Posted by: r.m. | February 28, 2009

U.S. bases – go home

One of the reasons I was so excited about that provision in the Venezuelan (new) constitution banning foreign military bases is that it affords the US one less place to plant its military base.

Let me make it clear: the presence of any foreign base anywhere is problematic, be it US or otherwise.

But, get this: the US has approximately 1,000 military bases outside the US – that is the largest collection of bases in the world and in history.

Officially the Pentagon counts 865 base sites, but this notoriously unreliable number omits all [U.S.] bases in Iraq (likely over 100) and Afghanistan (80 and counting), among many other well-known and secretive bases. More than half a century after World War II and the Korean War, [the U.S. still has]  268 bases in Germany, 124 in Japan, and 87 in South Korea. Others are scattered around the globe in places like Aruba and Australia, Bulgaria and Bahrain, Colombia and Greece, Djibouti, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Romania, Singapore, and of course, Guantánamo Bay, Cuba — just to name a few. Among the installations considered critical to [U.S.] national security are a ski center in the Bavarian Alps, resorts in Seoul and Tokyo, and 234 golf courses the Pentagon runs worldwide.”

And what have these bases done?

overseas bases have often heightened military tensions and discouraged diplomatic solutions to international conflicts. Rather than stabilizing dangerous regions, [U.S.] overseas bases have often increased global militarization, enlarging security threats faced by other nations who respond by boosting military spending (and in cases like China and Russia, foreign base acquisition) in an escalating spiral. Overseas bases actually make war more likely, not less.


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