Friday, May 13, 2005

BRAC: I'm watching the coverage of the latest round of DoD's base realignment and closure. As usual, it's a wild pork toss. (Even Democrats love the military when it comes to bases in their districts; a base means guaranteed paychecks that don't suck on local taxes for infrastructure, and it means a boon to local businesses and services, since the DoD is big on outsourcing these days.) Every politician in the country is on TV this morning, claiming that the military station or base in his district is the lynchpin for national security.

I'm not a military analyst, so I can't say who has a valid point. My DoD experience tells me that this list was pretty carefully constructed. New England is bitching a lot about losing so many jobs, but there are so many DoD jobs in New England to begin with because of congressional "pull" in the past. A look at the closure list shows a certain amount of method: closing and consolidating reserve centers, depots, and finance and accounting units. Big closures like Ft. Monmouth and New London are firmly in the minority.

If nothing else, we're seeing an unusually transparent and public parade of parochial interests right now. Best guess: Some powerful senators may be able to grab some minor relief, but not much.

More: I don't mean to sound cavalier. The wrong BRAC policy could send my dumb ass back to editing publicity materials at a rinky-dink mid-Atlantic college. Gack! No, I feel for the folks who are getting hit by this. But the government owes nobody a job, least of all me.

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