America Town: Building the Outposts of Empire by Mark L. Gillem

By Mark L. Gillem

American servicemen and -women are at present stationed in additional than a hundred and forty international locations from vital the USA to Western Europe to the center East, usually residing and dealing on army bases that not just dominate overseas territories but additionally re-create regular house that “feels like home”—gated groups packed with rambling subdivisions, franchised eating places, and plush golfing courses.


In America Town, Mark Gillem unearths glossy army outposts as key symbols of not only American strength but additionally client intake. via case experiences of a number of U.S. army facilities—including Aviano Air Base in Italy, Osan and Kunsan Air Bases in South Korea, and Kadena Air Base in Japan—Gillem exposes those army installations as exports of the yankee Dream, as suburban tradition replicated within the type of immense eco-friendly lawns, three-car garages, and big-box shops. With ardour and eloquence he questions the influence of this tradition at the remainder of the area, exposing the confidence of U.S. intake of international land.


Gillem contends that present U.S. army coverage for its abroad troops practices avoidance—relocating army bases to remoted yet well-appointed compounds designed to avoid touch with the citizens. He probes the coverage directives at the back of base development that reproduce extensively spaced, abundantly paved, and commonly manicured American suburbs, whatever the host nation’s terrain and tradition or the effect on neighborhood groups dwelling below empire’s wings.


Throughout America Town, Gillem demonstrates how the excesses of yank tradition are strikingly obtrusive within the method that the U.S. army builds its outposts. The safety of the United States, he concludes, has ended in the big imposition of tract houses and strip shops at the world—creating mini-Americas that inhibit cultural knowing among U.S. troops and our allies abroad.


Mark L. Gillem is assistant professor of structure and panorama structure on the college of Oregon. he's additionally a certified architect, a professional planner, and a former active-duty U.S. Air strength officer.

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These numbers are important because much of the money “contributed” by the host nation either pays for the land the United States occupies or pays for construction and renovation of facilities. This also includes the costs of designing and constructing roads and buildings, providing utilities, and removing trash and lawn debris (which is in ample quantity given American’s penchant for lush landscapes). Realigning Imperial Power In another Hollywood-quality production, with American flags (actual and virtual) behind and to his sides, President George W.

As was the case before September 11, global influence, if not outright control, is still the primary policy objective and the projection of power across the globe to achieve this goal is still an imperial intent. ”8 The reach allows for the power and the power allows for the reach. However, there are two new attributes of empire. First, the United States has replaced an overwhelming desire for territorial expansion with a quest for the small sites needed to project imperial power. Reaction time, not acreage, is the new metric.

Despite these protestations, the United States proceeded with its plans based on the erroneous claim that Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction. The United States made this shift to preemption in an era when its troops have been increasingly unwelcome in the very nations hosting them, which requires new investments and new strategies regarding military bases. The United States has mothballed many of its outposts in “recalcitrant” nations like Saudi Arabia and Turkey. 11 The idea of empire is certainly not new to the United States.

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