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Reports: US Army to Cut 40,000 Troops

Members of the U.S. Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade practice during the combined Lithuanian-U.S. training exercise at the Gaiziunai Training Area, west of Vilnius, Lithuania, July 7, 2015.

The U.S. Army is planning to reduce the size of its force by 40,000 soldiers over the next two years, according to U.S. media reports.

The USA Today newspaper reported Tuesday that the Army also plans to cut 17,000 civilian employees. The cuts would reduce the active-duty Army to about 450,000, its smallest size since before the United States entered World War II.

The Army had about 570,000 troops in 2012 at the height of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The cuts will take place by the end of the 2017 fiscal year and affect virtually every Army post at home and abroad, USA Today said.

If the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration, set to begin in October, take place, the Army would have to slash another 30,000 soldiers, according to a document obtained by the newspaper.