Worth a Look: Base Nation – How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World

04 Inter-State Conflict, 07 Other Atrocities, 10 Security, 11 Society, Corruption, IO Deeds of War, Military, Peace Intelligence
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

American 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.

The book is available for pre-order now; all book proceeds will go to non-profit organizations assisting military veterans and their families and other victims of war and violence.

Links to Article, Chapters, & Media Coverage Below the Fold


“The Truth About Diego Garcia: And 50 Years of Fiction About an American Military Base.”
TomDispatch.com, June 14, 2014. http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176010/tomgram%3A_david_vine,_the_forgotten_costs_of_war_in_the_middle_east/

“The Bases of War in the Middle East: From Carter to the Islamic State, 35 Years of Building Bases and Sowing Disaster.” TomDispatch.com, November 13, 2014. http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175922/tomgram%3A_david_vine,_a_permanent_infrastructure_for_permanent_war/

“The Italian Job: How the Pentagon Is Using Your Tax Dollars to Turn Italy Into a Launching Pad for the Wars of Today and Tomorrow.” TomDispatch.com, October 3, 2013. http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175755/tomgram%3A_david_vine%2C_the_pentagon%27s_italian_spending_spree_/

“Forty Years of Heartbreak: Let the People of Diego Garcia Return to their Homeland.” Huffington Post, May 28, 2013. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-vine/forty-years-of-heartbreak_b_3344190.html

“Where Has All the Money Gone? How Contractors Raked in $385 Billion to Build and Support Bases Abroad since 2001.” TomDispatch.com, May 14, 2013. http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175699/tomgram%3A_david_vine%2C_baseworld_profiteering

“Picking Up a $170 Billion Tab: How U.S. Taxpayers Are Paying the Pentagon to Occupy the Planet.” TomDispatch.com, December 11, 2012. http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175627/

“The Lily-Pad Strategy: How the Pentagon Is Quietly Transforming Its Overseas Base Empire and Creating a Dangerous New Way of War.” TomDispatch.com, July 16. http://www.tomdispatch.com/archive/175568/

“Fanning the Flames in Honduras.” Huffington Post, February 22, 2012. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-vine/honduras-prison-fire_b_1294052.html

“Nothing ‘Off-base’ about Ron Paul’s Estimates of U.S. Bases Overseas.” Focal Points Blog, February 20, 2012. http://www.fpif.org/blog/nothing_off-base_about_ron_paul_and_us_bases_overseas

“Bipartisan Strategy Takes Shape to Close Overseas U.S. Bases.” With Raymond DuBois. Defense News, January 29, 2012. http://www.defensenews.com/article/20120129/DEFFEAT05/301290001/Bipartisan-Strategy-Takes-Shape-Close-Overseas-U-S-Bases

“Jeju Island Activist Sung-Hee Choi Interviewed in Prison.” Foreign Policy in Focus, July 26, 2011. http://www.fpif.org/blog/jeju_island_activist_sung-hee_choi_interviewed_in_prison

“Smearing Japan.” Foreign Policy in Focus, April 20, 2011. http://www.fpif.org/articles/smearing_japan
“What Kevin Maher Said [Japanese].” Ryukyu Shimpo, April 10, 2011, p. 3.
“It Was Not an Off the Record Session.” Letter to the editor, The Wall Street Journal, March 21, 2011. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748704164204576203300422182340
“WikiLeaks Cables Reveal Use of Environmentalism by US and UK as Pretext to Keep Natives From Returning to Diego Garcia.” Focal Points Blog, December 3, 2010. http://www.fpif.org/blog/wikileak_cables_reveal_use_of_environmentalism_by_us_and_uk_as_pretext_to_keep_natives_from_returning_to_diego_garcia

“Environmental Protection of Bases?” Foreign Policy in Focus, April 22, 2010.  http://www.fpif.org/articles/environmental_protectionof_bases

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

“‘We’re Profiteers’: How Military Contractors Reap Billions from U.S. Military Bases Overseas.” Monthly Review 66, no. 3 (2014): 82-102.

“When a Country Becomes a Military Base: Blowback and Insecurity in Honduras, the World’s Most Dangerous Place.” In Bioinsecurity and Vulnerability. Lesley Sharp and Nancy Chen, eds. Pp. 25-44. (Santa Fe, NM: School for Advanced Research Press, 2014).

“What If You Can’t Protest a Base? The Chagossian Exile, the Struggle for Democracy, and the
Military Base on Diego Garcia.” Special issue on social movements around foreign military bases. Michael Hardt, ed. South Atlantic Quarterly 111, no. 4 (2012): 847-56. http://saq.dukejournals.org/content/111/4/847.abstract

“Compensating a People for the Loss of Their Homeland: Diego Garcia, the Chagossians, and the Human Rights Standards Damages Model.” With Philip Harvey and S. Wojciech Sokolowski. Northwestern Journal of International Human Rights 11, no. 1 (2012): 152-185. http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/njihr/vol11/iss1/6/

“Married to the Mob? Uncovering the Relationship between the U.S. Military and the Mafia in Southern Italy.” Anthropology Now 4, no. 2 (2012). Pp. 54-69. http://www.scribd.com/doc/158852273/Married-to-the-Mob-pdf

“‘Lily Pad’ Bases and New Cold Wars: Ansbach’s Place in the Global Transformation of US Military Bases.” Militärstadt Ansbach – Blick zurück und nach vorn, [Ansbach as a Military Town: Past and Future] conference, Ansbach, Germany, June 16, 2012. http://www.offene-linke-ansbach.de/Content/Aktionen/2012/Ansbacher_Geschichtstage_2012/Vortrag_VINE_EN_2012_06_16_AN.pdf

“‘Lily Pad’ Stützpunkte und Neue Kalte Kriege: Ansbachs Stellung in der globalen Transformation der US-amerikanischen Militärbasen,” Militärstadt Ansbach – Blick zurück und nach vorn, Ansbach, Deutschland, 16 Juni 2012. http://www.offene-linke-ansbach.de/Content/Aktionen/2012/Ansbacher_Geschichtstage_2012/Vortrag_VINE_DE_2012_06_16_AN.pdf

“Yankee City in the Heart of the Camorra: The U.S. Military in Campania.” Meridione: Sud e Nord nel Mondo: La Napoli degli Americani dalla Liberazione alle basi Nato [Americans in Naples from Liberation to NATO Bases], no. 4 (2011). Chiara Ingrosso and Luca Molinari, eds. Pp. 243-264. http://www.academia.edu/1872450/Dispersioni_urbane._Paesaggi_americani_tra_Napoli_e_Caserta

Base Nation Early Media Coverage

Kirkus Reviews, https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/david-vine/base-nation/

Publisher’s Weekly [starred review], http://www.publishersweekly.com/9781627791694

Johnny Harris, “Why Does the US Have 800 Military Bases around the World?” Vox.com, May 18, 2015. http://www.vox.com/2015/5/18/8600659/military-bases-united-states

Annalisa Merelli, “These Are All the Countries Where the US Has a Military Presence,” Quartz, April 2, 2015. http://qz.com/374138/these-are-all-the-countries-where-the-us-has-a-military-presence/

Nicolas Bérubé, “Les Bases ‘Sont La Politique,” La Presse [Montreal], April 15, 2015  .

Christian Schmidt, “Zurück ins Paradies,” Tages Anzeiger [Zurich], January 23, 2015.

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