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Just out of curiosity, what fraction of the US bases are made up of the post-WWII/Cold War bases in Western Europe? Those bases are actually more or less welcome - they certainly provide a couple of million-odd jobs to Europe, and mean that much of our territorial defense can be relegated to our Imperial Overlords in Washington.

Now, from my perspective it seems only fair that if they're going to be our Imperial Overlords anyway (and given the current political situation in Europe, they are), they might as well foot the bill for defending our territory. But I sometimes wonder why Washington accepts it. It's not like our current crop of politicians would go native on them if they pulled out, after all...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Nov 5th, 2007 at 07:42:46 PM EST

Those bases are actually more or less welcome - they certainly provide a couple of million-odd jobs to Europe, and mean that much of our territorial defense can be relegated to our Imperial Overlords in Washington.

Several items there:

  • they are not welcome everywhere (see Italy, for instance. See debates on the missile defense);

  • they are often paid, to a large extent, by the local host (cf Germany);

  • I'm not sure they provide that many jobs: everything on these bases is imported from the US (as a French officer in Germany, it was eerie to see the difference between French and US bases: the French lived in the nearby towns or villages, shopped locally, employed locals in the base; the Americans lived on base, bought everything from the internal PX stores which carried only US-imported products); it's not millions in any case - maybe a few hundred locally supported by some of the spending power of the Americans.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2007 at 04:49:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What are US forces defending us against, exactly?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Nov 6th, 2007 at 04:51:28 AM EST
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The forces of anti-Capitalism, of course....

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Nov 6th, 2007 at 06:30:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They aren't defending us from anything. It's just marking territory, like a dog pissing on a lampost. "You may think you're a sovereign nation, but actually...you're not. You exist to serve us, and if you don't, well this base could get bigger. A lot bigger. And there's nothing you can do about it {smirk} Have a nice day, y'all.

After all, what was NATO for ? To keep America in, the Russians out and Germany down.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Nov 6th, 2007 at 10:32:49 AM EST
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The US has military bases so it can project force to spread Democracy© and Freedom©.  When you Europeans finally get Democracy© and Freedom© the job Will Be Done™ and all the forces will return home.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Nov 7th, 2007 at 12:52:10 AM EST
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