Proving yet again that much of its incessant desire to boost or maintain an already unaffordable military budget is more about politics than safety, Congress is ignoring the Pentagon’s request to shut down unnecessary bases:
The Pentagon has argued for years that multiple bases inside the United States are completely unnecessary, but the concern about losing a lucrative base in their own district has kept much of Congress averse to any talk of closures. The last such closures were in 2005. …
The alternative, it seems, is to simply leave huge, unnecessary bases funded and manned with a skeleton crew, basically forever, to avoid the politically unpopular choice of closing them and the equally unpopular questions to Pentagon brass about how to mothball such facilities in a cost effective way.
Ironically, the House Armed Services Committee—which is directly responsible for nixing the military’s request to get rid of this waste—encouraged the Pentagon to figure out other, less obvious ways to trim the budget:
The Armed Services Committee, interestingly enough, allowed language to remain in the bill calling for the Pentagon to assess its “excess capacity,” but is not letting them address it where it clearly already exists.
This decision is a perfect example of how self-serving politicians are and how badly the Pentagon needs a full audit. The former isn’t likely to change any time soon, but the latter should be a goal of every supporter of limited government.