Future Warfare Leaves Grunts Behind

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: Defense Secretary William Cohenís Quadrennial Defense Review seems sure to result in cuts on the human side of the ledger in order to keep the Pentagon on the leading edge of military technology, reports TIMEís Mark Thompson. "The Pentagon consensus seems to be that despite the protestations of the Army, a 495,000 active-duty force is simply more than we need. The cuts won't reach as high as the 10 percent being thrown around now, but 20,000 troops could go rather easily." And with troop reductions in recent years far outstripping cuts in infrastructure, he says, "a certain number of base closings are a given." One very expensive element of military planning that Thompson says is a sure bet to survive is the doctrine requiring the armed forces to be ready to fight and win two separate regional wars at once. "It's been somewhat watered down," he said, "but remains something of a sacred cow."