HASC Vice Chair dismisses proposed base closures

HASC Vice Chair dismisses proposed base closures

Rep. Mac Thornberry, House Armed Services Committee vice chairman, quickly dismissed reports the Pentagon will request two new rounds of base closures calling the earlier round of closures “bitter” and questioned how much closing those bases saved the Defense Department.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will announce at 2 p.m. Thursday what the Pentagon plans to cut in order to meet the $487 billion reduction in defense spending over the next ten years. Panetta will recommend two rounds of base closures in 2013 and 2015 as part of those cuts, according to reports.

The Defense Department went through this process in 2005 with the last bases closing in 2011. Congress stood up the Base Closure and Realignment Commission to make recommendations to the president on which bases to close. The scars remain fresh from the contentious hearings and political in-fighting amongst Congressmen who fought to keep bases in their district.


Officials recommended the next round of base closures start in 2015. Panetta wants to push that up two years adding an additional round of closure to merry up with the force reductions.

Thornberry said he’s not eager to go through more rounds of base closures and expects Congress to stick to the planned 2015 date.

Congress is looking for ways to save the Pentagon from sequestration and a $1.2 trillion cut over the next ten years. Thornberry and his colleagues want to find immediate savings. Thornberry said Congress doesn’t need to find all $500 billion this year to avoid sequestration. It only needs to find $40 billion to $50 billion to postpone further cuts.

“I think there’s some low hanging fruit we could find,” said Thornberry, who spoke Thursday morning at a Brookings event at the Reserve Officer’s Association in Washington D.C.

Closing bases costs the Defense Department money up front to move people and equipment. Studies found the military would not realize considerable savings until at least five years after the bases close.

The U.S. military will get smaller, however, as the defense budget shrinks. The Army is expected to reduce its end strength from 570,000 down to 490,000. Without as many soldiers, defense leaders argue the military should close bases to save money.

Defense analysts at the Brookings events suggested Panetta and other Pentagon leaders know just how distasteful the BRAC experience was  for Congress. Proposing two  more rounds of base closures could serve as motivation to Congress to reduce the proposed defense spending cuts.

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Need Republican President to stop this madness

The most recent BRAC was with a Republican president and Republican controlled Congress.

Two futile wars paid with the blood and treasure of the middle and lower classes while a Republican president not only helped his rich cronies avoid having to pay any part of it, he also helped them to make even more money from the bloody fiascos. And *this* is madness?

Get a grip.

Representative Thorn-in-the-side says there wouldn’t be any savings for five years. So, let’s keep excess bases open and NEVER save any money. Good GOP logic. DOD is not in the business of creating jobs for jobs sake.

Is DoD a jobs/welfare program, or a military force to protect our rights and liberties? DoD does not need a base in every state/most Congressional districts to defend against cyber attacks or to deploy unmanned vehicles. The people who complain Government is inefficient and the IRS is stealing their money yet want THEIR Government/DoD Contractor job, THEIR community (e.g. the retired pilot’s “union” that continues to fight UAVs), and THEIR nearby bases to be protected really need to develop some intellectual maturity.

So JRL — you were quite happy with 9/11 and you would just let it happen. You must also like Sadam Hussein and his mass graves of vivtims we all knew about since 1991. I suppose you also critisise FDR for starting WW2 because of Pearl Harbor and all the US dead in that war, otherwise you are being a hypocrite!

Uhh…No, I wasn’t happy with 9/11 at all. I just know that neither Saddam nor the Taliban had anything to do with it.

If you don’t like the people who caused 9/11, why didn’t you invade Saudi Arabia? And IIRC, you guys weren’t too concerned about Saddam and his mass graves when he was busy filling Iranian graveyards. Old’Shock and Awe’ Rummy even gave the lovable thug a warm hug to go with the nice weapons you gave him. Kind’a like how y’all thought the mujahadeen who became the Taliban, were a helluva great bunch of guys when they were ambushing the poor conscripts in Red Army.

BTW, WWII started long before Pearl Harbor, and it wasn’t Roosevelt that started it. There’s a world beyond the borders of the US, ya know.

Bringing back military jobs should be a high priority. It’d be cool if we cut our dependance on Private Military Contractors, raise the age enlisted limit from 17 to 21, and start a harder crackdown on rape of female personnel by male personnel. Too bad the DoD’s policy makers are too fuc#tarded to make that happen and to a further extent the financiers are fuc#tarded in their own right for letting the banks cause this domino effect to happen.

How much did the last round of BRAC cost the taxpayers? Hint, the expected saving did not occur in many instances…

Tell that to your Congressman, or the people that continue to flybthe U-2…

What would the raise in enlistment accomplish?

Why not close bases In Europe and Japan those wars have only been over for 60 plus years? America is like bad in laws we come to stay for the weekend but never leave.

The Taliban were providing protection for OBL. ALL of the 911 terroprists trained in Afghanistan while it was under Taliban control. After they were kicked out of the country they have been allied with Al Qaeda.

The links couldn’t be more obvious unless one is trying not to see.

Funny, I thought they got their important training somewhere else. At flight schools in the US. When did those get bombed, invaded, and occupied?

BTW, I really am trying to see, but there’s a big, ol’ obstacle blocking my view. And like Saudi Arabia, it’s yet another of America’s ‘valued allies’ in the War on Terror. You know, Pakistan…

Anyway, we’ll see in a very short while whether or not that either, or both these wars, will ultimately prove to have been futile. However, we don’t have to wait to know that trying to make sense of Steve’s illogical and incoherent reply is. It clearly is. Unless of course, he knows something about DARPA’s time machine that we don’t.

It’s about jobs and taxes and not Defense.

seriously needing closing: Washington DC Navy Yard.

and lay off all the WNY DC former employees. Let the NAVY FIELD ACTIVITIES run themselves wiithout the stifling controling suffolcating smothering “admin” from Washington NAVY Yard, NAVSEA.

Why you call him Thorn-in-the-side? I’m one of his constituents and have campaigned for him. He’s a good guy and works his a** off for the military…

Sadly, the “lower classes” really haven’t put any “treasure” into the wars except for their children who volunteered to serve as I did. And as my son continues to do so.
Take a look at who pays the taxes in the US. The wars were paid for mostly by the rich with the middle class also paying. Most of the military people are middle class although there are outliers from both sides. Yes, there are even children of the rich serving.

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