CSIS hosted a roundtable discussion on the prospects for rationalizing the Department of Defense’s real property assets in a strategic context. These experts from across the political spectrum and with widely divergent views on national security nevertheless agreed that some process for base closure and realignment was needed. They also discussed how any future base closure and realignment process needed to learn from the past, to be fair to the local communities, and to accommodate congressional concerns.
One of the largest sources of waste in the defense budget is the massive number of excess bases DoD maintains in the United States. The military has requested permission from Congress to launch another round of base closures every year, projecting savings of roughly $2 billion per year. But every year, Congress denies those requests.
On Tuesday, the Trump administration plans to release its first budget request to Congress, which will include a detailed budget proposal for defense. This will be the first chance to see the specific priorities of the new administration and gauge whether campaign rhetoric about growing the military will become administration policy.