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DOD Takes Hard Look at Bases, Deployments as Budgets Decline

By Brian W. Everstine

The Pentagon needs to take a look at the need for overseas bases, deployments, and exercises as the country grapples with the fiscal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and other priorities, the military’s top officer said Dec. 2. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley, speaking at a virtual Brookings Institution event, said the Defense Department’s budget, after years of growth, will “start flattening out.” and “could actually decline significantly.” The Defense Department needs to adjust its priorities to ensure it can optimize the money it does get, he said. “There’s a considerable amount of money that the United States expends on overseas deployments, or overseas bases and locations, etc. Is every one of those absolutely positively necessary for the defense of the United States? Is every one of them tied to a national security interest? Is every one of those exercises that we do really, critically important?” asked Milley.