Nominee for U.S. Army secretary warns about impact of further troop cuts
The nominee to be the next U.S. Army secretary told lawmakers on Thursday that cutting the size of the force had increased the risk to American security and that further reductions would require a rethinking of the Army's role and priorities.

Eric Fanning, a longtime senior defense official who would be the first openly gay military service secretary, told his confirmation hearing that reducing the Army to 450,000 troops by 2018 from about 490,000 currently, was manageable but would increase the risk to national security.

The Pentagon is in the process of cutting almost $1 trillion in projected defense spending over a decade under a 2011 deal approved by the White House and Congress.

Cutting the active-duty Army to 420,000 soldiers, which could be required if the spending cuts are not reversed, "would require a whole new set of assumptions and guidance on what the Army is supposed to do and what its priorities should be," said Fanning, who would replace Army Secretary John McHugh, who stepped down several months ago.
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