for protracted foreign occupations.
who saw an early draft of the announcement acknowledge that budget cuts
will impose greater risk on the armed forces if they are again ordered
to carry out two large-scale military actions at the same time: Success
would take longer, they say, and there would be a larger number of
casualties. Officials also say that a smaller military could invite
adventurism by adversaries.
have to always keep your institution prepared, but you can’t carry a
large land-war Defense Department when there is no large land war,” a
senior Pentagon official said.
of some of the budget initiatives, which are subject to congressional
approval, have surfaced, an indication that even in advance of its
release the budget is certain to come under political attack.