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Sunny2's avatar

Why do we have a military presence in 156 countires?

Asked by Sunny2 (18758points) July 26th, 2011

We have military personnel present in 156 countries, 737 bases in foreign lands and military bases in 63 countries according to Wikipedia. Why? Why are we spending all the money that takes?

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15 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

There are hundreds of reasons. Protecting interests, displaying power and presence, being closer to potential enemies to keep tabs on them, being closer to potential enemies to launch faster attacks on them etc.

phaedryx's avatar

We’re trying to collect the whole set.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Most of them are there to train the local military forces. We should pull tham all back to the US. If country wants us to train them they can come here.

woodcutter's avatar

Soldiers from other countries do come here to train. I saw an Aussie in a kilt in Wally world last week. He looked badass.

marinelife's avatar

We have foreign bases to cut the time and ease of transporting men and supplies to various war zones.

woodcutter's avatar

We also help boost the economies of the host countries or boost the regime that let us in.

WestRiverrat's avatar

We are also in a lot of countries to supply transportation for humanitarian supplies, most of which seem to come from US private citizens.

Bagardbilla's avatar

George Kennan, the father of US foreign policy post WWII alludes to the fact why a massive global military presence is needed. He wrote this in a secret memo:

“We have about 50% of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3% of its population…we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity….To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreamings….We should cease to talk about vague and…unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. ...we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.” This admission, ever more relevant as the U.S. becomes increasingly dependent on imports of nonrenewable resources, encapsulates the real purpose of military interventions and the nuclear arsenal; “The exercise of U.S. power is intended to preserve not only the international capitalist system but U.S. hegemony of that system.”

I think it’s pretty self explanatory…

josie's avatar

See @Bagardbilla
Kennan and Woodrow Wilson pretty much set the foundation for US foreign policy in the 20th century.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Because those profiting from feeding the war machine can’t figure out how to make a dime investing in education or homeland infrastructure.

wundayatta's avatar

Business wants it that way. American companies want things to be secure so they can continue to steal exploit the resources of people in those nations. Were it not for businesses wanting support in their efforts to make money, we wouldn’t have a presences hardly anywhere.

Also, if you want to get medieval on so-called foreign aid, just remember that some huge percentage of foreign aid helps American businesses. The countries receiving this aid are obligated to spend it on American companies.

So military and foreign aid spending, in general, benefit American businesses more than anyone else. That’s why it’ll never leave the budget. Business has too many Congress Critters in their pockets.

CaptainHarley's avatar

THAT is a very good question! We have a military presence all over the world because we fancy ourselves an empire and empires have troops all over the world. There are a multitude of reasons given for these troops being stationed all over the world, but that is the bitter truth in a nutshell.

We cannot afford this any longer and it’s past time that the idiots in DC pulled their heads out of their fourth points of contact and called all the troops home.

GingerMinx's avatar

What ‘we’ are you referring to?

Sunny2's avatar

@GingerMinx I’m sorry. The U.S. I guess I’m a typical self centered American. You mean there’s some other country? U.S. us. I’m embarrassed and I sincerely apologize.

GingerMinx's avatar

@Sunny2 Laughs, no problem, I just didn’t think my country had enough military people for that.

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