Global Policy Forum

General Analysis on US Military Expansion and Intervention

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Shortly after independence from Britain, the United States navy fought the Barbary War (1801-05). And in 1813, Washington seized its first permanent overseas military base - in the South Pacific island of Nukahiva. Two centuries later, the United States has over 700 bases in 130 countries and spends more on its military budget than the rest of the world combined. Washington claims to be fighting terrorism, spreading democracy, promoting free markets, and restraining challenges from unsavory competitors.

US military doctrine explicitly calls for "full spectrum dominance" over all possible adversaries, in every class of warfare, for the indefinite future. This doctrine covers the control of the earth's outer atmosphere and space, where many lethal weapons have recently been deployed. Never in world history has one nation exercised such power over the rest of the globe or extracted such enormous economic advantage. Such hegemonic policies probably cannot be sustained for long, however, as they are extremely expensive and provoke constant political and military challenges.

GPF Perspectives |Articles | Archived

GPF Perspectives

US Interventions - 1798-Present (December 2005)

This timeline lists US military and clandestine interventions abroad from 1798. The list does not pretend to be definitive or absolutely complete. It does, however, demonstrate that the US has engaged in military operations worldwide for political and economic reasons for more than two centuries. (Global Policy Forum)


2012 | 2011|2010 |2009 |2008 | 2007 | Archived


The West has Lost its Grip on War (May 29, 2012)

The author of this article argues that most Western citizens lack a coherent account of war. On one hand, many on the political left devote their efforts to financing NGOs that advocate for military intervention on behalf of child soldiers. On the other, those on the political right encourage policing through armed force throughout the world. Both sides are guilty for perpetuating war in Afghanistan under the pretext of nation-building and anti-terrorism. The failure of such interventions represent a new era in which Western powers must reexamine their historical roles in the world. (Al Jazeera)


What a Busted Robot Airplane Tells Us About the American Empire in 2012 and Beyond (December 20, 2011)

Throughout the last decade, unmanned aircraft systems have been a foundation of US military operations. Following the US military failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the perceived success of the Libyan intervention, long-term occupations are being replaced with airpower and special forces operations. Much is still unknown about drone defects and the risks of drone operations and yet after recent losses of drones in Iran, the Seychelles and in Afghanistan, the US is continuing to fill the global sky with them. With their increased regularity in the air, the US seems to be relying on a “fleet of robots with wings of clay”. (Alternet)

Playing with Fire: Obama's Threat to China (December 10, 2011)

The Obama administration is about to turn the page on two wars in the Middle East and will concentrate its power in Asia and the Pacific. In this article Michael Klare asks if this new policy to restore US primacy in the region and to roll back Chinese influence is the launching of a new Cold War in Asia. In a time when global economic cooperation is critical, strategic choice will not advance US interests in the long run but is bound to provoke a response. (Tom Dispatch)

Defense and Democracy in America (November 22, 2011)

The US Defense Department needs to make a budget cut of at least $450 billion over a ten-year period. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta argues that these reductions will entail a “substantial risk” to US national security. In recent history, the US economic dominance has made it easier to pursue “wars of choice.” The current economic downturn might make such wars more unlikely. If US military expansion continues at the previous, prosperity-era pace, the cost of these wars will become increasingly obvious to US citizens. (Project Syndicate)

Obama Projects Pacific Power  (November 22, 2011)

When addressing the Australian Parliament in November, President Obama announced that ”the US is a Pacific Power, and we are here to stay.” This recent Asia-Pacific swing will start with 250 US Marines to be deployed in Australia. Pepe Escobar discusses the agenda behind the new focus on the Pacific. He notes that Obama stated that if China does not respect international rules, the US have to send a clear message that they need to accept the rules and responsibilities that come along with being a world power. Is “Occupy Australia” just the beginning? (Al Jazeera)

US Troops Headed to Australia, Irking China (November 16, 2011)

Obama has announced that the US will establish a permanent military presence in Australia, to strengthen the US’s leadership role on economics and security in the Asia-Pacific region and to counterbalance the growing power of China. Next summer, an estimated 250 Marines will be deployed at Australian bases, growing to 2,500 throughout the country. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin, met this decision with skepticism, and inquired whether this expanding military alliance is in the common interest of all the countries in the region. (Washington Post)

Decade of the Drone (November 1, 2011)

They fly all over the world and represent the most recent symbol of US warfare. The unmanned aircraft systems, the US military drones, have become a cornerstone of US foreign policy since 9/11. The Department of Defense recently requested strong funding for robotic warfare in its 2012 budget. The expanding number of drones, and their constant and increased regularity in the air, demonstrate the US’ ever-widening silent and undeclared wars. (Alternet)

The Lost Bases of the US Empire (October 30, 2011)

Today, the US maintains over 700 military facilities around the world but the US role on foreign sole is not sustainable in the future. After the US military involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, domestic political support for US global influence is waning. The US “world activist role” is significantly impeded by the literal and metaphorical walls that are being built between the embassies and foreign peoples. In addition, the financial crisis will severely limit future US interventions. (Al Jazeera)

America’s Secret Empire of Drone Bases (October 16, 2011)

The US is expanding an empire of drone bases worldwide. They are the most recent development of the US power projection abroad, and most of the drone bases have remained fairly anonymous, until now. Although the size, scope and number of drone bases might be in the shadows, Alternet has identified at least 60 bases integral to US military and CIA operations. The number may even be higher, however this development is telling of US war-making plans for the future. (Alternet)

US Approves ‘Humanitarian Intervention' in Several African Countries (October 16, 2011)

President Obama has ordered the deployment of 100 armed military advisers to central Africa in order to combat the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). US forces will deploy into Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The US advisers will help the regional forces to combat the LRA, the rebel group responsible for estimated 30,000 deaths and the displacement of about two million people in the region. Although some human rights organizations have welcomed Obama’s decision, critics are wary of the deployment of US forces in Africa on alleged “humanitarian grounds” after the Afghan and Iraq episodes. (Al Jazeera)

The Technology of Choice to Guard the "Empire" (September 29, 2011)

Tom Engelhart of TomDispatch highlights how drones are defining the new way of war in the twenty-first century. It is the weapon that other countries are desperate to have. They come somewhat cheap, and when they carry out attacks, they do it without risk for US soldiers. In hundreds of attacks in the past few years, the drones have killed thousands, including al-Qaeda members, Taliban militants and civilians, and their bases are spreading, The use of the latest wonder weapon is not the best way to make friends, but if your state of mind is permanent war, that’s no longer a priority. (TomDispatch)

Obama's Arc of Instability (September 22, 2011)

The “Arc of Instability” is a consistent chain of about 90 countries running from the Caribbean Basin through most of Africa, the Middle East and Central and Southeast Asia. These countries are often politically unstable or failed states and their territories coincide with the oil heartlands of the world. The US is militarily involved in conflicts in six arc-of-instability nations, and openly or secretly engaged in other military activities in more or less all the other nations of the arc. US interference in arc states during the last decade shows that the operations are a failed policy, with most of the countries still underdeveloped and even more unstable. (Al Jazeera)

US Secret Military Active in 120 Countries (August 5, 2011)

Special Operations Command (SOCOM), a secret force within the US military, is currently undertaking dozens of covert missions around the world. Some of these missions take place in well-known conflict zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan, yet operations and training also occurs in the more obscure areas such as Tajikistan, Burkina Faso and the Philippines. SOCOM undertakes assassinations, low-level targeted killings, capture and kidnap operations, night raids and joint operations with foreign forces. The level and extent of its involvement throughout the world is immense and is set to grow, writes Nick Terse. (Middle East Online)

US Blocks Oversight of Its Mercenary Army in Iraq (July 22, 2011)

The US State department is looking to deploy more than 5,100 private military security personnel in Iraq from January 2012. The private personnel will supposedly act as an armed “security” force for 12,000 US State department staff members. This article describes them as “a mercenary army the size of a heavy combat brigade.”  The US State department is not disclosing details, however, and is obstructing requests for information made by the independent government watchdog (the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR)). The US State department has hired private security for its diplomats in war zones for more than a decade. Poor control of them caused one of the biggest debacles of the Iraq war. (Wired)

Drone Warfare: Cost and Challenge (June 23, 2011)

US use of drone-warfare has increased at an alarming rate. But rather than effectively targeting suspected insurgents and terrorists, drones often terrorize, injure and kill civilians. "Drones Don't Allow Hit and Run," a new report published by the Oxford Research Group, points out that international legal obligations still apply to states using armed drones. All casualties must be identified, and those subject to wrongful killing or injury are entitled to reparations or compensation. Such obligations endeavor to hold drone-warfare to legal and moral account. (Open Democracy)

Waging Another Unconstitutional War (June 20, 2011)

In this article Ralph Nader, activist, author and lawyer, outlines the illegality of US intervention in Libya. He goes on to point out that whilst the Gaddafi regime is undoubtedly brutal and repressive, human rights must be protected by a permanent, well-equipped, accountable and professional United Nations peace-keeping force and through effective international courts. Building such capabilities and institutions will ensure equitable results and act as checks to imperial wars. Furthermore, Nader points out inconsistencies in Washington’s rhetoric. Though President Obama recently upheld the right to self-determination, the US generally pursues this right for vulnerable peoples in countries with leaders hostile to the US, where regime change is often the desired end. In countries allied to the US (such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia) human rights abuses are ignored. (Information Clearing House)

Obama: Three More Years of War in Afghanistan (June 23, 2011)

President Obama announced that US “surge” troops will return from Afghanistan between now and the end of 2012. The US will still have close to 70,000 troops in Afghanistan, twice the number that were there when the President took office. This number does not include the 100,000 Pentagon-paid contractors and 50,000 or so NATO troops still in Afghanistan.  In his speech, President Obama said that the tide of war was receding. However, he omitted to mention increased drone attacks in Pakistan and Yemen. Such drone attacks impact civilians greatly and are more likely to increase antagonisms towards the US rather than protect US national security. (The Progressive)

The War on the Word “War” (June 17, 2011)

The US President has said that the intervention in Libya is not a war and so does not necessitate US congressional approval under the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973. Instead, the administration has used terms such as “kinetic military action” and “limited military operations” to describe the intervention in Libya. Further, the War Powers Resolution only permits the President to initiate military operations when the US is directly attacked, there must be “a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.” Libya posed no such threat to the US. (Tom Dispatch)

Obama’s Claim of Libya War Powers Widely Disputed  (June 17, 2011)

US President Barack Obama has stated that the US is a country founded on justice and the rule of law. However, he has failed to obtain Congressional authorization (as required under the War Powers Resolution of 1973) for the intervention in Libya. The Act requires the President to notify Congress within 48 hours of introducing the US to hostilities and to end operations within 60 to 90 days unless he receives Congressional authority to continue. In the Libya case, the 90-day period will end Sunday. As such, the US President has failed to comply with legislation that is an important check on the use of force. (IPS)

Blair Demands More Allied Military Action (June 9, 2011)

The former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, who committed British troops to military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, says that Europe and the United States must have a plan to “support” the Arab Spring. He argues for Libyan-style operations when regimes have “excluded a path to evolutionary change,” and raises the prospect of intervention in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran and Jordan. Blair notes that industrialized countries have major interests in the Middle East and so advocates for increased action to protect such interests in the region. (Independent)

Article: Obama’s Reset: Arab Spring or Same Old Thing? (May 17, 2011)

On Thursday May 19, according to administration officials, the US president will “reset” American policy in the Middle East with a major address offering a comprehensive look at the Arab Spring, “a unified theory about the popular uprisings from Tunisia to Bahrain,” and possibly a new approach to the region. Regardless of the rhetoric, however, the administration’s record shows the US has sought to arm some of the most anti-democratic regimes in the Middle East, while repeatedly highlighting the need for democratic reform.  From 2006 to 2009, the US accounted for 52.4% of all arms agreements with Middle Eastern nations. The Pentagon facilitates arms deals, ever more heavily, with oil-rich rulers in the Arab world, a number of who have orchestrated violent responses to pro-democracy protests. (Tom Dispatch)

Responsibility to Protect – The Cases of Libya and the Ivory Coast (May 15, 2011)

Marjorie Cohn, professor of International Human Rights Law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, critically questions the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine. In Libya the US, UK and France quickly resorted to military action - rejecting Libya’s offer to accept international monitors and Qadaffi’s offer to step down and leave Libya. Double standards in the implementation of the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine are also apparent.  The US have not attacked Bahrain, where lethal force is being used to quell anti-government protests, nor have they responded to the Arab League’s request for the Security Council to consider imposing a no-fly-zone over the Gaza Strip in order to protect civilians from Israeli air strikes. Such double standards suggest that the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine will be used only against countries with leaders who do not favor US or European Union interests. (

Balkanisation of Libya (May 13, 2011)

Some European Union (EU) member states are considering supplying arms to anti-Gaddafi rebels in Libya. This, however, has the potential to actively prolong the crisis. Further, intervention in Libya is likely motivated by EU and US economic and strategic interests in the region. China’s commercial contracts in Libya, totaling 18 billion dollars, have declined by nearly 53 percent since the unrest in North Africa began.  Thus, the aim of US Africa Command’s (AFRICOM’s) strategic policy may be to minimize China’s economic interest in Africa whilst enhancing the US’. (Inter Press Service)

R2P is misused (May 5, 2011)

This article considers the legal parameters of “humanitarian intervention” and “responsibility to protect” (R2P) in light of UN resolutions on international interventions in Libya and Cote d’Ivoire.  UN resolutions relating to Libya and Cote d’Ivoire were issued under Chapter 7 and the guise of customary international laws relating to humanitarian intervention and the international community’s responsibility to protect vulnerable civilians.  In reality, however, the focus in both Libya and Cote d’Ivoire is on strategic warfare rather than on protecting the basic needs of people living in insecure areas.  The author of the article suggests that ensuring people have access to shelter or bringing civilians to safe security zones, which may be cities or temporary refugee camps, should be the priorities of any force acting under the precept of humanitarian intervention or R2P. (Open Democracy)

Osama Dead and Alive: Osama bin Laden’s American Legacy (May 5, 2011)

Tom Engelhardt, author of The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s, suggests US actions following 9/11 did not reflect those of a nation seeking to bring bin Laden to justice but were instead driven by imperialistic aims (including protecting US oil interests).  Following bin Laden’s death, the US will continue to portray al-Qaeda members as global orchestrators of mass terror and violence in order to conceal otherwise imperialistic intents.  This is in spite of the fact that al-Qaeda now hardly impacts Middle Eastern and North African policy.  The memory of Osama bin Laden will continue to justify a global ‘war on terror’ that has more to do with serving US economic and military interests’ than pursuing international justice. (Tom Dispatch)

Justice or Vengeance? (May 2, 2011)

Phyllis Bennis (IPS) places the killing of Osama bin Laden within the context of previous injustices, starting with the way in which the US government chose to respond to 9/11 in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Following the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden, a new US foreign policy based on justice, equality, and respect for other nations could have been adopted - particularly as citizens in the Middle East and North Africa have, recently, shown a preference for mass mobilization and non-violent protest to challenge dictatorship and corruption.  Instead, the US declared the war on terror in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and beyond will continue. (Institue of Policy Studies)

America's Tragic Descent into Empire: An Exerpt from The American Way of War (July 2010)

According to this author, war has become the "American way." While most US residents live in peace at home, their proxies fight constantly overseas. Policy-makers seem to increasingly equate war with national security. Pentagon budgets continue to rise. The US controls over 68% of the global arms trade and over 70% of the market for arms sales among developing nations. The US no longer wages war for territory or direct conquest; rather, it engages in prolonged, un-winnable wars against concepts. This author's argument raises the question, "What kind of state will the US be in the 21st century?"


Report slams Pakistan drone attacks (November 3rd, 2010)

The CIA was granted permission in 2008 to target drone attacks on Taliban locations in Pakistan rather than those identified with the Al Qaeda . This effectively allowed the CIA to bomb any place in the country and air strikes grew dramatically. Drone strikes have increased anti-Americanism and boosted recruitment for the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda. A recently published report highlights a survey of opinion within Pakistan showing overwhelming popular opposition to the drone strikes and support for suicide attacks on US forces under some circumstances. (Al Jazeera)

US to Build £8bn Super Base in Pacific Island of Guam (October 25, 2010)

In an attempt to "contain" China's military build-up, the US is building a $12 billion base in Guam. It will be the largest investment in a military base in the Western Pacific since the Second World War. Guam residents are concerned about the environmental impact as well as the potential damage to their tourism economy. Estimates suggest that the island's population will rise by almost 50 percent at the peak of construction and will eventually house 19 000 Marines who will be relocated from Okinawa, where the US forces have become unpopular. Local residents' concerns are being sidelined by the US-China strategic competition. (Telegraph)

The Cost of an Empire (October 4, 2010)

US military presence stretches across the globe. The Defense Department has real estate in 46 countries, with 837 separate overseas locations. The cost of maintaining these foreign bases and troops is estimated at approximately $250 billion per year. Beyond massive complexes in Germany and South Korea, there are many other US military bases that are costly as well as controversial. This article highlights bases in the Indian Ocean, Southern Turkey, Cuba, Kyrgyzstan and Japan. (Global Post)

US Government Report Argues for Police Force for American Interventions Overseas (September 7. 2010)

US combat troops have departed from Iraq, but that doesn't mean US foreign policy will become less interventionist. In May 2009, the federally financed RAND Corporation published a report entitled "A Stability Force for the United States: Justification and Options for Creating US Capabilities." The report called for the creation of a US paramilitary police force to be deployed to fragile or failing states to restore security. The report stated that "stability operations have become an inescapable reality of US foreign policy." RAND apparently sees even more emphasis on Washington's future as the world's policeman.(Truthout Report)

Russia Pushing for Control of Fuel Supplies to Crucial US Airbase (June 22, 2010)

Russian and U.S. interests are at stake in Kyrgyzstan, and both parties are cautiously assessing their policy options in the wake of political upheaval in the former Soviet republic. The Manas military base in Kyrgyzstan is a hub for U.S. operations in Afghanistan, and the new Kyrgyz government has charged the ex-president's son with skimming $8 million in profits from fuel supply contracts to the base. The new administration has therefore replaced those arrangements with a deal allowing two Russian state-controlled oil companies to control supply to Manas. Although Kyrgyz officials have attempted to reassure the U.S., analysts believe that the new deal effectively gives Russia control over American operations in Afghanistan. (Telegraph)

Debts, Deficits, and Defense (June 11, 2010)

Members of the US House of Representatives commissioned the following report by the Sustainable Defense Task Force, to determine how the US can scale back its mammoth defense budgets. The panel laid out a concrete strategy that would significantly restructure US military spending, saving $1 trillion dollars over the next decade. Among the options the panel included reducing the size of the US nuclear arsenal, and drastically decreasing the size of the armed forces. Ultimately, the panel acknowledges that it has become financially unsustainable for the US to maintain its global military empire.

Japanese PM Yukio Hatoyama resigns amid Okinawa row (June 2, 2010)

Japan's prime minister stepped down just eight months after he had swept to power. Yukio Hatoyama's brief term was tainted by most important though, was a neglected campaign pledge and a scandal over election contributions. Hatoyama had promised to remove an unpopular but strategically important U.S. military base from the southern island of Okinawa. By bowing to US pressure and allowing the base to continue on the island the premier lost his credibility with voters and had to step down in disgrace. (BBC)

Obama Administration's Use of Drones Responsible for Increase in Civilian Deaths

The use of unmanned drones to carry out targeted killings in Afghanistan and Pakistan by US military forces and the CIA has changed the face of war. "For the first time, military and intelligence officers can observe, track and launch missiles at targeted individuals from control centers located thousands of miles away, without any significant US presence on the ground." The use of unmanned drones raises questions of policy, law and accountability, especially in relation to the scope and consequences of drone strikes which result in civilian deaths. (Truthout)


CIA Takes on Bigger and Riskier Role on Front Lines (December 31, 2009)

The US administration has extended the CIA's drone campaign in Pakistan while the CIA also carries out an increasing number of operations in Yemen against. The CIA has also built up a veritable archipelago of firebases in southern and eastern Afghanistan. These developments reflect the militarization of the CIA, magnifying its traditional clandestine operations and moving into the paramilitary field, enabling secret wars and unaccountable interventions. (New York Times)

Out of Iraq, Into the Gulf (November 22, 2009)

US President Barack Obama has declared that US troops will withdraw from Iraq by 2011. But US presence in the country, and the region, is likely to remain substantial. Not only will US forces continue to operate in several of the large US bases in Iraq, but the Pentagon has been dramatically multiplying military bases throughout the Middle East, from Qatar to Bahrain. The press has largely ignored this US build up, despite dangerous and possibly devastating consequences. (TomDispatch)

US Needs Hit Squads, "Manhunting Agency": Spec Ops Report (November 3, 2009)

The US military's Joint Special Operations University has released a report suggesting that the US government develop a "National Manhunting Agency." This agency would pursue drug dealers, pirates, jihadists and other "enemies of the state." Although thousands of people and billions of dollars have already been assigned to tracking people down, these have so far been ad-hoc efforts. Proposed hit men within this agency would operate unilaterally in "uncooperative" countries, with no permission or support from local authorities. The report's author likened the suggested squad to the team employed by Israel Avner's team following Munich 1972. (Wired)

Signing of Colombia Bases Deal Could Set the Stage for "Expeditionary Warfare" (November 11, 2009)

On October 30, Colombia and the US signed an agreement allowing the US extensive military use of seven Columbian bases. This agreement has been widely criticized - by European organizations and South American politicians alike. Regional governments are worried that these bases could be used as a launching pad by the US to intervene in states that are "unfriendly" to the US. (CommonDreams)The US constitutes the largest global arms supplier. It increased this lead in 2008 as US sales rose from $25.4 billion to $37.8 billion. The recession had caused global arms sales as a whole to drop, making the US' growth all the more surprising. (New York Times) Barack Obama always said he would maintain for the US "the strongest military on the planet." His national security team is committed to "rebuilding and re-strengthening alliances around the world to advance American interests and American security." Today, with Obama as commander-in-chief, Washington is expanding its military base network. After the declaration of war on terror and right to pre-emptive war, the US military has an unprecedented global reach. (Newstatesman)

Despite slump, US Role as Top Arms Supplier Grows (September 7, 2009)

Obama's Empire: An Unprecedented Network of Military Bases That is Still Expanding (July 30, 2009)

Ex-envoy Warns Against US plan for Guam (July 22, 2009)

The US has relocated 8,000 marines from the Japanese island of Okinawa to the island of Guam in the Pacific. Retired US Army colonel and peace activist Ann Wright advised residents of Guam to beware of this strategic military move. The marines had a long military presence in Okinawa and had committed many crimes there. Wright appealed to the people of Guam to consider what they will lose in exchange for an increase in short term trade and business. (Marianas Variety)

US pays to keep Kyrgyz base open for Afghan supply (June 23, 2009)

In a dramatic move, Kyrgyzstan renewed its military partnership with the US by signing a new air base deal for Manas international airport, Washington's only East Asian base. The Kyrgyz government earlier had ordered closure of the US air base by mid-August. Russia had reportedly tried to use the issue as a bargaining chip in its relations with the US. Now, with renewal of the contract, the US will continue to use the transit center at Manas for building up its forces in Afghanistan. Washington will pay $60m annually, which is more than triple the earlier payment. (Reuters)

Declaration of the Belgrade Conference, March 23 - 24, 2009 (April 20, 2009)

The Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals held an international conference to review the consequences of 1999 NATO bombardment against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The Conference gathered 700 scientists and experts from 45 countries from all continents who agreed that NATO premeditated the attacks. The goal of military intervention was to bring US troops to the Balkans, expand NATO to the East, impose a neo-liberal economic system, and reinforce the US unipolar world order. The panelists pointed out the direct link between military costs and political crises and called for abolishing NATO and a decrease in worldwide military spending. (Uruknet)

Fiscal Year 2010 Pentagon Defense Spending Request: February "Topline" (February 26, 2009)

The Obama administration released a preliminary outline of its spending priorities and agency budgets for 2010. In a detailed analysis of this blueprint, the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation looks at the projections for the defense budget. Analyst Travis Sharp points out the increase in US military spending over the last decade, which reached a total of USD$664 billion in 2008. The total defense budgets, including the funding for Iraq and Afghanistan wars, have expanded from USD$387 billion in 2000 to USD$687 billion in 2009.

US Military Base in Vicenza Gets Final Approval (February 23, 2009)

Italy has granted the US permission to build a new US military base in Vicenza, which will host 25 buildings and 1,200 soldiers. Construction will continue despite a three-year protest from the No Dal Molin, a grassroots movement that opposes the base and continues to raise concerns about its environmental impact. In October 2008, protesters organized a local referendum in which 95 percent of the 24,094 voters who participated voted against the new US base. While visiting the base in Aviano, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi acclaimed Prime Minister Berlusconi for his role in combating nuclear proliferation, unaware that the base houses 50 US nuclear warheads. (Countercurrents)

A Chart on Defense Contracts (2007-2008)

The Military Industrial Complex collects data, published by the Department of Defense, on the numbers of private contractors and the amount of defense-related deals starting in 2007. A comparison between 2007 and 2008 shows a striking increase of 29.5 percent in the number of contracts and an increase of 36.8 percent in the total value of contracts in US dollars. The data also display the fifteen main contractors since October 2006 with Lockheed Martin Corporation as the lead.



US Weapons at War 2008 (December 2008)

US arms sales have tripled since the beginning of 2003. The Bush administration has increasingly transferred US assistance from the State Department to the Pentagon, which reduced economic and development aid in favor of military assistance. As a result, countries with poor human rights record received arms and the US ignored human rights abuses to achieve political and economic objectives. The US provided arms and military training to twenty of the worldss twenty-seven major wars throughout 2006/2007 and thirteen of the top twenty-five US arms recipients were either autocratic governments or engaged in human rights abuses. (New America Foundation)

US Empire Will Survive Bush (October 2008)

The US secures its hegemony through about 700 military bases in over 100 countries and is still seeking to increase its global military presence. This article argues, that even with a new administration the US will maintain this posture in the world. Continued military engagement in the Middle East after the Iraq war will reinforce US power as "it is a defining characteristic of imperial states that they can afford costly blunders, paid for not by the elites but the lower orders." (Le Monde diplomatique)

Putting the Pentagon on the Auction Block (October 26, 2008)

The Pentagon maintains at least 761 active military bases in the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe. Many of these bases have been staging areas for military interventions, such as those in the Persian Gulf, Somalia and Lebanon. In this article, the author argues that the US cannot long maintain this "empire of bases," because of the enormous cost burden they place on the US economy. (Tomdispatch)

US and Poland Set Missile Deal (August 15, 2008)

The US and Poland signed an agreement that would allow the US to place a missile base on Polish territory. Further, under the pact, US troops can temporarily join the Polish army and assist in military operations. The US signed a similar agreement with the Czech Republic in which radar, designed to track warheads, would be placed on Czech soil. Although the US claims the defense missile shield is to protect itself and its allies against attacks from "rogue" states like Iran and North Korea, evidence suggests Russia is the real target and that the US has ambitions of expansion in eastern Europe. (New York Times)

US Military Interests Reign Supreme in Italy (July 31, 2008)

Italy's highest administrative court "the Council of State" ruled to allow a second US military base in Italy's city of Vicenza. The Council argued there was no evidence of possible environmental damage, despite no investigation by the Italian government. The No Dal Molin grassroots movement continues to organize protests against the US base and the City Council plans to hold a referendum to let the Vicenza citizens have a say. (After Downing Street)

Radar, Star Wars, & the Czech Republic (May 1, 2008)

Z Magazine investigates whether the "free will of the citizens of one country can resist the hegemonic ambitions of empire," as Czech villagers oppose US plans for a radar base southwest of Prague. Contrary to US media reports that the Czechs have generally been receptive to the idea, two-thirds of Czech citizens object to their government giving the US free-rein to build the radar and import military personnel. Villagers living near the proposed site fear the health risks and doubt that the US faces sufficient threat from Iran and Russia to warrant a radar base on European soil.

The RAND Corporation: America's University of Imperialism (April 30, 2008)

RAND Corporation made a "peculiar contribution to the modern world" by manufacturing "the Cold War American empire," argues Chalmers Johnson. The private think tank grew out of the US Air Force, employed Nobel Laureate economists, and invented reconnaissance satellites, missile defense and the internet. RAND made terrible but predictable analytical errors. The Corporation overestimated the Soviet military threat and stoked the Cold War. Johnson fears RAND's graduate school trains today a new generation of researchers to support militarism and aggression. (TomDispatch)

How Come Zimbabwe and Tibet Get All the Attention? (April 17, 2008)

This Guardian article looks at why the US and UK decry human rights abuses in Tibet and Zimbabwe, yet barely pay lip service to election-rigging in the Middle East and Africa's worst humanitarian crisis in Somalia.? Double standards explain part, but not all, of the story. The author illustrates how the US and UK governments have had an influential hand in creating the Tibetan and Zimbabwean crises, and seek to cover their tracks.

Arms Race in Space (April 1, 2008)

This Foreign Policy In Focus article argues that the US is seeking "space superiority" by advancing the weaponization of space. The US Congress increased funding for counterspace operations and the Pentagon issued documents clarifying how the US should wage war in space. However, China and Russia are also developing their own space assets. The author argues that this space race can lead to disastrous consequences, especially because the US and Russia link space weapons to their nuclear weapons strategy.

European Missile Defense: the America-Russia-Iran Knot (March 31, 2008)

A new arms race is afoot between the US, Iran and Russia, argues this openDemocracy article. The US plans to install a radar system on Czech soil to monitor potential Iranian missiles. Russia believes, however, that the US intends to use the system to oversee its arsenal instead. Even if Iran did possess missile stores, the US radars would fail to register long-range ballistics without homing devices. The author claims therefore, the US boasts its military might to rattle Russia and provoke Iran.

Resisting the Empire (March 20, 2008)

This article from Foreign Policy in Focus applauds grassroots movements like the global No Military Bases Network for challenging the Pentagon's "imperial arrangement" of 750 military bases. These outposts can launch potential nuclear attacks and impose control over foreign oil. Host countries object to the bases due to Marine-led crime and human rights abuses. Aggrieved communities are resisting the US military web through landmark court battles, like the case against the Marines of Okinawa, accused of raping minors.

Africom Threatens the Sovereignty, Independence and Stability of the African Continent (January 24, 2008)

In this position paper, the National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL) strongly oppose Africom, the US military command in Africa. Rather than achieving a more stable environment in which political and economic growth can take place the NCBL claim Africom protects US oil interests and allows the US to compete with China for dominance of Africa's resources. In other words Africom is likely to become a device for foreign domination. (Pambazuka)




Renewing American Leadership (July/August 2007)

In this 2007 pre-presidential essay, Illinois Senator Barack Obama presents his new vision to restore American leadership. Obama calls for the revitalization of the military to sustain US vital interests and tackle potential threats. He urges an increase of troops by 91, 000, a modernization of equipments and facilities, and a larger investment in defense and intelligence. While acknowledging the importance of international cooperation, Obama does not endorse multilateralism but rather suggests the US "lead the world by deed and by example." (Foreign Affairs)

Bush More Emphatic In Backing Musharraf (November 21, 2007)

In response to Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's state of emergency declaration, US President George Bush said that Musharraf has not crossed the line and truly is somebody who believes in democracy. The emergency rule has resulted in mass arrests and the removal of Musharraf's political opponents from the country. (Washington Post)

Pervez Musharraf's Desperate Gamble (November 5, 2007)

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has imposed martial law, targeting the country's lawyers, journalists, judges and human rights activists. The President closed down independent television and radio channels, thus removing important sources of information for the fifty percent illiterate population. Musharraf's largest supporter in the West, the US government, says it will not withdraw its support since Pakistan is an ally in the war in Afghanistan. (OpenDemocracy)

The United States' New Backyard (November 2007)

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US has focused much of its foreign policy on the Middle East. The region's geo-strategic importance and large oil resources coupled with the close US relationship with Israel have contributed to this development. President Bush has said "the broader Middle East is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological struggle of our time." Le Monde diplomatique illustrates how the neocon doctrine of "constructive instability," an approach of exploiting local rivalries to promote US interests, plays out everywhere in the region from Iraq to Lebanon.

Bush's World War Three (October 17, 2007)

US President George W. Bush has said that Iran and its nuclear program could cause a "World War Three." Former Republican leader of the House Newt Gingrich has also used this term, saying that "we are in the early stages of what I would describe as the Third World War." This Global Research article warns that this rhetoric could serve as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In Harm's Way (September 30, 2007)

This New York Times Book Review discusses journalist Robert D. Kaplan's new book "Hog Pilots, Blue Water Grunts." Kaplan follows the US military through different deployments around the globe while cheering on the soldiers' efforts and their love of their country. By supporting the troops and their missions unconditionally, Kaplan comes off as biased and uncritical. He portrays the future of the US empire as a global network of small military bases, almost invisible, but very much integrated in the host society.

US Imperial Ambitions Thwart Iraqis' Peace Plans (September 19, 2007)

In this AlterNet article, Joshua Holland and Raed Jarrar examine the reasons why Iraqi plans for peace are ignored by the mainstream media and the Coalition. Proposals from different Iraqi political parties include disbanding militias, providing for national reconciliation and rebuilding Iraqi government and security forces along non-sectarian lines. Ultimately all of the proposals call for a US withdrawal. However, according to the authors, the US prefers to follow a policy which involves permanent US bases, international control of Iraqi oil and where resistance is viewed as "sectarian violence."

Canada's Sovereignty in Jeopardy: The Militarization of North America (August 17, 2007)

Under the emblem of US North American Command (NORTHCOM), the US is extending its power and influence in Canada. Although Canada initially tried to oppose the US military build up, by 2006 a majority of the armed forces had quietly merged with NORTHCOM. The US can now deploy troops and build military bases on Canadian land. Due to Canada's economic dependence on the US and subordination under NORTHCOM, Canada is functioning less as an independent sovereign country and more like a US outpost. (Global Research)

Ethiopian Invasion of Somalia Still a Sensitive Issue (August 14, 2007)

With US support, the Ethiopian military invaded Somalia in December 2006. In accordance with US wishes, the invaders replaced the Union of Islamic Courts with the Transitional Federal Government. The US claims that the Union of Islamic Courts had connections with al-Qaeda. But many citizens viewed the Union as a mostly benign source of stability, and some predict that, contrary to US plans, its ouster will lead to "another weak, violent state and a newfound haven for outside terrorists." (Daily Planet)

A Spooky Look at the CIA (August 14, 2007)

In his book "Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA," author Tim Weiner provides a critical account of the US intelligence agency. Since its creation after World War II, the agency has led covert operations supporting US-friendly dictators or eliminating leaders leaning to the left. This book review argues that US leaders failed to consider the "crucial question" of how " democracy and a secretive intelligence agency [can] coexist."(Christian Science Monitor)

Peace in Iraq Is Inextricably Linked to a Palestinian Settlement (August 13, 2007)

In this article, The Age revisits a report presented to the US Congress by the Iraq Study Group, calling on the US to acknowledge that key issues in the Middle East, Iraq, Iran, terrorism and the Arab-Israeli conflict are all connected. Despite recommendations that the US cooperate with Iran and Syria to stabilize Iraq and create regional security, the US persists with a policy of isolating Iran. As the debate over US withdrawal continues, the failure of the Bush administration to seek regional cooperation is part of a "depressing pattern to America's conduct of the war on terrorism."

A New Cold War Over Oil (August 11, 2007)

The US-China showdown over African oil has led the Pentagon to establish an African Command (AFRICOM) branch of the military. US-friendly African armies, for example in Congo and West Africa, have absorbed AFRICOM into their command structures, thereby increasing US military presence on the continent. In addition, because the US cannot outbid China on oil dollar for dollar, it implicated China in the Darfur crisis, therefore undermining Chinese investments in Sudan and promoting UN intervention there. According to Professor Vijay Prashad, such oil-based international intervention in Africa will only “create an Iraq” there. (Frontline)

Iraq's Air 'Straits Question' (August 9, 2007)

As the debate rages over a US withdrawal from Iraq, some speculate that the US will compensate for any drawdown of troops on the ground by asserting permanent control of Iraqi skies. Such a strategy will likely provoke a “struggle for dominance [of Iraq’s air space] which will determine the balance of power in the Middle East for decades to come.” (Agence Global)

US Escalates ME Arms Race (July 31, 2007)

As US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice continues her tour of the Middle East, Washington plans to give generous "military packages" to its allies in the region, primarily Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Although Rice claims that the Bush administration has designed this aid to create political balance in the Persian Gulf, this International Security Network article argues that Washington wants to "bolster the US arms industry" and "create a de facto Sunni Arab front against Iran."

Gerson's Crusade Against "Low-Hanging Fruit" (July 25, 2007)

This CounterPunch article argues that many neoconservatives in the US government have concluded that they will not be able to achieve regime change in Iran, and so they have suspended plans for intervention. However, some neocons, such as former Bush speech writer Michael Gerson, have turned their gaze on Syria instead, which they consider a “low-hanging fruit” – a state in which they can interfere more easily. Gerson claims that Syria fails to stop terrorists from crossing into Iraq. But this author disagrees and adds that not only does Gerson overlook “the complexity of the Arab world,” he also previously tried to frighten US citizens into supporting the Iraq war.

A Change of US Plan for Pakistan (July 25, 2007)

Recently, the US has strongly supported Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, offering both development and military financing. And Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher “categorically ruled out the need for any direct US military involvement.” Washington’s backing, contingent on Musharraf’s cooperation in the US “fight against terrorism,” only increased Musharraf’s unpopularity in Pakistan. As Musharraf’s reputation at home deteriorates and his counter-terrorism strategies fail, US officials have reversed their standpoint and allude to a possible military intervention in Pakistan. (Asia Times)

Bush and Poland's Kaczynski Defend Antimissile Plan (July 17, 2007)

Close allies, Polish President Lech Kaczynski and US President George Bush, reaffirmed their plans for a missile defense system in Eastern Europe. They claim that the missiles, “a symbol of [their] desire to work for peace and security,” will counter potential weapons of mass destruction in North Korea and Iran. Russian President Vladimir Putin has argued that Iran does not pose a substantial threat and considers the US plans aggressive. Putin proposed that the US collaborate with Russia on the missiles and relocate them to an Azerbaijan base, but the White House refused. (RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty)

Parasitic Imperialism (July 14, 2007)

This Global Research article argues that “U.S. military expansions and aggressions” not only harm the regions in which the US intervenes, but they also hurt US citizens and economic interests. In order to feed its vast military budget, Washington reduces public spending and consequently widens the wealth gap. Moreover, US militarism provokes international dissent and hostility, which make the world less willing to buy US goods. The author also claims that US officials restrict democracy in the name of “national security,” hiding information from the public and sometimes fabricating or exaggerating enemies to justify war.

"Accidents" of War (July 9, 2007)

“Air power -- given the civilian casualties that invariably follow in its wake -- is intensely counterproductive in a guerrilla war,” argues this Tom Dispatch article. The author claims that the US military has always favored airstrikes as a principal tactic and frequently uses them in Iraq and Afghanistan because they appear more distant and less barbaric than “the atrocity of the car bomb” or “the beheading.” He argues that Washington will likely increase airstrikes in the future, despite the civilian casualties they incur, which devastate Afghanis and Iraqis and further provoke suicide attacks and Improvised Explosive Devices.

Review Article: The Worldwide Network of US Military Bases (July 1, 2007)

The US operates military bases in 63 countries and deploys 255,065 military personnel in 156 countries. This Global Research article provides maps and statistics about US bases and argues that Washington uses its global “War on Terror” to justify its interference in countless countries where it has usurped natural resources and “established its control” over governments. International progressive groups and antiwar activists protest US military intervention, but neither they, nor the exorbitant costs of military operations, have succeeded in deterring the US from expanding its “worldwide network” of bases.

Pakistanis Baffled by US Support for Their Military Regime (June 27, 2007)

Washington considers Pakistan an important ally in its “War on Terrorism,” but the ties between the two administrations generate resentment of the US among Pakistanis. Former Pakistani Ambassador to the US Syeda Abida Hussain referred to Musharraf as “drunk on American power,” saying that he “steps on all possible Pakistani toes.” One organizer in the movement against Musharraf claims that the US imposed Musharraf’s leadership on Pakistanis, and now they have little choice but to use violence against him. (McClatchy Newspapers)

Permanent Bases the World Over: Behold the American Empire (June 14, 2007)

Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, mainstream media outlets reported very little on the multi-billion dollar construction of US military bases and the massive embassy in Baghdad, essentially ignoring evidence of a permanent US presence in the country. But recently, the media have begun to portray this long-term plan  the “Korea mode as “breaking news.” Describing US military interventions in other countries as “the American way of Empire,” this TomDispatch article, however, argues that the Bush administration has long held such imperial ambitions.

Czech Fears Over Missile Defence Radar (June 6, 2007)

As part of its new anti-ballistic missile system in Eastern Europe, Washington will set up a radar station in the Czech village of Stitov. In this BBC piece, the mayor of Stitov voices concerns that the radar will have damaging effects on residents’ health and that it will be a target for attacks. Many Europeans suspect that the US plan does not aim to protect Europe as the Bush administration claims. The mayor states, “We feel the US doesn't care if there is a conflict in our country as long as it's not in theirs.”

The New Pacific Wall (May 30, 2007)

This Foreign Policy In Focus article looks at US and Australian efforts to increase their influence in the Pacific region. Australia’s conservative prime minister has agreed to let the Bush administration establish two bases on Australia’s west coast to provide intelligence to the US military in Asia and the Middle East. But Australia’s strong trade relationship with China complicates the US-Australia alliance. Moreover, the new US bases will likely diminish Australia’s chance of separating itself from future US military endeavors.

Darfur: Forget Genocide, There's Oil (May 25, 2007)

This Asia Times Online piece describes Darfur as the battleground for the petroleum geopolitical interplay between the US and China. The US has criticized China’s financial and other initiatives to secure raw materials in Sub-Saharan Africa, although securing oil has long been at the heart of Washington’s own foreign policy. The article surmises that the US eagerness to label the Darfur crisis as “genocide” is a move to open up the possibility of NATO “regime change” intervention. Further, the writer accuses the US of fueling the conflict in the region by training the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army and pouring arms into the region.

And You Thought the Cold War Was Gone for Good? (May 11, 2007)

The Bush administration claims that it set up anti-ballistic missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic to fend off potential attacks from “rogue states.” This Foreign Policy In Focus article argues that the administration’s justification is covering up the US attempt to counteract Russia and China’s nuclear programs. The author reports that leaders in Moscow are highly suspicious, and the EU is divided on the issue. The article argues that the US missile defense system’s probable expansion into other regions increases the legitimacy of Russia and China's concerns.

Putin Likens US Foreign Policy to That of Third Reich (May 9, 2007)

This International Herald Tribune article reports on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s increasingly vocal criticism of US foreign policy. The Russian government has frequently condemned US attempts to “dominate world affairs” through the expansion of NATO and establishing a missile defense shield in Europe. The author argues that the extent of Russian discontent is demonstrated in Putin’s comparison of US policies under the Bush administration to those of Nazi Germany.

Curbing the Global Arms Bazaar (April 25, 2007)

This Asia Times article reports on the renewed push to adopt the UN Arms Trade Treaty, which is set to expire at the end of April. The author argues that the US and a coalition of developing nations led by China are set to oppose any attempt at adopting the treaty. Nearly half of all weapons sold to developing countries come from the US and Washington justifies the sales as part of its “war on terrorism.” Humanitarian organizations have criticized the US position claiming that “the arms being sold continue to fuel conflicts and tensions in unstable areas.”

Should More US Troops Be Kept in Europe? (April 24, 2007)

Army General Bantz Craddoc the new head of the US European Command is rethinking a 2002 US Department of Defense proposal to reduce the number of troops stationed in Western Europe, reports this Christian Science Monitor piece. Craddock claims that most of the US troops stationed in Europe are deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, which makes traditional training operations difficult to conduct. However, the author argues that Washington seeks to maintain US troops in Europe in order to continue sending a “forceful message to allies and potential foes alike.”


Muslim Public Opinion on US Policy, Attacks on Civilians and al Qaeda (April 24, 2007)

This World Public Opinion poll conducted in four predominantly Muslim countries finds that the majority of people polled want US forces to leave the Middle East. Additionally, a large majority of respondents believe undermining Islam and spreading Christianity is a key goal of US foreign policy in the region.

Global Warming Called Security Threat (April 16, 2007)

This report by the Center for Naval Analyses – a group financed by the US government – finds that global climate change is a threat to US national security and should be incorporated into the country’s security strategies. The report lists some of the potential effects of climate change – such as rising border tensions and increased conflicts over food and water – which could lead to “direct US military involvement.” The authors conclude that the US “should commit to a stronger international role to help stabilize climate change.”

Blame Game Over Somali Conflict (April 13, 2007)

At a regional meeting in Nairobi, Ethiopian officials blame Eritrea for undermining Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government and accuse Eritrea of being “actively involved in terrorism” in the region. Eritrea asserts that the Ethiopian invasion has not brought peace, stability or democracy to Somalia. Many feel that the fighting in the country reflects a proxy war between Ethiopia and Eritrea. 1,400 Ugandan peacekeeping troops were deployed in March in Somalia, and Burundi has agreed to contribute to the mission of the African Union. The AU mission deplores the fact that logistical and financial support promised to the peacekeepers has not arrived. (News24)

Russia Threatening New Cold War Over Missile Defence (April 11, 2007)

A proposed US missile defense shield, parts of which would be based in Poland and the Czech Republic, is causing much discontent in Moscow, reports this Guardian article. Top Russian government officials have stated that Russia views the proposed defense system as hostile and that if it is completed it has the potential to spark a second arms race.

Bush's Arc of Instability (April 10, 2007)

Bush administration attempts to bring down “rogue” regimes have failed, argues this TomDispatch article. After launching the “war on terrorism” US officials decided to target governments that makeup a so-called “arc of instability”  an area that ranges from North Africa through Central Asia. The author claims that Washington sought uninterrupted access to these countries’ energy resources, but instead of “stabilizing” nations within this arc, US actions have made the region more volatile.

US-Made Mess in Somalia (April 9, 2007)

Ivan Eland, Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at the Independent Institute writes that the unfounded US belief that Somalia would become a haven for terrorists, led it to support unpopular warlords in the country. This gave rise to Somali support for the radical Islamist movement where there was none before. Eland sees the same pattern of US counter-productive intervention in Afghanistan in the 80s and in Iraq, and warns that the unpopularity and weakness of the US-backed Transitional Federal Government may lead to resurgence of the Islamists in the future.

US Agents Interrogating Terror Suspects Held In Ethiopian Prisons (April 4, 2007)

US intelligence agencies have been covertly interrogating terrorism suspects detained in Ethiopia, reports the Associated Press. Human rights organizations allege that the detainees were illegally transferred to Addis Ababa from numerous East African countries and are being denied access to the judicial process.

Saudi King Slams 'Illegitimate Occupation’ of Iraq (March 28, 2007)

In a speech at the annual summit of the Arab League, the Saudi King Abdullah, a close US ally, criticized the Iraq War and called it for the first time “an illegitimate foreign occupation.” Further, he criticized the US interference in Arab affairs and said that Arab nations should be able to decide the future of the region. Arab foreign ministers also supported an amendment of the Iraqi constitution, which would give Sunnis more power and bring about national reconciliation. (Agence France Presse)

Nuclear Warhead Plan Draws Opposition (March 4, 2007)

This Washington Post article reports on the announcement by the US National Nuclear Security Agency that it plans to create a new arsenal of nuclear warheads. Many US Congress members oppose the plan especially given US resistance to the nuclear programs of North Korea and Iran and will press the Bush administration to explain why a new type of warhead is needed.

Outpost of Empire (March 2007)

The US has up to 1000 military bases in more than 130 countries around the world. These bases project US military power globally, but they also have a record of causing harm to the civilian population. US military personnel murdered a woman in Korea in 1992 and gang raped a 12 year old girl in Okinawa in 1995. Hundreds of other crimes have been committed on Okinawa, the largest US base in the world, but the perpetrators are exempt from national jurisdiction. (Red Pepper)

Introduction to "Selling US Wars" (March 2007)

This excerpt from the book “Selling US Wars” by Tariq Ali analyzes the theories and mechanisms employed by the US to “ensure indirect domination” worldwide. One of the justifications the US gives for the extension of its sphere of influence is the “global war on terror,” which the author states is an unacceptable form of “political violence terror.” Ali also asserts that Washington’s selectivity in enforcing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is another tactic in its pursuit of regional and global ambitions. Moreover, the author criticizes the use of “humanitarian intervention” and “democratization” as reasons for military invasions. (Transnational Institute)

Diplomacy and Empire (Part I) (February 27, 2007)

The decision by the Bush administration to “rule the world by force of arms,” following the September 11, 2001 attacks, put the US at odds with many countries including some of its traditional allies, argues this Globalist article. The author discusses the importance of diplomacy and faults US President George W. Bush’s decision to invade both Afghanistan and Iraq as “irresponsible” because diplomatic channels were not fully utilized.

US Funds Terror Groups to Sow Chaos in Iran (February 26, 2007)

This Telegraph article claims that the Central Intelligence Agency is covertly funding opposition militias in Iran to increase pressure on Tehran to abandon its nuclear program. The author argues that this policy has many risks as these violent militias,  one of which the US State Department lists as a terrorist organization,  share “little common cause” with Washington and ultimately might do more to destabilize the region then help it.

US Gets Bigger Ears in the Sky (February 22, 2007)

This Asia Times article reports on the decision by the Australian government to allow Washington to build a military communications base in the country to relay information from spy satellites to US forces in the region. Additionally, the US will incorporate the base into a preexisting global network that intercepts international communications for US and UK intelligence agencies to analyze for potential threats.

Moscow Perplexes US over Missile Defense in Europe (February 21, 2007)

The Russian government has demonstrated notable displeasure over decisions by Poland and the Czech Republic to allow the US to install components of its missile defense system within their borders. Washington argues that Eastern European bases are essential to adequately respond to any long-range missiles fired from Iran. However, Moscow views the close proximity of the missile interceptors as a threat and top Russian officials warn it could “spark a new arms race.” (International Herald Tribune)

Hunt for al-Qaeda Overshadows Repression in Ethiopia, Some Fear (February 19, 2007)

This McClatchy piece reports on the Bush administration’s decision to ignore the Ethiopian government’s repressive tactics because of its desire for a regional ally to help eliminate the alleged al-Qaeda presence in Somalia. Critics argue that the US will not pressure Ethiopia’s government to discontinue its human rights abuses as long as the country maintains its counter-terrorism efforts.

Skepticism Over US Africa Command (February 19, 2007)

This International Relations and Security Network piece highlights the skepticism facing US authorities over the proposal to set up a new military command center for Africa. Many critics argue that the motivation is the continent’s vast oil resources. They say that the Bush administration wants to ensure it has unfettered access to Africa’s oil and therefore it needs to be able to respond promptly to any crisis that might disrupt the flow.

Thaksin's Loss, US's Gain (February 8, 2007)

This Asia Times article argues that the military coup which overthrew Thailand’s former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra benefits US regional interests. The author claims that the US viewed Thaksin as a liability because of the possibility that he would move Thailand into China’s “regional orbit” and away from US influence. Although Washington condemned the coup and took the obligatory step of cutting off military aid to the country, it has continued to work with and tacitly support the coup leader by continuing to provide non-military forms of financial assistance.

African Democracies for Sale (February 7, 2007)

This ZNet article argues that a major threat to democracy in African countries comes from US-funded organizations such as the International Republican Institute and the US Agency for International Development. These organizations operate in at least 40 African countries, aiming in part to “promote” democracy by funding opposition groups to “overthrow” select governments. The author contends that foreign financing sets the political agenda for opposition parties while marginalizing the real needs of the people.

How PR Ploys Fill the Pentagon's Recruiting Quotas (February 1, 2007)

This article from the Center for Media and Democracy details the public relations campaign the US Army undertook in the months preceding its 225th birthday on June 14, 2000 in an attempt to boost recruitment. The author argues that the US media played a major role in promoting the army during its 2000 campaign and speculates that with US President George W. Bush’s call to increase the size of the US armed forces by 92,000 over the next 5 years the army will again carry out a massive public relations campaign to enhance its image.

Somalia (February 2007)

This article from Le Monde diplomatique argues that US involvement in Somalia now represents a third front in the Bush administration’s “war on terror.” The author claims that one of the reasons behind US President George W. Bush’s decision to encourage Ethiopia to send forces into Mogadishu was that the former Somali government,  the Union of Islamic Courts, was allegedly receiving funds from Iran.

The Price of Hypocrisy (January 25, 2007)

This Asia Times article argues that the Bush administration’s foreign policy is hypocritical, especially as propagated under US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The author cites a trip by Rice to Egypt,  a nation with a notoriously poor human rights record, during which the country’s repressive tactics were glossed over because it is a key ally in the US quest for “hegemony” in the region.

Oil, Not Terrorists, the Reason for US Attack on Somalia (January 22, 2007)

This Daily Nation article argues that US air strikes in Somalia – following the ouster of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) government, were motivated by oil interests. Washington maintains that the strikes were aimed at members of al-Qaeda, however, the author claims that the Bush administration – fully aware of the existence of oil in Somalia,  wants to make sure that the UIC does not regain control and deny US corporations access to the lucrative oil reserves.

CIA Gets the Go-Ahead to Take on Hezbollah (January 10, 2007)

This article from the Telegraph reports that US President George W. Bush has authorized the US Central Intelligence Agency to covertly counter the political organization Hezbollah in Lebanon by supporting the party aligned with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora. The author argues that the Bush administration has decided to engage the CIA to help combat the group as part of Washington’s escalating dispute with Iran – a primary sponsor of Hezbollah activities.

Pentagon to Train a Sharper Eye on Africa (January 5, 2007)

The US armed forces are considering a proposal to create an Africa Command to deal with the issues it perceives are threatening US interests on the continent, says this Christian Science Monitor article. Historically the US has divided responsibility for Africa among its other regional command centers such as the European Command. The author argues that oil influences this decision, as US demand for Africa’s oil is projected to rise 15 percent by 2010.

Somalia: New Hotbed of Anti-Americanism (January 3, 2007)

The US-backed Ethiopian invasion of Somalia has led to an increase of “anti-American” sentiment in the region, argues this Global Research article. The author claims that many Somalis – especially supporters of the United Islamic Courts (UIC) which controlled Mogadishu prior to the invasion,  believe Ethiopia is acting at the behest of Washington. The article concludes that the Bush administration believed that toppling the UIC was essential to its “war on terrorism” because the Islamic government threatened US regional interests.

US Department of Defense Base Structure Report (2007)

This government document provides statistics on more than 700 bases that the US military maintains in dozens of foreign countries and territories. The report includes details such as locations, acreage, numbers of personnel, and replacement value in US dollars for the components of its worldwide infrastructure. For a critical analysis of the 2003 Base Structure Report, see this article by Chalmers Johnson.





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