My Bases Are Bigger Than Your Country

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

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


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
.”)

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly 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