New Jersey Military Bases In The Crosshairs
Nearly 100 bases have been closed nationwide since 1988, when the Defense Department began restructuring by closing installations and consolidating missions at others. New Jersey lost only one base in previous rounds but the odds are not favorable that the state will survive what would be the largest single group of closures yet.
"Political clout is certainly a factor," said Rep Rush D. Holt, D-N.J., whose central New Jersey district includes Fort Monmouth. "There are some bases that should be closed and won't be because of the clout of local politicians." New Jersey is primarily Democratic, a factor that could work against it now that President Bush has won re-election and Republicans have kept control of both houses in Congress. More here.
We’d like to make a few suggestions to our representatives in Washington. We’re quite certain the loss of jobs and government money is not popular in any state – so let the military choose the bases to be closed and when. We believe it is unlikely for the Pentagon to recommend a base be closed if it is deemed essential to the security of the country.
Our congressmen should convince their colleagues to vote up or down on the military’s entire list of recommendations - with no cherry picking. They should fight to save a New Jersey base only if its closure is selected by the congress and not the military. Should our congressmen fail to be effective advocates for the state and the country as a whole, they should be replaced in the next election. Why continue sending these guys to Congress and the Senate if they can't get the job done?