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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Is the USA a de facto imperialist?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26829points) July 4th, 2011

As of 5 years ago, the US had military bases in more than 700 nations around the globe. Why is that? There are no more Soviets. Having military bases in someone’s back yard so to speak is kind of like having a made member of the MOB working at your plant. You know no one will never try to rob the place because they do not want to tangle with ”the Family”, but it also give the Godfather a hook to influence how much juice you will have to pay. With what can be seen as a de facto garrison stationed in a nation you can ”persuade” them to follow your lead less that garrison be used against the sitting government because they all of a sudden made the hostile list, and a new puppet set up depended on US aid. Even though it is not an all out occupational influence, having bases or a footprint in so many nations equal de facto imperialism?

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10 Answers

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Hode on thar Hoss… THat’s a lotta cattle yer’ stirrin’ up!

You gotta problem with US military all over the planet? Vote Ron Paul and you won’t.

mazingerz88's avatar

I don’t think so. Some of those countries prefer having American bases nearby.

WasCy's avatar

There aren’t even 700 nations in the world, so the basis for the question is incorrect.

Perhaps you can edit the question and get back to us on this.

flutherother's avatar

The United States extends its influence across the globe through political and economic means as well as military. It has been dominant in the world for at least a century but it is admired more than it is feared. It is an empire of sorts, and despite some terrible mistakes, a mostly good one. But who knows what the future will hold. No empire lasts forever.

laureth's avatar

Yep. It’s not a big surprise, either. It’s been the plan since at least Thomas Jefferson’s day.

woodcutter's avatar

Having a military base in another country has nothing to with imperialism. There are a lot of things that have to be arranged before a base goes up. It just doesn’t spring up suddenly as a surprise to the host country unless it is because of war. It works out in a way that benefits both parties. One hand washes the other or the arrangement fails and the military is asked to leave.

josie's avatar

Probably. And I probably in a small way helped accomplish that.
But if we assume somebody is going to do it, because history proves that they always do, I would rather it be us than somebody else.

Linda_Owl's avatar

The US is, and always has been, imperialist/expansionist in nature. How much “good” we have done is debatable. Our government has a very long history of destabilizing governments that refuse to do our government’s bidding (*the bidding of our large corporations) & replacing them with governments that will do what they are told. Of course now a large number of our large corporations have operations in a great many other countries outside of the US (the main reason that there are so few jobs here in the US), but the corporations are still calling the shots as far as our government is concerned (thru specific campaign donations) – a problem only made worse by the Supreme Court’s decision to acknowledge corporations as being “people”, so they can throw both their might & money behind the candidate that will deliver the votes for them in both the Senate & the House of Representatives.

mattbrowne's avatar

No. Most Germans welcome having American troops in Germany for example. Americans liberated us from the Nazis and kept the Soviets in check. That’s not imperialism.

I’d say Iraq is the exception. That was imperialism. Afghanistan was about self defense.

WasCy's avatar

I’d argue with @mattbrowne that Iraq was poorly conceived and executed (and misplaced) aggression and cowboy foreign policy, but given that the US has zero plan or intent to annex, territorialize or occupy Iraq in perpetuity, not imperialism. (That’s not to say that the US has never had imperial aspirations. One hundred years ago the Philippines were reacting pretty much the same as the Iraqis had until recently, as we definitely were trying to take over that nation as a US territory. And we still have Puerto Rico and Guantanamo – and Guam, I believe – as ‘successful’ acquisitions from the Spanish-American War.)

Other than that, he’s absolutely correct. The US has treaty obligations (NATO, for a major one) that require its military presence in most of the places where it has foreign military bases. If the other member countries decide to abrogate the treaties, then an American occupation of the foreign base in that country (with Guantanamo being a notable exception) would be tantamount to a declaration of war. And despite the current Iraqi misadventure (and brief temporary Central American and Caribbean incursions of the past), the US does not generally make unprovoked war on others.

That’s the military / political answer. On the other hand, the US has been accused (probably correctly) of “cultural imperialism” for all of my lifetime. And will probably continue to be so accused as long as we advertise and export products, including food products, movies, music, books and art, to name a few.

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