View Full Version : American troops?
What is the general thought in the States about having troops all over the world.
( I ask this out of curiosity not hate )
( I to learn from past mistakes )
Thor - it depends who you ask. A lot of people are pretty damn apathetic about it ("it doesn't relate to me, so why should I care?"). Some people think the country should be out there solving all of the world's problems. Some people think the country should solve its own problems first before it goes out policing the entire planet. Personally, I teeter on this one... the US started doing this a long time ago, mostly to fight the "horrible foe" of communism. Now, the country is stuck. If something's going on, the world looks to the US to do something (or nothing). That's something that comes with being the most powerful country in the world (trust me, I'm not bragging about that).
All over the world? I forogt about that Antarctic batallion.
We have troops in foreign lands because we have bases there. Further more, I don't think we've set up shop in any country that hasn't asked us to. But to Rock's point, I think we do need to learn how to say no once in a while.
Exactly, Rock. The tradition of having teh US help out started after WWII, when everyone needed help protecting themselves from the "godless commie heathens" in the USSR. (Actually, they weren't that well-equipped militarily, but I digress.)
And so now after 50 years, it's become the standard practice. Personally, I'm for it - I'd rather have the US working to control problems (with armed force, if need be), than have them erupt into wars that hurt even more people.
"There is such a fine line between stupid and clever." -- David St. Hubbins, Spinal Tap
Because some pissant countries (need I name the one in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean?) are incapable of defending themselves! -(You bring the worst out in me, Thor!)
I think Rock gave a preety accurate answer. Now how about some answers from you? Why do Iceland, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Germany, etc. tolerate the presence of American troops on their soil?
We are in those countries by invitation. All you need to do is ask us to leave. The Philipines asked, and we left. It sounds like your problem is with your government, not mine!
OK Thor, your other postings have pissed me off, but I'll give you another chance and try to answer your question.
I can't claim to speak for the entire populace, but it seems to me that most Americans don't mind having troops here and there provided that 1) it is not costing us millions of tax dollars for an indefinate period of time and 2) no Americans get killed.
I believe #2 is the reason for the rather mediocre support of the Kosovars. Americans in general (IMHO) want to help these people, but they don't want to lose their sons and daughters in the process. Can't say as I blame them, but, if we don't help, who will?
My personal opinion is that the rest of the world aught to be a damned sight more grateful for our help. Where else are you going to turn, folks?
"I think it would be a great idea" Mohandas Ghandi's answer when asked what he thought of Western civilization
Let's not forget that most of these bases were established after WWII, when having American troops means having American goods, American companies, and American money ($$$) come into your country.
You see guy's.
My parents were communists in their time and made me march every year 50 km (along with 20000 other people) to the base and back. They did this to show in action that they were against US troops being here.
Then everybody calmed down and were ok with the situation.
But now I have my doupts. I don't fell comfurtable being a citizen of a NATO country.
Not that I aprove of what Milosevic is doing but to punish his people so harshly for his crimes is a bit out of line.
Answer for the ever delightful Gregbear from the pisspot country in the Atlantic.
I'm sorry to get you so angry Gregbear, but it's also a good thing to know what impact I can have on your psychic state.
sshhhhh. quiet. maybe he'll go away.
Who's Gregbear? Is it a play on words? Is your sense of humor as warped as your understanding of international politics and history?
sshhhhh. quiet. maybe he'll go away.
You know Greabear, after we were invaded in the WWII, first by the brithish than Americans, people got frightend.
Who were they to stop them and argue about it.
When the Parlament agreed to join NATO they had the biggest riots in over 800 years on their hands. People stood outside throwing rocks and trying to break into the parlament.
But now everything has been quite for some time until the Jugoslavian airstrikes.
Who knows what time brings but I know this.
Two groups of people have suied our foreign minister on gronds of being among others the orginaiser of mass murders in Jugoslavia..
(I don't agree on that )
Also thanks for the insults, their really funny :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
Okay, honest question this time. I'm split. Most of the time I think, 'okay, someone's got to be the big guy and keep the little kids on the playground from killing each other'. But there comes a point where I start thinking 'screw 'em; they don't want my help, they won't get my help'. There's a lot of whining and crying about NATO and the UN and the US isn't paying its fair share but as long as we're putting out the manpower/firepower and the money to foot the bill for that manpower/firepower, payment would seem to be a little moot. Not to mention the fact that when there's a natural disaster in some 3rd world nation (hey, that's not a dis), the US is generally the country who gets their butt, their money, and their people over there to help. Whoops, that was a digression huh? Good honest question this time, Thor.
Gotta agree with the BunnyGirl on this one. Money does kind of seem like a moot point when it's the US's men and women getting killed in the name of the UN or NATO. I think we need to find a better way to solve our differences. How about arm wrestling, winner takes all? Better yet, pro wrestling!
Good thought Rocky!
Seriously... doesn't everyone remember watching ESPN2 at about 3am in college (drunk or sober and bored)? Wasn't that Magnus ver Magnusson guy from Iceland? Well, if Iceland and the US ever have a tiff, let's get Magnusson to 'rassle Stone Cold Steve Austin. Do it on neutral territory. Winner take all. Don King has to be kept out of the promoting though... it has to be on the level.
You want to go one on one with The Great One?
>>We are in those countries by invitation. All you need to do is ask us to leave. The Philipines asked, and we left. It sounds like your problem is with your government, not mine!<<
Then again, the people of the Philippines had been asking us to leave rather vehemently since shortly after we arrived in 1898. We left completely in 1992. You should probably amend your statement to read "all you have to do is ask (and shoot at us) for about a hundred years, and we'll leave."
So true Devilfish- It's also very serios what happened in Japan!
Yeah Magnus you say. Goofball on steriods. Yeah a good choise, farvell musklekopf!!
Bob - Dex added a word to my vocabulary today. Let me share it with you: Estoppel! (look it up, I'd probably foul up the correct definition)
I'm not talking about 100 years ago when we grabbed the Philipines from Spain, or the following 50, when they were an American colony. Let's talk about current US policy. Do you really believe that the USA would try to continue occupying any of these host countries by force if we were asked to leave?
Frankly, I think the Pentagon would jump at the chance to abandon some of these old garrisons. Some, like the one in Thor's country, accomplish nothing but to add a source of revenue to the economy of an oft-times ungrateful host.
If Thor can manage a petition (in legable English) for the removal of US troops from Iceland I would be delighted to sign it.
Your more than welcome to help me get Iceland out of NATO and US troops of my soil.
To enter just send a reqest to
Member posted 05-27-99 01:52 PM
We are in those countries by invitation. All you need to do is ask us to leave. The Philipines asked, and we left.
Actually, the United States was ordered out of the country approximately one year after the invitation expired. Currently, there is one huge political debate raging in the Philippines concerning the Visiting Forces Agreement. Many in the Philippine government and population see that as a renewal of the old Status of Forces Agreement which left a none-too-desirable impression on the communities "hosting" the American bases.
"All you need to do is ask?" The US government agitated for quite some time to overturn that request. And apparently, the presence of US forces in the Philippines really wasn't required to preserve Philippine independence and democracy. With our forces there, a terrible dictator ruled the land. Last I checked, no invading armies have occupied the country. Well, not since the United States displaced Spain there.
>>Bob - Dex added a word to my vocabulary today. Let me share it with you: Estoppel! (look it up, I'd probably foul up the correct definition)
I'm not talking about 100 years ago when we grabbed the Philipines from Spain, or the following 50, when they were an American colony. Let's talk about current US policy. Do you really believe that the USA would try to continue occupying any of these host countries by force if we were asked to leave?<<
Yeah, I guess you're right. I mean, if we were asked to leave Guantanomo or something, we'd evacuate immediately. Woops! They've been asking us to leave for the entire time the current government has been in power. Though, to be fair, that's only 40 years. They'll just have to wait another 50, like the Philippines did. No preferential treatment allowed.
Please note: I do not contest the validity of the lease agreement between Cuba and the US, only the notion that we'd leave if we were asked. Obviously we wouldn't, because we haven't.
>>Frankly, I think the Pentagon would jump at the chance to abandon some of these old garrisons. Some, like the one in Thor's country, accomplish nothing but to add a source of revenue to the economy of an oft-times ungrateful host. <<<snip>
Ungrateful? I thought you said that they all _wanted_ us there? Do they want us there, or are they ungrateful? Or are they all just walking around muttering at us under their breaths, not realizing that we'd leave immediately if they only spoke up?
I'm trying my best to not do this but I have poor impulse control.
Thor, Im beginning to think your really ignorant and not just looking for a fight. Second, quit using that commie pinko way of spelling Yugoslavia.
The phillipines are a terrible example. Of the 300 of 400 foriegn based we hold, that one is extremely important from a military and tactical standpoint. Especially now with this whole China issue. Like we wanted to stay in this run down poor corrupt nation for the weather and economy.
What makes me feel very good is that we likely have nuclear ICBMs located a short disance from Thors house, right in that glowing region called Iceland. If we don't I assure you one of the NATO countries do.
I would love to hear what "Japan thing" you are refering too. That type of comment doesn't fill me with confidence that you have a incling of historic knowledge to carry on a debate with.
As for my opinion of our having troops in foreign lands. That is a very complex issue. If the monetary value is more than its cost I'm for it. The exception being locations of tactical importance. The US is unique in that our borders are nearly unprotected (ignoring the fences keeping aliens out). This is provided by our strength and good neighbors who realize the benefits of working with us, as well as our remote location relative to the rest of the world. The trade off is that to mobilize troops we would need to expend large energy to get them and support them in the hot spot. This is aided by maintaining bases in remote parts of the world. So we spend a little for a long time as opposed to alot when it needed. Not to mention the fringe benefits of keeping an eye on all you Yokels out there and to try and stir up some support and influence. So I trust that the government is activly valueing their worth and won't maintain a base that is not important. Warfare is a lot more than flying bullets.
Thor, I imagine that if you didn't read about it in you paper you wouldn't even know the US is there. Now pretend for a minute that Russia had set up a Naval yard there. I assure you things would be less than peachy. Have you kept up on the trails of the Afgans or the Lithuanians? And I assure you that your nation is not capable of keeping anyone out. I wonder if there is a British attachment in the country, are they upset about them being there or is it only in fashion to bitch about America?
You marched (how militant) 50km back and forth to the base? I didn't think that island was even 50 km across. Did you guys get lost on the way?
Rock, I'd vote for Goldberg to settle things with Magnus. Stone Cold is a bit to commercial for my taste. He may let up to show off while Magnus is down only to get sucker punched with a chair by Thor. Goldberg on the otherhand would give him the ole' spear and finish him off nice and quick.
Damn Commies. Next thing you know well be talking about US vs. Iceland the new really cold war! Hey it is Iceland.
The facts expressed here belong to everybody, the opinions to me. The distinction is
yours to draw...
I don't neccessarily agree with a lot of Thor's posts, but if you are going to hit on him slam his ideas, not his spelling. Icelandic is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) of the Western languages. And lets face it, English is not the easiest languages to learn. Just because he spells Yugoslavia with a J doesn't make him a commie pinko, the Germans spell that wonderful drink they sell Jaegermeister, not Yagermeister.
As for American troops on foreign soil, so long as we have a legal right, such as a treaty, to have a base in another country, we will do so. Just because a lot of the people in a country don't want us there doesn't mean we will leave. When the Government asks us to leave we will. Granted, we may drag our feet doing it, but....
When I was stationed in Okinawa, there were routine protests against the Marine Corps bases there. We are still there and will remain there so long as we have a legal right to be there. The government of Japan may not like having us there, but they will not force us out until the treaty expires and is not renewed.
As for you Thor, I am still not fond of your ideas, but you are welcome to them. Just keep in mind that not many here will appreciated them.
It should also be pointed out that in many areas the US armed forces provide secondary benifits that most don't think about. For instance, piracy is alive and well in the Indonesian pininsular areas, the US Naval forces as a rule, help out in the catching of said pirates when asked. (My brother is an S3-B pilot, and while on cruise in that area, a fair number of his flights were anti-pirate patrols.)
>>while contemplating the navel of the universe, I wondered, is it an innie or outie?<<
---The dragon observes
I don't think there is a "general thought" about it in the USA. Opinions vary, just like they do in the rest of the world. However, I think I can give reasons why the US has troops all over the world--Economics, Politics, and History:
-Economies of Scale. My College Econ class taught me there are reasons it's more efficient to have a large producer of a product. In terms of governments and countries, it's efficient to have some countries specialize in things--Japanes consumer electronic goods, Chinese tea, and American military.
There have only been two countries in world history so far that have had the economic resources and man-power to maintain a modern global military with large troop sizes and many modern weapons--the United States and the former Soviet Union. Substantial numbers of fighter planes, Navy ships, and nuclear weapons are simply too expensive for everyone else. The Soviet Union military has been collapsing due to economic and political problems, so that leaves the US with the biggest arsenal.
If things were different and the US did not build up a big arsenal, then it is feared that the next most powerful countries would go to war against each other. That is what happend in WW1 and WW2. That is what post- WW2 and the cold war was all about. The Soviet Union and China became large powerful, communist countries. Their large size gave them economies of scale that allowed them to build powerful militaries. In order to deter their threat, NATO was formed with the USA as the biggest arsenal of democracy. IF NATO weren't formed, Western Europe and Asia would have been at the mercy of the Soviet Union and China. Those small countries would have been easy prey, one by one.
When I was stationed in Okinawa... Hey Ghost, e-mail me! Let me know when you were in Oki. I was stationed there to while in the Navy.
Anyway, I think the "Japan" thing that Thor is referring to is the rape of the Okinawan girl by the 3(?) Marines. I honestly don't know what ever happened in the situation.
I must agree with Narile on the other benefits the military bases provide. Have any of you heard the economic results of the bases moving out of the Phillipines? Down the toilet in many cases; service jobs, off-base housing for personnel, increased "tourism" by other military personnel able to stay on a base while visiting the country (that's how I saw Korea), off-base purchases, etc etc. A lot more than just a strong arm in the neighbhorhood.
The list of countries with U.S. bases is much longer than anyone has listed here. Also we do not immeditely withdraw when asked; there are a number of places where U.S. forces maintain a presence tolerated by the government against the wishes of their people 1) Okinawa after the sexual assualt case there. 2) Italy after the gondola incident there. We are also in many Central/Latin American & Carribean nations. I suspect Fidel Castro is none too pleased at the continued presence of the U.S. Navy & Marine Corps base at Guantanamo Bay. Panama has wanted us out of the canal zone for ages, our base there is only now beginning to be dismantled.
Perhaps the Hungarians understand us better than we undertand ourselves - when I arrived in Taszar, Hungary in Dec '95 in support of the "1 year" Operation Joint Endeavor (enforcing the Dayton Peace Accord for Bosnia), the locals said, yes, the Russians also said they were coming for one year in 1957. We took over the air base the Russians abandoned in 1993. We are still there...
Sue from El Paso
I think we should draw a distinction between places that American Forces are in by invitation only, where if the government said "please leave" we would have the obligation to leave immediately, and places that American Forces are in by treaty or lease. In the latter case, the U.S. would have no more obligation to leave that you would have to leave your apartment in the middle of a lease merely because your landlord asked you to. There are places where American Forces are stationed pursuant to treaty or lease and to the GREAT displeasure of their hosts (Gitmo foremost of them), but, hey, we've got a lease. And there are places where American Forces are stationed by the express invitation of the nation, which is grateful to have them there, such as South Korea.
The thing that irks me about Thor's question and the "Americans Go Home" attitude behind it is that whenever there is a conflict that might involve military intervention, it is the Americans who are expected to be in the trenches first, while the Europeans sit on their collective hands. It is my friends, my neighbors, my countrymen who are being shot at in "Jugoslavia," not yours. But it's always very easy to criticize from the safety of the sidelines, and that is precisely where Iceland is -- on the sidelines. And you can bet your frozen Icelandic ass that if your nation was threatened you would throw yourself upon the U.S. for protection, since the Icelandic military couldn't defend a cardboard box.
P.J. O'Rourke, August 1990:
Sending everything we've got short of Dan Quale in a National Guard uniform to keep Sadam Hussein from doing whatever it is that he hasn't managed to do already is called "being the world's policeman." There's a lot of argument about this, mostly from American newspaper editorial writers who like to begin paragraphs with, "America isn't the world's policeman." But you'll notice that when Kuwait got invaded,nobody called Sweden.
Personally, I think that there is some validity to America thumping the bullies of the world on the head to make them play nice. The problem really is, to me, that there are so many bullies, and so little of them are cutting off oil so the American populace care what the hell they do.
There was just an article a couple days ago in the L.A. Times about refugee workers who recently arrived around Kosovo. They went into shock at the level of "suffering." They were being requested to make special diabetic diets and reunite families, etc. Mind you these are good things, but coming from some of the dust-ups in Africa, these people were astonished at the difference in world concern. Nobody is writing long painful articles any more about the heart wrenching starving refugees in Africa. And there are a lot of them.
But, they're black, they're not too culturally related to Europe or America, and the situation is usually so complicated that only a complete takeover of the country by Marines enforcing fair elections would come close to solving the problem. And probably not then either.
Branching off the topic slightly, let this be a lesson to us all, that the sins of the fathers will be visited on the children. Britain, France, Holland, etc. go into Africa and start carving it up between them with no regard to traditional tribal territories, or nomadic migration patterns, and what you get is a system that the local citizens can't relate to or make use of with their backgrounds.
Jodih, Jodih, Jodih. Let's throw this around shall we Landlord, Army, Tenant, Independant State, Army, Tenant (NNOOOOOHHH)
Landlord, State, Also NOH!!!
Who are you to know if my friends, neighbors and country are or are not in Kosovo.
Well my long life friend fought in Irak and now is fighting in Kosovo, my best friends brother is on his way there, so don't preach to me on you relatives fighting because Iv'e got my own!
As for some of the others:
Yeah slam my ideas (your good at that) at least I got some!!!
Thor sort of brought up a good point here. I don't know if he meant to.
Here in the U.S., no one is forced to go in the military. Many do so because the military provides many benefits. And the many who do, join knowing full well that they may have to risk their lives in combat someday. I'm guessing the same for Thor's relatives in Iceland. My point is, the people that are doing the fighting and losing their lives aren't exactly "innocent." They're just doing their job.
I'm not much into politics, but I do have a question. Whatever happened to the ancient U.S. Manifest Destiny? Is it still a part of U.S. policy?
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"We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a *part* of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a *part* of Europe."
-- former Vice President Dan Quayle
Thor was probably mispelling DOH!!!! :)
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Inside the dusters were three men. Inside the men were
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