Pentagon Expanding Global Network of Military Bases

July 1, 2003

The U.S. military is carrying out a major expansion and reorganization of its global network of military bases.

As part of Bush's so-called "war against terrorism," the U.S. military aims to position its forces so that it has the capacity to rapidly intervene in literally every corner of the globe.

According to Andy Hoehn, deputy assistant secretary of defense and a principal architect of the realignment: "The strategic issue that is big and profound is the unprecedented destructive power of terrorism and what that means. You just can't ignore it, and you can't deal with it regionally. This is running across regions, across continents." Insisting that there is an "arc of instability" running from the Andean region in the Southern Hemisphere through North Africa to the Middle East and into Southeast Asia, Hoehn says: "If you're going to deal with this, you're going to deal with it on a global scale. . . . if we come to understand that there is something we can do militarily, we don't have a month to do it . . . we may only have hours to do it."

To carry out this strategy the Pentagon is setting up new bases or expanding existing ones in dozens of countries. It is strengthening a ring of largescale, permanent military "hubs" in such "safe" areas as the U.S. territory of Guam, in Hawaii, Okinawa, Britain, Germany etc. while also building smaller but new "forward operating bases." These smaller bases will enable the U.S. to preposition equipment and a trained military core in dozens of new areas.

Within the last 18 months, the Pentagon has already set up such forward operating bases in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and several other countries. The U.S. is also planning to get new bases in eastern European countries such as Poland, Bulgaria and Romania and to reestablish a permanent U.S. presence in the Philippines, in Australia and elsewhere.

Altogether U.S. imperialism, acting like the military dictator and policeman of the world, has already deployed more than 250,000 troops in 156 countries.