My Bases Are Bigger Than Your Country

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


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
.”)

THANK YOU.

We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.