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. On a path of higher population

Regarding the front-page article "Panel Studies Impact of New Immigrants on US Jobs, Wages," May 6: This issue isn't that new immigrants may or may not undercut the well-being of native-born Americans, but that the legislation permitting such immigration has placed our nation on a path of high population growth at exactly the wrong time in both our national and world history.

As a nation that uses world resources and creates pollution at a scandalous rate, to increase our size seems illogical. Further, to increase our population by large increments when we are barely able to limit the damage caused by an already large population seems foolhardy and irresponsible.

There is an element of fantasy in this - the legislating of that which is obviously harmful - which is very troubling. Is Congress in touch with reality? Marvin Gregory, Renton, Wash. US environmental policy

The front-page article "President Pushes Green Agenda," April 23, concerning United States environmental policy, misrepresents the position of Secretary of Energy Hazel R. O'Leary on the global warming initiative announced by President Clinton in his Earth Day speech.

Secretary O'Leary strongly supports the global warming initiative and the Department of Energy was a full partner in providing the technical analysis to support Mr. Clinton's commitment to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions at 1990 levels by the year 2000. O'Leary wholeheartedly supports Vice President Gore's greenhouse gas policies. She is also concerned about the economic aspects achieving emission objectives through low-cost economically efficient strategies like joint implementation.

As a former executive of a large utility company, Northern States Power, O'Leary was a leading supporter of the emissions trading approach to acid rains, and she was an early supporter of legislation that eventually made its way into the Energy Policy Act, establishing a domestic version of joint implementation. Mike Gauldin, Washington Director of Public Affairs Department of Energy

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