IMAGE: ERIN A. KIRK-CUOMO/COURTESY OF THE DOD
By ROBERT BURNS
AP National Security Writer
Copyright 2014 AP
WASHINGTON — A U.S. official says that as part of the proposed 2015 defense budget, Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel is recommending shrinking the Army to its smallest size in decades.
Hagel is expected to announce that Monday in a speech outlining his priorities for next year's defense budget.
Army leaders have been saying for months that they expected to absorb additional troop reductions as the U.S. prepares to end its combat role in Afghanistan this year. The Army is already scheduled to shrink to 490,000 active-duty members from a wartime peak of 570,000. Hagel is expected to propose cutting it further to between 440,000 and 450,000.