A Look at Current U.S. Security Issues

(Article originally published by the Carnegie Council)

As part of the ongoing debate over the budget and potential for “sequestration” at the end of the year, the administration appears to be trying to make a case for BRAC as it defends the details of its annual budget proposal.

Some may argue that this is simply an effort to “encourage” Congress to confront the issue of reducing the nation’s overall deficit through both budget cuts and tax increases. Others could suggest it is in response to the House-passed budget that attempts to prevent sequestration, in part, by large reductions in social programs. Clearly, few congressmen are interested in BRAC during an election year. Still, the battle lines are being drawn in this part of the debate and the administration presented some of its proposals in concert with its requests for military construction.

In congressional testimony, the Pentagon’s chief financial officer told the Senate Armed Forces Committee that the Defense Department’s (DOD) request for $11.2 billion for military construction and family housing in the fiscal 2013 budget would “balance the armed forces’ needs with the nation’s economic situation.” Comptroller Robert F. Hale also requested more rounds of base realignments and closures in fiscal 2013 and 2015. He argued that “Even with planned force cuts . . . BRAC is the only effective means to meet that goal.”

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