The Los Angeles Times just berated Donald Trump for exaggerating the truth on this matter. They indicated that Japan pays $2 billion/year. However, this sum mostly goes for building infrastructure, which can be used by the country after we leave, and wages to Japanese workers on the bases. However, this agreement ended earlier this year and there are signs that any local input will be drastically reduced (they are pleading that their economy is metastable--yes, true...and all current signs are that we will back down, and not announce it), to more closely match what other countries are doing in Europe and elsewhere...which is paltry.
Said President Barack Obama earlier this year:
"I told you earlier all the talk of America’s economic decline is political hot air. Well, so is all the rhetoric you hear about our enemies getting stronger and America getting weaker," Obama said in his last annual State of the Union address Jan. 12, 2016. "Let me tell you something: The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth. Period. Period. It’s not even close. It’s not even close. We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined."
USA 3.3 slightly dropping
China 2.0 slightly dropping
Saudi Arabia 13.5 steady
Russia 5.0 steady
UK 1.9 dropping
India 2.4 dropping
France 2.1 dropping
Japan 1.0 increasing
Germany 1.2 dropping
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Japan is doing a profoundly dumb thing by increasing its defense budget. With Germany, after World War II, their application of tax funds to improving their economy instead of for war armaments/personnel had a lot to do with their economic success today.
At least there has been a reduction of nuclear stockpiles:
In 2012, in my posting on Bring Our Boys and Girls Home, I indicated:
- We have 716 military bases abroad. Yes, SEVEN HUNDRED SIXTEEN!!!
- They are in 110 countries.
We have 160,000 active-duty personnel serving outside the U.S. in 150 countries!!
The Cold War ended 23 years ago. Symbolic presence, okay. But technology can replace boots on the ground.
The Nation pointed out:
- The United States probably has more foreign military bases than any other people, nation or empire in history.
- There are no foreign bases in the USA.
- There are around 800 U.S. bases overseas. (This up from the 716 four years ago.)
- They cost us $156 billion/year.
- "Rarely does anyone wonder how we would feel if China, Russia or Iran built even a single base anywhere near our borders..."
- The military runs more than 170 golf courses in foreign countries!!!
So, yes, Donald Trump has a point, in agreement with Barack Obama...and me:
ere’s a sentence you probably never expected to read. Donald Trump and Barack Obama broadly agree on something: America can no longer afford to police the world on behalf of its allies.
This is a quote from The Telegraph earlier this year.
According to one source, Super Typhoon Chaba, now with gusts up to 233 miles/hour, is the strongest storm in history for the region. However, another source indicated that the island of Kumejima was buffeted by 134 MPH winds, and Chaba is weakening as the path shows considerable rain for southern Korea, then on to northern Honshu:
No reports of major casualties or damage...yet...but Okinawa is well-prepared to withstand even super typhoons.
In the Caribbean, Typhoon Matthew is at 145 MPH and is still expected to make landfall over the Carolinas early Saturday morning: