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Internet Article Review The Economics of Department of Defense Base Closures In its most basic element economist David Colander explains that economics examines how producers and consumers use scarce resources in an attempt to satisfy their unlimited wants Colander 2004 Over the past decade and most recently with the announcement of the Efficient Facilities Initiative the Department of Defense has forged ahead with a plan to complete multiple rounds of military base closures in order to conserve scarce Defense Department funds and resources Despite the events of 911 which served to exacerbate the misalignment of resources recent protests by Presidential candidate John Kerry allege that base closings are driven more by ideology than careful planning Cahlink 2004 The misalignment of military force structures and stateside military infrastructure outlined in Aldridges briefing help to illustrate the macroeconomic concepts of scarcity and supply and demand in a heavily regulated market The most recent effort EFI amends and improves upon the original Base Realignment and Closure BRAC In the 2001 briefing announcing this new initiative Pete Aldridge the Under Secretary of Defense explained that force reductions and changes in force structure led to the operation of somewhere between 20 to 25 percent more infrastructure capacity than we need to meet our operational support and training needs of our forces Aldridge 2001 The legislation subsequently approved by Congress and introduced in this briefing allows the Department of Defense to reduce infrastructure by closing consolidating or realigning bases and facilities in the United States Aldridge 2001 The Department of Defenses EFI and BRAC programs seek to better match facilities supply to force requirements for those facilities demand The changes outlined by the EFI and continuing BRAC plan represent essential steps in the transformation and modernization of the US armed forces Currently the military is operating approximately 25 more infrastructure capacity than necessary to meet the operational support and training needs of American forces Aldridge 2001 Eliminating excess infrastructure capacity excess
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