Georgia Senator Pledges to Fight Army Cuts

first_imgSen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) vowed to fight the Army’s planned restructuring after learning from Army Secretary John McHugh on Wednesday that two Georgia posts would lose a total of 4,350 soldiers.“I am demanding answers from the Department of Defense on how they are justifying these troop cuts in Georgia,” Isakson said of the Army’s plans to eliminate, on a net basis, 950 soldiers from Fort Stewart and 3,400 troops from Fort Benning.“I have talked in great detail with Secretary McHugh today and will continue to fight to see to it that we preserve every soldier in Georgia that we can,” according to his press release.Isakson also threatened to stop a nominee to a senior DOD position from gaining a confirmation vote in the Senate.“I have also taken steps to block a Senate vote on the president’s nomination of a new congressional liaison for the Department of Defense in light of the department’s failure to give Congress a heads up before these cuts were made public,” he stated.Isakson’s comments came one day ahead of the Army’s public announcement of which installations would be affected by its plan to shrink the Army by 40,000 soldiers by fiscal 2017 to comply with stringent spending caps. The service also is expected to announce 17,000 civilian layoffs.The chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees also decried the pending cuts that would reduce the service’s active-duty end strength from 490,000 to 450,000.Senate Armed Services Committee Chair John McCain (R-Ariz.) called the Army’s plan a “dangerous consequence of budget-driven strategy,” reported Defense News.“Any conceivable strategic rationale for this cut to Army end-strength has been overturned by the events of the last few years from the rise of ISIL, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Ebola crisis, and more,” McCain said.McCain called for a bipartisan budget deal to lift the spending caps, which would force Army officials to cut end strength to 420,000 and increase “the risk that in a crisis, we will have too few soldiers who could enter a fight without proper training or equipment.” Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img

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