American troops: a Russian perspective

The Last War First
22 July 2004, Mark Irkali & Cali Ruchala, Sobaka

update & disclaimer: Sobaka published its last issue in 2006 and is no longer online; an archive of this article is located here. I can't vouch for the rest of the site; I am linking only to this one article.


If you weren't paying attention, you wouldn't know that American troops are now stationed in nine of the fifteen post-Soviet states. Every one of these deployments has taken place in the last three years, using 9/11 as a pretext, and not one is today engaged in the hunt for the people who have engineered attacks on the United States and its allies. And, as usually happens in this business, most are likely to be permanent.

Here are the facts - the sobering facts - on Russia, America, and their respective "empires." America now has more than a hundred military bases and installations on foreign soil scattered throughout the world. Russia, on the other hand, has four - four - bases with which it can threaten such spectacularly failed states as Georgia, and support unrecognized and embargoed republics such as Abkhazia and South Ossetia. More than a hundred over here, four over there. Judging by the paltry coverage of America's most ambitious deployment this side of Iraq, it's easy to be in the dark about it.

In fact - and this statement should be read twice so as to appreciate its gravity - the United States now has more bases in the other former Soviet states than Russia itself.

Since no one has thought the issue worthy of extended analysis (except, of course, malodorous Russian "nationalists"), a brief primer on the covert creation of this launching pad for World War III - which will be the true legacy of the Bush Administration in this part of the world - is long overdue. Note that this state of affairs is not likely to change at all under a John Kerry presidency: Russia-hating and the messianic zeal that drives America to embark on these demented crusades aren't partisan traits. No matter who wins the elections, US aid will continue to flow and, what's far more dangerous, America's leaders will continue to identify the flag of our country with some of the most hated régimes on the planet, not a few of whom have already been trying to drag us into their petty turf wars with Russia and each other.

More: The War on Terror and the War on Russia


U.S. Bases Overseas Show New Strategy
26 July, Michael Mainville,


Gone are the days of massive bases in places like Germany, Japan and South Korea that look like small U.S. towns. Replacing them will be a global network of what Pentagon planners call "lily pads" -- small forward bases in remote, dangerous corners of the world that can act as jumping-off points when crises arise.

. . .

The strategy, experts say, is to position U.S. forces along an "arc of instability" that runs through the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia and southern Asia. It is in these parts of the world --generally poor, insular and unstable --that military planners see the major future threats to U.S. interests.

The Pentagon believes that spreading U.S. forces through a large number of small, flexible bases within this arc would better position them to strike faster at remote hot spots. The U.S. military presence in these areas also could act as a stabilizing factor, preventing them from becoming hot spots in the first place.

"We don't know exactly where the next threat will be. It could be Iran, North Korea, China or other parts of the world. This redeployment is designed to allow us to quickly respond to any of those challenges," Pike said.

The U.S. military presence in Kyrgyzstan --a mountainous Muslim country bordering Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China --provides a glimpse of what is to come.



Rumsfeld’s Strange Remarks
23 July 2004, Ed Offley, Soldiers for the Truth: Defense Watch

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