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Military Bases

October 26, 2014

It’s curious that the same thing is happening quietly, in different parts of the world.  In Iraq, the US wanted al-Maliki to step down in favour of an inclusive government.  He refused to do so.  He also refused to sign an agreement that would authorize US military bases in Iraq.  Pretty soon, though, al-Maliki did step down, to be replaced by two politicians leading a coalition government.  The two of them signed the agreement, although you will have trouble confirming that they did so.

There was a similar situation in Afghanistan.  Karzai also would not agree to US military bases in his country, even as he came to the end of his term as president.  In the subsequent election, two candidates got almost the same majority vote.  The US urged that they form a government of national unity.  The situation was resolved when the two of them formed a coalition government.  They also signed the agreement for military bases.

It was somewhat different in the Philippines.  Their constitution does not permit permanent foreign military bases on their territory.  The US already had two.  They solved that dilemma by declaring them temporary.  In April, president Obama visited the Philippines to announce an expansion of the bases.  The additional personnel were there for training purposes.  Once again, the agreement was signed.

I understand that the US has over 1000 military bases outside of their own country.  They certainly got what they wanted in Iraq and Afghanistan.  No other country has anything approaching their military power.  That’s the world we live in.  Even the agreements are loosely worded and subject to interpretation.  The bases could be used for purposes that nobody expected when they were signed.  Do you feel more secure now?




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