Transpartisan Coalition Calls For Closing US Military Bases Overseas
Closing Bases Will Make America Safer and Save Billions of Dollars
Washington, DC—November 29, 1:00 p.m., in Russell Senate Office Building, Room SR-188, military experts from across the ideological spectrum will hold a public event to release an open letter arguing for the closure of wasteful, damaging, and unneeded US military bases abroad. In an era of bitter divisions between right and left, consensus is growing around along-overlooked but crucial part of how the United States engages with the world: the nearly 75-year-old strategy of maintaining some 800 US military bases in 80 foreign countries.
The open letter is addressed to the Trump administration and Congress and was drafted by the new transpartisan Overseas Base Realignment and Closure Coalition(OBRACC). The Coalition reflects growing agreement among military experts that reducing the excessive USmilitary foot print could, counterintuitively, make the country safer while saving billions of dollars a year. The signatories to the letter include Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Greens, and Independents. They span a retired Army General and other retired military officers; peace advocates; a former GOP member of Congress; Clinton, Reagan, and George W. Bush administration officials; and academics and think tank analysts across the ideological spectrum. Speakers at the event are scheduled to include Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, (USArmy, Ret.), former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell; Dr. Catherine Lutz, Professor of Anthropology and International Studies, Brown University; John Glaser, Director, Foreign Policy Studies, CatoInstitute; Sayo Saruta, Director, New Diplomacy Initiative (Japan); and David Vine, Professor of Anthropology, American University. An embargoed draft version of the letter and a list of signatories follows below. Col. Lawrence Wilkerson commented about the letter, “It’s encouraging to see experts from across a broad political spectrum finally questioning our Cold War-era overseas basing strategy. That strategy today is wasting billions of dollars, making the US and the world less secure, and inviting constant military responses to threats that rarely concern the vital interests of America.”Another signatory, Col. Andrew Bacevich, added, “Persisting in the Cold War policy of stationing vast numbers of US troops in hundreds of bases around the globe is obsolete and counterproductive. We must chart a different course.”The Cato Institute’s John Glaser said, “US overseas basing creates needless cost and danger. A less aggressive strategy requiring fewer overseas bases would greatly reduce both military spending and security dangers to the United States.”