Starting six years ago, the U.S. Army was ordered by Congress to increase its strength. As a result, army strength went from 492,000 to 562,400 in a few years. Now, Congress has ordered strength to be cut back to 513,000 over the next four years. The army would have preferred to have not increased its strength in the first place, so that resources could be concentrated on training and equipment for the troops it had. But the politicians get obsessed with the numbers, and the idea that bigger is better. The troops believe that better is better, but that’s a hard sell for the politicians. Meanwhile, the marines were also ordered to increase strength a bit, while the navy and air force had substantial layoffs.