A FEDERAL commission's recommendations for shutting 25 more military bases have caused understandable anguish in the communities that will lose thousands of jobs and millions in income. But closing bases is as necessary as it is painful. The commission did its unpleasant work with intelligence, compassion and admirable independence.
It is no mystery why Congress ducked this chore. Thousands of jobs are at stake. Small towns and big cities long dependent on huge bases like Fort Devens in Massachusetts, Long Beach Naval Station in California and the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard will have to build a new economic base. Families will have to
build new lives. But there's time. The closings will come gradually, over several years, and the Pentagon stands ready to help with the adjustment.