I used to laugh at the idea that some would call the U.S. an empire, back in my more naive neco-con days. But the numbers speak for themselves. (pic via NP)
According to PolitiFact the U.S. has a military presence in about 148 countries and somewhere between 662 and 900 bases. Further, considering how much of our defense budget is spent so far outside of our borders, is it really sensible to continue calling this “defense?” I propose we at the very least be more honest and change the name of the Defense Dept. back to the War Dept.
And what about us supposedly leaving Iraq? What’s the story with the new embassy we’ve built there?
Massive U.S. Embassy In Iraq Will Expand Further As Soldiers Leave: The embassy compound is by far the largest the world has ever seen, at one and a half square miles, big enough for 94 football fields. It cost three quarters of a billion dollars to build (coming in about $150 million over budget). Inside its high walls, guard towers and machine-gun emplacements lie not just the embassy itself, but more than 20 other buildings, including residential quarters, a gym and swimming pool, commercial facilities, a power station and a water-treatment plant.
Leaving Iraq? by Ron Paul: Some 39,000 American troops will supposedly be headed home by the end of the year. However, the US embassy in Iraq, which is the largest and most expensive in the world, is not being abandoned. Upwards of 17,000 military personnel and private security contractors will remain in Iraq to guard diplomatic personnel, continue training Iraqi forces, maintain “situational awareness” and other functions. This is still a significant American footprint in the country. And considering that a private security contractor costs the US taxpayer about three times as much as a soldier, we’re not going to see any real cost savings.
Click on pic to see full-size, or follow the link below.
U.S. military bases around the world: graphic – National Post: Despite the pending troop withdrawals in Iraq and those in Afghanistan between now and 2014, the United States remains a superpower on a scale not seen since the days of the Caesars. With this in mind, the National Post’s Richard Johnson takes a look at the scale of America’s forces.