Does the Army Have a National Land Strategy?

By David Rubenson; Robert Weissler et al. | Go to book overview

SUMMARY

The United States military has a long-term need to access land for training, testing, and other military functions. As a result, numerous military installations are involved in land initiatives aimed at preserving or expanding military land holdings. However, critics claim that declining defense budgets should reduce the need for military land. They argue that there is an aggregate oversupply of military land and that there has been a failure to optimize use. Military land initiatives are seen as driven by an inability to share resources among different military organizations. The critics see the military as indulging in “land grabs” instead of relying on a comprehensive land-use strategy that sets priorities for land initiatives. In this view, the military seems unable to determine its aggregate land needs.

The purpose of this report is to explore this criticism of military landuse policy and determine how the Department of Defense can most appropriately respond. We focus on Army needs and processes, but the implications are relevant to all the services. The issue is critical because 30 percent of DoD lands will come under congressional scrutiny in 2001 with the expiration of the 1986 Military Lands Withdrawal Act. This could coincide with an additional round of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. Together, these two activities could constitute a review of the entire military basing structure.

We begin by analyzing the organizational and physical boundaries within the DoD and Army land base. We show how the DoD land base is divided among the military services (Army, Navy, Air Force,

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