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Sep 23, 2011 1:43 PM by Andy Koen

Coffman proposes $100 billion in defense cuts

Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman has submitted a plan to trim $103 billion dollars in defense spending over the next decade to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. The plan achieves most of the cost savings, around $90 billion, by reducing 100,000 active duty positions and increasing the number of National Guard and Reserve position by an equal number.

A news release issued by Coffman's office Friday indicates that the average active duty soldier in the U.S. Army costs taxpayers $130,000 per year while the same soldier in the National Guard costs $43,000 and in the Army Reserve $37,000.

Coffman would like to see that troop swap come in South Korea and Western Europe where an estimated 107,000 active duty troops are currently stationed.  The remaining $13 billion in cuts would come by halting some construction spending planned for South Korea.

"I'm a Marine Corps combat veteran who cares about making sure that we have the best equipped and best trained military defending this country, but I also believe that we can make additional cuts without harming national security," Coffman said.

His proposal would come on top of the savings realized by the draw down in forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bi-partisan Joint Select Committee, or Super Congress as it has become known, was formed last month as part of the debt ceiling compromise. It's tasked with identifying $1.5 trillion in federal spending cuts by Thanksgiving.

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