Copple policy #2: bring home all US military personnel based abroad

This blog entry is related to the poll:What do you think about the presence of the US military on foreign soil?
It is discussing the poll topics:
  • Closing down US military bases on foreign soil (1 post)
  • Reuse or recycling of military ships, submarines, and planes (1 post)
  • Reallocation of the US military budget to civilian uses (1 post)
  • The US military and the defense of the US borders (1 post)
Other topics:

Roger Copple, as one of his 27 demands to Congress, proposes:

#2: Bring home all U.S. troops and close down the government’s 700-1000 military bases around the world. Even with such a drawdown, our nation would retain more than enough capacity to defend its own borders. The money previously spent on the military would be used to create jobs and rebuild our nation’s infrastructure: “[A]nd they shall turn their swords into ploughshares.” (Isaiah 2:4). Military ships, submarines, and planes can be used for low-budget travel and tourism.

The poll What do you think about the presence of the US military on foreign soil? was specifically created in order for our community to address these specific proposals. As with all community polls, the result of the poll will be used to complete our Community manifesto and especially the Foreign Policy and Military section thereof.

The demand above completes Copple's vision for much reduced US military, adding to his first demand, about abolishing the use of nuclear weapons.

This proposal mixes broad objectives (close military bases abroad), geo-strategic statements (the ability of the US to defend itself from within its own borders) and implementation details (the way to reuse obsolete military equipment). This is fine for a policy document as the one currently being considered. However, in order to allow our community to properly express itself on specific points, I did the same as for the first proposal: I broke the whole statement into discrete options which were separately added to the poll. Thus, members retain the freedom to agree on specific items and not others.

Copple mentions "700-1000 [US] military bases around the world". I have not found any resource with an exact count, and apparently neither did Mr. Copple, hence his approximation. The following wikipedia article certainly mentions at least a few hundreds of them: List of United States military bases. If you know of more specific resources, let us know.

We must address the scope of the military drawdown. Like for the (military and civilian) use of nuclear energy, Copple seems to adopt the very radical stance of closing down all US military bases abroad. I am guessing that many members here would agree on a drastic reduction of the presence abroad of the US military, but some may not be certain that it would be a good geopolitical idea to close down every single foreign base. Thus, in order to allow the community to express itself more freely, I have added the following options, which only vary on the scope of the drawdown:

  • Bring home all U.S. troops and close down the hundreds of US military bases around the world.
  • The US military should be drastically cut down, with the bulk of the cut being made in bases abroad.
  • The US military should close *all* of its military bases abroad.

I am guessing that none of us are experts in military affairs nor in geopolitics but we can still discuss among ourselves whether a certain amount of US military bases abroad are necessary for strategic and geopolitical purposes.

Scaling down the US military is one thing; but determining how the savings are reallocated is another. As Copple reminds us, the US civilian infrastructure is in dire state so certainly some funds can be reallocated that way. His proposal includes a surprising specific idea on how to reuse discarded military equipment. It remains to be seen how a nuclear submarine can be recycled into low-budget [vehicle for] travel and tourism

As always, the poll is open to all members: if you have better ideas and specific thoughts on the topic, do not hesitate to add them to the poll so that we can all vote on them.