The Dems control the House, Senate, and Executive branch. When the Dems talk about "austere" measures they mean cutting defense spending.
Fine. Bring it on.
I enlisted in the Clinton years, I remember the budget constraints. Infantry companies would rotate their Bradley crews through the single working Brad in the company to get every crew qualified during gunnery.
I remember the dumping of talented personnel into the civilian job market. TV specials on homeless vets.
Bring it on. With 10% unemployment nationally another 300k or 400k people out of work isn't going to matter right?
We who wear the uniform know that our jobs exist only because of the American Taxpayer. If we need to save money, cut ruthlessly. At the smallest the active component of the US Army was less than 80 artillerymen shortly after the Revolutionary War.
A smaller active duty military might mean a shift back towards our traditional militia roots. Sure we couldn't secure the world, but last I checked we weren't doing much good at that.
Of course we have to have a disaster at Desert One to give the politicians a wake up call that if you want the best military force in the world you have to pay for it. We have to have a massacre at Mai Lai to realize that continuously cranking out Infantry Lieutenants is a bad idea.
Like I said, bring on the cuts. Know that cuts in budget are cuts in both capacity and ability. Know that a professional military is not like a faucet, you can't turn the budget on and off and expect instantaneous results. If you want to get what you pay for right away, you need mercenaries. Of course hiring mercenaries is like turning on someone else's faucet...