To the Editor:
David Vine (“Shut Bases There, Save Money Here,” Op-Ed, July 27) treats bases as mere military holding areas, overlooking their utility in military readiness and foreign policy.
Military readiness faces constant entropy, requiring manning, training and equipping support. Overseas bases provide that support, allowing forces to spend less time in transit and more time forward: deterring, reassuring and reacting. No study disavows the faster response or impact of forces already on scene; it’s physics.
Allied interoperability is built as we observe our adversaries and cultivate crisis-avoiding normalization. What bases in the United States lack in forward presence they gain in lower costs and the engagement they provide between local communities and their warfighters.
Basing in general provides strategic flexibility. A proliferation of bases decreases risk, creating redundancy if facilities are disabled or harbors blocked. Because of increasing demands and decreasing resources, bases have been deprioritized and may seem a burden. But those who see robust basing as a luxury do not understand the critical utility of their services, locations and number.
MATTHEW RICHARD HIPPLE
LT Hipple and I have been Facebook friends for some time now. And he’s part of a vibrant community of junior officers seeking to improve the state of operational and strategic thinking in the service.
One normally doesn’t look to Lieutenants for deep thoughts, as they’re usually still learning the master the basics of their craft. But in the Navy, a fundamental understanding of strategy is a great help to mastering the basics.