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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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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