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Ron Paul’s strange claim about bases and troops overseas

By Glen Kessler, The Fact Checker @, Feb. 9, 2012

“We don't need to pay all this money to keep troops all over the country, 130 countries, 900 bases. But also, just think, bringing all the troops home rather rapidly, they would be spending their money here at home and not in Germany and Japan and South Korea, tremendous boost to the economy.”

— Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.), Feb. 7, 2012


The Facts

[....] What’s going on here? The answer is that the list essentially tracks with places where the United States has a substantial diplomatic presence. (The United States has diplomatic relations with about 190 countries.)

In other words, Paul is counting Marine guards and military attaches as part of a vast expanse of U.S. military power around the globe. (In fact, under Paul’s logic, dozens of other countries are “occupying” Washington when they send attaches and other military personnel to their embassies here.) But this document indicates that only 11 countries actually house more than 1,000 U.S. military personnel [....]

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"Ron Paul's strange claim about ____."

There are still over 1000 troops in Iraq, so make that 12. Plus we've just announced we're going to increase troop presence in Australia to 2500 troops, and in Israel "several thousand", plus Gitmo is just under 1000 - around 930, which is probably fungible depending on TDY duties, so can be 1000+ at any given time.

What we do in Yemen and other "hot spots" going forward is also of great interest.

Rather than attacking Ron Paul for asking sensible questions, why not save your fact checking for US government bullshit? How are those smart bombs/smart drones and winning hearts and minds in Afghanistan & Pakistan going? Oh right, Petraeus is no longer our man in Kabul, he's "reforming" the CIA. If Iraq had given us immunity, we'd still be building up the Green Zone - as it is, we built a huge complex for indefinite Middle East dominance, and dagnabbit, now we have to go and find another willing victim.

Thanks to Glenn Greenwald, we get an idea of US base coverage in the Middle East. But no, Ron Paul's a nut, that's all we need to know. Each star is a US base. If only we could afford tu fund a jobs program in the US.... or God forbid, R&D for future technologies....

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