Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) 2005 : Congressional dialogue and decision
Powers, Robert C.
Doyle, Richard B.
Thomas, Gail F.
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On December 13, 2001, the 107th Congress authorized a round of base realignment and closure (BRAC) for 2005. This policy decision was preceded by years of political dispute and dialogue between Congress and the executive branch. Much of this debate centered on the Clinton Administration's privatization-in-place of two bases scheduled for closure by the 1995 BRAC Commission and the dispute over estimated BRAC costs and savings. After painstaking compromise and a national security crisis, reformed BRAC legislation was passed, balancing political leadership and national strategy with job loss and disruption to local communities. A comprehensive analysis of journal articles, books, relevant congressional records, government reports, and legislation identifies the variables that explain Congress's decision to amend the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990 and authorize a BRAC round in 2005. Congress eventually approved BRAC 2005 because: (1) a new presidential administration concurred with DoD's argument regarding excessive infrastructure and anticipated savings from BRAC; (2) national economic conditions could not support both spending for excess infrastructure and the war on terrorism; (3) studies confirmed that most communities can rebound economically after a base closure; and (4) the improved BRAC law purportedly reduced the parochial politics of base closings.
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