Under the Biden administration, the U.S. continues to expand its network of bases under various pretexts, laying the groundwork for future conflicts.

By Mohammed Abunahel, World BEYOND War

The United States is known for its history of making and launching wars. Since its establishment, peacetime has been rarer than a blue moon. U.S. President Joe Biden is endorsing and supporting the brutal usurpation of Palestinian lands, which in recent months has resulted in the murder more than 29,000 innocent citizens in 137 days, not to mention the destruction of houses, libraries, universities, hospitals, schools, and mosques.

The Israeli war against Gaza shows no signs of coming to an end soon, as the U.S. continues to exert its influence in staunch support of Israel, financing this genocide and employing its veto power to shield Israel from international consequences and even preventing a ceasefire.

There is a larger story of which this is part. The U.S. extends its unjustified military hegemony worldwide, establishing itself as a military empire where the sun never sets. Under the Biden administration, the U.S. continues to expand its network of bases under various pretexts, laying the groundwork for future conflicts.

The Pentagon and the so-called Department of Defense (DOD) have maintained a troubling pattern of consistently providing inadequate and sometimes misleading information to both Congress and the public, particularly concerning overseas bases and troop deployments — an integral aspect of U.S. foreign policy. Instances of misinformation, misrepresentation, and selective disclosure have eroded trust in the Pentagon’s reporting. This pattern has made it challenging for Congress and the public to obtain a clear and accurate picture of the scope, purpose, and effectiveness of U.S. military activities abroad. Such discrepancies in information contribute to an environment where the true nature of military engagements remains obscured. Furthermore, the Pentagon misleads Congress and lies about the accurate number of U.S. bases overseas.

Do military bases make war? Or is it a war that creates military bases? The world is covered by military bases produced by decades of military deployment overseas. More than 900 bases outside the borders of the United States in more than 90 countries make this empire at the forefront of the global political scene.

The conclusion of 2023 witnessed a disconcerting development as the United States solidified an agreement with Sweden, permitting its troops access to 17 Swedish military bases. Furthermore, the U.S. gained access to 15 military bases in Finland.

The expansive access granted to U.S. forces suggests a concerning level of influence and potential interference in Swedish and Finnish affairs, threatening to transform the two nations into pawns in the geopolitical maneuvers of the United States. Those agreements, far from fostering genuine cooperation, seem to place Sweden and Finland in a precarious position, susceptible to the whims and interests of a foreign power.

The U.S. opened the year 2024 by extending its military presence at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar for 10 years. Western Asian countries, mainly Arab countries, are on politically shaky ground and have corrupt, authoritarian governments, but they are in a strategic location for the interests of the U.S.

Only two months into 2024, the U.S. has opened 5 new bases in Somalia, under the pretext of bolstering the army’s capabilities in the ongoing fight against the militant group al-Shabaab. This military involvement is a concerning development that not only poses the risk of further militarizing Somalia and prolonging ceaseless conflict but also has the potential to worsen geopolitical rivalries, all at the expense of the needs and interests of ordinary Somalis.

Almost a year back, on April 3, 2023, The United States announced the expansion of its military bases by opening new bases in the Philippines. This is a troubling move that deepens the U.S. military presence in the region, potentially leading to heightened tensions and undermining the sovereignty of the Philippines. This expansion raises concerns about the negative impact on local communities and the potential for the Philippines to become further entangled in the geopolitical ambitions of the United States.

Despite all these agreements to build new bases, many peace activists are doing their part to prevent the destruction of lands with new bases. A living example of these activities and campaigns against wars and military bases is “Save Sinjajevina.” Save Sinjajevina is a civic initiative that aims to repeal the decision of the Montenegrin government to establish a military training ground in Sinjajevina for the use of NATO and the U.S. military. The initiative was launched in 2020 by a coalition of activists, pastoralists, and international NGOs, and in 2024 it appears to have succeeded.

Another example of such initiatives is the protests taking place in Japan to close the U.S. bases and the initiatives aimed at closing the foreign bases in Djibouti. Ultimately, these campaigns aim to raise awareness of the dangers of military bases at all levels and close them.

As long as the United States insists on making more enemies than friends and allies, it will continue to expand its bases, and that is definitely part of its foreign policy. It is incredibly naive to believe that any form of consultation, planning, or marketing efforts can improve the image of the U.S. bases. This is because no amount of communication or consultation can change the essence or perception created by a superpower’s foreign policy characterized by unilateralism, aggression, arrogance and disrespect for international law. The establishment of the U.S. bases is a continuation of this foreign policy and an essential feature of it.