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January 15, 2015 — Association of Defense Communities

One week after taking the reins of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) revealed a strong reluctance to consider authorizing a new round of base closures, and underscored the need to better define the future roles and missions of the nation’s military before going ahead.

“We are still having a discussion in this country about what the role of the United States is in the world and about what sort of military capabilities we need to fulfill that role. Once you give up a base or a training range, it’s gone forever,” Thornberry told CQ.

“And, personally, I’m not comfortable yet saying we will never need this base or this training range until we sort our way through this bigger question of what kind of military capabilities are we going to need to fulfill the role that we intend to play in the world,” he said.

The new chairman also noted that DOD is not in a position to foot the upfront cost of a new BRAC round. Still, Thornberry said he would consider the request for a new BRAC once the military’s future requirements become more certain.

“I’m not saying, ‘Never BRAC,’” he told CQ. “I am saying that the last one left a bitter taste in a lot of people’s mouths. And personally I’m cautious about giving things up that you can never get back.”

 

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