What does the US want all these bases for?

Click to enlarge

This map appeared in Smithsonian Magazine’s current issue, and represents a conservative estimate of the extent of U.S. military power.

It shows the U.S. military has a presence in 80 countries.  But Nick Turse, a reporter whose work is published in TomDispatch, was told that the total is really “more than 160” countries.

He said it’s impossible to get an exact number of the bases, the names of the countries in which they are located or even the number of countries in which they’re located.  It wouldn’t surprise me if there is no single individual in the Pentagon who actually has a complete list.

“Because we have been conservative in our estimates, U.S. efforts to combat terrorism abroad are likely more extensive than this map shows,” the Smithsonian writers stated.  “Even so, the vast reach evident here may prompt Americans to ask whether the war on terror has met its goals and whether they are worth the human and financial costs.”

The question is just what those goals are.  Is the worldwide network of bases intended to wage war on terror, or is the war on terror a means to the goal of creating a worldwide network of bases?  Do they make the U.S. more secure, or more likely to be drawn into foreign conflict?

While the U.S. is building bases worldwide at the expense of the American taxpayer, China is building infrastructure throughout Africa and Asia by means of loans to be paid back by the host country.

LINKS

This Map Shows Where in the World the U.S. Military Is Combatting Terrorism by Stephanie Savell and SW Infographics for Smithsonian Magazine.

Bases, Bases Everywhere….Except in the Pentagon’s Report by Nick Turse for TomDispatch.

Has the Government Legalized Secret Defense Spending? by Matt Taibbi for Rolling Stone.

Why the U.S. shouldn’t build any more foreign bases by Akhilesh Pillalamarri for Defense News.

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3 Responses to “What does the US want all these bases for?”

  1. silverapplequeen Says:

    Reblogged this on silverapplequeen and commented:
    WHAT. THE.

    Like

  2. Fred Says:

    In some cases, it is because we (meaning US.GOV, not you or me) may want to project power there some day. In many, it is a way to reassure a friendly regime or just to keep our fingers in the local pie. Just more “real politik”. The Soviet Union did the very same thing but Russia lacks the wherewithal to pull off global activities like that. However, the Chinese imperialists seem to be trying to move in as the new counter to US imperialists.

    Like

  3. simonandfinn Says:

    I appreciate your closing comments: “While the U.S. is building bases worldwide at the expense of the American taxpayer, China is building infrastructure throughout Africa and Asia by means of loans to be paid back by the host country.”

    Like

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