WASHINGTON—The Army's highest-ranking officer on Friday said the rapid spread of threats around the world and growing demands on the U.S. military should prompt a review of deep cuts scheduled in the size of America's ground forces.
Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, said he had "grave concern about the size of the military," particularly in light of a wave of new international problems, including Russian aggression in Europe, the rise of militancy in Iraq and the Ebola threat in Africa.
"Threats are increasing—they aren't decreasing—and we have to make sure we are making the right decisions," Gen. Odierno said.
Defense officials earlier this year made plans to shrink the U.S. Army to its smallest size since World War II, incorporating deep spending cuts that resulted from a bitter budget standoff between the administration and Congress.
The active-duty Army still has 510,000 service members. But the Army is due to shrink to 490,000 by the end of next year. Pentagon leaders are planning to cut the Army further, to 450,000 by the end of 2017 and potentially to 420,000 by the end of the decade.