Don’t Be a Chicken: Go for the Defense Budget!

Now that Boner blinked, all this talk about the budget got me to thinking, just how much money do we spend on military bases, where are they, and what difference do they make to the average American?

The Department of Defense shows that there are a grand total of 4,702 military bases worldwide, and of that number 4,471 were considered to be small installations, 121 were considered to be medium, and 110 were considered to be large.

So the question is how much does this cost? Trying to find that out would take more time than I have, so let’s use their numbers.

In the order above a small installation costs $828 million more or less, so the total cost each year is approximately $3,893,256,000,000 (4702x 828 million).

For the medium facilities, which cost $1.553 billion, more or less, the total is approximately $1,879,130,000,000 (121×1.553 billion). For large facilities, the cost is equal to or greater than $170,830,000,000 which means, the cost is likely greater.

How much greater? Nobody knows because there is no topside to the dollars (110×170.8 billion+).
This report does not include the 400 bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Oh, you didn’t know about those?) Nor does it include combat folks in Iraq or Afghanistan.

So more or less, all of our military bases cost us over $5,943,216,000,000. I am not sure whether this cost by DOD includes the 542k military personnel and the over 140k civilian personnel. That is 682,000 people. At say $65K per head, that totals a lot of money!

If it does, this means that you and I are spending five trillion real US dollars for this military that is out to catch one guy, oh yes, that is right the President got him!

So here is the question of the day – why is the defense budget that covers these military bases not on the table for cuts?

Now I get that only 860 of the bases are “foreign” bases with only 15 of those bases being large bases. However, keep in mind that there are only 86 large bases in the US.

If it cost $1.553 billion for each medium military base and to maintain a large base is 171 billion – that is US dollars going out of our pockets and into foreign pockets. Cause the money is not being spent here!

I guess I get why,  after 50 years, we have to maintain a base in Okinawa, right? I guess I get why, after 50 years, we have to maintain large bases in Germany, yeah right.

Maybe we are afraid that Germany and Japan will attack us again! But can somebody tell me why we have 161 bases in Hawaii!?! Surely, we could give some of these back to the natives to grow food on and make poi!

And why, pray tell, are there 249 bases in Montana? Surely the Air Force could get by with 200 less! Why leave Texas with 129 small bases? Remember the Alamo? That should be enough. Now before you go and ask, California has over 398 small bases and fifteen large bases! I say give back the property to us here in California for at least 300 of the bases.

In this “Bush war” we do not need those to catch shoe bombers. Now that the doors are all locked on the pilots cabins, we more than likely won’t have anyone break thru and use the planes as bombs. [Something that Bush couldn’t foresee but had been written up in just about every novel there was.]

So here is my take, if we just shut down most US military bases in Japan we could save $55 billion, more or less. If we shut down two thirds of the “small bases”, we could save two trillion dollars!

So, why not?

Steve YbarraIf by August 2nd, Boner and company are still in the pockets of the hedge traders, I say bring the American military forces home. Close the bases, add the savings to the pockets of the American people put our people back to work by building roads, schools and all that other stuff the Republicants hate.

So there!

Steve Ybarra
Notas por La Casa Politica

14 July 2011

Steven J. Ybarra JD is a retired civil rights attorney who operates a consultant company in California. He is a member of the California Democratic State Party and is former Chair of the Chicano Latino Caucus Voting Rights Committee and a long time political activist. Contact Steven at:, This article is copyright by Steven J. Ybarra JD, originally published in but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog, or web media if this entire credit paragraph is attached.


  1. Justin Fischer says

    Half your links are broken, your definition of a base is ludicrious and you resort to name calling. Sorry, no interest in hearing anything you have to say.

  2. Vikyat says

    Yea, although I liked the sentiment displayed by this article, your figures are way off. Washington Post stated that the replacement value of a large military installation is more than $1.74 billion not $170 billion.

  3. everclear says

    Do we really need 80,000 troops in europe. In France they are talking about lowering the retirement age to 60 instead of 62. Why well they have American troops to protect them, so they don’t have to spend the money on defense. But here in the wonderful us of a we are talking about raiseing the retirement age to 67.

  4. says

    I’m a tea party patriot and I agree with my liberal friends that we do need to close our oversees bases. That was all a post-ww11 strategy which needs revising. It’s ourselves we need to worry about. The money could be better spent defending our homeland.

  5. Justin says

    These figures are so far off it is disgusting. Please, Steve, explain to us how U.S. defense spending could be over $5trillion per year when annual federal revenue is only $2trillion, spending is over $3trillion, and the 2010 to 2012 Defense budgets were between $680billion and $707billon. Clearly, you have no idea what you are talking about.

  6. Howard Conrad says

    Maintaining military forces in an enemy’s country after a war is logical and
    prudent for a reasonable time. Maintaining military bases in the country’s of
    our wartime allies for their protection is also logical and prudent for a time.
    The existence and complexities of the international agreements resulting from
    the last world war, and other continuing military threats from one nation
    (or group of nations) to our own nation or others we loosely call our friends is
    currently one of the primary reasons for our extensive global military presence.
    Our country has responded to recent threats with air and naval power, followed by troop
    deployment. This type of response is militarily effective.
    The U.S. military’s command of the air and sea offset, not replace our requirements for
    land bases on foreign soil.
    **A comprehensive assessment of threats and redistribution of military forces in accordance
    with the assessed threats is step number one.
    **Revisiting all of the international agreements involved is step number two.
    ** Removal of our military facilities in country’s where we are not actively engaged
    in combat or training of their troops is step number three.
    Accomplished in a responsible manner cost reduction will result.
    I agree with you Steve, at least in principle.

  7. in_awe says

    Do you realize how juvenile people on the left appear when they resort to childish name calling? His name is John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives…not Boner. But you knew that already didn’t you? So what was your purpose in doing it – to feel a tingle shooting up your leg ala Chris Matthews by you being naughty? Sheesh.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *