055117444_BRAC.jpgIn case you hadn't heard, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission is on the road hearing the pleas of advocates for threatened bases around the country. Those pleas typically fall into a couple of categories. First and foremost is the national security case: Proponents of nearly every base slated for closure or significant job loss argue that the country will be significantly weaker if the Pentagon recommendations go through -- that is, the recommendation for their base, at least.Many contend that the Pentagon made some grave error in adding up the pros and cons of closing a particular facility. Some even sue.Other arguments include the "brain drain" stance, which holds that closing Base X will sap the military of its best and brightest, because many won't move once their base is no more. (Thanks to Defense Tech reader Larry for pointing out that I got this wrong in the initial post.)Everyone's always optimistic, too.A Google News search yields dozens of examples of each nearly every day.But here's a new twist:

No sooner had the smoke cleared from the London bombings than assorted U.S. lawmakers seized on the terror attack as a reason to save their military installations from the base-closing ax.Within a day of the July 7 attacks, House Republican leader Tom DeLay of Texas said they demonstrated the necessity of keeping a small fleet of Air National Guard F-16 fighter jets at Ellington Field to protect Houston.In North Dakota, Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad came to the same conclusion about his state's Grand Forks Air Force Base, which the Pentagon wants to shut. Conrad said the London attacks make the closing of his base "indefensible."And in Pennsylvania, where the Base Realignment and Closure Commission was holding a public hearing on the day of the London bombings, GOP Sen. Arlen Specter said the same about the Naval Air Station Willow Grove, about 20 miles north of Philadelphia.
-- posted by Dan Dupont

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