US Military Bases Abroad

Alexander Cooley

in Political Science

ISBN: 9780199756223
Published online November 2011 | | DOI:
US Military Bases Abroad

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Since World II, the United States has maintained a network of hundreds of military bases, installations, and facilities across the globe. Some bases in Germany, Japan, and Korea are large cities that host tens of thousands of troops and their families, while others are as small as a communications station in a remote part of a host country. The basing network is central to US power projection and military capabilities, and while some scholars have regarded the network as indispensable to America’s establishment of the global “liberal order,” others refer to it as America’s “empire of bases.” Analytically, the topic of foreign overseas military bases interfaces with several subfields in political science and the broader social sciences. International security scholars and grand strategists look at the strategic roles of bases, as well as their overall functions within US global strategy. Disputes about bases, cost-sharing formulas, and access rights have frequently risen to the top of the security agenda between the United States and its NATO and East Asian allies, while negotiations over basing rights also interface with the study of foreign policy, diplomacy, and international bargaining. International law scholars have analyzed the unusual legal regimes and status of forces agreements that govern the US presence abroad, including the often politically sensitive issue of which side exercises jurisdiction over foreign military personnel in the host country who are involved in accidents or are accused of committing crimes. More recently, comparativists have begun examining the social and political impact of bases on host countries, while a broad range of social scientists has researched domestic opposition to the US military presence and the emergence of anti-base protest and citizens’ movements.

Article.  12415 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Political Institutions ; Political Methodology ; Political Theory

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