The Department of Defense spends more money than any other federal agency, and too often spends that money inefficiently or wastefully. Part of that massive spending is on underutilized military installations. To combat the costs of these bases and better plan for the military’s future, Pentagon officials have repeatedly requested a round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). The issue is clouded by political motivation, which causes military strength and readiness to suffer as a result.
But there’s a chance a new round of BRAC could be authorized through the National Defense Authorization Act the Senate will be considering as it returns from recess. An amendment, proposed by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jack Reed (D-RI), would “establish a new Base Realignment and Closure commission to review all installations in 2021” and make recommendations based on their findings.
Pentagon officials are in favor of this move. On a panel at the Heritage Foundation this week, Assistant secretary of Defense for energy, installations and the environment Lucian Niemeyer stressed the importance of BRAC not just for the cost savings, but to increase military readiness by “allow[ing] us, quickly and effectively, to enhance the lethality of our forces by coming up with ideal stationing contingencies for combined arms.”
Other defense experts agree and have repeatedly called on Congress to listen to the Pentagon and authorize a new round of BRAC. BRAC would ensure that defense dollars and military personnel are used in the best possible way, to the greatest benefit of the military and the safety of the country.
See the full conversation on the future of BRAC at the Heritage Foundation here.
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