By: Christopher Preble
What is the kernel of the issue?
The Obama and Trump administrations estimated that the Department of Defense is burdened by excess overhead and underutilized property, including a number of superfluous military bases in the United States.
Why is the issue important?
Maintenance and upkeep of unnecessary bases diverts resources away from where they are most needed, including readiness and research and development. A new approach to defense calls for a new approach to DoD’s physical infrastructure.
What is the recommendation?
The Biden administration should call for another round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). Previous BRAC rounds have successfully reduced costs while providing benefits for surrounding communities, including new jobs, housing, and open spaces for conservation and recreation. Parochial interests in Congress have consistently blocked another BRAC, and it will take concerted leadership from the White House and DoD to break the impasse. But prospects have improved under a Democratic-controlled Senate.