Base Realignment and Closure

Base realignment and closure (BRAC) refers to the process created by Congress in 1988 to close or realign surplus American military bases. This entry explains the origins, process, and political involvement in the BRAC processes.

Origins of Base Closure

The United States dramatically expanded its military base infrastructure during World War II, leaving it with a surplus of shipyards, army forts, air bases, and a host of other military facilities when the war ended in 1945. The U.S. Department of Defense responded to this excess base capacity by closing hundreds of military facilities prior to 1977, until Congress in that year passed a highly restrictive law that eliminated most closures. The congressional act stemmed from both congressional fears of the political consequences of base closure–related job losses ...

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