Embattled Garrisons

Embattled Garrisons: Comparative Base Politics and American Globalism

Kent E. Calder
Copyright Date: 2007
Pages: 340
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7s684
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  • Book Info
    Embattled Garrisons
    Book Description:

    The overseas basing of troops has been a central pillar of American military strategy since World War II--and a controversial one. Are these bases truly essential to protecting the United States at home and securing its interests abroad--for example in the Middle East-or do they needlessly provoke anti-Americanism and entangle us in the domestic woes of host countries?Embattled Garrisonstakes up this question and examines the strategic, political, and social forces that will determine the future of American overseas basing in key regions around the world.

    Kent Calder traces the history of overseas bases from their beginnings in World War II through the cold war to the present day, comparing the different challenges the United States, Britain, France, and the Soviet Union have confronted. Providing the broad historical and comparative context needed to understand what is at stake in overseas basing, Calder gives detailed case studies of American bases in Japan, Italy, Turkey, the Philippines, Spain, South Korea, the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He highlights the vulnerability of American bases to political shifts in their host nations--in emerging democracies especially--but finds that an American presence can generally be tolerated when identified with political liberation rather than imperial succession.

    Embattled Garrisonsshows how the origins of basing relationships crucially shape long-term prospects for success, and it offers a means to assess America's prospects for a sustained global presence in the future.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-3560-7
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-ix)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. x-x)
  5. Foreword
    (pp. xi-xiv)
    Kent E. Calder

    My personal experience with American military bases goes back a long way. My father was a retired U.S. Naval officer, medically discharged from active duty during World War II, who loved to travel. Posted overseas in Southeast Asia and Africa, on contract projects with the Ford Foundation and U.S. AID, he thought up all sorts of outlandish car trips, often with a European or a North African angle. And as a retired officer, he liked nothing better than to ferret out a military base along the way, and have a good American steak at the local Officers’ Club.

    In the...

  6. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xv-xvii)
  7. Map
    (pp. xviii-xviii)
  8. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-3)

    The presence of foreign troops on the soil of independent nations has traditionally been at once an unusual and an uncomfortable reality. Historically overseas military bases have almost invariably been the product of empires, and have disappeared with the liberation of their peoples. For the citizens of the United States, they were for the first century of the Republic and beyond a particularly noxious form of foreign entanglement. Only from the late 1930s, as the storm clouds of World War II began to deepen, did overseas military bases in other sovereign nations gradually become a more acceptable reality, for both...

  9. CHAPTER ONE THE HERITAGE OF HISTORY
    (pp. 4-35)

    Ten miles south of Korea’s Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), sandwiched between eight thousand North Korean artillery pieces and Korea’s capital, Seoul, with its more than ten million people, stands Camp Sears. Home for nearly half a century, since the guns of the Korean War went silent in 1953, to the U.S. Army’s Second Infantry Division, it now stands abandoned, save for solitary sentries guarding the gate. Since 2005, the camp has been silent—its soldiers redeployed, many to the Middle East.

    Camp Sears, and fifty-eight other garrisons like it, from which American troops are withdrawing under 2004 transformation accords, present in...

  10. CHAPTER TWO DEEPENING VULNERABILITY CHANGING PROFILES OF FORWARD DEPLOYMENT AND IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICY
    (pp. 36-63)

    Military basing, as history demonstrates repeatedly, tends to have a conservative bias. Once bases are established, generally in the heat of major conflict, they tend to remain for long periods of time. Inertial bureaucratic and political forces, operating on a logic akin to Newton’s second law of thermodynamics, cause bases to continue in motion, once conflict has initiated or rationalized them, until stopped by some more powerful outside force.

    Yet foreign bases are buffeted by winds of change, their physically unassailable profile notwithstanding. This chapter surveys those pressures, and the transformations they impel, especially developments of the momentous post–Cold...

  11. CHAPTER THREE BASE POLITICS A CONCEPTUAL INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 64-78)

    Overseas military bases are an old idea that is once again being reexamined, amidst the deepening controversy over American involvement in Iraq. Traditionally a creature of empire, since the late 1930s bases have frequently existed on the soil of independent nations, as we have seen. In this relatively new incarnation, they are severely challenged today by new political and technological trends, including populism and the increasing range of advanced weaponry—not to mention the rising distaste for American unilateralism and the mechanisms that sustain its Pax Americana.

    Yet overseas bases persist for five basic reasons. Apart from persisting classical security...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR THE NATURE OF THE CONTEST
    (pp. 79-96)

    To the extent that casual observers—both popular and scholarly—think much about base politics, they tend to conceive host-nation views of bases in broad cultural terms. “Muslims—or Saudi Arabia or Iraq—are ‘antibase’ because they oppose the military presence of infidels on national soil,” it is said. Australians, conversely, share a “community of values” with the United States, and tend to be “probase” as a consequence, it is reasoned.

    Constructivist approaches to politics and international affairs present these casual arguments more formally. Prevailing norms, they suggest, are not only the determinants of national worldviews, but also the primary...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE THE BASE-POLITICS ENVIRONMENT COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES
    (pp. 97-125)

    We have identified the major actors in base politics, as well as the general logic of their interaction. Now it is necessary to consider dynamic external sociopolitical forces, often destabilizing, which drive the process itself, and often determine its outcome. Virtually all of the remarkably small number of base-politics studies undertaken so far focus on individual countries or bases, rather than such dynamic cross-national factors, and are hence a form of static area-studies research.¹ While often well crafted empirically, they focus on individual trees in the base-politics forest, and not on what drives the dialectic of support for and opposition...

  14. CHAPTER SIX BASE POLITICS DECONSTRUCTED FOUR PARADIGMS
    (pp. 126-163)

    Base politics, we have argued here, is best understood, despite its highly symbolic and controversial nature, as a matter of personal, rational decision. The ultimate players in the base-politics contest areindividuals; ranging from NGO activists to national leaders, they respond to particular information and incentives unique to themselves.

    These players, of course, often have deeply held values and cultural biases. Sometimes, as in the Middle East, cultural and ethnic consciousness significantly shape policy outcomes, in part through their impact on concepts of order and rationality.¹ Yet those values are far less determining than often assumed, as specific cases presented...

  15. CHAPTER SEVEN BASE-POLITICS MANAGEMENT THE SUBNATIONAL DIMENSION
    (pp. 164-187)

    Since the very dawn of strategic theory itself, nation-states have been the central analytical concern of both theorists and practitioners. It is nation-states, they maintain, that act upon the global stage and that decide issues of war and peace with one another. We have reviewed, in preceding chapters, the base-political strategies of nations, and concede that individual countriesdohave their distinctive national approaches to dealing with foreign forces in their midst.

    Yet nation-states, in the final analysis, are not the ultimate units of real-world action in international affairs. It ispeople—not nations—that ultimately act. It ispeople...

  16. CHAPTER EIGHT THE FINANCIAL EQUATIONS LOCAL EQUITIES, BASE STABILITY, AND BURDEN SHARING
    (pp. 188-208)

    Base politics, as we have seen in the past three chapters, is a complex contest, with varied national manifestations. Sometimes it is played well, with clear implications for stability or withdrawal, and sometimes badly, with volatile, prospectively uncertain outcomes, as under the bazaar-politics paradigm. Yet regardless of the dynamic in any particular case, base politics is not just a series of idiosyncratic stories. It has broad patterns that repeat, to a remarkable degree, across cultures, value systems, and types of political regimes, responding systematically to prevailing host-nation incentive structures and institutions.

    Indeed, as democratization and social change erode the viability...

  17. CHAPTER NINE BASES AND AMERICAN STRATEGY EMERGING OPTIONS
    (pp. 209-224)

    A strong bias toward forward deployment is clearly embedded in twenty-first-century America’s political-military institutions, and in much of our traditional psychology. As we saw in chapter 1, these investments are the heritage of a century’s conflicts and geopolitical expansion by the United States, dating back to the Spanish-American War and even before. Today we are a global power, with the concrete assets and prerogatives, which that standing implies. Beyond the global influence sacrificed through an end to forward deployment, it would cost the United States well over $100 billion to replace its bases overseas, including many of the largest and...

  18. CHAPTER TEN IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICY AND THEORY
    (pp. 225-254)

    We have argued strongly throughout this study that base politics around the world shares, across cultures and political systems, certain core characteristics that make it possible to meaningfully compare on a cross-national basis. American bases everywhere are in the post-Iraq era now in prospect to some degree embattled garrisons. Yet their relative vulnerability to host-nation pressures varies considerably across the globe.

    In chapter 3 we presented five hypotheses about base politics in general, to explore across the broad universe of more than ninety host nations where UN P-5 military forces have been based in substantial numbers for extended periods since...

  19. APPENDIX BASE POLITICS PARADIGMS: SPECIFIC CASES THROUGH 2006
    (pp. 255-256)
  20. Notes
    (pp. 257-294)
  21. Bibliography
    (pp. 295-308)
  22. Index
    (pp. 309-321)