With the premise that the Pentagon is saddled with too many unneeded bases, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis says the Defense Department wants Congress to end its collective opposition to BRAC (base closure and realignment).
“The BRAC process provides opportunities for military forces to be more effective, for capabilities to be enhanced, and for savings to be applied to higher priorities,” Mattis said in an Oct. 6 letter addressed to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate and House Armed Services committees.
To back up his contention, Mattis referred the lawmakers to a Pentagon report that pointed to a 19-percent excess in infrastructure capacity within the department, based on an analysis of 2012 statistics. If anything, the situation has become more critical since then, Mattis wrote.
“Since the last BRAC round we have developed new methods of warfare, new technologies, and expanded needs for warfighter training that require us to assess the military value and effectiveness of our domestic military infrastructure,” Mattis wrote.
“In addition every unnecessary facility we maintain requires us to cut capabilities elsewhere. I must be able to eliminate excess infrastructure in order to shift resources to readiness and modernization,” he wrote.