Make the U.S. Military More Effective and Efficient!
Congress: Close Half of the 800 Domestic/Foreign Bases in 70 Countries!
The recent fiasco in Niger where four brave warriors were ambushed by a terrorist group underscores a serious problem. I have been a constant and constructive critic of our military which I have served in one way or another [pro bono] for several decades. Previously, I focused on the need for DOD to develop clear strategies and beef up requirements for tactical, operational expertise/support.
Now I am calling out the self-serving congressional representatives who refuse to close a significant number of our unnecessary bases both at home and overseas. The reason for these closures is obvious. We don’t need them in a 21st century hi-tech military which relies on cyber weapons and advanced weapons systems. Such modern technology can be placed in anywhere and everywhere.
These unnecessary bases supposedly provide an income source for the congressional constituents in all of our states. However, they are in fact sucking away valuable resources needed for increased training and military support for our forward based fighting troops.
The example of Niger is perfect. We provided four military operatives to the Niger military. As a result of the absence of funding for American air support, we had to rely on the French fighter jets which could not arrive in time. Had we the necessary funds to station fighter jets beyond the purview of Djibouti, these four warrior lives might have been saved.
Here is how the math works out when we have bases that provide civilian jobs but provide absolutely no military value.
In fiscal year 2014, bases and troops overseas cost over $100B. Total warzones maintenance cost us close to $200B. [Politico, David Vine 7/15].
A nine member BRAC Commission, consisting primarily of civilians recommended the closing of the following bases in 9/15/11: [Wikipedia]
- Fort McPherson, Georgia
- Fort Gillem, Georgia
- Naval Submarine Base New London in Connecticut.
- Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine
- Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota
- Fort Monmouth in New Jersey
- Defense and Accounting Service in New York
- Fort Monroe , Virginia
- Brooks City Base, Texas
The list today is even larger. Almost every state has old unnecessary bases that are sucking the money away from job training for actual 21st occupations. Americans are caught in a symbiotic bad relationship between our so-called representatives and our military force structure. Representatives, whether Dems or Reps, have held the military bases hostage as way of forcing our military to remain in places they don’t belong. Example: Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman insisted that his citizens build the outdated Abrams tanks which our Pentagon informed him were completely useless. He built them despite the fact that it drained hundreds of millions of dollars from our fighting forces [Ret. Chairman JCS Army General Marty Dempsey fought against this waste of money but unfortunately lost]. Portman like most of the privileged conservative/neocon Dartmouth draft-dodgers [worked for Robert Zoelleck another MIA in the US military], wasted countless billions of dollars that could have been used for increased training and aerial support for troops in overseas combat areas.
I am sick and tired of listening to the arcane, inane, entitled congressmen/senators who never served our country in real combat situations sit in their ivory towers absent of concern for our budgets and national security.
As a veteran of several overseas conflict zones, I have a duty as an American citizen to deride our so-called representatives who are too busy traveling around the world like Republicans Portman, and Ted Yoho [ AWOL after Fla. Storms] than worrying about their constituents and our DOD force structure. It’s time to replace them as well as increase the powers of the BRACs.
Thomas Paine, said the following:
“I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children can live in peace.”
Also he added:
“Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.”