NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

BEALE Update, It is all politics

Leon E. Panetta, California is key to transformation of nation's defense, in Monday’s San Francisco Chronicle
As a former chairman of the House Budget Committee and director of the federal Office of Management and Budget, I do not question the need to streamline and transform our military infrastructure. But for that process to work fairly and effectively, the military and the national BRAC Commission have an obligation to consider all of the facts relating to military readiness.

Unfortunately, that has not always been the case. In the last base closure rounds in 1988, 1991, 1993 and 1995, of the total bases closed or realigned in the nation, 30 percent were in California -- more than any other state. California lost fully 50 percent of the jobs associated with these BRAC closures and realignments and more than $10 billion in economic losses. This does not include the huge costs of lost economic development due to the delays in transferring the bases to local communities.

But the real tragedy was that California did a lousy job in defending the important assets that it brings to our national defense. There was little if any help or support provided by the state, the governor, the Legislature or the congressional delegation.

Each community affected by a base closure was left to fight its own battle, and the Defense Department picked the state apart. Too few communities had the financial resources or military expertise necessary to ensure that any wrong information or perceptions were corrected.

In the absence of a strong coordinated effort by this state to make the arguments on behalf of these bases, former Defense Department officials familiar with the base-closure process have confirmed that many of the closures were based more on the politics of California than on future defense needs.
Right, it was and is all politics. Read it all here.

Remember the Air Force has ordered a Global Hawk ground station for Langley AFB in VA, and Senator John Warner. Republican from VA, is Chariman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. An who are our Democratic Senators, and where do they stand with the military? Where were they during the last round of base closings? Right!

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