The Pentagon is expected to release its recommendations on base closures in May.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is hinting that list may not be as long as some people expect.
Rumsfeld said the military needs more facilities now than it might have a year or so ago.
Seventy thousand U.S. troops are returning home this year from bases in Europe and elsewhere because of post-Cold War force realignments and they need to go somewhere.
Experts have estimated that between 20 and 25 percent of the military's facilities are not needed.
Rumsfeld said the base closures will likely come in "below the low end of that range."
Communities around the country have been lobbying Washington to keep bases open, fearing the economic impact that a closure might have.