A military base is a facility directly owned and operated by or for the military or one of its branches that shelters military equipment and personnel, and facilitates training and operations. It can be above or below ground. A military base provides accommodations for one or more units, but it may also be used as a command center, training ground or proving ground, official or unofficial ('black') prison, for intelligence purposes like regime changes, or smuggling of drugs, operatives, 'freedom fighters', weapons etc. The fenced off area combined with military administration makes bases ideal for off-the-book operations.
Military bases abroad serve to dominate a country, region or strategic waterway, as staging areas for invasions or regime changes, securing access to natural resources, especially oil, and is normally either de facto or de jure exempt from the policing powers of the host country.
Notable bases in the United States
Fort Detrick, MA is the main center for US biological warfare research.
Fort Benning, GA is where Latin-American military officers get training at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (formerly known as the School of the Americas - and get recruited by the CIA for future coups!)
Military Bases Abroad
Per 2019, around a dozen countries have military bases abroad; The United States is the country with by far the biggest number of a bases with over 1000 bases in at least 63 countries. Apart from Russia with 6 bases, most of the other countries with foreign bases are part of the NATO-alliance, like the United Kingdom (at least 8 countries + several residue imperial outposts) and France (at least 9).
The United States
The US Military has at least a 1000 bases in 63 countries. In total, there are 255,065 US military personnel deployed Worldwide, in addition to civilian employees, mercenaries and off-the-book operatives. These facilities include a total of 845,441 different buildings and equipments. The underlying land surface is of the order of 30 million acres.
In addition to official bases, there are unofficial 'ghost bases' and temporary 'lily pads' mini-bases, especially in Africa.
A complete list of US bases is impossible to make, but central ones include Ramstein in Germany, Okinawa in Japan, Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo (Serbia). The most strategic of all is Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.
Guantanamo Bay is a military base and black prison, nominally on Cuban territory.
The French presence is concentrated in its former colonies in West Africa, where for the last 50 years, the bases have secured continued French control over the area and its rich resources. The region's monetary system, the CFA-franc, controlled by the French national bank, has been kept in place by a hard French hand.
Thanks to the French military dominance, French multinational companies have monopoly rights over this area's resources, like oil from Gabon and uranium from Mali.
The bases have been used for multiple invasions, like against the Ivory Coast in 2011.
The United Kingdom
In total, the UK has 16 overseas military bases, mostly hosted in former colonies and residual imperial outposts like Ascension Island, the Falklands Islands and Gibraltar. The US Diego Garcia is formally owned by the UK.
Other NATO countries
NATO Military Bases
The Atlantic Alliance (NATO) has its own Network of military bases, thirty in total . They are primarily located in Western Europe:
Whiteman, U.S.A., Fairford,
Lakenheath and Mildenhall in United Kingdom,
Eindhoven in Netherlands,
Istres and Avord in France.
Morón de la Frontera and Rota in Spain,
Tirana in Albania,
Eskan Village in Saudi Arabia and
Ali al Salem in Koweit
Russia has bases in mostly former Soviet republics, like Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossietia and in Tajikistan protecting the border to Afghanistan. In addtion, Russia has bases in Syria.
|Camp Bondsteel||Camp Bondsteel is known as the “grand dame” in a network of US bases running both sides of the border between Kosovo and Macedonia.|
|Camp Darby||An U.S. enormous ammunition storage in Italy with ties to Gladio, arming of CIA black armies, and connected to the sinking of the passenger ferry Moby Prince|
|Guantanamo Bay detention camp||A US military base now used primarily as a torture camp due to its obscure legal jurisdiction. After campaigning in 2009 on promises to shut it down within a year, in 2014 Barack Obama announced plans to expand it.|
|Naval Air Station Sigonella||One of the most important US bases in the world|
|Ramstein Air Base||One of the biggest and most important US bases in the world|