Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Readers Write

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Readers Write

Article excerpt

Even some 'hawks' want military base closures

Your April 12 article "Defense priority No. 1: military readiness," correctly illuminates the broad strategy and spending issues facing the Bush administration. However, not only "doves" recognize that new rounds of base closures will effectively reduce excess infrastructure and provide resources for more important military needs.

Vietnam veteran Sen. John McCain and Sen. Carl Levin, the ranking members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, have sponsored legislation authorizing two new rounds of base closures in 2003 and 2005.

Sen. John Warner, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has publicly acknowledged the need to revisit base closures in the face of a 23 percent excess in infrastructure. Even President Bush in his budget outline introduced in February took the opportunity to mention the necessity of closing excess bases.

Regardless of the size of the defense budget, there is no room for waste and inefficiency. Closing or realigning bases works to ensure that the nation's military has adequately balanced infrastructure with the needs of the fighting force.

Alise Valene Frye Washington

Justice is key to Yugoslavia's healing

In her April 12 opinion piece "Help Yugoslavia heal," Helena Cobban calls for the United States to grant Serbia financial aid and devise a Marshall-like plan "to help all the peoples of former Yugoslavia heal." She is concerned with how to help "Serbia's fledgling democracy thrive and prosper" and overlooks the facts that democracy was never absent in Serbia and that Slobodan Milosevic was democratically elected twice during the 1990s to launch his genocidal wars in the Balkans.

Ms. Cobban's claim that "The question of Milosevic's future has become yesterday's news" is both insensitive and baseless. Let us not forget, for example, that Mr. Milosevic and his fellow war criminals masterminded and perpetrated the mass killing and rape of over 200,000 innocent people in Bosnia. …

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