Biden Administration proposes cutting Army special forces by 10% despite the biggest Middle East U.S. military buildup in recent memory and American hostages taken by Hamas in Gaza
Despite the insanity of the current state of the world, featuring American hostages in Gaza, not to mention the deployment of one of the largest groups of U.S. military power in recent memory, as we reported here, U.S. Military Power In Middle East Grows, it turns out that the Biden Administration is about to drastically cut one of the U.S. military’s premier fighting units – Army Special Forces.
From a Wall Street Journal article published two days before the Hamas terrorist butchery in Israel: Army Plans Major Cuts to Special-Operations Forces, Including Green Berets:
The Pentagon is poised to make controversial cuts to the Army’s storied special-operations forces, amid recruiting struggles and a shift in focus from Middle East counterterrorism operations to a threat from China.
The Army is cutting about 3,000 troops, or about 10% from its special-operations ranks, which could include so-called trigger-pullers from the Green Beret commando units who have conducted some of the nation’s most dangerous and sensitive missions around the world, from the jungles of Vietnam to the back alleys of Baghdad.
The article goes into further detail about the shift in strategy from the Middle East to defending against aggression from China:
The reductions would enable the Army to rebalance toward the large conventional ground forces needed in a potential fight in Asia….
But more broadly, the reduction would mark the beginning of a new era for the Pentagon. The U.S., long engaged in Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflict zones, has relied heavily on special-operations troops as the go-to force to fight counterterrorism and conduct the counterinsurgency operations in the war on terror….
Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, SOCOM, which also includes the Navy SEALs, the Marine Corps’ special-reconnaissance force, Air Force special operators and others, has grown to about 75,000 from 45,000, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office. The Army contributes about half of those forces, or about 36,000. Troops and civilian support staff now operate in about 80 countries.
Special Operations Command oversaw the hunt and ultimate killing of Osama bin Laden, the ground raid in Syria that killed the head of Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and the 2003 rescue of soldier Jessica Lynch in Iraq, and hundreds of other sensitive, perilous operations over the years.
But as the U.S. focuses more on the so-called great power competition with China, some policy makers see less of a need for the highly trained and specialized troops, officials said. Instead, they favor pouring more resources into the kind of conventional forces expected to be more relevant in a peer-on-peer conflict. The Pentagon has shrunk its presence in the Middle East, leaving half-empty the sprawling American bases that were a hallmark of the war on terrorism and the springboard for some special-operations missions.
The article also reveals, however, that the cuts may be due more to recruiting problems than any real shift in geopolitical strategy:
The trims in the ranks of special forces would also help the Army cope with a recruiting shortfall in a strong labor market….
Mostly, the Army plans to cut special-operations troops in supporting roles such as psychological warfare, civil affairs, intelligence operators, communications troops, logistics and other so-called enablers, U.S. military officials said. The cuts would follow the reallocation last year of more than 700 special-operations troops from the Army and other services. In sum, the cuts to the Pentagon’s umbrella Special Operations Command would amount to about 3,700 troops since last year.
In addition, the Army is struggling with a debilitating, multiyear recruiting crisis amid a strong economy. This year, the service missed a 65,000-soldier recruiting goal by 15,000 people, and its overall strength is projected to drop it as low as 440,000 in 2025 from about 453,000 now. Special-operations forces have contributed to an imbalance, Army officials said, in which some jobs have gone unfilled and units aren’t fully manned.
And others believe the cuts may be due to other issues:
The military is taking an axe to the numbers of the most deadly, least woke & diverse units
The claim is 'cuz China
The reality is they can't get the equity they want in these units so cut 'emhttps://t.co/xllRwLp48U
— Jim Hanson (@JimHansonDC) October 6, 2023
The U. S. Army is down in numbers but they're going to cut special forces.
You don't have to guess why if you know the agenda of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman. https://t.co/txHEKGNkzU
— Margo (@MargoinWNC) October 7, 2023
We have reported on the new Chairman, Air Force General C.Q. Brown, Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley’s Replacement Even More Woke, If That is Possible, and his plan while Air Force Chief of Staff to cut the numbers of white male pilots to 43%, so this X commenter may be on to something.
In any case, military observers are not impressed:
US to cut special Forces in pivot from Mideast China threat readiness. The army is already cutting 10% of special forces.
Biden keeping America vulnerable. I’m so sick of Biden & Company destroying our country. 😡😡😡😡
— Amanda Stafford (@RosannaM1970) October 6, 2023
The Pentagon has announced plans to cut 10% of Army Special Forces personnel, a decision that will be devastating for national security and USASOC’s lethality.
We are calling on Congress and the Biden Administration to put a stop to this disastrous decision. Read more:… pic.twitter.com/5ySFjO08AH
— SOAA – Special Operations Association of America (@SOAAorg) October 6, 2023
As the world 🌎 becomes a more dangerous place, the Army plans to cut the size of special forces. Brilliant! 💡https://t.co/Io5XnEMSJl
— Phoenix33 (@PhoenixFree33) October 6, 2023
This is especially galling given the fact that numerous American citizens are currently being held hostage in Gaza, and the only way the U.S. military could extract them is with special forces. I like this idea:
@NRSC You must stop the proposed cuts to the Special Forces in the Army by Biden and the Pentagon. If cuts are needed cut the useless people in the Pentagon!
— Mark Weber (@web61) October 8, 2023
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