Base Nation:How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World

Base Nation How U S Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World From Italy to the Indian Ocean from Japan to Honduras a far reaching examination of the perils of American military bases overseasAmerican military bases encircle the globe More than two decades aft

  • Title: Base Nation:How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World
  • Author: David Vine
  • ISBN: 9781627791694
  • Page: 419
  • Format: Hardcover
  • From Italy to the Indian Ocean, from Japan to Honduras, a far reaching examination of the perils of American military bases overseasAmerican military bases encircle the globe More than two decades after the end of the Cold War, the U.S still stations its troops at nearly a thousand locations in foreign lands These bases are usually taken for granted or overlooked entireFrom Italy to the Indian Ocean, from Japan to Honduras, a far reaching examination of the perils of American military bases overseasAmerican military bases encircle the globe More than two decades after the end of the Cold War, the U.S still stations its troops at nearly a thousand locations in foreign lands These bases are usually taken for granted or overlooked entirely, a little noticed part of the Pentagon s vast operations But in an eye opening account, Base Nation shows that the worldwide network of bases brings with it a panoply of ills and actually makes the nation less safe in the long run.As David Vine demonstrates, the overseas bases raise geopolitical tensions and provoke widespread antipathy towards the United States They also undermine American democratic ideals, pushing the U.S into partnerships with dictators and perpetuating a system of second class citizenship in territories like Guam They breed sexual violence, destroy the environment, and damage local economies And their financial cost is staggering though the Pentagon underplays the numbers, Vine s accounting proves that the bill approaches 100 billion per year.For many decades, the need for overseas bases has been a quasi religious dictum of U.S foreign policy But in recent years, a bipartisan coalition has finally started to question this conventional wisdom With the U.S withdrawing from Afghanistan and ending thirteen years of war, there is no better time to re examine the tenets of our military strategy Base Nation is an essential contribution to that debate.

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    About “David Vine

    • David Vine

      David Vine is the author of Island of Shame The Secret History of the U.S Military Base on Diego Garcia and an associate professor of anthropology at American University in Washington, D.C His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Mother Jones, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, among other publications He lives in Washington, D.C.



    553 thoughts on “Base Nation:How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World

    • This is not the kind of book I normally read--I don’t usually read “issue” or current events non-fiction. It is not that I don’t care, it is just not what I prefer to read. However, I believe that David Vine’s book, Base Nation, is one of the most important books I have read and I believe it needs to be read by a lot more people.As the subtitle states, the book is about how the US military’s policy of having an extensive overseas base network is on the whole damaging to US interests. [...]


    • “Anthropologist David Vine spent several years visiting and investigating U.S military bases abroad. To put it mildly, he disapproves of what he found. In his sweeping critique, Base Nation, Vine concludes that Washington’s extensive network of foreign bases—he claims there are about 800 of them—causes friction with erstwhile American allies, costs way too much money, underwrites dictatorships, pollutes the environment, and morally compromises the country. Far from providing an important [...]


    • This upcoming book about the vagrancies and ills of America’s overseas military bases starts in Guantanamo, where much has been heard about the prison, but not many know it’s also a regular base, so much like others that it has McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell, Subway, etc. I remember a base in Qatar some years ago that reminded me of a Midwest American small town, but you don’t expect it in Cuba!There are chapters on the environment, families living on base, profiteering, local wor [...]


    • Did you know the military owns and operates 170 golf courses across the world? Why exactly do we spend more than half of the discretionary federal budget on the military? Intriguing questions withinThis was probably the best possible follow-up I could have found to Chalmers Johnson's Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire to further explore the costs and consequences of American empire into the present day.Obviously, there are larger areas of overlap. Like Johnson, Vine spends a [...]


    • The U.S. Military has bases that dot the globe. We spend billions of dollars to station troops and their families there, in effort to be safe and protect our national interest. Vine asks the radical question, is it working? He details our historical habits of inefficiency, fraud, ecological assault, sexual assault and our willingness to work with the bad guys dictators and even the Italian Mob, not to mention the military's habit of holding on to unneeded bases just in case we need them in the f [...]


    • Good book in that it describes what I know as the true intent of these military installation all over the world. Yet at the end the author only gives ideas to streamline the bases we have instead of getting rid of them altogether. Don't forget what Smedley Butler said "War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and th [...]


    • It's rare to find a book on such a big issue that's both comprehensive and readable. It's a great, eye-opening read.


    • This is an impressive book, and although Vine's perspective is clear, there's also a careful and constant effort to show the issues objectively and with an eye to what needs to be considered when talking about closing or expanding bases, changing policy, or maintaining the status quo.First, it's important to note that the research isn't just extensive, but presented clearly and without bias; Vine is open about the things which can't be known for sure, and about the biases felt on various sides o [...]



    • Americans, generally believe that having a large number of United State military bases established throughout the world not only stabilizes security in foreign countries, but that it also serves as a deterrent for those who wants to wage war against the U.S. However, David Vine in his book, Base Nation:How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World, provides a strong argument that not only does the outposts do a poor job at any of these functions, but that it perpetrates a climate tha [...]


    • The national security strategy of the United States since World War II has included overseas basing as a strategic deterrence, first to counter the rising Iron Curtain of the Soviet Union and People’s Republic of China and more recently in the Middle East. There were valid arguments for maintaining military bases in Europe and Asia after the Second World War. However, in the 21st Century should the U.S. invest billions to maintain hundreds of overseas bases that endure because of 19th and 20th [...]


    • I received this book as a first read. It's a bit dry and fact heavy but it is very informative. It provides a good overview of the history of US military bases both domestic and abroad. It also takes a good look at the economic, social, and environmental impact that the bases have around the world. Reading about military ties to the mob was interesting. The chapters covering illegitimate children, divorce, and the sex trade were especially eye opening. A really educational read for anyone intere [...]


    • Jonathan Yen narrates with clarity and precision, giving a strong delivery of David Vine’s Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World. Yen’s determined voice commands the listener with conviction, delivering multilayers of intense information, not strictly the figures, but mind numbing facts about the multiplicity of American military bases that is both stark and startling. This is essential reading.


    • Excellent overview of US military bases around the world mainly from post WWII to the present. You get the feeling that despite years of researching for this book, the author was unable to get a lot of information on the bases, for national security and political reasons. The military-industrial complex is alive and well.


    • Vine had some good points to make, but he also seemed to make several assumptions and cherry pick some quotes and data throughout. I think most of his points are valid and could have been made more clearly (this book could easily have been much shorter) and would have been stronger without what seemed to be mild exaggerations, anecdotes, and asides.


    • This book is probably one of my favorites because of the immense amount of information it gives about US military bases around the world. Every US citizen should read it for their own good.




    • Interesting premise - the more overseas bases we have, the worse for the US. Author makes a pretty good argument, but I'd like to hear the other side


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