Symposium 2011: Should the U.S. have a continued presence of military around the world?

Sydney:  I think the U.S definitely needs to have a continued military presence around the world in order to protect its interests and support its allies. The more important question is, where should that presence be? By establishing a greater presence in Australia’s north the U.S is responding to the growing military power of China. On the other hand our attempts to establish democraticic governments and peace in Afghanistan and Iraq are proving to be dismal failures. Perhaps the military needs to be smarter in where it sends its troops.


The other question is, can we afford it anyway? When the economy is in such a bad state we can’t afford to spend billions on protracted military interventions that end up failing.


Michigan:  In most cases where our military is located we are the biggest source of income to that country.  We cannot afford to maintain all our military bases this day and age.  We go into oil rich countries, give American lives, spend our money, and fight their battles and for what results?  Higher oil prices.


RMC:  No, it’s time to bring back the troops from most of the overseas bases and put them on the border.  Why should we be supporting the economies of other nations throughout the world?  Our presence in Europe doesn’t really accomplish anything in this day and age.  Germany’s not likely to rise up again anytime in the near future.


With the agility of our military, we can respond quickly to events without maintaining a presence.  The “strategic” benefits touted by military leaders are just a way to preserve their budget.  Let’s bring the troops home, support our own economy, protect the border and let someone else police the world.


Cartwright:  No, the world is much different now.  The European theatre isn’t of much concern.  You don’t have any real superpowers there that pose much of a threat.  We could be back there in a heartbeat if any of those nations were to start a massive military build-up.


Eastern Europe doesn’t seem to be under threat of an invasion from Russia, so all we’re doing is subsidizing certain economies in Europe.  Let’s face it, we don’t need Army bases in Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, and Kosovo, a Marine base in Germany, Naval bases in Spain, Italy, and Greece, and Air Force bases in Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, and the UK.  Let’s pick one or two to keep there strategically and close the rest.


The only place that is cause for concern is the Korean peninsula.  If we were to leave South Korea, it might embolden Kim Jong-un to become aggressive in the region.  Strategically, I might keep the bases in South Korea and Japan.


The only other place is the Middle East.  I do think we need some sort of presence there.  Let’s keep our facilities in Israel and perhaps we keep a presence in Afghanistan and maybe Kuwait.  If nothing else, this keeps Iran in check to some degree.  We could certainly close bases in Europe and relocate some of the troops to these more strategic locations.

Otherwise, I think we bring our troops back home and protect our borders.

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