Cutting Air Force, Navy to Bolster Army Manpower?

Discussing a new report, “Military Manpower for the Long Haul,” from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, Steven Kosiak, CSBA vice president for budget studies, told reporters Oct. 15 that the military, particularly the Army, faces long-term manpower challenges, both in demographics and requirements. If proper effort is not expended on recruitment and retention today, it could take over a decade to recover, he said. (Interestingly, each service met or surpassed its recruiting goals in Fiscal 2008.) Kosiak said that as the Army continues to modernize, especially with its future combat systems and employment of more modular and mobile capabilities in general, demand for highly skilled personnel will rise. Kosiak cautioned that the fiscal state of the federal budget—particularly going forward after the financial crisis—will most likely have “some kind of negative effect” on future recruiting and retention. The report recommends that “strong consideration” should be given to making additional force structure cuts in the Navy and Air Force as one means to help free funds to bolster Army manpower.