My Bases Are Bigger Than Your Country

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

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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

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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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