Should the US military operate out of foreign countries?

Colombia’s planning to do what Ecuador decided it wouldn’t, and allow America access to the facilities at some of its military bases. Unsurprisingly, next door in Venezuela, the plan has gone down with Hugo Chavez about as well as a dinner to celebrate the Bush presidency.

 

Morocco is a close ally of the US. It has been given the status of non-NATO ally by Washington, which has praised its support for the US-led war on terror. So far it has no military basis in the country. The two countries have regular military manoeuvres.

It is still a sensitive issue in Morocco for the US to have a military base or to operate out of it. The majority of the Moroccans will view this as a kind of being servile to the US military at the expense of Morocco’s sovereignty.

 

Morocco is one of the countries faced with the danger of terrorism. Geographically, it is close to the areas where terrorists networks are operating, especially in the African Sahara. A joint military operation can be acceptable if it benefits the two countries. But it will be unacceptable for Morocco to be a land from which the US military operates for its own interests, leaving it to put up with the consequences at home and abroad.

 

There are many countries that need US military presence for their protection and survival. Gulf States, because of their huge wealth and relatively small native populations, need US presence to protect them from invasion. Kuwait would have become part of Iraq if the coalition forces -led by the USA -hadn’t intervened to free it by operating from Saudi Arabia.

 

Bahrain would have become a part of Iran if half of its territory wasn’t a military zone where the US have a military presence. The biggest US military base in the Middle East is in Qatar. Maybe, it will be replaced by Iraq where there are over 120,000 US soldiers. Without these bases, the US military would have great difficulties shipping its forces and equipments inside Iraq.

 

In short some countries have to accept the US military presence -for manoeuvre and operations- to ward off the domination of a neighbour country. Bahrain, for example, is more than happy to be a close ally of the US, giving it all military facilities, than become a simple a province of Iran.

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