2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

BRAC is back in fashion at Pentagon

Published: June 11, 2013, 10:33 am, by Tom Roeder

Chuck Hagel, Dick Durbin, Patrick LeahyDefense Secretary Chuck Hagel told a Senate Committee Tuesday that the Pentagon needs to close bases to balance its books.

Hagel, a Vietnam veteran and former Nebraska senator would hold the base-closure round in 2015.

“BRAC is an imperfect process, and there are up-front costs, but in the long term, there are significant savings,” Hagel said.

┬áThe Pentagon is looking at $1 trillion in cuts over 10 years and can’t afford the infrastructure it now owns. All services are also cutting troops — The Army is slimming its ranks by 80,000 in coming years.

That means fewer bases.

The silver lining in this could be the dysfunctional Congress. It would take agreement between the House and Senate to authorize a base-closure round and the White House would have to sign off, too.

There’s no sign that Congressional leaders are ready to agree on anything anytime soon. That could push any BRAC decision to Congress after the 2014 election.