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.