Closing bases could cost billions

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Dec 12, 2007

TEXT OF STORY

Doug Krizner: Today, a congressional hearing looks at the cost of closing military bases. According to the Government Accountability Office, the Pentagon’s numbers are off — by billions. More from Nancy Marshall Genzer.


Nancy Marshall Genzer: The GAO says it’ll cost $10 billion more to close the bases than the Pentagon estimated two years ago. The House Armed Services readiness subcommittee will ask the Pentagon brass to explain their math at today’s hearing.

Texas Democrat Solomon Ortiz chairs the subcommittee:

Solomon Ortiz: We’re not going to see any savings. And we’ve got two wars going on, and we’re spending money like sailors who do a little drinking.

Pentagon defenders say members of Congress are just trying to protect unneeded bases in their districts.

On the other hand, Christopher Hellman of the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation says the Pentagon could be guilty of “fuzzy math.”

Christopher Hellman: Obviously, the military has a vested interest in seeing these facilities close, and therefore they’re going to use the best set of figures for making their case.

Members of Congress are expected to point out the Pentagon’s fuzzy math in arguing against the base closures today. But analysts say no matter how bad the calculations, they’re not likely to change any minds.

In Washington, I’m Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

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