Alternatives to Overseas Bases

by James H. Hayes


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Discusses three major alternatives as potential substitutes for U.S.-controlled overseas bases. The first alternative is to purchase more armed forces and equipment so that enough men and machines are available at the end of the pipeline to keep the required size force in contact with the enemy. Second, share bases which are under the control of a host nation, thus giving the appearance that the U.S. does not have overseas bases and is merely a tenant. Third, utilize new technology, such as giant artificial islands which can house forces and move them as the need arises, or massive airlift fleets to move troops quickly. Unfortunately, the issue of which of these alternatives, if any, is feasible or desirable is complicated by factors of politics, cost, and technology. Somewhere along the line, the taxpayer must pay the penalty in one of three different categories: increased dollar costs, lessened defense capabilities, or undesirable political concessions. With this in mind, each alternative is discussed in some detail.

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