Pax Americana has been not only established by the policy-makers in Washington, but also sustained by the global presence of GIs. Until 2015, 150,560 U.S. military personnel were stationed in over 150 countries, with Japan, the Middle East, and Germany hosting the most American soldiers. To accommodate American troops overseas, U.S. military installations have also been constructed on foreign lands to achieve regional stability and to implement the U.S. grand strategy.
The co-existence of the American military and the local society, however, has been problematic – social, economic, and environmental conflicts between bases and locals have plagued the relationship. Criminal jurisdiction over American soldiers, military prostitution, compromised sovereignty, and leakages of contaminants have been among the major triggers of anti-base sentiments by locals since last century. The governments of the United States and host nations have also played critical roles in reshaping base policies based on the consideration of national/local interests. Therefore, the overseas distribution of GIs and military facilities is constantly changing; some camps have been totally removed, while others have been fortified.
My study focuses on local problems caused by the American military presence in Asia: the Okinawa prefecture of Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the Republic of the Philippines. Conflicts mentioned above are examined, and fundamental, multi-faceted reasons behind the problems are proposed. At the end of the research, a recommendation for the United States and the host governments is made regarding the base policy within the next few decades, based on the projections for Washington’s role in regional politics of Asia in the near future.