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first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR As about two dozen communities contemplate the impact of the Army’s announcement last week about new force reductions, a Cato Institute researcher highlights the ability of regions coping with significant cuts in military spending to bounce back.“Communities do adapt and recover, some more quickly than others, and many emerge after the transition period with a robust and more diversified economic base,” Christopher Preble, Cato’s vice president for defense and foreign policy studies, writes in a blog post.Preble’s preliminary conclusion comes at approximately the midway point of a research project assessing how communities responded after local bases were closed through either the BRAC process or other means. He also is looking at the impact of the closure of privately owned and operated facilities that primarily supplied DOD customers.“In other words, the resources once directed toward the military do eventually find their way to more productive uses,” he states.At the same time, Preble acknowledges the anxiety communities feel after learning about a pending realignment or closure. “Change can be (and often is) difficult, and transitions are precisely that. But it gets better,” he says.Taking into consideration the robust opportunity for communities to move on following a closure, the increased transparency of the BRAC process over the Army’s latest deliberations, and the excess capacity in defense infrastructure, Preble argues for a new BRAC round. “Or several.”last_img read more