The following info-graphic — shown below the ‘fold’, for those viewing this on my Home Page summary — was published on October 28, 2011 by the National Post, of Bloor St. East, Toronto, Canada. The author of the associated article is Richard Johnson.

I congratulate Mr. Johnson both for his article, and the artistry expressed by the well-conceived graphic.

Nevertheless, I do need to point out that the graphic has somehow managed to omit the $700 million US Embassy in the heart of Baghdad, whose perimeter grounds are larger than Vatican City. This “Green Zone” development, on the banks of the Tigris, occupies a 104-acre site with accommodation space for 1,000 employees: more than 10 times the size of any other American Embassy in the world, including that other ‘giant’ embassy in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

(N.B. You might be interested to know this author/Blogger has visited both the Dhahran and Baghdad Embassies – once each)

US Military Forces - Bases Around The World [Credit: National Post of Canada]
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So How Many Bases Does The Pentagon Now Operate Worldwide?

Varying estimates have circulated the blogosphere since about 2006-07. I guess the best guess has to be a rough guess 🙂 as clearly the true figure is classified. And there is no hope of anyone taking a microlight tour of the globe to independently count them!

Whether it is 700 (low estimate) or 1,000 (high estimate) even the mean value is an insanity, and has come about with typically feminized-media compliance, and a near total lack of political oversight.

According to the Richard Johnson article, this ‘count’ of military-bases includes everything from “small drone sites on dusty foreign airfields” to the sprawling Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan, which at its peak has housed 20,000 troops plus support personnel.

In October 2011 the TomDispatch website reported it had identified at least 60 bases capable of running drone [here and here] operations.

Camp Bondsteel – The Kosovo Giant In The Balkans

Also excluded is Camp Bondsteel in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo: until the second Iraq War, Bondsteel qualified as the largest “from scratch” overseas US military base constructed since the Vietnam War. It is strategically situated close to vital oil pipelines and energy corridors, such as the US sponsored Trans-Balkan oil pipeline.

Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo
Aerial view of Camp Bondsteel, in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo.

In the immediate aftermath of the bombing of Yugoslavia (June 1999) US forces unilaterally seized 1,000 acres of farmland in southeast Kosovo at Uresevic, near the Macedonian border. It then began constructing a giant military camp.

In this regard, I am reminded of the US Cavalry building remote forts in the Wild West of America (just like Hollywood used to tell us) during the 19th century to ‘tame’ the natives … but with today’s fortresses having 10 orders of magnitude of additional paranoia built-in.

There appears to be something in the American psyche that fears everyone and everything that has not already been sugar-coated and defanged. Arguably, one of the most hypocritical, culturally toxic, and emotionally skittish nations to have ever coalesced in human history.

Anyway, I digress.

In less than three years the initial tent encampment near Uresevic was transformed into a self-sufficient, high-tech base-camp housing around 7,000 combat troops plus 55 Black Hawk and Apache helicopters.

According to the World Socialist Website, Camp Bondsteel comprises 25 kilometres of roads, over 300 buildings, and is surrounded by: 14 kilometres of earth and concrete barriers, 84 kilometres of concertina wire and 11 watch towers.

The sprawling camp (as confirmed by the above photograph) is so big it boasts downtown, midtown and uptown districts; various retail outlets; lavish (all you can eat) dining halls; 24-hour sports facilities such as fully-equipped gymnasiums; a library; a chapel, and the best-equipped hospital anywhere in Europe.

Yet More Components Of The Military-Industrial Complex

To throw yet more light on America’s gargantuan military-industrial complex, consider the company Brown & Root, which is part of the Halliburton Corporation (the company “Mr. Atomic-heartpump” Dick Cheney used to be CEO of).

The contract to service Camp Bondsteel was awarded to Brown & Root Services, while Halliburton Corporation remains the largest supplier of products and services to the global oil (and gas) industry.