Here is an excerpt from a book written by a lefty, Chalmers Johnson.. the book is called "Nemesis, the last days of the American Republic". It is an interesting point, as we now have 2.5 million folks spread all over the world..imo we are spread too thin. From Wikpedia, some info on the author: Johnson believes the enforcement of American hegemony over the world constitutes a new form of global empire. Whereas traditional empires maintained control over subject peoples via colonies, since World War II the US has developed a vast system of hundreds of military bases around the world where it has strategic interests. A long time cold warrior, Johnson experienced a political awakening after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, noting that instead of demobilizing its massive armed forces, the US accelerated its reliance on military solutions to problems both economic and political. The result of this militarism (as distinct from actual domestic defense) is more terrorism against the US and its allies, the loss of core democratic values at home, and an eventual disaster for the American economy. http://alternet.org/story/47998/ With more than 2,500,000 U.S. personnel serving across the planet and military bases spread across each continent, it's time to face up to the fact that our American democracy has spawned a global empire. More stories by Chalmers Johnson The following is excerpted from Chalmers Johnson's new book, "Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic" (Metropolitan Books). Once upon a time, you could trace the spread of imperialism by counting up colonies. America's version of the colony is the military base; and by following the changing politics of global basing, one can learn much about our ever more all-encompassing imperial "footprint" and the militarism that grows with it. It is not easy, however, to assess the size or exact value of our empire of bases. Official records available to the public on these subjects are misleading, although instructive. According to the Defense Department's annual inventories from 2002 to 2005 of real property it owns around the world, the Base Structure Report, there has been an immense churning in the numbers of installations. The total of America's military bases in other people's countries in 2005, according to official sources, was 737. Reflecting massive deployments to Iraq and the pursuit of President Bush's strategy of preemptive war, the trend line for numbers of overseas bases continues to go up.