13 May 2005
WASHINGTON – US Defence Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was due on Friday to reveal a list of US military bases which are to be shut or scaled back, including many bases in Germany.
Half of the 305 American military facilities in Germany are expected to close, according to Defense Department officials. Around 70,000 US personnel will return to the US from Europe. The cuts are the first in ten years.
The highly confidential list, which has been two years in the making, will trigger intense efforts by communities and their lobbyists to save their bases from closure. Local economies are often heavily dependent on military bases.
The decision as to which bases are to close is based primarily on a base's military value, said Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Michael Wynne in remarks to reporters. The impact of a closure on the local community and economy was a secondary factor, he added.
The final list will have to be approved by US President George W. Bush. After that, Congress will vote to accept or reject the complete list.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: German news
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