The Pentagon plans to expand its global network of drones and special-operations bases in a reorganization of the U.S. military, The Wall Street Journal reported.
According to the newspaper, even as the Pentagon cuts back on conventional forces, the reorganization is part of an effort to project the power of the U.S. The plan calls for a 30 percent increase in the American fleet of armed unmanned aircraft in the coming years, defense officials noted.
Defense officials also noted that the plan foresees the deployment of more Special Operations teams at a growing number of small “lily pad” bases across the globe. At the bases, soldiers will be able to mentor local allies and launch missions, according to the Journal.
“What we really want is to see the Army adopt the mentality of Special Forces,” a military officer who advises Pentagon leaders told the newspaper.
The Associated Press reported that Panetta wants to save money by reducing the size of Army and Marine Corps ground forces and limiting the U.S. presence in Europe.