Foreign military bases are integral to preparations for war. The bases intended to increase violence, undermine international security and proliferate weapons.
There are more than 150,000 U.S military troops deployed outside the country on more than 800 bases in 160 countries. These bases are the central feature of U.S. foreign policy which is one of coercion and threat of military aggression. Military bases are usually taken for granted or overlooked entirely, a little-noticed part of the Pentagon’s vast operations. The U.S. uses bases to preposition troops and weaponry in the event they are “needed” at a moment’s notice, and as a manifestation of U.S. global domination and as implicit threat.
Moreover, countries with U.S bases on their territory are potential targets for the attack in the historical record of military aggression.
The U.S. Army has been working to update its pre-positioned stocks throughout Europe. These stocks, which store equipment near areas of potential conflict, give the U.S. Army the ability to rapidly equip forces and “provide support until air and sea lines of communication can be established.”
There are big problems at a local level with foreign military presence: environmental and social. People living around the bases suffer high levels of rape committed by foreign soldiers, violent crimes, loss of land (military training grounds), health hazards caused by the testing of conventional or non-conventional weapons.
For example, a Pentagon Report released in March, 2018 details widespread chemical poisoning of water supplies on military bases and in surrounding communities worldwide. The report, Addressing Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) – Maureen Sullivan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Environment, Safety & Occupational Health) March, 2018, identifies the presence of PFOS and PFOA in drinking water at levels known to be harmful to human health. At least 401 bases are known to have contaminated water. The chemicals are used in fire retardants during routine fire-training exercises on American military bases. The lethal substances find their way into the groundwater and are linked to severe problems associated with women’s’ reproductive health. They include severe pregnancy complications and long-term fertility issues. More terrible is the fact that these chemicals contaminate human breast milk. PFOS and PFOA cause liver damage, high cholesterol, decreased response to vaccines, and an increased risk of thyroid disease, and asthma diagnosis. Elimination of pollution will take years and the full scope of the problem is unknown to the public, especially in U.S.
The presence of foreign troops negatively affects the host nations, as well as the fact that they can violate that nation’s sovereignty.
It should be remembered that the Baltic states and the United States signed Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). According to this document U.S. soldiers who perpetrate crimes are granted immunity and cannot be held accountable.
There is no international framework to deal with the problems caused by foreign military bases or presence of foreign troops. These bases raise geopolitical tensions and provoke widespread antipathy toward the U.S.
It’s obvious that the U.S. has the most aggressive army in the world, and the closure of U.S. bases around the world would have a significant shift in foreign relations. The U.S. would become less of a threat to humanity and the removal of U.S. (foreign soldiers) military personnel from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia is critical to the elimination of war and gaining independence.