Extensive US overseas military bases for domination not defense – IBON

May 27, 2024

by IBON Foundation

The United States (US) has more overseas military bases than the rest of the world combined, and nearly 10 times more than its closest rivals China and Russia combined. The US government harps about China and Russia military aggression but research group IBON pointed out that the vast network of US overseas military bases worldwide which it has used to launch the most offensive military operations of any country since the Second World War shows that its aggression is much worse.

The group said that the US’ expansive military footprint globally is far beyond what is needed for defense and is for ensuring its global dominance and hegemony. IBON noted that the US has 742 foreign bases and facilities in 82 countries and territories. It also has 226,762 civil-military personnel deployed in 176 countries and territories, aside from the 2.6 million stationed in the US. It also has bilateral military agreements with 179 countries.

In comparison, the overseas military presence of Russia and China is much less and limited to nearby countries and territories, said the group. Russia has just 52 reported bases and facilities in 12 countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan and Ukraine.

Meanwhile, China has only 29 bases and facilities with two bases in Djibouti and Cambodia and the rest of its facilities (27) concentrated in the South China Sea. These are in the Spratly Islands (7) and the Paracel Islands (20). China is however also speculated to have military posts and facilities in Cuba, Myanmar and Tajikistan.

IBON said that as tensions heighten in the West Philippine Sea, Filipinos need to be critical not only of China but also of US involvement and its fundamental militarist agenda in the region. The group said that the US has long used its worldwide military might and interventions to ensure its domination and to aggressively expand in its hegemonic self-interest. In the Philippines, this comes at the high price of the country’s sovereignty and the well-being and interests of the Filipino people.