The Defense Department is abandoning its plan to close several domestic military bases across the country, claiming to focus instead on closing military installations overseas, according to Secretary Leon Panetta.
“I had no illusions that [base closures] would be an easy sell politically, but we had a responsibility … to put everything on the table,” Panetta said in a speech at the annual conference of the Association of Defense Communities in Monterey, Calif. “It is now clear that there will not be a round of [closures] authorized in 2013.”
The considerations were labeled in the media as some sort of draconian scaling back of the enormous standing army in the country. But the scope of the domestic military establishment is enormous.Only two of the 50 states – Rhode Island and New Hampshire – have no Army bases.
In fact, the military is dealing with excess capacity already. If Congress doesn’t authorize closing the bases, the Army “will be forced to retain installation infrastructure that will become excess to its requirements and thereby jeopardize spending on forces, training and modernization,” said Pentagon spokesman Dave Foster in April.
Panetta’s claim to be scaling back America’s enormous military presence all over the world (the most commonly accepted figure is upwards of 900 military bases in over 130 countries) doesn’t seem to be matching up with reality.
The Pentagon is currently carrying out a plan to surge American military presence in the Persian Gulf to intimidate a weak and defensive Iran. At the same time, they are building new bases and refurbishing old ones throughout the Pacific region.
5 thoughts on “Pentagon Drops Plan to Close Domestic Military Bases”
The Founding Fathers vigorously opposed a large standing army for good reasons; namely, they had suffered under a large standing army under the British Crown, and fought it lff for several years before gaining complete independence.
As America's first President, George Washington kept only what military forces that were necessary for the new nation's defenses, nothing more; and, each new state maintained its own militia, which answered to the governor. He knew from experience the dangers a large standing army posed to the citizenry.
These dangers still exist today. We don't need a huge military presence, only enough to protect our borders, and a naval force to patrol our coastlines. A large standing military can be easily used by some power-hungry Chief Executive to oppress the citizenry under martial law – a clear violation of the US Constitution. What should be done regarding excess forces is to allow them to serve in the National Guard in all 50 states.
It's an election year. Obama is striving to get re-elected. Anyone could have predicted it.
What is this "on the table" bull? It should be reworded as "on the backs of the American people" because we're the ones burdened with it. Not the likes of the lying Pinata Mr. Panetta.
You mean to tell me that they actually contemplated closing them down? Wow!
And the domestic bases that were considered for closure will probably be turned into FEMA detention facilities.
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