Withdrawing several thousand U.S. troops from Afghanistan is just the tip of the iceberg.
The new governor of Okinawa wants to persuade Washington to stop a controversial base construction project. Will Washington listen?
Noted journalist John Pilger talks about China, Okinawa, and U.S. policy in Asia.
The Obama administration is waging war all over the world — without congressional authorization.
This commentary was originally published by TomDispatch in 2009. In light of the draconian Bradley Manning verdict, we are republishing it now. However ambitious President Barack Obama's domestic plans, one unacknowledged issue has the potential to destroy any reform...
Against a drumbeat of resurgent Japanese militarism, more than 140 Okinawan civic representatives made a historic trip to Tokyo on January 27. This was the first time since Okinawa reverted to Japanese control in 1972 that leaders from every municipality have visited the nation’s capital. And despite the bitter cold, they were met with a warm reception by 4,000 Tokyoites at a rally in Hibiya Park—before coming under assault by angry nationalists .
How much does the United States spend each year occupying the planet with its bases and troops? Forced by Congress to account for its spending overseas, the Pentagon has put that figure at $22.1 billion a year. It turns out that even a conservative estimate of the true costs of garrisoning the globe comes to an annual total of about $170 billion–or maybe even more.
On July 5, South Korea’s Supreme Court overturned lower court rulings against the Ministry of National Defense for proceeding with construction of a naval base on Jeju Island without an environmental impact assessment (EIA). It also ruled that the governor of Jeju had the authority to change the designation of absolute preservation areas. This ruling wasn’t just a major blow to residents of Gangjeong village where the navy base is being built but also to the many voiceless marine organisms. As you read this, massive caissons the size of four-story buildings are about to drop on soft coral reefs, forever destroying local marine ecosystems home to several endangered species.
It’s a deal that’s been more than 15 years in the making and the unmaking. The United States and Japan have been struggling since the 1990s to transform the U.S. military presence on the island of Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture of Japan. In preparation for this week’s visit of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to Washington, the two sides rolled out the latest attempt to resolve what has grown into a major sticking point in alliance relations.
Scattered across the globe, far from the staid conference rooms and policy salons of Washington, are some of the world’s premier experts on U.S. militarism. But they are neither the warzone refugees who have most borne its brunt nor the polished think tank professionals who increasingly populate the developing world’s capitals.
Rather, they are the people who dwell in the shadows of the estimated 1,000 U.S. military bases speckling the planet.