Congress Slices Some Pork: The Base Closure Law of 1990
NATIONAL WAR COLL WASHINGTON DC
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For over two decades efforts to close U. S. military bases have been mired in Congressional and Pentagon politics. While the government has constructed new bases to serve new military functions and technologically sophisticated weapon systems, obsolete bases have enjoyed a wasteful old age due to Congresss resistance to their closure. At the same time, outside observers have charged that individual presidents and the Department of Defense have sought to close selected bases and preserve others for purely political purposes. Many Members of Congress have viewed closure of a base in their district or state as threatening to local economic interests. Adverse economic conditions translate into angry constituents and therefore greater vulnerability for a Member at the next election. The current budget crisis, coupled with the dramatic changes in East-West relations, however, have impelled Congress and the executive branch to reach a compromise formula for selecting bases for closure. The formula, centered around the work of a commission, has arguably met with some success, though bureaucratic politics has somewhat diminished the commissions efficacy.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Government and Political Science
- Military Forces and Organizations