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On the base

The Northwest’s military bases are not especially large in number – compared in some other parts of the country – but they are substantial and they are distinct. As a site of political and social culture, they are distinct from whatever is around them, a separate world. It isn’t often explored by outsiders.

The death of a 16-year-old girl at Fort Lewis (near Tacoma) has prompted some examination. A piece in the Seattle Times today is well worth the read, as it notes some of the fallout from the case and the larger picture it illuminates.

From the Times: “The incident has shone an unflattering light on the late-night culture at Fort Lewis, which functions like a small city behind its gates. It also has exposed flaws in the post’s policies and security, sparking changes that took effect last week, with more changes likely in the works.”

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