America Has Too Many Military Bases

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Christopher Preble and William Hartung via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Members of Congress have a hard time agreeing on virtually anything, and they’re already butting heads with the new president. But one issue should unite them: a new initiative to shrink the Pentagon’s massive overhead.

President Trump and Secretary of Defense James Mattis have pledged to cut waste. And key leaders in Congress have renewed their calls for rationalizing the Pentagon’s base structure. Now is the time for Congress to come together, put the national interest over parochial interests and finally support a new round of base closings.

If properly structured, any new set of base closings could result in billions in savings. This item is high on the military’s agenda. The brass have been asking Congress for permission to eliminate unneeded facilities for years, and for good reason. The last round of closures occurred eleven years ago, at a time when the military was busy fighting two wars.

The Defense Department now estimates that nearly one-quarter of its current bases serve no military need. This is true even if the Army and Marine Corps remain at their current size. The billions of dollars wasted on overhead could be put to far better use, especially at a time when the services claim that they lack the resources to pay for essential functions such as training and equipment maintenance.

So why isn’t there an overwhelming push to close unneeded bases? The resistance is grounded in pork-barrel politics, not a careful assessment of the nation’s defense needs. Too many members of Congress believe that they were elected to put the interests of their state or district over that of the country. They believe that they are doing their duty by blocking any base closures.

In fact, these representatives are actually doing harm to the nation and their constituents. Their stubborn refusal to allow the military to use its resources efficiently also prevents defense communities from taking advantage of land and property currently trapped behind chain-link fences and razor wire.

In that sense, the closure of military bases actually opens them up. Just ask the people of Philadelphia, who can now follow South Broad Street all the way to the Delaware River, through the gates of what used to be the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Austin, Texas, welcomes millions of people every year through the gleaming Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, formerly Bergstrom Air Force Base. The former naval air station in Brunswick, Maine, is now Brunswick Landing, a thriving business campus. Cal State Monterey Bay was carved out of the sprawling Army training base at Fort Ord. Thousands of acres have been set aside in the Fort Ord National Monument, which includes eighty-six miles of mountain bike and hiking trails.

A 2005 study by the Pentagon’s Office of Economic Adjustment looked at seventy-three communities impacted by a base closure, and determined that nearly all civilian defense jobs lost were replaced within fifteen years. In addition, the new jobs are in a variety of industries and fields, allowing communities to diversify their economies away from their excessive reliance on the federal government.

To be sure, base closures are initially disruptive to local economies and patterns of life, but most places do recover. In some cases, recovery has been quite rapid. The best way to ensure a successful transition is by encouraging local elected officials and civic leaders to plan for the future. Congressional leaders wishing to facilitate a new round of base closures should familiarize themselves with successful defense conversion cases, and be willing to help apply lessons learned.

Before Congress signs off on sharp increases in Pentagon spending, it should make sure the department is using its current resources as efficiently as possible. Closing unneeded bases is a good place to start.

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Nemontel's picture

America will have a lot of problems not breaking apart in the next couple of decades.


There is no way the empire will survive for much longer.

wildbad's picture

bring em ALL home yesterday.

no foreign entanglements

beemasters's picture

With all the YUUUGE savings by closing them all and have all the troops home to defend the land, there's no reason America can't be great...and safe again.

HowdyDoody's picture

There cannot be too many American bases. We cannot afford to allow a base gap to develop. The Commies have always been planning to take over the world so we must be everywhere in the world to prevent them setting up bases in every country.

beemasters's picture

Yeah, rite. I heard some ET's are going to invade the earth. Shouldn't we have bases somewhere on Planet Paranoia too?

Stuck on Zero's picture

We need a new military base in the United States ... a 2000 mile x 100 yard base along the Southern border.

MisterMousePotato's picture

Drives me crazy to see graphics like this as a jpeg.

Don't they learn anything when they go to school to 'learn computers'?

Slomotrainwreck's picture

a new initiative to shrink the Pentagon’s massive overhead.

a new initiative to spend the Pentagon’s new budget in different places.

Mustafa Kemal's picture

"With all the YUUUGE savings by closing them all and have all the troops home to defend the land, there's no reason America can't be great...and safe again."

In addtion to draining the swamp, THIS is why I voted for Trump. Well see if anything like that happens. I will be pleasanly suprised if it does though

The Wizard's picture

When the fiat petrodollar loses its status as a world reserve currency a good number of bases will most likeley shut down. Defending the petrodollar with military might is an expensive proposition.

My understanding is the U.S has over 800 foreign bases. Russia has 9. Bring 'em home put them at the borders. No need for a wall. Soldiers would be much more effective so long as the bribery is under control.

MFL5591's picture

It has too many lawyers and that is why it is losing in education, manufacturing, culture, integrity, you name it, it all stems from this pile of trash!

----_-'s picture
----_- (not verified) Feb 10, 2017 2:08 AM

"America Has Too Many Military Bases"

they even have their own anchor state called "cat toilet israel"


...or is it israel who own the usa? shoud look at a bankers face to find the answer

DrZipp's picture

First close all the ones in Germany.  Make that all of Europe.  Maybe keep a few in Japan and Korea, provided they pay for them.  

Next in the US, close a lot of them.  Save the most useful.  Meaning mostly Navy.  And fuck the nuclear triad while you are at it.  I am happy to have a bunch of nuclear subs and a few missiles in silos. A few being 50 or so. As far as having them on B52's or anything else then no. And ditch the B-2.  And the F-35.  Go with a revamped F-18.  After you ditch the B-2 and B-1, order 2000 tomahawks at a million a piece so we can feel secure to whack anyone anytime for no reason or any reason from a reasonable distance.

sinbad2's picture

Japan pays nearly 70% of costs for the US military in Japan. Japan tried to pay off the US to leave some years back. The US took $2 billion, but refused to leave. The US is a bludger nation, read for yourself.

HowdyDoody's picture

The US troops can also murder and rape with impunity, courtesy of the SOFA imposed by the US. The troops need their perks too.

IronForge's picture

I'm a Half Japanese 2nd Gen US Navy Vet.  Late Father and I were both stationed in Japan.

I've seen enough.  It's time to turn the Bases over to JPN; and bring the Troops HOME.  Send them there for Weeks-long Exercises, or port calls during Deployments, etc.

SOFAs have worn out the Welcome Mats Abroad.


Mustafa Kemal's picture

"First close all the ones in Germany.  Make that all of Europe."

Turkey has many military bases, but ALL of them are in Turkey

Ace006's picture

The Turks wanted to put some bases in Syria but Vladimir said it was probably a bad idea.

JailBanksters's picture

Really ?!?

If they didn't have these bases all around the world,

there wouldn't be any room in the USA for all the People in the USA.

And in the eye of the Pentagram, the USA still doesn't have enough bases.


keep the bastards honest's picture

thats the problem what do they do with the guys coming back to the USA ... Okinawa oldies have been picketing for  years and years everyday for the uS basese to go... dont want the noise the drunk killer drivers, the kidnaps and raping and killing of young women and girls.

VWAndy's picture

I never voted to be the worlds biggest bully. Its a no win deal.

European American's picture

Peace would be considerably more cost effective, and healthier for all involved.

Ungaro's picture

Isolated regional wars and skirmishes lead to no good, as in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Libya, etc. We spend a ton of money, kill thousands and some Americans and do not achieve any kind of advantage, only more terrorists. So, maintaining distant bases in support of regional conflicts makes no sense. Nation building is not a military mission. The military exists to destroy things, to put down an identifiable enemy (military opponents) and not to build nations, wage a war on drugs or even terrorism.

We need our military to defend our country against existential threats and not for being an extension of law enforcement. What might such threats look like in the 21st century? Satellite-based EMP weapons? Massive cyber warfare attacks? Financial derivatives used to shut down our banking system? Tanks, new aircraft carriers and ICBMs deployed along the Polish-Ukranian border are not going to cut it.

In the ever so humble opinion of this USAF veteran, the greatest threat to the security of the US lurks within the hallowed halls of the US Congress and the departments of the executive branch and not in the deserts of the Middle East, Africa or Asia. We need to learn to let other countries be, even if they are not or don't like us, and become content with selling them Cokes, iPhones and 787 Dreamliners.

Lost in translation's picture


Signed sincerely,

Another USAF Veteran

taggaroonie's picture

but but but those jets planes look sooo cool

Ed Jobb's picture

$220 000 to kill each Jihadist.
Sooooo glad you finally got a business man in
charge. Trump may cut that to the cost of a .223

wildbad's picture

i think a .338 is more his style

johnnycanuck's picture

I's say he's packing a blunderbuss.  Just south of his nose.

Mustafa Kemal's picture

"Trump may cut that to the cost of a .223"

What a wonderful idea, but I dont the MIC gonna like that. 

English herbsman's picture

No shit. 

Close em down. Protect your borders instead of protecting "interests" aka cheap oil to keep the serfs quiet.  

PrivetHedge's picture

ironically that cheap oil has now cost us about $10Tn in the past few years.

It's a bit like nuclear - sometimes effort to obtain it, burn it and store it costs more than any possible net energy gain.

Wahooo's picture

(don't forget about the lives) squeek the brown people.

Mustafa Kemal's picture

Yes, we have actually closed a military base. See how sad it looks in the movie?

What is your point?

okyoureabeast's picture

Zerohedge has too many guest posters posting crap. Which boot do you prefer to lick: USA, China, or Russia? Pick one.

land_of_the_few's picture

Love the smell of false equivalence and revisionism in the morning.

Fireman's picture

Obviously when USSA only needs to print more of its "exhorbitant privilege" IOU petrosrip I$I$ backed Sadui Mercan dollah to drown its occupied vassals in toilet paper "reserve currency" crap then the scam will continue until enough spineless va$$al$ tell USSA to flush its blood-spattered, s#it-smeared paper. The day is fast approaching when the tsunami of toxic derivative sludge and unbacked Pentacon Inc fiat filth washes over the USSA and takes the entire chosen race of satanic banksters in their Wall St sewer and the facade of the Potemkin Village "economy" of carnage down the crud caked bowl of USSA'S ignominious and brief history.

SixIsNinE's picture

sounds like a society on the verge of Mad Max.

that's not good.

how about supporting more music -

personally the areas of electronic house music and expand it out to include all the major genres, UKG garage, tech deep electronic dance music drum & bass , just so many flavors that it too many to list - and how i just want to share this music with a small group of music afficionados - Balearic House the Barcelona-Ibiza Sound ...

incredibly great energy sounds give deep satisfaction -

MPJones's picture

Start by getting out of Europe, especially the eastern countries, thus reducing tension at the Russian border.

Joshua Falken's picture

British film maker, John Pilger just released "The Coming War on China" where.he highlights that the American military aggressively enclose, encroach and contain China.  The imperialist aggression of the State Department, NSA and Pentagon, particularly towards Russia in Eastern Europe, Turkey, Syria and The Ukraine.

U.S. hegemony is over and The White House needs to oversee on orderly transition.


Last year, Gideon Rachmann published Easterinisation: War and Peace in the. Asian Century talking about Asia finally regaining its dominant position in global culture and economics after a 600 year hiatus.

X- x3's picture

John Pilger is Australian, and, a wonderful human being.


"John Richard Pilger is an Australian journalist based since 1962 in the United Kingdom.More at Wikipedia ".


As for (((Gideon Rachmann))) .....who writes for the(((Rothschild))) ......owned(((ECONOMIST))) , I avoid such poison-propaganda zio-nwo Protocol Timeline stories.

After having read the *Protocols of Zion*, I know the game plan.

Read it folks.

Familiarise yourselves with The Plan.

They are absolutely on schedule:

Brother Nathanael

does an excellent quick analysis here: *The Illustrated Protocols Of Zion*


Peak Bull's picture

I think we need more bases. One for every liberal US city and town. Sanctuary cities get a bonus minimum of 4 each.

Sparehead's picture

Congress should agree to closing bases, what? Try closing a base and see how much congress members agree, especially the ones with home states sopping up that gravy.


"America" does not have too many bases. The world has too many American bases. 850+ worldwide. Instead of closing bases at home and destroying our local economies, why the hell dont they consider closing the un needed bases abroad? Because then we cant be constantly at WAR! Thats why. Inhave a really great idea.... lets starve our own people while we stimulate and enrich other cuntries. Sounds great huh? You wanna save billions? Then cut off isrealhell! Thatll do it right there. Why are our pols-including the jooo dicksucker trump-so fucking greedy and arrogant. This cuntry will never be GREAT again. Period. Chump lied like a rug. Same as all the other shitheads holding pubic oriffice. I think its time for plan b. Or c. Whichever entails pitchforks and lampposts.

lakecity55's picture

Don't they mean foreign bases?

There is a BRAC Committee in the CONUS that regulary reviews bases here.

(Base Re-alignment and Closure Comm.)