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Embattled Garrisons:
Comparative Base Politics and American Globalism
Kent E. Calder

Paperback | 2008 | $29.95 | £24.95 | ISBN: 9780691134635
336 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4 | 15 line illus. 12 tables.
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The overseas basing of troops has been a central pillar of American military strategy since World War II--and a controversial one. Are these bases truly essential to protecting the United States at home and securing its interests abroad--for example in the Middle East-or do they needlessly provoke anti-Americanism and entangle us in the domestic woes of host countries? Embattled Garrisons takes up this question and examines the strategic, political, and social forces that will determine the future of American overseas basing in key regions around the world.

Kent Calder traces the history of overseas bases from their beginnings in World War II through the cold war to the present day, comparing the different challenges the United States, Britain, France, and the Soviet Union have confronted. Providing the broad historical and comparative context needed to understand what is at stake in overseas basing, Calder gives detailed case studies of American bases in Japan, Italy, Turkey, the Philippines, Spain, South Korea, the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He highlights the vulnerability of American bases to political shifts in their host nations--in emerging democracies especially--but finds that an American presence can generally be tolerated when identified with political liberation rather than imperial succession.

Embattled Garrisons shows how the origins of basing relationships crucially shape long-term prospects for success, and it offers a means to assess America's prospects for a sustained global presence in the future.


"The United States' military dominance is built on a worldwide system of bases. This important book provides a much-needed survey of the history and politics of these 'global guardians.'...Calder's argument suggests that the U.S. system of bases has generally played a stabilizing role and worked to the advantage of all parties. But the amount of political support for these far-flung security partnerships varies widely--and Calder's chief concern is to identify the factors that generate stability and those that create conflict."--G. John Ikenberry, Foreign Affairs

"Calder's conclusions are derived from and supported by the logic and evidence he marshaled for this study. Embattled Garrisons will appeal to historians, military planners, and specialists in international relations and should be required reading in both the departments of State and Defense."--Mark J. Conversino, Journal of Military History

"Embattled Garrisons is a useful source book on American military history as far as U.S. foreign policy regarding overseas bases is concerned. It also provides an informative glimpse at the ways in which American expansionism is legitimized."--Selin M. Bolme, Insight Turkey

"Embattled Garrisons is an extremely valuable book that provides readers with a variety of angles with which to examine base politics. This is a must-read for scholars interested in interactions between the host nation and the basing nation, as well as policymakers who are keen on sustaining a US presence around the globe in the future."--Takafumi Ohtomo, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific


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Table of Contents:

List of Illustrations ix
List of Tables x
Foreword xi
List of Abbreviations xv
Introduction 1
Chapter One: The Heritage of History 4
Chapter Two: Deepening Vulnerability Changing Profiles of Forward Deployment and Implications for Policy 36
Chapter Three: Base Politics A Conceptual Introduction 64
Chapter Four: The Nature of the Contest 79
Chapter Five: The Base Politics Environment Comparative Perspectives 97
Chapter Six: Base Politics Deconstructed Four Paradigms 126
Chapter Seven: Base Politics Management The Micro-Dimension 164
Chapter Eight: The Financial Equations Local Equities, Base Stability, and Burden-Sharing 188
Chapter Nine: Bases and American Strategy Emerging Options 209
Chapter Ten: Implications for Policy and Theory 225
Appendix: Base Politics Paradigms: Specific Cases through 2006 255
Notes 257
Bibliography 295
Index 309

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