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Master's Professional Reports Abstract



U.S. Military Base Closures and the Texas Response

This report examines the economic development and adjustment challenges associated with U.S. military base closures and mission realignments. It is intended to provide evidence showing that these challenges warrant the development and implementation of substantive public policy strategies by the State of Texas to assist in the defense economic adjustment of adversely impacted communities that have experienced installation downsizing. In large part, the strategies are warranted because of Texas' defense dependency and the promise of additional base closures and realignments.

The primary method of policy research employed by the author can be referred to as "focused synthesis." Focused synthesis is the selective review of speeches, interviews, press releases, government reports, the deliberations of various advisory and oversight bodies, legislation and executive orders, written material (published and unpublished), relevant existing research, and personal experience.

The report provides a brief executive branch and legislative history of the base closure and realignment process in the U.S., as well as some of the official roles of various governmental bodies in the base closure process. In addition, the report identifies three factors heavily influencing the type and level of assistance provided to adversely affected, defense-dependent, host communities by the State of Texas. The responsibility of the state in this regard and the responses of the administrations of Governor Ann Richards and Governor George Bush are discussed. Particular emphasis is given to the assistance generated by the defense-related advisory bodies that each governor appointed to study the issues surrounding base closures and realignments.

Finally, alternative state government strategies, and associated strategic actions, are submitted for consideration. These include a general philosophical underpinning for approaching the issues involved in defense economic adjustment, an educational and planning program, and a strategic, technology-oriented economic development direction. The creation of a new state Commission to oversee the state's multiple defense-related programs is suggested as an associated action to the first strategy.

-- Author's foreword.