According to the Department of Defense's 2004 Base Structure
Report, the United States officially maintains 860 overseas
military installations and another 115 on noncontinental U.S.
territories. Over the last fifteen years the Department of Defense
has been moving from a few large-footprint bases to smaller and
much more numerous bases across the globe. This so-called lily-pad
strategy, designed to allow high-speed reactions to military
emergencies anywhere in the world, has provoked significant debate
in military circles and sometimes-fierce contention within the
polity of the host countries.
In Base Politics, Alexander Cooley examines how
domestic politics in different host countries, especially in
periods of democratic transition, affect the status of U.S. bases
and the degree to which the U.S. military has become a part of
their local and national landscapes. Drawing on exhaustive field
research in different host nations across East Asia and Southern
Europe, as well as the new postcommunist base hosts in the Black
Sea and Central Asia, Cooley offers an original and provocative
account of how and why politicians in host countries contest or
accept the presence of the U.S. military on their territory.
Overseas bases, Cooley shows, are not merely installations that
serve a military purpose. For host governments and citizens, U.S.
bases are also concrete institutions and embodiments of U.S. power,
identity, and diplomacy. Analyzing the degree to which overseas
bases become enmeshed in local political agendas and interests,
Base Politics will be required reading for anyone
interested in understanding the extent-and limits-of America's
overseas military influence.
Subjects: Political Science
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