U.S. coalition calls for closure of overseas U.S. bases in line with Okinawans’ wishes


December 1, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo

Special correspondent Yukiyo Zaha reports from Washington DC


On November 29, the Overseas Base Realignment and Closure Coalition (OBRACC), a group comprising U.S. intellectuals, former officials, and others published a statement calling for the closure of U.S. military bases in Europe, the Middle East, and other locations outside of the U.S., including Okinawa.

The statement explains that the roughly 800 U.S. military bases remaining around the world after the end of the Cold War are heightening military tension and antipathy towards the U.S. and causing environmental damage, and states that the bases should be closed from both a security perspective and a fiscal perspective.

At a meeting held in Washington DC on the 29th, American University professor David Vine and other coalition leaders explained that Okinawans are calling for base closures and a large-scale reduction of the U.S. military presence.

They problematized the massive military budget being used to build and maintain bases when the U.S. is experiencing a fiscal deficit and the fact that the base presence is increasing tension with neighboring countries such as China and Russia.

The statement’s forty signatories include Cato Institute Foreign Policy Studies Director John Glaser, retired Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, and retired Army Colonel Ann Wright.

The statement will be sent to President Donald Trump, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and members of Congress.


(English translation by T&CT and Sandi Aritza)


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