The Pentagon's latest dream is a larger string of military bases around the world, in principle to be able to contain the Islamic State group and other terrorist threats.
In addition to U.S. bases already in Afghanistan, Australia, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Cuba, Djibouti, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere, the United States wants to build others in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The idea would be to cast a worldwide American military net to mount Special Operations missions and gather intelligence on terrorists wherever they exist.
The new bases, to be established in Burkina Faso (which just reversed an attempted military takeover), Cameroon, Ethiopia, Niger, Spain and Iraqi Kurdistan, would each include forces from 500 to 5,000. According to Pentagon officials, the new "hubs" wouldn't cost much, although money for "base improvements" would be part of the tab. What that means is, start small, build a 7,500-foot runway, add aircraft, add a drone base, build quarters to house troops and proceed from there.
The ambitious Pentagon proposal has been sent to President Barack Obama and awaits his approval.
Unfortunately, it is consistent with a view of the world that says the world's conflicts should be addressed by the United States, not regional or international bodies. That approach is inconsistent not only with America's financial predicament, but also the lack of logic in the United States taking on everything everywhere.
Obama should kill this proposal for military expansion and force the Pentagon to accept the budget cuts that the rest of the government is imposing on itself.
Editorial on 12/16/2015