The Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Process: The Heritage Foundation's Research

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The Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Process: The Heritage Foundation's Research

September 1, 2005 4 min read
The Heritage Foundation

By eliminating excess infrastructure, the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process saves billions of dollars, redirects defense resources to their most important uses, and encourages cooperation between the different branches of the armed forces. The rapid transformation of America's foreign policy following September 11, 2001, does not diminish, but enhances the importance of BRAC in the nation's overall national security strategy. BRAC frees up resources for investment in the force of tomorrow and helps to create a flexible, efficient environment supportive of the broader shifts needed to confront the new challenges of the 21st century.


BRAC Wars, Episode Three

by Jack Spencer and Kathy Gudgel

July 18, 2005

A recent event co-hosted by The Heritage Foundation and the Minuteman Institute for National Defense Studies examined the issues surrounding the 2005 round of BRAC, specifically those that concern the National Guard and the states. Two Adjutant Generals who are actively dealing with BRAC issues in their states echoed concerns voiced at previous events that neither they-nor their senior leadership-were fully part of the process. Another concern, they said, was that the contributions of the National Guard were not fully appreciated by Washington bureaucrats. Other panelists disagreed, arguing that the Pentagon had the responsibility to make decisions based on national security and that the information-gathering process should be focused more on national concerns then on state or local concerns.


BRAC and Per Capita Income

by Jack Spencer

July 8. 2005

Critics charge that the BRAC process devastates communities economically. To begin with, the Department of Defense is not a jobs pro­gram; its foremost aim should be national security. But beyond even that, this criticism is untrue. A Heritage Foundation Center for Data Analysis study of per capita income in counties that have been affected by BRAC shows that healthy economic growth is the norm. When communities are proactive and creative in responding to BRAC, they prosper. Over 115,000 jobs have been created in past recovery efforts. In addition to running through the numbers, this paper looks at how towns and counties hosting listed bases can hit the ground running in the BRAC process.


Base Realignment and Closure: National Guard and Regional Implications

by Jack Spencer and Kathy Gudgel

May 23, 2005

A recent conference hosted by The Heritage Foundation and the Minuteman Institute for National Defense Studies considered the potential ramifications of the latest round of BRAC on the National Guard. The Guard faces unique challenges in the BRAC process, but BRAC presents the Guard, like other services, with many opportunities.


BRAC Must Not Be Delayed

by Jack Spencer

May 20, 2004

Before transformation can fully succeed, the Pentagon must make the best use of its scarce resources and create an environment that invites and supports change. An intelligently executed BRAC will help to achieve this by creating a solid foundation on which to build the future force, and it will free the resources necessary to reinvest in the force of today and tomorrow. Delaying the BRAC process and requiring additional studies to be completed before the process can commence is not justified.


Making the 2005 BRAC a Success

by Jack Spencer and Kathy Gudgel

March 29, 2005

Some critics charge that with the U.S. military engaged in the war on terror, fighting in Iraq, and facing uncertain future threats, now is not the time for BRAC. But the Department of Defense has too much infrastructure, and the money, resources, and personnel invested in it could be put to better use. BRAC would help to focus resources on realigning, training, and moving a 21st century fighting force that has outgrown its 20th century support structure.


Before the Overseas Basing Commission

by Jack Spencer

September 1, 2004

President George W. Bush announced on August 16, 2004, that the United States will alter its overseas basing infrastructure in the coming years. Today, maintaining excess base infrastructure at home and abroad is draining much-needed resources. To maximize efficiency on the battlefield, the Pentagon must begin by improving efficiency in its support structures. This efficiency will free up dollars that can be reinvested to help the Department of Defense achieve the rapid deployment capabilities that it seeks and build in the flexibility needed to respond to threats as they emerge in the future.


The Defense Authorization Bill: A Survival Guide

by Jack Spencer, Baker Spring, Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., Brett D. Schaefer, and John J. Tkacik

July 20, 2004

The primary arguments for delaying BRAC are false. The Pentagon has been in a state of continuous review for a number of years and has a sound understanding of its force requirements, and has been arguing for additional rounds of BRAC since 1998. The Pentagon must make the best use of its scarce resources and create an environment that invites and supports change. BRAC sets a good example in this regard and increases overall flexibility.


Guidelines for a Successful BRAC

by Jack Spencer

January 6, 2004

The Office of the Secretary of Defense has released proposed selection criteria to guide the next round of BRAC. While the criteria will ensure that military, economic, and environmental value will all be considered, a broader set of guidelines that work hand in hand with the criteria would guide the process toward achieving the Pentagon's transformation objective. If intelligently executed, BRAC can help to ensure a successful long-term defense transformation.


The Heritage Foundation