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Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Huge Concentration of Troops in Japan

"[T]he Spanish-American War [1898] first set us on our modern path of imperialism. Some of the bases we acquired at that time--Guantànamo Bay, Pearl Harbor, Guam--are still overseas military outposts or are on territories that we later directly annexed . . . . It was was not until World War II that our empire of bases achieved its global reach, and the United States still seems to regard its continuing occupation of the territory of its former Axis foes as something akin to a natural birthright. The Korean War, though ended in a stalemate, nonetheless projected us onto the Asian mainland . . . . According to the Pentagon's September 2001 Base Status Report, the United States has seventy-three bases in Japan. These bases house some 40,217 uniformed service personnel, plus 6,431 civilian employees of the Department of Defense and 42,653 dependents . . . . The Japanese government pays us some $4 billion per annum to help defray the costs . . . making Japan perhaps the only country that pays another country to carry out espionage against itself. The troops on these bases have no military functions. They have been held in reserve for deployment elsewhere in Asia--in Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf, the Philippines, East Timor, and other places--as the need (or opportunity) arises."

C. Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire, pp. 189, 202.

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