Draw Down Empire, Not Just Afghan War

Katrina vanden Heuvel at The Nation:

As we debate an exit from Afghanistan, it’s critical that we focus not only on the costs of deploying the current force of more than 100,000 troops, but also on the costs of maintaining permanent bases long after those troops leave.

This is an issue that demands a hard look not only in Afghanistan and Iraq, but around the globe—where the US has a veritable empire of bases.

According to the Pentagon, there are approximately 865 US military bases abroad—over 1,000 if new bases in Iraq and Afghanistan are included.  The cost?  $102 billion annually—and that doesn’t include the costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan bases.

In a must-read article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Sciences, anthropologist Hugh Gusterson points out that these bases “constitute 95 percent of all the military bases any country in the world maintains on any other country’s territory.”  He notes a “bloated and anachronistic” Cold War-tilt toward Europe, including 227 bases in Germany.

Amen. One can easily view the current timidity on the slow, surgical removal of fixed fractions of U.S. troops from Afghanistan as overly modest. But the extent of the restricted debated in this country about foreign policy becomes even more brazen once we recall what the debate should include: retracting our 1,000+ base, 135 some odd country military empire.

6 thoughts on “Draw Down Empire, Not Just Afghan War”

  1. Another thing Americans should stop and not allow is a war to replase the wars left.Besides the fact America can't afford it its not right moraly or constitutionaly.And by what Gates hase said thats the plan also including China nice way to thank the country that helped bail you out.And not the people they were given nothing but the banks that caused the problem got it all.Were is the logic Americans just let there corrupt government do amything witch is gull;ible and makes them somewhat responsible.Not that the government cares what there citizens say but in large numbers like million and millions they would probably have to listen.Then at least the public will look and be doing the morraly right thing.There allies are basicly usless and would be now help agains very brave countrys like Pakistan,Iran,Afganistan, Iraq,Russia,China,North Korea,and I'm sure others.You won't be fighting small wars that by the way you are loosing you will be in a war that makes WW2 look like a joke.

  2. I saw Ron talking about drawing down the militarism tonight in the debates.

    But to tell ya the truth, I just couldn't stand listening to the rest of 'em and when hairdo boy Romney starting droning on about the debt limit I had to tune out.

    Being lectured on fiscal responsibility by the creator of Obamacare…err. . I mean Romneycare (or is it Romulancare???…maybe we just settle for the Borg…"Resistance is futile!") is like getting lectured by Ahhnold Schwarzenegger on abstinence.

    Gawd, it's gonna be a loooong campaign…nearly a year and a half of this sh*t. Having to look at those clowns for that long will make you gouge your eyeballs out with a grapefruit spoon.

  3. Vanden Heuval is a hypocrite. Her magazine consistently endorses imperial candidates for press, Kerry in '04 and Obomber in '08, so long as they are Dems. And if she was "fooled" by Obomber in '08, she is also incompetent.

  4. Someone must think patriotism is supporting the governments kill and invading countrys illegaly.The very first post was mine.I don't see were I was wrong about anything abuse of power is wrong and the American government is wrong there is now other way to look at it when men women and cxhildren are being murderd in large numbers.There are many Americans against the wars but more are needed and lots of protests.If your country is still a democracy they will have to listen to the will of the citizens.As far as the troops go they are being used for the gain of your countrys 1 persent andthey and everone else should be angry.Being a patriot is supporting your country when they do whats right but not when they are breaking the constitution and forcing the young men fighting to commit murrder.However gave the thumbs down must not have seen the videos of angry troops that have finneshed there time in the military.These young men see the evil with there own eyes just watch The Devil Came On Hourseback it shows America could care less about innocent deaths.A former marine takes you on a jorney that shows this quite clearly.Never try to disreaspect someone but have now respect for people that could care less the evil and murder and lies your country is involved in.

  5. Also I'm not stupid and no many other countrys are far from good just they would on a scale of evil America and Israel are for sure number 1.And I speak of the governments not all citizens.I Know lots of Americans and others that come to Canada from alot of different places that are great humans and just enjoy the freedom we still enjoy.We as Canadians need to protest agains the illegal wars because we are innvolved in some.But are population is less that 40 million Americas is ten times bigger.So though its your right if you gave me thmbs down you must agree with the illegal wars witch are going to set a president for the US unless stoped.In these wars people are being murderd not freed but occupied by foreners how would we like it.Would vwe be terrorists for defending are country.The media aka the 4TH Branch of the Government spins everything to make the NEOCONS and ZIOISTS look like good people.For the people that have yet to see through there lies it's time to educate yourself to the truth and stop watchind CNN,FOX and others get realinformation the sooner the better.

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