News Release

U.S. Bases: Interviews Available


Editor of The Sun Never Sets, a book about U.S. military bases worldwide, Gerson is director of the Peace and Economic Security Program at the American Friends Service Committee. He said today: “Behind the rhetoric of ‘liberation’ and not staying ‘a day’ longer than needed, the Bush administration is clearly working to create a client government which will allow the U.S. to maintain military bases for the long term, as it has recently done in Central Asia. The U.S. government, in effect, will be transforming Iraq into an ‘unsinkable aircraft carrier for the United States.’ The U.S. government has massive bases in Japan over 50 years after the end of World War II; in South Korea nearly 50 years after the end of the Korean War. Bases in Iraq can serve as an alternative to bases in Saudi Arabia and will serve to threaten Syria, Iran and other nations in the region. The unprecedented network of U.S. bases is the basis of a global empire, there’s no way to avoid that term. The bases are one of the reasons for resentment against the U.S. throughout Arab and Islamic nations. Imagine how we would feel if we had Saudi military bases or Chinese or German troops in or near our major cities. Actually, the Declaration of Independence cites the presence and actions of King George’s troops here as ‘abuses and usurpations’ that necessitated the War of Independence against Britain.”
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Professor of government and women’s studies at Clark University, Enloe is author of the book Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women’s Lives. She studies how the military continues to operate in what are often thought to be ‘post-war’ or ‘post-conflict’ societies. Enloe points to Status of Forces Agreements, which outline the rules of policing and other aspects of life surrounding U.S. basing facilities around the world. She said today: “Often these agreements are classified, so local populations don’t even know what’s been agreed to.”

Assistant professor of geography at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Grossman wrote the recent article “New U.S. Military Bases: Side Effects Or Causes Of War?” He said today: “After every recent U.S. military intervention … the Pentagon has left behind clusters of new bases in areas where it never before had a foothold. The new string of bases stretch from Bosnia, Kosovo and adjacent Balkan states, to Iraq and other Persian Gulf states, into Afghanistan and other Central Asian states. Together, they appear to form a new U.S. sphere of influence in the strategic ‘middle ground’ between the European Union and East Asia, and may well be intended to counteract the emergence of these global economic competitors. The administration is using every crisis as a convenient opportunity to establish a permanent military presence in the strategic belt from Hungary to Pakistan. The only two obstacles left to a geographically contiguous U.S. sphere of influence are Syria and Iran. The U.S. military is also returning to countries where it previously had lost basing rights, such as Somalia, Yemen, and the Philippines. This over-extension of U.S. military power risks increasing regional resentments (already being seen in the ‘Iraq for Iraqis’ demonstrations) and 9/11-type ‘blowback’ attacks. The Romans similarly used their ability to project military might as a substitute for their inability to develop respectful economic relationships, only to see their empire fall at the hands of humiliated civilians.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167