|White, Shinseki : Army Needs More Soldiers|
White, Shinseki : Army Needs More Soldiers
By Nicholas J. Carter, Army News Service.
Washington D.C. -- (ANS) July 20, 2001 -- Secretary of the Army Thomas White and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric K. Shinseki told the House Armed Services Committee July 18 that the Army may need another 40,000 troops in order to accomplish its missions.
"Given today's mission profile, the Army is too small for the mission load it's carrying," Shinseki said. "The end strength that we have today does not satisfy the mission load that we have or that we can foresee coming out of this review."
The review that Shinseki was referring to is the Department of Defense's Quadrennial Defense Review. The QDR is the Pentagon's analysis of strategy and budgets required by Congress every four years. White and Shinseki did not specify a targeted end strength goal for the Army, but endorsed the 40,000-soldier increase advocated by Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee. The active force currently stands at about 480,000 soldiers.
"The Army at its current level is the smallest it has been since 1950," White said. "In 1950 we paid the price for a small Army, in terms of the Korean War. I am very nervous about shifting down any further."
Concerns regarding the size of the force are also being addressed by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and officials conducting the QDR.
Rumsfeld's team is reportedly considering the impact of a possible reduction in the number of active Army divisions.
The force size concerns need to be addressed before Sept. 30, because officials said that's the deadline set by Congress for the Pentagon to submit its QDR report.