Security is fundamental in every country to ensure that it prospers and grow in terms of economy. The 11 September bomb attack by Al-Qaida was a surprise to the security of US. The bomb led to enactment of policies by policy makers that would ensure that the perpetrators are dealt with. One of the strategies was to expand its military bases or operations in countries perceived to be the perpetrators.
The question of increasing their bases has elicited mixed reactions with some people supporting it while others opposing it. Some of the benefits of increasing these military base is that security will be enhanced which will foster economic growth but increasing the amount of money in the military.
On the other hand, decreasing the military operations poses security threat but seems to be a solution to the high expenditures that are channeled to the military. These are two good issues with both advantages and disadvantages but, the policy makers need to scrutinize each of them and reach the most beneficial decision.
Since the September 11 US bombing, security of the American people has become one of the fundamental principle that the government pursues to achieve. The government has therefore put in place various measures that are geared at ensuring that security of all its citizens is provided.
However, the question of whether to increase its military forces in overseas has elicited mixed relations around the world. US decision to increase or decrease its defense military is for the security of the US citizens and should be reached at decisively.
Commitments to friends and allies
American US military forces presence overseas demonstrates its commitments to friends and allies (Sasha, 2011, p. 215). By using power and force in defending its own citizen and other countries, the US endeavors to maintain balance of power, which favors freedom of its citizens. There are many threats and uncertainties that face the US.
These challenges, therefore, requires establishment of bases and stations within US and even beyond its borders such as Northern Asia and Western Europe , and deployment of forces to ensure that the security is upheld. There are many groups of terrors that are spread outside the American jurisdiction and pose threats to the security of the Americans.
Such groups need to be dealt with by spreading/expanding of the military. One of the groups that has posed threat to the security of the US and other people around the globe is the al-Qaida and Taliban. Therefore, setting up military camps overseas may aid in reducing the activity of these groups.
Dissuading potential adversaries
Increasing of overseas military also helps in dissuading potential adversaries from a potential military build-up (Sasha, 2011, p. 216). Some enemies are stubborn and therefore it is difficult to deter them from carrying out their attacks. The actions of these groups need to be curtailed by use of all means possible.
By US establishing its bases in overseas, it puts itself in a good position to fight and avoid any illegal military uprisings (Sasha, 2011, p. 215). This helps to boost the level of security of both the citizens of US and other citizens from other countries. These bases will also foster easy information gathering on whereabouts of criminals and how they carry out their operations. So, it will help or promote security.
Deterrence of threats
Another important reason for the increase in the defense military in overseas it to help deter threats against US interest, friends and allies and to help in defeating any adversary if deterrence fails (Sasha, 2011, p. 216). To achieve this, there is need to strengthen the level of intelligence analysis and warning to be able to provide an integrated threat assessment from both homeland and national security.
Increasing defense military overseas will also help in preventing enemies of US from threatening US, friends and allies especially with weapons of mass destruction.
Some of the countries that engage in manufacturing of weapons of mass destruction brutalize its own people and waste their national resources for the personal benefits of their rulers; some does not respect the international laws and other treaties which they are party. US military will also help in dealing with such countries and helping in safeguarding the surety of its citizens and the people in these countries.
Diffusion of regional conflicts
Increasing military personnel overseas, especially in reaching a solution to a conflict, demonstrates the willingness of US to work with other states in diffusing regional conflicts. When these conflicts are not well solved they may result to explosive escalation that may lead to human conflicts (Sasha, 2011, p. 217).
Countries are interconnected and share a lot of resources and therefore, instability of one country mean that there can be an escalation of the same problem to other countries.
Therefore, US should increase its military to such countries to help in maintaining of law and order to avoid conflict escalation to other sates that may lead to human suffering. By engaging and working with other partners and friends, suffering can be alleviated and stability restored.
Setbacks of increasing military base
Laurent (2004) argues that expanding the US military to manage other empires overseas weakens the defense in two ways (p. 708). First, is that it misdirects the national defense priorities and weakness the civilian control of the military (Laurent, 2004, p. 709). The misdirected national defense priorities will result to budget deficits in military hence putting at jeopardy proper functioning of the military.
This hinders the military to address national security needs, putting the country at danger of invasions and terror threats. The costs of setting up operations of military are high and therefore, it means that the government will have to overstretch its expenditure (Laurent, 2004, p. 709).
This will also weaken or deter the processes of sharpening war-fighting skills among the military and will contribute in diluting the U.S forces fighting punch. It will also waste the available defense appropriation funds that are intended to facilitate the military operations in US.
Therefore, the US may not benefit from the defensive expenditures if it fails to enhance or promote favorable working relationships or partnerships with those countries that it is involved in quelling violence (Laurent, 2004, p. 709). Hence, in order to avoid these unnecessary expenses, it should not increase its missions in overseas.
Increase in military overseas will contribute to the weakening of the civilian control. This will add many responsibilities to the military which traditionally resided with the civilians. This transfer may bring unprecedented problem.
For instance, when the US military engage in ill-defined military practices, it may indent the image of the military (Laurent, 2004, p. 710). This will therefore require that policy makers be vigilant and ensure that such shift or turn of events does not cause compromise the liberty and rights of the civilians.
According to Cohn (2010), the increasing military bases in overseas countries of US military has changed the perception of people (p. 34). The people who once were seen as champions of democracy are now viewed as self absorbed militant bully who aimed at instituting poor government and instituting their power over those countries they are deployed.
The official pentagon recorded number of militant base of US ranges from 864 to 1,350 which represents the highest number of bases in the entire world (Cohn 2010, p. 34). Like the Bush administration, Obama administration has also followed in the same footsteps witnessed by increase in the military expenditures and deployment and steeping up of military campaigns in Pakistan and Afghanistan (Cohn, 2010, p. 34).
The continued increase in establishment of military base is not in good terms with the opponent who feel that the US military is doing harm to innocent people in their quest to fight war and terror.
For instance, construction of bases in the Persian Gulf and its control of India ocean led to displacement of people in their isolated locations such as Atoll, Hawaii, Bikini, Alaska and many other (Cahn, 2010, p. 35). Such happenings may not be human and therefore, the opponents have cried foul and called for decrease in the setting up of more military base overseas.
US policy debates regarding NATO nuclear weapons has elicited mixed reactions among different stakeholders. Other policy makers and analysts support the traditional NATO nuclear weapon deterrence requirements where by there needs to be a consensus between US and Europe nuclear weapon policies (Yost, 2010, p. 1401).
On the other hand, some have advocated for the withdrawal of these weapons from Europe on unilateral basis without putting into limelight the issue of reciprocity. Therefore, this debate demonstrates that indeed there is need for consensus and that US should consider revising its policies and ensuring that they coexistence well (Yost, 2010, p. 1401).
As a policy maker, it is important to understand the main reasons of increasing military overseas or not (Dye, 2010, p. 36). US face a lot of threats from many countries who perceive it to be their enemies. It is therefore, important that the security is beefed up to ensure that the people are safe. Furthermore, it is important to understand that the state of security determines the level of economic growth of a country.
When security is shaky, investors cannot be attracted and this translates to increase in losses. As a matter of fact, the September 11 bomb attack demonstrates how poor security measures may turn out to be detrimental to the economy and the general safety of the people.
However, the idea of deciding to reduce military or not should be based on the threats such countries pose to the America. Furthermore, specific terror groups should be pursued and this should not be summed up as the whole country.
Therefore, it is clear that indeed the debate on whether to increase or decrease military overseas will still elicit mixed reactions. The main reasons for the increase should be weighed against those opposed to the move. For instance, when the military is increased, security will be enhanced and the terrors groups will be eliminated hence stirring economic groups of the US.
But this increase comes with a cost which will then be rolled to the common people through increased tax levies. The costs of increasing military base and personality are high and it will be offset by the American themselves. On the other hand, decreasing the military operations oversea is a relief to the tax payers but it opens a leeway for the terror groups hence, posing a security risk.
Therefore, for a real solution to be reached, it is imperative that policy makers debate extensively on the issue and reach an affable decision that will not only benefit the American people but the entire world. A decision that will foster good relationships and help in alleviating terrorism and other gang groups should be reached to create a secure and safe world.
Cohn, W. (2010). De-based: US Military Bases abroad fall into disfavor. New presence: the plague journal of central European affairs, 11 (4): 32-37.
Dye, T. R. (2010). Understanding public policy (13th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
Laurent, G. (2004). Competing visions for the US military. Orbits, 48(4):705-718.
Sasha, D. (2011). The US military base network and contemporary colonialism: Power projection, resistance and the quest for operational unilateralism. In Political Geography, 30(4):215-224.
Yost, David. (2010). The US debate on NATO nuclear deterrence. International Affairs, 87(6):1401-1438.