Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases

A new international coalition against US and any foreign military bases has recently been formed with a conference in January 2018 in Baltimore, USA.

This is an exciting development and we aim to be involved in the movement, which is a demonstration of the growing desire for a more peaceful world and for leaders who will work to make this world a reality.

US author Jeffrey Sachs provides a valuable outline of the US military bases and costs of these bases in this article, THE FATAL EXPENSE OF US IMPERIALISM on the Pearls and Irritations blog. Excerpts below:

The scale of US military operations is remarkable. The US Department of Defense has (as of a 2010 inventory) 4,999 military facilities, of which 4,249 are in the United States; 88 are in overseas US territories; and 662 are in 36 foreign countries and foreign territories, in all regions of the world. Not counted in this list are the secret facilities of the US intelligence agencies. The cost of running these military operations and the wars they support is extraordinary, around $900 billion per year, or 5 percent of US national income, when one adds the budgets of the Pentagon, the intelligence agencies, homeland security, nuclear weapons programs in the Department of Energy, and veterans benefits. The $900 billion in annual spending is roughly one-quarter of all federal government outlays. …

In a powerful study of Latin America between 1898 and 1994, for example, historian John Coatsworth counts 41 cases of “successful” US-led regime change, for an average rate of one government overthrow by the United States every 28 months for a century. And note: Coatsworth’s count does not include the failed attempts, such as the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. …

Two major studies have measured the costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. One, by my Columbia colleague Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard scholar Linda Bilmes, arrived at the cost of $3 trillion as of 2008. A more recent study, by the Cost of War Project at Brown University, puts the price tag at $4.7 trillion through 2016. Over a 15-year period, the $4.7 trillion amounts to roughly $300 billion per year, and is more than the combined total outlays from 2001 to 2016 for the federal departments of education, energy, labor, interior, and transportation, and the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Jeffrey D. Sachs is University Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, and author of “The Age of Sustainable Development.”

This article appeared in the Boston Globe on October 30, 2016