Most Hoosiers are familiar with the BRAC — Base Realingment and Closure — process that the military executed several times over the past few decades. Hoosier installations, vital parts of local communities, were sometimes directly impacted and other times spared.
Military cutbacks are expected to come again in the effort to trim defense spending, but the targets could be overseas this time. I was unaware that the U.S. has 702 bases or other facilities in 63 countries. Also unknown was the fact that 80% of the international forces are stationed in Germany and South Korea.
Politically, it will easier to save dollars by trimming overseas bases than cutting domestic weapons programs.
Possible closure targets, according to the Kiplinger report: Kadena Air Base, Torii Army Station and Camp Butler Marine Corps Base, all in Okinawa, Japan; Army stations in Stuttgart and Schweinfurt, Germany; an airfield in Heidelberg, Germany; Aviano Air Base in Italy; and an Army garrison in Schinnes, the Netherlands.
If the effort goes toward somehow reducing the massive federal deficit and shifts some of the world’s peacekeeping responsibilities to other countries without jeopardizing our safety, it sounds like a sensible plan.