The aircraft carriers Dwight D. Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush, Enterprise, Harry S. Truman and Abraham Lincoln in Norfolk, Va., in December. Truman, along with the George Washington and John C. Stennis, are likely candidates for decommissioning if the most drastic of Pentagon cutting options is put into place. (US Navy)
WASHINGTON — At first, the statement is shocking. “Reduce the number of carrier strike groups from 11 to 8 or 9, draw down the Marine Corps from 182,000 to between 150,000 and 175,000.”
But those words July 31 from US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel brought into the open some of the behind-the-scenes discussions that have been going on at the Pentagon for months. Senior Defense Department officials continue to stress no decisions have been made out of the Strategic Choices and Management Review (SCMR), but the everything-is-on-the-table nature of the discussions is becoming clearer.
Or is it? Beyond top-line statements, hardly any real details were released, leaving those outside the inner circles to speculate on the immediate and Read more…