Shrinking Budgets Force Guard and Reserve to Fight for Funds

With the ending of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the still-ongoing sequestration, the current shutdown of the Federal government, and looming budget cuts the military is looking at reducing costs across the board.

The Pentagon's leadership in charge of active-duty soldiers is hoping that many of the cuts in personnel come from the ranks of various National Guard and reserve components.

Congress, of course, is a proponent of both the reserve and Guard units, since they are present in every single state, are often instrumental in dealing with local crisis, and are often a fixture of the local economies in their areas.

Additionally, several studies have shown that the long-term costs of reserve forces are less expensive than maintaining the same force strength in active-duty forces, even considering the expenses of mobilization. However, the employment of reserve forces requires a long lead time to mobilize and train compared to active duty units, which are capable of much more rapid deployments.

In the end, the cuts in personnel will likely be more-or-less evenly split among active, reserve and National Guard, but only time will tell if and to what extent this compromises military readiness.