Wednesday, June 15, 2011

An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Katrina vanden Heuvel has come up with a pretty good idea on reducing the federal deficit. I don't think the Pentagon is going to be real happy, but I don't see that as an insurmountable obstacle.

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. ...

The bases—isolated from the host communities and, as [anthropologist Hugh] Gusterson writes, “generating resentment against [their] prostitution, environmental damage, petty crime, and everyday ethnocentrism”—face growing opposition from local citizens. ...

While major peace organizations and other groups focused on human needs are demanding that the military budget be cut in order to fund vital domestic programs, the empire of bases is often overlooked.

“Most people involved in this work have no idea that the US maintains a network of roughly 1,000 foreign military bases,” says Joseph Garson, director of programs for the American Friends Service Committee in New England and editor of The Sun Never Sets: Confronting the Network of U.S. Foreign Military Bases. “Similarly, they have no awareness that the bipartisan budget reduction commission called for cutting the number of US foreign military bases by a third.”

That's a pretty expensive way to keep the empire intact, but I'm not so sure we can afford the bases or even the empire, especially since there's no real proof all of those bases are providing us with any kind of security. I mean, how many bases do we have to have in Germany? Do we need even one?

Vanden Heuvel's conclusion is, as always, right on the mark:

The plain truth is that the staggering resources we spend to support an empire of bases isn’t making us more secure. Instead, they fuel resentment and consume resources desperately needed to invest here at home, as well as targeted development aid that could be used more wisely and efficiently by non-military experts.

Go read the whole post. It's worth it.

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Blogger PurpleGirl said...

If other countries want us to be a part of their national security system or plans, they can pay us for the protection. They could underwrite the costs of running the military installation.

2:18 AM  
Anonymous cse final year projects said...

now a days many country spend more money in the security

3:38 AM  

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