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Deep Impact Predicted From Military Cuts

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Pentagon is proposing a dramatic shrinking of the U.S. military as the country readjusts after a decade of war.
WASHINGTON, DC -- The Pentagon is proposing a dramatic shrinking of the U.S. military as the country readjusts after a decade of war.  

 Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sees the U.S. military of the future as smaller, more focused and more high tech.
 "We are entering an era of where American dominance in the seas, the skies and in space can no longer be taken for granted," Hagel said.

Hagel's plan, released Monday, would shrink the number of troops in the Army to its lowest level since before World War II.
It also calls for the elimination of the Air Force's A-10 attack jets and U2 spy planes and a reduction of some military benefits.

Hagel calls it a reshaping, after a decade of war, to adjust to smaller budgets
"The reality of reduced resources and a changing environment requires us to make difficult choices."

Hagel is confident the military can make due with less, with new technology employed to fight the wars of the future.

 "We're gonna become a drone and pilotless type military," believes Maj. Mike Lyons (Ret.), CBS News military analyst.
 Lyons says the changes will have an impact.   "There's muscle that's gonna be cut there, gonna be smart individuals the military's gonna lose, gonna be a brain drain that's gonna take place."

Some experts foresee a damaging economic impact.
"The beans and the bullets are mostly made here in the United States, a lot of factories are closing a lot of people will be out of work," predicts Dr. Jeffrey Addicott, law professor at St. Mary's.

Hagel's changes will be part of the 2015 budget plan President Obama submits to Congress next week.

Some in Congress are already speaking out against the plan.  Democrat Carl Levin says it will be a huge challenge, while Republican Howard McKeon of the House Armed Services Committee says we’re trying to solve financial problems on the backs of the military.


(Susan McGinnis, CBS News)

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