Troop Size: How Big Should the U.S. Army Be?
By Debbie Gregory.
The United States has higher military spending than any other country so that we can defend our borders, uphold international order and promote American interests abroad. Congress is taxed with increasing the size of the Army in 2018, but the House and Senate have not been able to agree on how many more soldiers the service should add.
The House has called for the Army to add 17,000 soldiers, 10,000 to the active force and 7,000 to the National Guard and Reserves, but the Senate only wants to add about 6,000 soldiers, 5,000 active-duty soldiers and 1,000 reservists and National Guard members.
The Senate expressed concerns that adding 17,000 more soldiers to the force next year could force the Army to reduce its recruiting and retention standards, a problem the branch has faced in the past during the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“No one wants to see the Army allowing anyone who can’t meet the current standards into the uniform,” one of the officials said. “That is not a place we can afford to go back to.”
Past administrations have increased military spending, but usually in order to fulfill a specific mission, such as Jimmy Carter’s expanded operations in the Persian Gulf, Ronald Reagan’s arms race with the Soviet Union, and George W. Bush’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The White House and Pentagon has said Trump’s promised increases to the military force size, including the Army, would begin with his fiscal year 2019 budget.
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