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Posted: Monday, 24 February 2014 7:34AM

Pentagon to Propose Shrinking Army Size

MariaArefyeva/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Pentagon on Monday will propose reducing the size of the U.S. Army to between 440,000 and 450,000, U.S. officials confirm to ABC News.

The proposed reductions, which were first reported by The New York Times, will be included in Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s preview of the upcoming Department of Defense budget Monday afternoon.

The cuts are another reflection of the new fiscal realities -- like sequestration -- that will lead to reductions in the size of the post-9/11 military over the next decade. 

The Army was already in the middle of reducing its numbers from a high of 570,000 to 490,000. The proposal Hagel will unveil will reduce the military branch's numbers even lower, making it the smallest Army size since before World War II.

According to the U.S. officials, the Pentagon on Monday is also expected to propose eliminating the A-10 combat aircraft.

The A-10 aircraft has been put to great use in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to support ground troops with close air support, but now it’s been decided that it should be done away with partly because the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will take over some of that role.

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