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Pentagon’s Cost Estimate for Posture Changes in Asia Incomplete, GAO Says

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  • May 30, 2011
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The Defense Department’s plan to realign its forces in South Korea, Japan and Guam could cost the United States and its allies $46.7 billion or more through 2020, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

DOD is conducting the initiatives without comprehensive cost information or an analysis of alternatives, hampering policy makers from determining the most affordable strategy. In South Korea, officials plan to extend tours to three years and allow service members to bring along their families, requiring a massive construction program to accommodate thousands of new residents at Camp Humphreys. The existing cost estimate for initiatives in South Korea is $18 billion, but the assessment is incomplete, the study found.

The $10.3 billion estimate of the cost to move 8,600 Marines and about 9,000 dependents from Okinawa to Guam — to be split between Japan and the United States — could rise by $7.1 billion, according to Marine Corps estimates. DOD also has not included the cost of equipping and maintaining facilities Japan will construct to support the realignment of forces there.

“DOD is unable to ensure that all costs are fully accounted for or determine if resources are adequate to support the program,” the agency concluded in regard to the military’s planned moves of its Pacific forces.

Read the story in Stars and Stripes.

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