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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Special Reports - Report: Countries with the Most American Military Bases

Special Reports

Report: Countries with the Most American Military Bases

As per the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, the United States maintains its position as the world’s foremost military power, overseeing a network of more than 750 military installations spanning approximately 80 countries and territories. 

This figure surpasses the combined total of overseas bases held by all other nations, highlighting the extensive global footprint of the U.S. military. The annual financial commitment for maintaining these foreign bases is estimated at around $55 billion, a substantial burden borne by American taxpayers.

To identify the countries hosting the most active U.S. military bases abroad, a review of the Quincy Institute’s 2021 article titled “Drawdown: Improving U.S. and Global Security Through Military Base Closures Abroad” was conducted utilizing the number of active bases within each country as the ranking criterion. 

Countries with fewer than four bases were excluded from consideration, and all data was sourced from the Quincy Institute. With the exception of South America, the United States has established bases on every continent. Predominantly concentrated in Europe and Asia, this distribution reflects historical legacies from World War II and Cold War obligations related to countering communism. 

While the Department of Defense categorizes these installations as U.S. military facilities, many operate through joint arrangements with host nations or alliances like NATO. Recent years have witnessed the addition of U.S. bases in Africa, specifically in nations such as Niger and Somalia. 

This expansion has fueled a growing debate among government officials regarding the necessity of maintaining such a vast network of overseas facilities. Apart from financial concerns, there are apprehensions that these bases may provoke hostility towards the United States and function as recruitment catalysts for militant groups. 

The Quincy Institute emphasizes that foreign installations have facilitated America’s involvement in discretionary wars.

  1. Japan
    > Number of US military installations: 119
    > First US base opened: 1946
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 63,690
    > Notable base(s): Camp Fuji, Camp Hansen, Kadena AB
  2. Germany
    > Number of US military installations: 119
    > First US base opened: 1945
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 46,562
    > Notable base(s): Duelmen Tower Barracks, Kaiserslautern, Spangdahlem AB
  3. South Korea
    > Number of US military installations: 76
    > First US base opened: 1946
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 28,503
    > Notable base(s): Camp Casey, Camp Humphreys, Kunsan AB
  4. Guam
    > Number of US military installations: 54
    > First US base opened: 1899
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 11,295
    > Notable base(s): Agana, Andersen AFB, Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz
  5. Italy
    > Number of US military installations: 44
    > First US base opened: 1951
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 14,756
    > Notable base(s): Camp Darby, Aviano Air Base, NAS Sigonella
  6. Puerto Rico
    > Number of US military installations: 34
    > First US base opened: 1902
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 13,571
    > Notable base(s): Mayaguez AFRC, Fort Buchanan, MTA Camp Santiago Rq
  7. United Kingdom
    > Number of US military installations: 25
    > First US base opened: 1942
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 10,770
    > Notable base(s): RAF Alconbury, RAF Molesworth, RAF Mildenhall
  8. Portugal
    > Number of US military installations: 21
    > First US base opened: 1944
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 256
    > Notable base(s): Lajes Air Base, Cinco Picos Globecom Annex
  9. Turkey
    > Number of US military installations: 13
    > First US base opened: 1951
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 1,758
    > Notable base(s): Batman AB, Incirlik AB, Izmir AB
  10. Bahrain
    > Number of US military installations: 12
    > First US base opened: 1948
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 4,603
    > Notable base(s): NSA Bahrain, Sheik Isa Air Base
  11. Marshall Islands
    > Number of US military installations: 12
    > First US base opened: 1944
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 96
    > Notable base(s): US Army Kwajalein Atoll, Meck Island
  12. Belgium
    > Number of US military installations: 11
    > First US base opened: 1962
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 1,869
    > Notable base(s): Brussels, Zutendaal, Chievres AB
  1. Saudi Arabia
    > Number of US military installations: 11
    > First US base opened: 1951
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 693
    > Notable base(s): Drone Base, Jeddah, Prince Sultan AB
  1. Panama
    > Number of US military installations: 11
    > First US base opened: 2007
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 35
    > Notable base(s): Panama City Support Complex, North Coast Area Test Sites
  1. Kuwait
    > Number of US military installations: 10
    > First US base opened: 1991
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 2,054
    > Notable base(s): Camp Arifjan, Camp Patriot, Camp Virginia
  1. Greece
    > Number of US military installations: 8
    > First US base opened: 1969
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 446
    > Notable base(s): NSA Souda Bay, NATO Ordnance Area
  1. Philippines
    > Number of US military installations: 8
    > First US base opened: 2002
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 155
    > Notable base(s): Basa Air Base, Camp Navarro
  1. Niger
    > Number of US military installations: 8
    > First US base opened: 2012
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 21
    > Notable base(s): Dirkou, Arlit
  1. Australia
    > Number of US military installations: 7
    > First US base opened: 1963
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 1,736
    > Notable base(s): Alice Springs, Robertson Barracks, Tindal Air Base
  1. Norway
    > Number of US military installations: 7
    > First US base opened: 2018
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 167
    > Notable base(s): Rygge
  1. Iraq
    > Number of US military installations: 6
    > First US base opened: 2014
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 2,500
    > Notable base(s): Al Asad AB, Anbar, Abu Ghraib, Camp Taji
  1. Virgin Islands
    > Number of US military installations: 6
    > First US base opened: 1973
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 787
    > Notable base(s): NG Bethlehem Military Compound, NG Sprat Hall
  1. Netherlands
    > Number of US military installations: 6
    > First US base opened: 1954
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 641
    > Notable base(s): Eygelshoven Army Depot, Schinnen Emma Mine
  1. Romania
    > Number of US military installations: 6
    > First US base opened: 2007
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 165
    > Notable base(s): Smardan Training base, Cincu Training Base, Campia Turzii
  1. Israel
    > Number of US military installations: 6
    > First US base opened: 1979
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 127
    > Notable base(s): Haifa, Mashabim Air Base
  1. The Bahamas
    > Number of US military installations: 6
    > First US base opened: 1966
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 56
    > Notable base(s): AUTEC Main Base, AUTEC Big Wood Cay
  1. Oman
    > Number of US military installations: 6
    > First US base opened: 1981
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 25
    > Notable base(s): Masirah Island Mpt Site 1, Al Mussanah AB
  1. Somalia
    > Number of US military installations: 5
    > First US base opened: 2013
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 71
    > Notable base(s): Bosasso, Camp Baledogle, Mogadishu
  1. N. Mariana Islands
    > Number of US military installations: 5
    > First US base opened: 1944
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 45
    > Notable base(s): NAVBASE Guam Tinian
  1. Spain
    > Number of US military installations: 4
    > First US base opened: 1953
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 3,353
    > Notable base(s): Moron AB, Naval Station Rota
  1. Bulgaria
    > Number of US military installations: 4
    > First US base opened: 2005
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 2,500
    > Notable base(s): Bezmer Air Base, Aitos Logistics Center
  1. Syria
    > Number of US military installations: 4
    > First US base opened: 2016
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 900
    > Notable base(s): Al-Tanf 1, Dier Ezzour
  1. Poland
    > Number of US military installations: 4
    > First US base opened: 2012
    > US active-duty personnel in country: 226
    > Notable base(s): Lask, Powidz

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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Special Reports - Report: Countries with the Most American Military Bases
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