Solidarity Message for 3rd International Conference “No to Military Bases & Wars“

Overseas Bases Realignment and Closure Coalition

June 10, 2019

We are encouraged by the news of your return to Ramstein to protest the presence of the massive United States imperial base there and about your conference to build the international movement to win the withdrawal of U.S. and all other foreign military bases.  We wish we could be there with you. The Overseas Bases Realignment and Closure Collision (OBRACC,) comprised of leading U.S. foreign and military policy experts, community-based organizations and former government officials, joins with you in working end and prevent wars by reducing the U.S. foreign military presence.

OBRACC member organizations and our supporters have different ideas about how many bases to close, but we agree that to improve national and international security, we must begin closing U.S. foreign military bases. Our reasoning includes:

U.S. overseas bases are essential to repeated military interventions and endless wars. The estimated 800 U.S. foreign military bases dotting the globe fuel hyper-interventionist foreign policy by making war look like an easy solution. They increase military tensions, exacerbating security threats by antagonizing other countries into greater military spending and aggression. U.S. foreign military bases support dictators and repressive, undemocratic regimes. Scores of U.S. bases are in more than 40 authoritarian and less-than-democratic countries and serve as signs of support for governments implicated in murder, torture, suppressing democratic rights, oppressing women and minorities, and other human rights abuses. They also damage local environments with toxic leaks, accidents, the dumping of hazardous materials, and base construction.

In addition to the wars and unnecessary sacrifice of U.S. military lives, there are other ways that these bases diminish democracy, security and well-being in the United States. Militarism and democracy cannot coexist. The violence, hierarchy, and unquestioning obedience inherent in militarism are antithetical to democratic values and subvert democratic norms and culture. Structurally, the U.S. spends an estimated $51.5 billion annually to build and run bases abroad at a time when essential social services are being cut for lack of funding and domestic infrastructure is crumbling. The bases also generate “blowback,” Their unwanted presence provokes terrorist threats, radicalization, and anti-American propaganda. Bases near Muslim holy sites in Saudi Arabia were a major recruiting tool for al-Qaeda. Deployments overseas often separate military personnel from their families for months and years, damaging relationships.

For these reasons and more your struggle is ours. We look forward to receiving and sharing reports from your protest actions and conference and to future collaborations.

Joseph Gerson

Steering Committee Member

Overseas Bases Realignment and Closure Coalition

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