Mission Creep

My Bases Are Bigger Than Your Country

Our roundup of the Pentagon's latest basing stats—plus a few we dug up ourselves.

| Fri Aug. 22, 2008 3:00 AM EDT

What a Spread!
Land occupied by US bases: 46,566 square miles*
Land area of North Korea: 46,541 square miles

Lessons From Rome
Roman bases at empire's peak (AD 117): 37
British bases at empire's peak (1898): 36
US military sites overseas (2007): 761*
     In Germany: 268
     In Japan: 124
     In South Korea: 87
Number that the Pentagon defines as "medium" or "large" (worth at least $888 million): 30
Number of foreign countries/territories that host US bases: 39**
Total US sites, foreign and domestic: 5,429

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Military Architecture
Total Pentagon "facilities": 545,714*
Percentage of total on foreign soil: 19
Number on foreign soil: 102,376
     Buildings: 52,962
     Roads, bridges, weapons ranges, etc.: 39,648
Overseas facilities' "replacement cost": $119 billion

Priorities, Priorities
Estimated worldwide defense spending: $1.2 trillion
US share of the total: 49 percent
Federal defense spending (FY '08): $587 billion
Federal education spending (FY '08): $62 billion
Federal Social Security spending (FY '08): $5 billion
Bush budget request to train and equip foreign militaries (FY '08): $4.5 billion
Overall US spending for tsunami relief: $656 million

*Figures don't include bases in Iraq and Afghanistan; "facilities" include buildings, structures, roads, bridges, ranges, and plants; "sites" may include bases, hospitals, schools, and depots.
**The Pentagon does not acknowledge all of its bases. (See " America's Unwelcome Advances.")

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