A valiant effort
June 8, 2003
U.S. Sens. Thad Cochran and Trent Lott, both Republicans of Mississippi, made a valiant effort last week but failed to end the upcoming 2005 round of military base closures. An amendment they offered on the Senate floor to defense legislation failed on a 42-to-53 vote. The amendment would have stopped the base closure process.
The net result is that the Pentagon's desire to get rid of 25 percent or so of U.S. military installations will continue to stay open. An independent base closure commission will recommend bases to be closed and any military base on that list will have to prove its worth.
Lott made the point that before the U.S. closes bases in this country it ought to examine overseas installations for waste or duplicative services. Should the U.S., for example, still be defending Germany and France with heavy armor divisions? The Defense Department is marching ahead with base closure, and cities in Mississippi where such installations are located must remain on alert, ready to act if necessary to protect themselves.