Sunday, March 23, 2008

Like Cancer, The Empire Must Grow

725+ and counting.

Why All the Foreign Bases?

"On May 14, 2005 the Associated Press reported Bulgaria's announcement that it would provide three new military bases to the US. General James Jones, the top commander of US and NATO troops in Europe, said that he would propose to the US Congress "four or five Bulgarian military facilities for use by US forces." More recently, the US announced plans for new bases in Romania.

Why does the US need new military bases in Bulgaria and Romania? According to Chalmers Johnson, in his book "The Sorrows of Empire," America already possesses more than 725 overseas bases. This incredible estimate comes from two official sources: The Department of Defense's "Base Structure Report," and "Worldwide Manpower Distribution by Geographical Area." Johnson claims that the figure is actually an underestimate, because many bases are "secret" or otherwise not listed on official books. As an example, Johnson quotes several sources who cite at least six US installations in Israel which are either operating or are under construction.

During the Cold War, it was argued that the US needed forward basing in strategic areas of the world to counter the Soviet position, and contain Soviet expansion. But the US continues to aggressively pursue more bases in far-flung areas of the globe, despite the fact that the Cold War has been over for more than a decade. American officials have explained that the new bases in Bulgaria and Romania are part of a broader US strategy of shifting troops based in Western Europe further east. In other words, now that the Soviet Union has collapsed, America is aggressively expanding into its former sphere of influence by recruiting former Soviet satellites into NATO, and garrisoning them with bases and troops. In fact, since 9/11 alone the US has acquired at least 14 new bases in Eastern Europe, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, the Persian Gulf, and Pakistan, and was evicted from a recently procured base in Uzbekistan. This figure does not include the newly-announced Bulgarian and Romanian bases. Are we to believe that the US needs more military bases worldwide – not less – now that the Cold War is over?

Apparently so."

2 Comments:

Anonymous abi said...

We spend more on the military than all other nations combined. Ironically, this obsession with keeping us safe from phantom enemies could well be what does us in.

23/3/08 9:47 PM  
Blogger nolocontendere said...

All empires are doomed from the start, we'll be no different, and in this extremely fast technological age I think it'll be quite soon.

24/3/08 5:37 PM  

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