The Government Taketh Away: The Politics of Pain in the United States and Canada

By Leslie A. Pal; R. Kent Weaver | Go to book overview

6
CLOSING MILITARY BASES

LILLY J. GOREN AND P. WHITNEY LACKENBAUER

DOMESTIC MILITARY BASE CLOSURES NEVER SEEM TO CONSTITUTE EASY decisions for democratic governments either to make or to implement. Both the United States and Canada have faced a number of expected difficulties in their respective efforts to consolidate and modernize their domestic basing situations. Over the past quarter of a century, both countries have run into significant roadblocks every time the military requested that elected representatives consent to the closure of military bases.

Although the number of bases in the United States (historically and currently) dwarfs the relatively tiny number in Canada (at approximately a 20:1 ratio), and would thus make the issue seem almost incomparable on grounds of magnitude, several salient factors make this case study relevant. In both countries, extraneous infrastructure costs were seen as representing a significant portion of military expenditures. Furthermore, in both Canada and the U.S. there is the complication of the distribution of military bases across the country. Both Canada and the U.S. faced a situation where any particular area or region might find their “defense dollar” losses apparently greater than another region’s or area’s losses. Both countries’ basing structures had grown up and evolved in a haphazard manner, mostly rooted in responding to various threats over extended periods of time. Certain U.S. bases, for example, were first built to protect against the British invasion in the War of 1812, or to get B-47s with atomic bombs as close to the Soviet Union as possible before the age of intercontinental missiles and jet planes. In Canada, the Second

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The Government Taketh Away: The Politics of Pain in the United States and Canada
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • American Governance and Public Policy Series ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • List of Tables and Figures xi
  • 1 - The Politics of Pain 1
  • 2 - Cutting Old-Age Pensions 41
  • 3 - Controlling Health Care Costs for the Aged 71
  • 4 - Telecommunications Deregulation 107
  • 5 - Tobacco Control 137
  • 6 - Closing Military Bases 167
  • 7 - Siting Nuclear Waste 195
  • 8 - Gun Control 233
  • 9 - Abortion 263
  • 10 - Conclusions 293
  • Contributors 329
  • Index 333
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