World Beyond War’s Technical Directory Marc Eliot Stein gave a stunning presentation on America’s massive web of worldwide military bases last night via Zoom. Eliot displayed his amazing digital presentation showing these installations on every continent. The map zoomed in to show the actual base, while providing information regarding its size, number of staff and year created.
His talk discussed why we have so many bases, how we accumulated such a massive reach just about everywhere except within our imagined enemies, and the devastating danger that ringing those so called enemies with offensive resources may easily spiral into nuclear war.
Besides used for potential and current US military operations, our bases contribute to local unrest by nearby residents, pollution and criminal activity which is endemic wherever military personnel are stationed.
One could say the US bases are overseas are like a worldwide Roach Motel. Anywhere the US intervenes, it’s likely they will never leave. That is why so many bases display the origin year of 1945. Just ask the folks in Okinawa, South Korea, Germany, and Austria among others.
It’s interesting that while the locals near these bases periodically protest their presence, the home governments love the money America lavishes on their economy. When Trump, in a fit of pique against Germany, decided to pull 30,000 troops from our 78 year old bases there, German pols howled in protest. Congress followed suit and those soldiers stayed put in their German Roach Motel.
Then there is Finland, who joined NATO last month. It was not to protect against a Russian invasion. In their best Jerry McGuire imitation, Finland’s leaders screamed ‘Show me the (US defense) money.’ Yep. US and Finnish officials already in talks to plant US bases there.
To see why the US military budget is approaching a trillion bucks a year, check out this digital display that shows how our precious tax dollars are being squandered to promote US worldwide dominance….and possible Armageddon.
Forum attendees were left with the wish we could deconstruct American’s gargantuan web of bases literally, not just analytically.
Walt Zlotow became involved in antiwar activities upon entering University of Chicago in 1963. He is current president of the West Suburban Peace Coalition based in the Chicago western suburbs. He blogs daily on antiwar and other issues at www.heartlandprogressive.blogspot.com.