Washington D.C. – Future funding for the Guam Military Buildup hit a wall of opposition during a meeting in Washington Tuesday of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support.
During that meeting, Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri who Chairs the Subcommittee said “I am pleased that we were able to include provisions arising out of the work of Senator Levin, Senator McCain and Senator Webb to require sound planning and justification before we spend more money for the Marine Corps realignment from Okinawa to Guam and on tour normalization in Korea.”
“With regards to Guam our provisions would address substantial increases in cost by requiring the Commandant of the Marine Corps to certify his preferd force lay down in the Pacific. And then require the Secretary of Defense to provide the Congress with a Master Plan for implementation of the buildup before spending more money.”
“This should provide the Congress with greater clarity of the scope, schedule and cost of this large and complex undertaking.”
Senator McCaskill went on to say “You’ll see a theme here. This subcommittee will not authorize such multibillion-dollar projects without showing the rigorous analysis behind why we are doing what we are doing and a well-thought-out master plan of how we are going to get it done at a set cost and on a set schedule. This is oversight at its most basic level.”
McCaskill’s tough talk comes on the heels of a warning issued last month by Armed Services Committee Chairman Senator Carl Levin, and fellow Senators Jim Webb and John McCain who called the military’s realignment plans for East Asia “unrealistic, unworkable and unaffordable.”
And her remarks also echo a Government Accountability Office report that found the military has not yet produced a master plan on the realignment or provided accurate cost estimates of what it would cost.