Point-counterpoint from the Usual USAF Source. First:
No Warm and Fuzzy From Senators on More BRAC: Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday raised concerns to the Pentagon leadership over the Obama Administration's proposal for two new BRAC rounds in 2013 and 2015. "Finding further reductions in consolidations in our overseas force posture should be our first priority before another BRAC round," said Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, during the oversight hearing on DOD's Fiscal 2013 budget request. "I have serious questions whether we save any money from a BRAC process," added Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.). Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said he'd oppose more BRAC since the US military is being reduced "to an unacceptable level." Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said he understood the lawmakers' concerns as a former Congressman whose district had to absorb a base closure. "I recognize how controversial this process is for members and for constituencies. And yet it is the only effective way to achieve needed infrastructure savings," he said. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was one voice expressing favor for consolidation, saying "it's appropriate to consider another round." (Panetta prepared remarks) (Dempsey written statement)
Then... day before yesterday... from the same source:
A Serious Proposal?: Although the Pentagon is expected to ask Congress to authorize another round of BRAC in Fiscal 2013, it's not likely that the Fiscal 2013 defense budget proposal released on Monday will include funding for it, said Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. There are upfront costs associated with closing facilities or bases, he said, noting that BRAC 2005 cost the Defense Department about $39 billion to execute. "In many cases, there are still environmental assessments you have to do, and the local authorities will insist on you fixing up the property so you can hand it over and it can be redeveloped for other purposes," said Harrison during a budget discussion on Feb. 8. He added, "So, another round of BRAC is still going to cost you money, and as far as I can tell, they have not budgeted for that, so it does make you wonder how serious of a proposal that is." The net savings from BRAC 2005 are estimated at $12.5 billion, in today's dollars, over 20 years, said Harrison.
So, let me get this straight. The gubmint spent $39 billion dollars to save $12.5 billion dollars in the most recent BRAC round and they want to do it again? Why am I not surprised? I think Sen. Levin makes an excellent point: why the hell are we keeping all those troops in Europe? I get Korea, there's a threat there. But Europe? Let those freakin' socialists defend themselves from whatever it is that's threatening them, even if it's themselves.