September 28, 2011
With the sudden drop in demand in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army is preparing to launch a five-year, 50,000 soldier drawdown beginning in March.
The initial focus of the drawdown will be based on the temporary 22,000-soldier increase that was started three years ago in support of the troop surge in Afghanistan.
The next phase will involve 27,000 soldier spaces that were added during an expansion that began in 2007.
This will leave the service with 52,400 active-duty soldiers by September 2016.
The Army will cut forces in multiple ways, including buyouts, voluntary and involuntary separations and retirements – similar to the post-Cold War drawdown in the 1990s – but has stated they will do whatever it takes to meet the mandated end-strength.
There is talk to reinstate some of incentives that have since become expired since the 1990s but still no official statement from Congress.