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US TO CUT 40,000 SOLDIERS FROM ARMY


WASHINGTON, U.S.A. – In the move to save money, the US Army is to cut 40,000 soldiers from its ranks over the next two years at home and abroad, a defense official said Tuesday, in a move that will raise doubts about its ability to fight wars.
It will affect virtually every Army post domestically and abroad, USA Today said.
Under the cost-cutting plan, the Army will be down to 450,000 soldiers at the end of the 2017 budget year.
Even though in 2013 it argued in budgetary documents that going below 450,000 troops might mean it could not win a war, USA Today said.
By comparison, the Army swelled to 570,000 men and women during the peak of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the newspaper said.
Some 17,000 civilians working for the Army will also be laid off, the official told AFP, confirming the USA Today report.
The defense official told AFP that the Army plans to announce the cuts soon, with USA Today adding that the matter would be addressed this week.
Across-the-board government budget cuts are due to kick in in October and if Congress does not avert these the Army will have to lay off another 30,000 soldiers on top of the 40,000, according to the document quoted by USA Today.

Source: USA Today, AFP
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