American Soldiers Overseas: The Global Military Presence

Overview

Over the past 60 years, the U.S. armed forces have created a web of military bases all over the world, from Australia to Iceland to Saudi Arabia. This is the aspect of military service that the majority of soldiers know and remember. Interaction between U.S. personnel and local populations is almost a given, and it is inevitable that the American and host communities will influence each other in numerous ways. This book looks at the history and impact of American military communities overseas. It discusses how ...

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Overview

Over the past 60 years, the U.S. armed forces have created a web of military bases all over the world, from Australia to Iceland to Saudi Arabia. This is the aspect of military service that the majority of soldiers know and remember. Interaction between U.S. personnel and local populations is almost a given, and it is inevitable that the American and host communities will influence each other in numerous ways. This book looks at the history and impact of American military communities overseas. It discusses how U.S. bases affected economic and political life in the host communities, how host societies shape the profile and activities of military communities, and what happens when relations break down.

Through case studies of communities around the world, Baker shows that the U.S. armed forces have had a surprisingly large impact both positive and negative on the affairs of many (but not all) host societies, including economic revitalization, cultural change, and, sometimes, tragic social consequences. In not a few cases, the U.S. military presence has become politically controversial on a national level. On the other hand, many host nations have successfully circumscribed the activities of military communities, rendering their potentially disruptive presence almost invisible.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

ANNI P. BAKER is Assistant Professor of History at Wheaton College. She has also taught at Boston College. Her other publications include Wiesbaden and the Americans, 1945-2003: A History (2003). She is currently working on a study of U.S. Army officers' wives in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 The development of the U.S. armed forces 1
Ch. 2 World War II and the occupation years 25
Ch. 3 The creation of a worldwide basing system 47
Ch. 4 Challenges to the global U.S. basing system 63
Ch. 5 Rebuilding the U.S. forces : Germany in the 1980s 80
Ch. 6 The demands of sovereignty : Panama 93
Ch. 7 Freedom from the colonial legacy : the Philippines 110
Ch. 8 Bearing the burden of defense : Okinawa 131
Ch. 9 The social effects of the bases : South Korea 151
Ch. 10 After the cold war 166
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