Monday, February 13, 2017

Save the taxpayers, end the global bases

greeted by CDR Martinez at Yokota AB. Meets with military spouses and service members before taking off for Tokyo

So much waste in the US government.

One way to save money?

End the US military bases around the world.

In September of 2015, David Vine (THE NATION) noted:

With the US military having withdrawn many of its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, most Americans would be forgiven for being unaware that hundreds of US bases and hundreds of thousands of US troops still encircle the globe. Although few know it, the United States garrisons the planet unlike any country in history, and the evidence is on view from Honduras to Oman, Japan to Germany, Singapore to Djibouti.

A year later, John Glaser argued in TIME:

U.S. leaders often argue that bases are the centerpiece of a liberal, rules-based world order. They claim that bases in Europe protect European allies from Russia, bases in the Middle East ensure the free flow of oil and contain Iranian influence, and bases in Asia defend our Asian allies from a rising China and an unstable North Korea. But s tationing 80,000 troops at 350 installations in Europe is not directly related to securing Americans’ physical safety. The same goes for the more than 154,000 active-duty personnel based throughout Asia. And the argument that maintaining a forward-deployed military posture in the Middle East protects the free flow of oil is supported by pitifully sparse empirical evidence.

Professor Jules Dufour (GLOBAL RESEARCH) notes, "In Europe, there are 116,000 US military personnel including 75,603 who are stationed in Germany."

How did it end up this way?

Some wrongly assume this was always the position of the United States, that it must have been decided somewhere around 1776.

That's not true.

For years, American leaders prided themselves on not being the world's busybody.

The decision to keep bases permanently?

July 6, 1945, AP reported on the proposal to do just that:

A senate committee held out the possibility today of this country maintaining permanent military bases on the European continent.
A report of the senate's war investigating committee said that proper utilization of 370 United States air bases together with other war installations in Europe may hold the answer to "our future security and the prosperity of our international commerce."
Added the report:
"It may be desirable for the army and navy to maintain bases at some points in the European theater.
"And now, while we are still in a good bargaining position, negotiations could be engaged in with the countries involved for the rights to maintain them.  Our international air commerce will find many of the airfields built for war air transport indispensable to any network of international air routes."

It was part of the war machine.

It's time it ended.

Don't think if would effect the budget?

In January of 2015, the US Defense Dept. issued a statement which opened:

The Department of Defense announced today the consolidation of some U.S. infrastructure in Europe, including the return of 15 sites to their host nations. These actions, taken as part of the European Infrastructure Consolidation (EIC) process, will save the U.S. government approximately $500 million annually. The DoD also announced the first F-35 basing in Europe at RAF Lakenheath, UK, which will bring new opportunities for collaboration between the U.S. and UK air forces.

A small move like that would save half a billion a year.

And notice there was no increased threat to the US as a result.

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