The Monster in the Mirror… The US Network of Military Bases

The Monster in the Mirror… The US Network of Military Bases – Astute News

There are costs beyond financial too. The families of military personnel suffer separation and frequent moves; one in 3 service women are now assaulted (sexually) and a huge number of these assaults take place overseas. Outside base gates there is prostitution relying on human trafficking, as in South Korea, and rapes against local population, as in Okinawa (Japan). There is also widespread environmental damage. US bases are built by displacing local population, as in Greenland and Diego Garcia; and they are 21 century colonialism, like Guam and Puerto Rico. US bases are often located in undemocratic countries, like Qatar and Bahrain; some are connected to mafia organizations, like in Italy; and some are linked to torture and imprisonment, like Guantanamo Bay and Abu Graib. (4)

The network of US bases facilitates wars that cost millions of lives. They contribute to increasing tensions, rather than stabilize dangerous regions, and discourage diplomatic solutions to conflicts. The network maintains the US in a state of permanent war, with an economy and government constantly preparing for battle. Notably, having bases and troops overseas is rooted in US history of frontier forts, crucial for western expansion and overtaking of Native-American lands. Fort Harmar was first (1785), soon others followed in what are Ohio and Indiana today. Each fort helped waves of US settlers move into Native American lands. In 1830 Andrew Jackson created the Indian Removal Policy forcing Natives to give up their lands east of the Mississippi River; this was to be the “very western edge of civilization” and the “permanent Indian frontier,” but soon after (1832-34) the Santa Fe and Oregon trails started and conquest continued. Expansion moved beyond, taking Mexican land (California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and the Republic of Texas) and Oregon from Great Britain after 1846. By 1878 there was a network of 90 forts throughout the US. (4)

Outside the US, bases emerged in Guantanamo (Cuba) and Panama. In 1939 Franklin D. Roosevelt expressed an interest in getting new island bases in the Caribbean and by the time the U.S. entered WWII there were new bases in 20 countries. Commercial and military planning developed together; “Pan Am Airways secretly acquired basing right for the military throughout Latin America.” Thus, new bases flourished in the war while Pan Am ensured for itself and US airlines a useful advantage when war ended. But, the end of WWII favored the rights of people, requiring a more cautious approach in showing power. Installations and periodic displays of “military might” ensured economic and political advantages for the US. It was a “global economic access without colonies.” (4)

via The Monster in the Mirror… The US Network of Military Bases – Astute News