Currently there are over 1,000 US military bases around the world. World War 2 ended before my parents were born. I am 34 and my parents are both in their early 60’s. Yet our military still finds it necessary to have 268 military bases in Germany and 124 in Japan. The local economies are helped greatly by our military presence in these countries. Our soldiers spend their money in local establishments and these countries do not have to spend their tax dollars to supply a defense for their own nations. The American tax payer foots that bill. In 2004, Donald Rumsfeld estimated that closing 200 to 300 bases in Europe (20% of the bases there) could save the American tax payer 12 billion dollars. Part of a base in Landstuhl, Germany costs 3.3 billion dollars on its own. My simple question to this issue is, what are we getting out of this? I could see having our presence in these places to provide security following World War 2, especially with the USSR so close. However, that was 65 years ago! What does our military think would happen if we closed these bases and brought our troops home? What do we as tax payers think would happen if we stopped supplying hundreds of countries around the globe with military defense? These are questions that are not currently being asked. In a time when jobs are scarce and every dollar is being accounted for, how are 1,000 overseas bases not being reviewed? We are not the world cop. No where in our constitution does it say it is our responsibility to defend nations all over the world. The military might say that I am being an isolationist and that our military presence is necessary around the world to ensure world peace. This is an impossible thing to judge because the only nation fighting wars is us! We need to ask ourselves if we think it is wise to defend other nations while our own borders are so porous that almost anyone can literally walk into our country. We ask our military to defend us from both enemies foreign and domestic, but 9/11 happened because our foreign enemies became domestic by easily coming into our country. Isn’t it time that we stopped focusing on protecting other nations and started defending our own? My source material for this post can be found at the new link provided on my site.
Overseas Bases, Being the World Cop has its Price.