The panel also found that currently contemplated reductions in Army end-strength go too far. “We believe the Army and the Marine Corps should not be reduced below their pre-9/11 end strengths–490,000 active-duty soldiers in the Army and 182,000 active Marines,” the panel concluded. Yet on the current trajectory the army is likely to wind up with 420,000 soldiers and the Corps with 175,000 marines.So the Army and Marine Corps are 75,000 heads short, or will be soon. The solution? Scale back the mission.
We have that many troops in Europe. Bring them home, and let Europe pay for its own defense. This doesn't solve the problem of the impending retirement of 50% of the Air Force planes and the 20% drop in Navy ships over what's needed, but pulling out of Europe will cut the mission requirements for those services as well.
Given that (as the article points out) all the Republicans care about is not raising taxes and all the Democrats care about is not cutting entitlements, de-scope the mission. Especially since it's a mission that is protecting bloated socialist welfare states that mostly don't much like Americans anyway.
It's high time for a Peace Dividend that benefits Americans. The Cold War has been over for a quarter century now. Declare victory in Europe and get out.