Killing BRAC

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s panel with jurisdiction over BRAC, vowed Wednesday to block any attempts this year to prepare for another round of stateside base closures. This seemingly squashes the Pentagon’s desire to start shedding excess base infrastructure next fiscal year. Pentagon leaders have failed “to make a convincing case” that another BRAC round “would benefit American taxpayers or national security,” she stated in a release prepared for Wednesday’s oversight hearing that she led. “While I applaud the [Defense] Department’s desire to find responsible places to achieve savings, there is one area where there is absolutely no room for compromise this year: BRAC,” she wrote. The Pentagon leadership has requested two additional rounds of BRAC—one in 2013 and another in 2015. Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told SASC members in testimony on Tuesday that the Air Force simply has too much excess infrastructure. Absent more BRAC rounds, “we will place the force, again, under more pressure to put spending into excess capacity when it should go into readiness and modernization,” he said.