Charges Administration Lacks Political Will to Cut Costs : Goldwater Would Close 22 Military Sites

Associated Press

Sen. Barry Goldwater made public Tuesday a list of 22 military facilities around the country that he said could be closed for a savings of $500 million a year if the White House were willing to endorse so politically unpopular an idea.

Goldwater, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that the list had been provided by Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger in response to Goldwater's request for ways to cut defense spending.

But the document Goldwater released noted that it "should not be considered an official Department of Defense representation," even though it was prepared by the Pentagon.

Last month, the Arizona Republican suggested that closing obsolete bases was one way to cut defense spending. But at that time he did not cite any specific bases.

It would cost $2.5 billion to close the bases because of the expense of moving personnel and reassigning duties, Goldwater said. But the Defense Department would save money in the long run, he said.

"What this really means," Goldwater said of the list, is that the Pentagon thinks the facilities "could be closed with little or no adverse effect on our national security."

But "the White House, for a variety of political and other reasons, is unwilling to endorse such a proposal," Goldwater said.

The list released by Goldwater includes two bases in California, the Naval Air Rework Facility in Alameda and the Naval Regional Medical Center in Oakland.

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