The Pentagon also continues to equip its military presence in the Greater Middle East and builds new WB in Iraq, Syria and even in Israel, where until now the US military was present temporarily. In Israel, the US base was opened on September 18. This was reported by the press service of the Israeli army. At the opening ceremony, the commander of the Israeli air defense forces, Brigadier General Zvika Haimovich, said that “for the first time stories The State of Israel, the Israel Defense Forces "created a permanent US military base," over which the American flag flies. "
But it is impossible not to notice that all this military construction of overseas warriors takes place against the background of the long-sounding statements by the Pentagon about the need to close or repurpose the number of WBs both in the United States and abroad.
They substantiated this decision in a report entitled “Department of Defense Infrastructure Capacity” sent to the Supreme Court Committee (FAC) of the House of Representatives of the US Congress at the beginning of last month.
CURRENT DISLOCATION OF FOREIGN COUNTRIES
After the end of the Second World War, the United States developed a huge and very extensive WB network, mainly outside the country. Although over the past few decades, the number of US troops in foreign WBs, as noted in various documents and in the media, has decreased several times, the effectiveness of their use for solving political, military and economic problems continues to remain at a high enough level. Currently, the Pentagon’s military infrastructure is located in almost all regions of the world, and their number, according to some experts, and, in particular, David Wine, a professor at the American University in Washington, is about 800 units. The Pentagon’s annual expenditures for these objects, according to the professor’s calculations, are about $ 150 billion.
Experts also note that the US military in various forms of organizational or technical structures are present in 160 foreign countries, in maritime waters and in space. By the way, it should be noted that foreign countries also have foreign WBs, but their total number is only 30 units. 95% of the total volume of military facilities deployed outside its territory falls on US DOD.
The United States considers the WB not only as a tool to consolidate its geopolitical advantages, but also as a basis for ensuring their operations. Many of the US WBs abroad are military garrisons that have all the necessary infrastructure for the livelihoods of military personnel and members of their families, including housing, schools, hospitals and other residential facilities. However, there are also small bases called “joint security territories”. They carry out maintenance of UAVs, reconnaissance aircraft aviation and warehouses with weapons and ammunition are located. Other garrisons scattered across the planet may include military airports and seaports, military equipment repair stations, barracks, and training grounds.
According to some reports, currently in Europe, mainly in Germany, there are more than 100 thousand US soldiers and officers. Here you can find 15 SV bases, 4 army aviation bases and one logistics base, which is almost a quarter of all Pentagon foreign bases.
In the UK, more than 10 are deployed. Thousands of US Air Force specialists who serve at four air bases. In addition, in London are the naval base and headquarters of the US Navy in the Atlantic, as well as a communications center and tracking of submarines.
In Italy, which is the main location of the US ships in the Mediterranean, there are three naval (Naples, La Maddalena, Gaeta) and one aviation (Vicenza) bases. More than 20 thousand US troops are serving there.
In Turkey, there are two US air bases. Three more bases are located in Spain, Greece and the Netherlands. New bases of the US armed forces are created or are being created in countries of the former Warsaw Pact, such as Poland, Romania and Bulgaria.
TRANSFORMATION OF APPROACHES
The US military leadership constantly evaluates and actively responds to the changing situation in the world and is trying to timely adjust its approaches to the deployment of the Armed Forces units abroad. American military experts believe that numerous military formations of the Cold War era today are costly and are not able to effectively combat terrorist organizations. They believe that such an organization of military structures has exhausted its age. Therefore, the Pentagon proceeds to the practice of creating small WBs, on which mobile, well-armed and equipped with the most modern electronic means, military units trained in guerilla warfare will be deployed.
The military leaders are trying to maximize the locations of American troops abroad to areas of armed conflict and to the bases of terrorist groups. The task of such units is to deliver quick and powerful strikes on the enemy in such time that would not allow him to organize an effective system of resistance. These bases are also supposed to be used for peacekeeping and rescue operations. In addition, they should be monitored for real and potential owners weapons mass destruction.
In the future, the Pentagon intends to abandon the large naval bases. They should be replaced by special transport platforms, so-called floating islands, which can become not only an alternative to the sea base, but also replace aircraft carriers and transport ships. The main argument in favor of the development of such means is the refusal of many states in conflict situations to provide ships of the US Navy with basing in their ports. In addition, according to military experts, this area is more cost-effective than renting ports and airfields from the allied states.
Currently in Europe deployed contingents of the rapid reaction forces of the US Armed Forces, designed, according to the plans of the North Atlantic alliance, to repel the enemy's first strike. However, as stated in the Pentagon’s service report, which was accessed by the American magazine Politico, these forces will not withstand the onslaught of the Russian army if a large-scale armed conflict breaks out between countries because they are insufficiently equipped, not fully equipped and poorly organized, “to resist Russia's military aggression or its high-tech mediated agents. ”
LAST EVALUATIONS AND REQUEST BY THE MINISTER
The Pentagon report, already mentioned, which is a slightly edited version of a similar document issued last year, says that 19% of all the infrastructure of the Ministry of Defense is not needed to ensure US national security. In the army (SV) the number of objects useless in terms of increasing the country's defense capability is 29%, and in the Air Force - 28%.
In a letter to congressmen sent by 6 this October, Secretary of Defense James Mattis wrote: “After the last round of the BRAC, we developed new methods of warfare, new technologies and expanded training requirements for fighters who require us to determine the value and effectiveness of military our domestic military infrastructure. ” “I should be able to get rid of excess infrastructure in order to reallocate resources in order to increase combat readiness and modernization,” the Minister of War stressed. According to him, spending on unnecessary infrastructure reduces the combat capability of the Armed Forces, since this money could be spent on really necessary measures.
Mattis asked the congressmen to give the go-ahead to hold the next round of events on the WB closure under the “reorganization and closure” program of the BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure), operating since 1990 of the year. In the course of this round, an assessment of the effectiveness of all the infrastructure objects of the MI could be carried out. But, according to US law, to start using this program once again, the Pentagon needs to get permission from Congress. The head of the Pentagon noted that the estimates in the report are based on the needs of the US Armed Forces as of 2012 and should be corrected since the situation in the world has changed significantly since then. He also stressed that his desire to get rid of unnecessary expenses is unshakable. According to specialists of the Ministry of Defense, conducted in 2015, more than 5 thousand facilities of the most diverse purposes were included in the foreign military infrastructure scattered across various regions of the planet.
Many Russian military experts consider the Pentagon’s intention to get rid of unnecessary objects in the United States and abroad as quite logical and expedient. This is primarily due to the restrictions imposed by legislators on the budget of the MoD within the sequestration. In addition, some elements of the military infrastructure were built before the outbreak of the Second World War and today have repeatedly developed their resource. And now the Pentagon needs to find funds for the implementation of new programs and projects for the creation of technologies and the development of armaments, for increasing the combat readiness of troops, for the development of training systems for specialists, etc. All this requires very significant expenditures and the leadership of the military department is trying to redistribute the current financial flows in order to ensure the solution of the tasks at hand. In addition, as some expert evaluations show, the Pentagon does not spend the allocated funds very efficiently, and sometimes simply throws large sums of money into the wind, without achieving the desired effect in building up military capabilities.
In 2005, the last BRAC round was held and, according to some American media, the Pentagon managed to reduce annual operating and maintenance costs by almost 1 billion dollars. However, all subsequent attempts by the leadership of the military to get permission to hold the next BRAC met with active resistance by members of both houses of the American parliament. Carrying out measures to reduce WB in the United States will inevitably lead to the loss of jobs by the many thousands of Americans who are the electorate of congressmen and senators, and this can lead to the loss of their votes in the elections. In addition, as recently announced the chairman of the FAC House of Representatives Mac Thornberry, the costs of liquidating and re-profiling the military bases of the Defense Ministry in the medium term may be significantly greater than the cost of maintaining them.
During his election campaign, Donald Trump has repeatedly stated the need to reduce spending on US military facilities in foreign territories. And after becoming president, he asked lawmakers to raise the Pentagon’s budget. The parliamentarians fulfilled the request of the head of the White House, and for the next fiscal year they allocated even slightly more funds to the Pentagon than was requested. However, the MoD will receive additional allocations by reducing spending on social programs, and this causes serious discontent among many Americans. That is why Trump and the Pentagon are in favor of reducing the WB. But, as already noted, the Congress does not want to launch the next BRAC round. True, after coming to power, Trump did not call for a reduction in American WB abroad. Quite the contrary, in the 10 months after the US President took his chair in the Oval Office for 45, the Pentagon only increased its presence in Eastern Europe, strengthened South Korean missile defense by deploying THAAD mobile anti-missile systems there, and opened the first military base in Israel.
Today, the Pentagon is creating a system of rapid global strike, allowing it to deliver massive disarming strikes with conventional weapons on any country within one hour. The scale of the results of such a strike should be comparable to a nuclear strike on the enemy using ICBMs. This system should operate autonomously, without relying on existing WB networks. However, while the question of the closure of foreign bases in the United States in Congress are not going to consider. It seems unlikely that it will be resolved anytime soon.