Some of the nation's hundreds of military bases cannot justify their existence.

Many were built during World War II, when service personnel totaled some 12 million. Today's military strength equals about one-sixth that, yet it has been more than a decade since a military base has been closed. Instead, during that time, 13 new bases have been built.According to a recent study headed by two former defense secretaries, up to $5 billion could be saved by closing unneeded bases.

These billions of wasted dollars could be better channeled into real needs, such as improving education or assisting the homeless. Or, the savings could be applied to retiring the enormous budget deficit.

Yes, it might upset some folks back home who do not want to lose the flow of federal dollars into the military establishments, though studies show that economic damage from base-closings can be limited or reversed.

In the final analysis, closing obsolete bases would be good for the country and the federal treasury.