Life after BRAC: Has the Time Come for Another Round?
The last round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) occurred in 2005. Since then, Congress has repeatedly failed to authorize another one despite well documented evidence of overcapacity from the Department of Defense. Last year, in a thoroughgoing review, the Pentagon concluded that the U.S. military will have 22 percent excess capacity as of 2019. The Army will be carrying the greatest excess overhead—33 percent—while the Air Force will have a 32 percent surplus. The Navy and Marine Corps combined will have 7 percent surplus in 2019. Over the interim years, opponents have given a number of reasons to block another BRAC round, citing a weak economy, or saying that closing bases amounts to inefficient expenditures of public money, or that widespread economic hardship would irreparably affect the civilian support jobs surrounding closed bases. These outcomes need not be so, and proponents have a very different tale to tell based on the careful examinations of previous closures.
Join us as our experts survey the political landscape and take a look at the real impact from past BRACs.