The last time the Base Realignment and Closure program was activated, it closed or consolidated several military bases in 2005. With ballooning budgets and new missions, there’s growing support for another round of BRAC in the near future. Frederico Bartels, policy analyst for defense budgeting at The Heritage Foundation, says that the holistic approach of BRAC gives a good perspective for congressional review.
“In the regular day-to-day operations of DoD, each service only looks at their bases and what their bases need. During BRAC, all of the services in all of the bases are looked from a holistic perspective and they can assess military value on all of the bases and see how it could be realign,” Bartels said. “The feature of BRAC is that it takes away permanent and recurring cost. Suppose that you have a Corvette and you change it for a Prius. You are always going to save on gas because you now have a car that runs for longer with the same amount of gas and you need to invest to change that Corvette for a Prius. That’s the cost that Congress looks at, but they don’t look at the other costs that you have permanent savings.”