PLEDGE NOW
Debating Hagel’s Call For A Smaller U.S. Military

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel wants to downsize the military, shrink the US Army to the lowest levels since before World War II. We’ll look at what that would mean.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announces some personal changes, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, during a briefing at the Pentagon.  (AP)

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announces some personal changes, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, during a briefing at the Pentagon. (AP)

It’s “time for reality,” said U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel yesterday.  And for the U.S. military, he said, that means cutting back and changing.  America’s post 9/11 war-footing, not sustainable on America’s budget.  Hagel and the Pentagon are now proposing the smallest standing U.S. Army since before World War II.  Cutbacks in major equipment programs.  More emphasis on technology and training.  More Special Forces.  The change comes with risk, Hagel said.  But “this is time,” he said, “for reality.”  This hour On Point:  Implications of the new Pentagon budget, and the debate ahead.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Dion Nissenbaum, national security reporter for The Wall Street Journal. (@DionNissenbaum)

Russell Rumbaugh, director of the budgeting for foreign affairs and defense program at the Stimson Center.

Daniel Goure, vice president of the Lexington Institute.

From Tom’s Reading List

Associated Press: Smaller Army: Hagel Proposes Cuts in 2015 Budget — “Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel proposed shrinking the Army, closing military bases and making other military-wide savings Monday as part of a broad reshaping of priorities after more than a decade of war. Hagel outlined his vision in a speech at the Pentagon, a week before President Barack Obama is to submit his 2015 budget plan to Congress.”

Wall Street Journal: Hagel’s Military Budget Focuses on Changing Threats –“Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is proposing a new budget plan designed to turn the military’s attention from the long ground war in Afghanistan toward emerging cyberthreats from China and increasing challenges from al Qaeda-affiliated groups in Africa. The Pentagon road map, sure to face fierce resistance from across the political spectrum, calls for reducing the military’s reliance on manpower-heavy troop buildups, investing instead in more agile special forces and cyberwarriors.”

The Atlantic: Eric Cantor’s Foreign-Policy Ideas Would Consign Us to Perpetual War — “House Majority Leader Eric Cantor gave a speech last week at the Virginia Military Institute that left little doubt about his foreign-policy agenda: more wars of choice. The U.S. left Afghanistan and Iraq too early for his taste. ‘The plain truth is that we still have work to do in Afghanistan,’ he said. ‘It would be a terrible mistake for the U.S. to make the same mistake we made in Iraq. Our hasty and total withdrawal squandered the hard-fought gains won by the military at such great cost.'”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Aug 31, 2015
A television photographer takes video of a memorial for the two slain journalist in front of the studios of WDBJ-TV7 in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward from the station were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday.  (AP)

Lessons from the Roanoke TV shootings. We’ll look at the way forward with the New York Times’ Nick Kristof and other top thinkers.

Aug 31, 2015
While the jury still deliberates, former St. Paul's School student Owen Labrie, left, leaves the Merrimack Superior Court at the end of day with security in tow Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, in Concord, N.H.  Labrie was convicted by a jury of several misdemeanors, but ruled not guilty in the most serious felony sexual assault charges. (AP)

A verdict in the New Hampshire prep school rape trial. And calls for changing sexual assault laws.

RECENT
SHOWS
Aug 28, 2015
Lightning first ignited the Meadow fire on July 20, 2014 in Yosemite. By September 8, the fire had charred 2,582 acres. Bernie Krause has recorded soundscapes of national parks destroyed by large areas of forest fires. Listen below.  (National Park Service)

A legendary natural sound collector shares his recordings. We’ll listen in.

 
Aug 28, 2015
WDBJ-TV7 meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, wipes his eyes during the early morning newscast as anchors Kimberly McBroom, center, and guest anchor Steve Grant deliver the news at the station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A deadly shooting on live TV. Wall Street’s roller coaster ride. Biden considers a White House bid. 10 years since Katrina.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: August 28, 2015
Friday, Aug 28, 2015

You say #hashtag, we say, #forwhat? That, plus Usain Bolt and the ominous lurking Segway cameraman. Friday!

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: August 21, 2015
Friday, Aug 21, 2015

Do you even click? (And other reflections on link sharing and web commenting).

More »
6 Comments
 
Do You Recognize Amazon’s Workplace Culture? Tell Us!
Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015

Do you recognize the workplace conditions described in a recent New York Times piece on Amazon? We want to hear from you!

More »
5 Comments