In accordance with some of the Defense Department money men it could be possible for the Pentagon to close a number of the military bases, however the agency has pleaded with Congress to review the potential closures as carefully as possible. This is not the first time that the military bases have been threatened with closures, as this has been a topic of debate and ended up with nothing actually happening. It is due to the current budget conditions that it may be carried through this time, and there is also new data that supports the idea. This time round there is a distinct feeling that it is really possible that the proposed closures may become reality sometime soon.
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This is the first time where the defense officials have requested that this type of review is undertaken after just a year from the last reviews where the past has seen the requests fall upon deaf ears. The main reason for this is that the law makers are incredibly concerned that this process could target military systems and equipment in their own districts, which in turn would cause a negative impact on them as leaders and on their own personal interests.
Apart from this, there is still a lot of misunderstanding and uncertainty about whether these military bases are surplus to requirements or if thinking about their finances could compound their security. In spite of all of this the plans to push for a review is moving forward.
A complete re-evaluation of the military bases has been a main aim and goal for many years and the studies that the department has conducted has generally resulted in findings of about 25% and in some cases even more infrastructure that is surplus to actual requirements in the majority of the mission areas. This was the information that Michael McCord, the Pentagon Comptroller announced when speaking at a recent event held at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, based in Washington.
The main argument put forward by Michael McCord was that the cost for keeping the bases was far higher than it needed to be, and by keeping staff in military bases that are outdated was simply a waste of resources that in comparison to the cost of maintaining the bases is substantially more than the department needs.
The closure of any military bases is bound to be a sensitive issue, particularly when many of the local economies rely heavily on them, and currently it is not yet known how many bases could be affected. However, statistics show that if the closures were approved the potential savings could total about $5.5 billion savings per year and a net saving of just under $50 billion over the next 20 years.
It is reported that these base closures would not mean a reduction in the size or capabilities of the American forces. It has been confirmed that the military would stay at its current size with the same capabilities it would literally just be a reduction to the actual number of bases.