Military madness in the Trump era

Join the resistance to the U.S.’s 181 bases throughout the globe

The author, a Chico resident, is women’s health nurse practitioner and co-host of the Peace and Justice Program on KZFR 90.1 FM.

The U.S. has more than 800 military bases around the world. Though the government garrisons the globe, that fact is a black hole of non-news.

Seventy years after World War II and 64 years after the Korean War, there are, according to the Pentagon, 181 U.S. “base sites” in Germany, 122 in Japan and 83 in South Korea. They dot the planet from Aruba to Australia, Belgium to Bulgaria, Colombia to Qatar. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops, civilians and family members occupy these installations. By conservative estimates, U.S. taxpayers spend at least $150 billion annually to maintain this deadly infrastructure.

By preparing for wars in foreign locations, the U.S. often evades legal restrictions—like on labor and prostitution. In some locations, the U.S. military evicted the local population to site bases. Foreign bases are also environmentally disastrous—open-air burns, unexploded weaponry, poisons leaked into groundwater, for example.

The 45 nations and territories without democratic rule represent more than half of the roughly 80 countries hosting U.S. bases (who all lack the power to ask their “guests” to leave). They are part of a historically unprecedented global network of military installations the United States has built or occupied since World War II.

Outposts in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Afghanistan helped generate and fuel the radical militancy that has spread throughout the greater Middle East.

We now have a president who may not hesitate to destroy millions of people and a Congress that wants tax cuts at the same time they have passed a budget of $700 billion for military spending. It is now or never to reclaim our civilian priorities and stop the madness. Solidarity with the global resistance to military bases is needed. We would never tolerate a foreign base here!

On Oct. 7, Chico Confronting Endless Wars committee began participating in a national call to action, “A Global Action Against Military Bases,” co-sponsored by the Chico Peace Endeavor (vigil Saturdays 12:30-1:30 p.m. at Third and Main streets), Occupy Beale Air Force Base and the Chico Peace and Justice Center. To learn more, go to