National Affairs: The Squeeze

With a White House blessing, Defense Secretary Wilson last week ordered the armed forces to slash their current authorized manpower (2,800,000) by 100,000, thereby enabling the Pentagon to reduce its 1958 budget needs by almost $200 million. To reassure U.S. allies abroad, especially NATO, Wilson carefully pointed out that the cuts could be made "without materially affecting deployments of major combat units abroad, including those in Western Europe."

Wilson's latest cutbacks, putting U.S. military manpower at 22% under the 1953 Korean war peak, mostly reflected an increasingly painful Pentagon budget squeeze, in turn caused by the spiraling costs of missile research and...

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