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Military reduction proposed

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(KCEN) -- Imagine a U.S. Military cut down to pre-World War II size.

That's the word from the Pentagon.

It's a plan by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel -- with the blessing of President Obama -- to downsize the U.S. Military.

Many are saying this is just a move to solve the Obama economy financial problems on the backs of the military.

The U.S. Army would shrink to about 440,000 soldiers from a peak of 570,000 after the 9/11 attacks.

The National Guard and Reserve would drop from 560 to 530,000 by 2017.

Because: the Iraq war is over, the Afghan war is almost over, and, Defense Secretary Hagel said, budgets are tighter.

"Given these realities we must now adapt, innovate, and make difficult decisions to ensure that our military remains ready and capable," he said.

The anti-tank A-10 would be retired, and the U2 Spy plane.

There'd be more money for drones and cyber warfare, more for special forces. The expensive new F-35 survives the cuts, and all 11 U.S. carrier battle groups.

The Pentagon could still fight far from home and complete its main mission, says Hagel, "defending the homeland against all strategic threats."

But Hagel would close more bases and cut benefits to military families, the housing allowance and health care deductibles.

Former Pentagon Manpower Chief Larry Korb predicts a political fight.

"The Veterans Lobby will object and the congressmen and women don't want to fight with the veterans," Korb said.

Governors, outside the white house, objected to National Guard cuts.

"Especially during times of disasters," said Gov. Mary Fallin (R, Oklahoma).

"That's why we think the reduction primarily should be in the regular army," said Gov. Terry Branstad (R, Iowa).

And it would be under the new plan.

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