Report: Pentagon Proposing 'BRAC' Round For 2014
To military communities across the country, it's the 'B' word, and it's regarded with fear.
B as 'BRAC,' or Base Realignment and Closure.
It's the process the Pentagon uses to decide which military bases to close, when it has to cut its budget.
The newspaper 'Stars And Stripes' reported Thursday the Pentagon will seek another round of BRAC in its 2014 budget.
The newspaper quoted outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta as saying base closings make sense, in light of $487 billion in cuts agreed to in 2011 and the additional $50 billion a year for 10 year cuts that are supposed to kick in at the beginning of March because of 'sequestration.'
“What do they expect?” Panetta told the newspaper. “You can’t have a huge infrastructure supporting a reduced force.”
(Read the entire report here.)
That said, a similar proposal for BRAC in 2012 died when it got to Congress, where military bases are often the biggest employer in an area, and closing bases is very unpopular.
And Panetta's use of the word BRAC comes at a time when the White House and Republicans in Congress are at odds over the 'sequester' cuts. President Obama has called for a modest round of spending reductions and tax reforms, while some Republicans - particularly in the House - have said they're prepared to let the cuts happen.
Obama's greatest leverage with those Republicans is the military.
Thursday, April 17, 2014, Watertown, NY