The battle for military-industrial pork is about to get real ugly, real fast:
For the first time in a decade, communities across the country are bracing for a major round of military base closings, and they are mounting aggressive lobbying campaigns to stave off cuts and other changes that some independent experts say could dwarf the previous four rounds combined.
Pentagon officials say all 425 domestic bases are under scrutiny, as the military looks to squeeze efficiencies and billions of dollars in savings from a cold-war network that has nearly 25 percent more capacity than what the armed services say they need.
After more than two years of exhaustive study, Pentagon analysts are putting the finishing touches on a list of recommendations that Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld will present to a nine-member independent commission for review. Scores of Pentagon analysts and auditors have been poring over data and dozens of options as part of an exhaustive effort that is intended to mesh with Mr. Rumsfeld’s broader goals to make the military more agile and responsive to security threats.
Let’s see- You have the Pentagon, the individual branches of the service, Rumsfeld, 535 members of Congress, 50 state Governors, numerous unions, numerous state and local government officials, hundreds of lobbying firms, and numerous corporations all of whom have an opinion. If you remember how this went in the early 90’s, this is going to be UGLY.
Just an aside- iwe need to remember why this information is being presented to an independent Base Closure Commission.
Because Congress is too afraid and too gutless to make the decisions themselves. Then again, this does give them the time they need to get onto the really important issues of the day, like interviewing Jose Canseco and grandstanding and subpoenaing Terry Schiavo.