The closing of U.S. bases and the removal of U.S. military personnel are critical to the elimination of war.
#NoBases #NoWar #WorldBEYONDWar Related Posts
The United States has more than 150,000 military troops deployed outside the United States on more than 800 bases (some estimates are more than 1000) in 160 countries, and all 7 continents. These bases are the central feature of U.S. foreign policy which is one of coercion and threat of military aggression. The U.S. uses these bases in a tangible way to preposition troops and weaponry in the event they are “needed” at a moment’s notice, and also as a manifestation of U.S. imperialism and global domination, and as a constant implicit threat. Additionally, because of a history of military aggression, countries with U.S. bases are targets for attack.
There are two principal problems with foreign military bases:
- All these facilities are integral to preparations for war, and as such undermine international peace and security. The bases serve to proliferate weapons, increase violence and undermine international stability.
- Bases cause social and environmental problems at a local level. Communities living around the bases often experience high levels of rapes committed by foreign soldiers, violent crimes, loss of land or livelihood, and pollution and health hazards caused by the testing of conventional or non-conventional weapons. In many countries the agreement that permitted the base stipulates that foreign soldiers who perpetrate crimes can not be held accountable, since they are granted immunity.
These military bases are highly contentious as they have negative effects on the host nations, as well as the fact that they can violate that nation’s sovereignty. There is no consensus or international framework to deal with the problems caused by foreign military bases.
The closing of U.S. foreign military bases in particular, would have a significant effect on global perceptions, and represent a massive shift in foreign relations. With each base closure, the U.S. would become less of a threat. Relations with host countries would be improved as the base real estate and facilities are rightfully returned to local government. Because the United States is far and away the most powerful and aggressive military in the world, the closing of foreign bases would represent an easing of tensions for everyone. If the U.S. makes such a gesture, it may induce other countries to address their own foreign and military policies. The closing of U.S. bases and the removal of U.S. military personnel are critical to the elimination of war.
Powerpoint on closing bases. World BEYOND War Coordinating Committee Chair Leah Bolger is available to present this workshop to groups, in-person or virtually. Click here to contact Leah to arrange an event with your group.
Sign and promote this petition to get U.S. troops out of Germany.
Watch this video in italiano.
Watch this video about Shannon Airport in Ireland.
A report on the social and environmental risks of U.S. bases in Australia, prepared by Friends of the Earth Australia and the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network.
Bombs in Your Backyard: searchable database that allows people in the U.S. to find military installations near them and see the toxic impacts
Recommended Reading List:
- The Sun Never Sets: Confronting the Network of U.S. Foreign Military Bases by Joseph Gerson
- Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World by David Vine
- Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia by David Vine
- The Bases of Empire: The Global Struggle against U.S. Military Posts by Catherine Lutz
- Homefront by Catherine Lutz
A Pentagon Report released in March, 2018 details widespread chemical poisoning of water supplies on military bases and in surrounding communities worldwide. The report, Addressing Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) – Maureen Sullivan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Environment, Safety & Occupational Health) March 2018, identifies the presence of PFOS and PFOA in drinking water at levels known to be harmful to human health. At least 401 bases are known to have contaminated water. The chemicals are used in fire retardants during routine fire-training exercises on American military bases. The lethal substances find their way into the groundwater and are linked to severe problems associated with women’s’ reproductive health. They include severe pregnancy complications and long-term fertility issues. Even more alarming, these chemicals contaminate human breast milk. PFOS and PFOA cause liver damage, high cholesterol, decreased response to vaccines, and an increased risk of thyroid disease, and asthma diagnosis. Cleanup will take years to address and the full scope of the problem is unknown to the public, especially in US bases overseas where the information is normally kept secret. The DOD has a long list of environmental cleanup responsibilities at each of its more than 2,900 facilities around the world. More.
Colonialism & Contamination: Mapping U.S. Military Injustices on the Chamorro People of Guam: This webinar in April 2020 is part of World BEYOND War’s “Close Bases” campaign. We are joined by speakers Dr. Sasha Davis & Leilani Rania Ganser to talk about the negative impact of U.S. military bases in Guam. We explore how the military presence threatens the indigenous Chamorro culture and people, as well as the environmental impacts of the weapons stored on the bases.
Webinar: How to Shut Down a Military Base: On Monday, January 27, 2020, World BEYOND War hosted a webinar with former U.S. Navy Commander Leah Bolger and activists Robert Rabin and Tom Hastings to talk about the social and environmental impact of military bases, and the strategies and tactics that have been used to successfully shut them down.
Movement to Close U.S. and NATO Bases Gathered in Dublin in November 2018:
World BEYOND War and allies met in Dublin, Ireland, in November 2018. Text and video of David Swanson’s remarks are here. Pat Elder presented here on the subject of the environmental damage of bases. Three complete videos of the three days of the conference are here. The conference program and schedule are here.
A Video Filmed at NoWar2019:
A Movement Was Launched in Baltimore in January 2018:
A No Foreign Bases conference was held in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., on January 12-14, 2018. Here is a tiny fraction of the highlights:
David Swanson on Monroe Doctrine:
David Swanson in Baltimore:
Watch these videos from World Beyond War’s No War 2017:
Watch these videos from World Beyond War’s No War 2016:
Get involved in working on a campaign to close them by contacting us.