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Draft

A Proposal for

BAN THE BASES!


A Global Campaign Network Against US Foreign Military Bases, Troops and Aggression

The United States maintains a vast global network of more than 700 military bases in more than 60 countries worldwide. These are air, land and naval bases complimented by a worldwide web of communication and spy bases. US troops are also deployed in around 156 countries. The global reach of US military power is unprecedented unparalleled that its sphere of influence now covers all continents, oceans and major sea lanes of the world and even expands to the outer space. US military influence and dominance overseas is legitimized by various existing bilateral and multilateral military pacts with other countries. In Europe, for example, aside from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the US also maintains bilateral military relations with most of the European countries. Its key military alliance with Japan, Australia and South Korea ensure US military dominance in Asia and the Pacific. The US also established military relations with other countries in the forms access arrangements for its troops, status of forces agreements (SOFAs), Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreements (ACSAs), Mutual Defense Treaties, Military Assistance Agreements, and others. US foreign military bases are centerpieces of American global military might and nuclear superiority. These are springboards for US military intervention and wars of aggression to maintain, expand and perpetuate US imperialisms hegemonic interests in the world. It secures for imperialism unhampered plunder of the worlds raw materials, vital resources like energy, and vast markets for its products and financial capital. As the US wages its wars of aggression overseas, military bases are established. Military bases were first built by the United States, in the form of western fronts when it subjugated Native America and Mexican territories. At the turn of the century, after the Spanish-American War, the United States become an imperialist power and acquired colonies in the Pacific and the Caribbean. Countries like the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Cuba were ceded to the US and became extensions of the US Navy. By the middle of the century, the United States is the most prosperous and powerful imperialist country with a military presence in almost all strategic areas in the world. The Cold War provided the United States with justification to aggressively build-up its military capability against the so-called communist threat. During this period, the US bannered the doctrine of nuclear first strike, a policy of waging a surprise pre-emptive attack against its enemies, while building up its capability for the Strategic Defense Initiative

(SDI) otherwise derided as star wars. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall Eastern Europe regimes ushered in the end of the Cold War leaving the US the sole superpower in the whole world. This, however, did not translate to the downscale of US military presence. Instead, wars of aggression are waged in other fronts that further expand its foothold and influence. After the 9/11 attacks the US launched the borderless global war on terrorism waging wars of occupation to expand its control of the oil- rich Middle East in particular, and the world economy, in general. Inspite of Obamas campaign promise to withdraw combat missions in the Middle East, the US in fact is beefing-up its bases in Iraq and elsewhere while deploying more troops in Afghanistan and Pakistan. New bases are built in new areas. US military presence is creeping into the mineral and oil-rich countries of Africa through its new bases in Uganda, Djibouti, Senegal and So Tom and Prncipe. While North Africa is largely under the military influence of NATO, the US is strengthening its cooperation with Morocco, Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia. In Latin America, after Ecuador denied the renewal of the agreement giving the US access to Manta airbase, the US expanded its military presence in Colombia, a move that enraged most of the South American leaders. Venezuela President Hugo Chavez denounced the move as the US blowing the winds of war. Meanwhile, more than two years after Obama ordered its closure Guantanamo Bay is still occupied by American forces in blatant and continuous violation of the sovereignty of the Cuban people. The US wars of aggression and occupation and the current global war on terrorism brought about massive destruction to properties and infrastructure and countless deaths on the civilian population. These wars grossly violate human rights and international law and undermine international peace and security. US military bases and the presence of US troops undermine the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the host country. The peoples of the host countries are deceived into believing that such cooperation is in the interest of economic prosperity and mutual security of both countries. Lopsided and unequal military treaties and agreements are imposed upon and become conditions for the granting of US economic and military aid to the host countries. These agreements guarantee the US full territorial control over the base areas and access of US forces to any part of the territory for military use. Moreover, erring and abusive US servicemen are protected from criminal prosecution since the host countries have no judicial jurisdiction over them. The host countries also have to pay the high social costs of hosting the bases such as the destruction and displacement of communities to pave way for the building of these bases, the abuse of, and violence against, women and children, the proliferation of crimes, drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, the issue of abandoned and orphaned children and the destruction to the environment. In most cases, the US never

takes responsibility of environmental clean-up of military toxics upon the closure of the bases. The American people also pay the high price of US military presence overseas and US wars at the expense of unmet human needs. US military spending has increased 81% since 2001. In a report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute the US spend $698 billion in 2010 funding two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, operating 1,000 military bases and facilities worldwide and maintaining Pentagons 234 golf courses. Peoples around the world have been resisting US military presence and called for the immediate removal of US bases and troops. Some of these struggles resulted to the dismantling of the bases, and in some cases, albeit temporarily, the reduction of US military presence. Since 1990, mass campaigns were successful in kicking out the bases in at least 20 countries including the Philippines, Panama, Manta (Ecuador), Vieques (Puerto Rico) and Uzbekistan. Anti-US bases struggles are also active in countries like Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Columbia and others. However, in countries where the US bases were successfully removed, the peoples struggles persist in the light of continuing attempts of the US and its local puppets to reverse the victory of the people and re-impose US military presence through various schemes like the US-RP Visiting Forces Agreement in the Philippines. Giving great significance to this global struggle is the resistance of independent nations asserting their sovereignty and territorial integrity from US military presence, intervention and war. In the local level, the peoples struggles also resulted to local governments declaring their territories nuclear and basesfree zones. Even within the US, communities near the base areas have been calling for the closure of military bases and for its conversion to peaceful and productive civilian use. They have demanded huge cut on military spending and more funding satisfy human needs and social services. In a larger framework is the struggle of the American people against US intervention and wars of aggression and against US imperialism. The continuing global economic depression and the crisis of world capitalist system further fuel US imperialisms drive for global hegemony and exploitation. Concomitant to this is the intensification of militarism of imperialism. While struggles are waged on various issues at different levels worldwide, there is also a need to link up these struggles to project a broad global front against US foreign military presence under the framework of anti-imperialist struggle. BAN THE BASES! is a broad campaign network of organizations, institutions and individuals united against foreign military bases, troops, intervention and war. The network aims to:

a. Launch a global and sustained campaign against foreign military presence, intervention and war; b. Link-up the various struggles of peoples all over the world and foster solidarity support and cooperation. The network also aims to provide venues for sharing of struggles, their strategies and tactics; c. Promote mass education to broaden awareness of the people; also lunch activities like researches, study conference, etc. deepen understanding of these issues within the framework of anti-imperialism. d. Organize coordinated protest actions and solidarity activities in support for a struggle; e. Broaden links with other anti-bases, anti-US troops, anti-war groups particularly in countries where there are US military presence and mass struggles against it. . While building a solid global front against US military presence, members of the network are encouraged to exercise their independence and initiatives in organizing activities and seek the cooperation and participation from other members of the network. The individual members of the network should also help provide new contacts of movements, institutions and personalities to help broaden the network. A country or an organization may volunteer to be the secretariat of BAN THE BASES! Proposed Activities: a. Webpage/BlogSpot and email network. b. International conferences, colloquia, study sessions, tribunals c. Coordinated protest actions, solidarity actions, solidarity missions, solidarity flotilla d. Presence and possible engagements in international venues/arenas A Proposal for an International Festival of Peoples Struggles Against US Bases and Imperialism. The festival maybe held by next year. A gathering of experts and activists Discussions on various issues relating to the issue of US military bases and troops Sharing of strategy and tactics of struggle Cultural sharing Calling for initiators for the festival

The Pentagon squanders tens of billions of dollars on foreign military bases. In addition to warfighting capabilities, expenses include housing for families of US warriors, commissaries where US troops and their families enjoy special discounts, and pristine golf courses. Meanwhile, human needs of both US and host nation people go unmet. In Japan and other host nations, anger is building as their tax dollars are used to help pay for the intrusive military bases and their luxury accommodations, while local people go without adequate housing and social services.