Morning Read: Fighting for Fort Drum

The Watertown Daily Times is reporting that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand plans to hold a meeting to organize the effort to keep Fort Drum off any closure lists as the Army prepares to downsize.

Mrs. Gillibrand’s effort — which grew out of her concerns about the future of Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn — was met with puzzlement in the north country. But the idea of trimming infrastructure to save money, whether by a base closure round or other means, is not far-fetched, say people who have worked on previous base closures or closely follow the defense budget. Indeed, it is likely, they say.

To be clear, no Army officials have singled out Fort Drum for cuts.

But according to the WDT, the Pentagon is looking for a total of $350 billion in cuts over the next decade nationwide and the Army Times has reported plans to cut as many as 50,000 soldier slots.

Any closure or significant downsizing of Fort Drum would have devastating consequences for the Watertown area, which has pinned its prosperity to the enormous military complex.

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4 Comments on “Morning Read: Fighting for Fort Drum”

  1. If Clapton is God, Warren Haynes is Jesus says:

    First of all, we’re talking an average of 35 Billion per year out of a nearly TRILLION dollar annual budget. But domestic base closures? What’s needed is a BRAC process for FOREIGN operated bases. Why are we still in Germany, Japan, Korea, Okinawa, Great Britain, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Quatar, etc? We’re priming the pump of their economies but want to stop it here? We spend billions annually to maintain this empire (most of which is borrowed money) but want more domestic base closures? After we shuttered many dozens in the early 90’s? Pure insanity!

    I hope Senator Gillibrand raises these questions to the Pentagon brass, the Senate Armed Services Committee, and the Senate as a whole and demands to know why we continue such folly 65 years after the end of WWII and 20 + years after the collapse of the USSR.

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  2. Terence says:

    If I were in charge of Watertown, in some alternate universe, I would spend the next few years getting ready for the inevitable cuts. Spend now to fix infrastructure, and attract a mix of businesses. Diversification will soften the blow.

    Unfortunately, the Watertown in this reality shows all the signs of a boom-and-bust military town. Landlords routinely gouge military families with rents that always equal the monthly housing allowance, even though the housing stock is mostly run down.

    My bet is that we’ll all be reading stories about “The Decline of Watertown” in about 10 years — about the time that the short-sighted city planners decide they need to fix up the half-vacant downtown by installing some old-fashioned street lamps.

    Sorry this sounds so gloomy. Hope I’m wrong, and would love to hear evidence to the contrary.

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  3. Mervel says:

    I am really against the overall size of our military and our world police role. However think of the issue facing Fort Drum nationally expanded. A large military draw down right now will do one thing, increase unemployment even more.

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  4. RJ says:

    I think its a good idea to close Ft Drum the people of the North Country dont even respect military they just want a pay check military offers. Alot of soldiers and families suffer by getting stationed up here. And its sad that everyone relys on the military instead of trying figure out how to bring people from outside the area in. The prices are high rents high everyone has there hands out to rip soldiers off and its sad but then cry if the base going to close it will be a blessing if it closes

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