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U.S. Army Planning To Reduce Number Of Troops

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WASHINGTON -

The U.S. Army intends to reduce its ranks by some 40,000 troops over the next two years, a defense official has confirmed to CBS News.

The story was first reported by USA Today, citing a document it obtained.

Some 17,000 Army civilian employees would also be laid off under the plan.

The cuts would leave the Army with 450,000 GIs by the end of the 2017 budget year and affect all Army domestic and foreign posts.

The announcement could come this week.

The document blames the cuts on budget tightening, the document says.

This is happening as the Obama administration mulls its next moves against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). After meeting with top military brass at the Pentagon Monday, President Obama said they hadn't talked about sending any more troops into that battle.

Some of the cuts were expected, USA Today notes, pointing out that the Army had some 570,000 soldiers when fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan peaked. After most of those troops returned from those wars, the Army planned to cut back, the newspaper adds.

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