The US empire of military bases.

This is a very interesting piece here by Tom Englehardt over at Tomdispatch.  He writes about the US empire and shows that the empire isn’t one of colonies, but one of giant military bases all around the world.  How many bases?  761!!!!!  Tom points out that during Rome or the British empire’s greatest glory, each had only between 30 and 40 military bases abroad.  This is a fascinating topic.  Tom also points out how there is a muffled silence in the US media about these bases.  Some of the bases are huge, costing billions of dollars to construct.  Veritable nations within nations.  However, we never see pictures of these bases.  We never hear reports of what these bases are like.  We definately never hear of what all of our tax money is doing in these bases.  However, it is obvious that these are the bases from which we rule the world.  Mother Jones has an interactive map regarding these bases here:

Read Tom’s interesting article here:


3 Responses to “The US empire of military bases.”

  1. 1 Daniel September 6, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    I’d like to know what goes on at Diego Garcia. There’s a really neat travel book called “Outposts” by Simon Winchester. In one chapter, Winchester details the UK government’s forced removal of the local inhabitants to install a US military base. He then attempts to visit the island via sailboat and is initially denied food/water (a standard request for sailors who are low on rations) and completely denied access to the island, though he appeals as a UK citizen interested in visiting “home” territory.

    I’ve heard Ralph Nader speak publicly and he said he’d close down this network of bases if elected. FWIW, I was born at Ramstein AFB.

  2. 2 antisocialistic September 7, 2008 at 3:55 am

    Im in the military and I see a lot tax dollars wasted on insignificant bases. Usually they are manned with a skeleton crew of personnel and provided some really small service. I suspect that we just rather keep footholds for future use rather then give the space back to the country they are in.

    Right now im at a small training base right at the base of the Mount Fuji, Japan which is a real eye sore to the Japanese community and only is here to provide a place for us to fire off weapons.

  3. 3 theradicalmormon September 7, 2008 at 6:05 am

    I knew I voted for Nader the last 3 elections for a good reason. I’ve read a few articles in the past about Diego Garcia, but haven’t kept it in the temporal lobe like I should. I’ll have to look into that again sometime. My dad was in the Air Force in England when I was born. I was born outside of the base though.

    Thanks for the personal touch. I lived in Japan for two years as a missionary and find it hard to fathom a nation like Japan enduring the presence of US bases there, especially after the embarrassments and abuses they suffer at the hands of the (perhaps) few bad apples who rape a local now and again. You often see these bases concentrated around shipping channels for oil tankers which brings up some fodder for conversation. I’ve think that the military’s main purpose is to make the world safe for our big business’s pillaging small nation’s national resources. That’s why our new type of empire is a military/finance/corporate empire rather than a colonial one like the empires we learn about in school.

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