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Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World (American Empire Project) Hardcover – August 25, 2015
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A WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER
“A useful call to examine a question that gets far less attention than it merits… An entreaty for an explanation, a discussion in plain language, about what the U.S. military is doing in so many places in the world and why.”
―The Washington Post
"U.S. national security policy rests on the assertion that 'forward presence' contributes directly to global peace and security. In this powerful book, David Vine examines, dismantles, and disproves that claim. He demonstrates that America's sprawling network of overseas bases imposes costs―not only financial but also political, environmental, and moral―that far exceed what the Pentagon is prepared to acknowledge. Base Nation offers a devastating critique, and no doubt Washington will try to ignore it. Citizens should refuse to let that happen.”
―Andrew J. Bacevich, author of Limits of Power and Breach of Trust
“Who knew that we have more than eight hundred bases around the world? And what do our troops do there when they're not busy intruding into other people's conflicts? Such questions lie at the heart of David Vine's remarkable, impeccably written, and clearheaded analysis of the costly madness that is America's current colonial-military complex. His book is a marvel, and all in power should read it.”
―Simon Winchester, author of Atlantic and The Men Who United the States
“Just looking at the maps in David Vine's thoroughly documented Base Nation will give you the chills―and seduce you into reading the book. He's performed a kind of modern day treasure hunt, finding and displaying our military forces all over the globe, and then thinking deeply about whether their far-flung presence will achieve or undermine the goal of fostering a peaceful and prosperous world.”
―Dana Priest, coauthor of Top Secret America
“While I may not share all of David Vine's conclusions, Base Nation amply demonstrates what a growing number of people across the political spectrum are concluding: the foundation of our military belongs right here on American soil. In the U.S. Senate, I pushed for greater investment in our bases here at home where our forces have greater unrestricted training opportunities and can rapidly deploy worldwide better prepared for combat. Pentagon officials and members of Congress should pay close attention to Vine's arguments in favor of reducing our foreign presence in the interest of strengthening the future security posture of U.S. military forces and the fiscal health of our nation.”
―Kay Bailey Hutchison, former U.S. senator (R-TX) and chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Military Construction
About the Author
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.
Top Customer Reviews
The author provides a compelling combination of history, anthropological-sociological narrative, and political-economic calculation as to the cost of what some estimate to be as many at 1,000 bases around the world.
The references are a fine mix of books, articles, online sources, and as a good a range of Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congressional Research Service (CRS), and other limited edition publications including PhD theses.
I find multiple bottom lines in this book that could but does not go far enough, but is certainly an excellent starting point for getting to a total true cost that I believe is at least five times the author's calculation of $170 billion a year and that is only in relation to total cost in dollars -- if the cost of environmental pollution, geoengineering, false flag terrorism, and everything else is added up, the overseas bases that enable our "secret teams" and our not so secret occupying forces are the base of a multi-trillion dollar criminal industry that leaves no country untouched.Read more ›
The main tool it uses seems to be scope creep. The military will tell Congress it only wants a small installation, very inexpensive, with few personnel. But once built, it expands and gets added to ad infinitum. Vine says construction spending is out of control. The military maintains 170 golf courses, and offers all kinds of admittedly socialistic benefits that soldiers and their families dote on. This includes pay premiums, housing, healthcare, and shipping personal vehicles around the world free, along with all their belongings,
It also maintains dictators and criminals. By placing bases in their countries, they imply a level of stability and longevity the locals might not appreciate, what Vine calls “a pattern of U.S. support for violence and repression.” The same people we say we don’t like are compromising our military with these deals. US bases actually make the world more dangerous, Vine says. One of the more offensive situations is in Honduras, where the massive Satos-Cano Airbase does not officially exist. The Honduran constitution forbids foreign troops.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Impressive history of US military bases since roughly WWII. I especially liked the different aspects he looked at on the issue, such as security, cost, and culture among others. Read morePublished 22 days ago by johnnybgoode
Great information, and combined with other reading to balance my observation is USA is still the best nation ever designed in human history. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
An excellent book on a very important topic. Every American,and all citizens of the globe should be aware of the info in this book. Read morePublished 3 months ago by james shea
Excellent reading, very detailed work by David Vine on what the USA is doing around the world and how much damage is causing in the name of homeland security and the incredible... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
David Vine's examination of foreign US military bases is well researched and includes many credible sources but misses the mark when he attempts to assess the actual impact of... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Luis Alvarez
Easy read. Will infuriate you. All the wasteful spending. The Defense Department needs to be on a serious diet.Published 6 months ago by Maxwell Shaw
Excellent read. Very comprehensive. Excellent re history and US defense policy. Up to date on current strategy.Published 7 months ago by John B. Passerello