For every State Department embassy, consulate, and mission there are nearly three U.S. military bases overseas. The disparity between the 277 U.S. diplomatic installations and the estimated 800 U.S. military bases abroad symbolizes how dangerously militarized U.S. foreign policy has become.
Thankfully, across the political spectrum — and even within the U.S. military — there is growing recognition of the problem. Last month the Biden administration announced the Pentagon will conduct an urgently needed “Global Posture Review” to ensure the deployment of U.S. military forces around the world is, as President Joe Biden said, “appropriately aligned with our foreign policy and national security priorities.” […]
Unsurprisingly given the political diversity of a coalition that has involved the Koch Foundation and Codepink, the Cato Institute and Noam Chomsky, the letter’s co-signers differ about how many bases to close, which to close, and how to close them. Despite our differences, we agree on nine major reasons to begin closures. (Full disclosure: We are signers on the letter, too).
1) The costs: an estimated $51.5 billion in 2017 — nearly two times the State Department’s budget. Add troops on installations abroad and the total reaches more than $150 billion. Imagine what we could do with a fraction of the billions spent to maintain this robust overseas infrastructure. Imagine how we could repair crumbling domestic infrastructure, including transportation, electric grids, and ventilator supplies.
2) Bases abroad have fueled a hyper-interventionist foreign policy. Overseas installations simply make it too easy to wage war overseas. Since 1980 U.S. presidents have used foreign bases to launch wars and other attacks at least 25 times in 15 or more countries in the greater Middle East alone. The wars have killed, wounded, and displaced tens of millions. Läs artikel