If Not Guantanamo, Then Where?

The Opinion page article "It's Time Uncle Sam Left Guantanamo to the Cubans," May 6, fails to mention any of the reasons for which the military does or does not select sites for the bases - reasons such as strategic location and purpose of the base.

The author's statement that "when all the costs are considered, Guantanamo is not cost-effective" is possibly presenting opinion as fact. It is difficult to see how any military machine is cost-effective; actually they are all a financial drain. However, in searching up and down the East Coast for another training and evaluation base for the Atlantic Fleet, it would appear that most, if not all other bases require a full day, and perhaps two days, to exit the harbor and clear steaming channels and shippi ng lanes before reaching waters that are safe for firing and fleet maneuvers. From Guantanamo, exiting the harbor, proceeding to the firing area, being tested and evaluated, and returning to harbor is sometimes done in one day. That may not be "cost effective," but it is cost saving.

The Marines patrolling the fences at Guantanamo don't just stand there all day. They are constantly training, and if not in Guantanamo then somewhere else? Charles E. Gibbs, Lake Isabella, Calif.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please fax letters to (617) 450-2317 or address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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