Residual Troops Around the World

A lot of discussion happens on MyDD about how fully to withdraw the troops from Iraq. Should we leave embassy troops is pretty much a consensus yes. When discussing if there be counterterrorism operations, humanitarian missions or soldiers training Iraqis, though, there is a lot of disagreement.

I thought it would be useful to gather the opinion on America's many other foreign bases as a way of narrowing in on why troops should or should not stay in Iraq at all.

We have 71,000 troops stationed in Germany, 47,000 in Japan, 37,500 in South Korea. The German divisions patrolled the Iraqi no-fly zone prior to 2003, take care of the seriously wounded from Iraq, fought in Bosnia and Kosovo and provide a huge amount of logistical support. The Asian troops largely practice for the possibility of a North Korean attack. There are also large bases in Britain, Italy, and Turkey. In total, the US military has at least 700 bases in 130 countries (this does not include embassies).

Do people here oppose these bases as imperialist remnants of our military success in WWII? Are they OK because we are now allied with these countries (though I would point out we are at least superficially allied with Iraq currently)? Are they problematic because they are a part of the military-industrial complex? Do they allow the armed forces to do the good kinds of things that the armed forces could do under a different leader?

Should we withdraw from all of these bases, some of them, or none? I think I lean toward either eliminating most or augmenting them with significant political and humanitarian infrastructures, but I'm unsure myself.

Tags: Germany, Iraq, Japan, korea, military, withdrawal (all tags)

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