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U.S. Military Overseas Basing: New Developments and Oversight Issues for Congress

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Congressional rept.

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In August 16, 2004, President Bush announced a program of sweeping changes to the numbers and locations of military basing facilities at overseas locations, now known as the Integrated Global Presence and Basing Strategy IGPBS or Global Posture Review, a component of ongoing force transformation efforts. Roughly 70,000 personnel would return from overseas locations from Europe and Asia to bases in the continental United States CONUS. Other overseas forces would be redistributed within current host nations such as Germany and South Korea, and new bases would be established in nations of Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Africa. In the Department of Defenses DOD view, these locations would be closer, and better able, to respond to potential trouble spots. In August 2005, the congressionally mandated Commission on the Review of Overseas Military Facility Structure of the United States also known as the Overseas Basing Commission formally reported its findings. It disagreed with the timing and synchronization of the DOD overseas re-basing initiative, and questioned whether a strategic vision agreed upon by all effected government agencies was guiding the re-basing. It also saw the initiative as potentially at odds with stresses on the force that the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan caused. The Commission questioned whether sufficient interagency coordination, such as State Department led basing rights negotiations, have occurred. It expressed doubts that the military had enough airlift and sealift to make the strategy work, and noted that DOD had likely underestimated the cost of all aspects associated with the moves DOD budgeted 4 billion, the Commission estimated 20 billion. The Commission also expressed fear that the re-basing could harm military quality of life, which would in turn hamper recruiting and retention. Recent international diplomatic and security developments could further influence debate on overseas basing.

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  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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