Congress Spurns Pentagon Call for New Base Closures

Rep. Thornberry: No One Believes 2019 Force Estimates

For years, the Pentagon has been pushing for a new round of domestic base closures, arguing that several sites within the US serve no military purpose and cost a lot of money to keep open. Congress has shot them down every time.

The latest Pentagon report, however, warns that the growing overseas deployments and shrinking number of troops as the budget priorities switch to weaponry are making this even more glaring, and that by 2019, 22% of US bases will be “excess,” including fully 33% of all US Army bases.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work is pushing again for closures, noting that the “savings” from having the bases down to a skeleton crew are much smaller than they could realize if they were allowed to close the bases outright. As usual, Congress seems unlikely to go along.

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R – TX), the House Armed Services chair, insists that the new report doesn’t justify base closures, and insists “no one believes” the 2019 projections anyhow, and that “it makes no sense” to believe the military will ever get that small.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.