Tuesday October 14, 2014
Writing on the subject of “foreign troops” a few months ago, the well known Guardian columnist and editor Seumas Milne observed, “It’s almost never discussed in the political mainstream. But thousands of foreign troops have now been stationed in Britain for more than 70 years. There’s been nothing like it since the Norman invasion. With the 15-month Dutch occupation of London in 1688-89 a distant competitor, there has been no precedent since 1066 for the presence of American forces in a string of military bases for the better part of a century.”
The case of Germany where American bases were established following World War II is even more curious. Forty-two US military installations still exist in Germany 70 years after the war ended and even after the “enemy” vanished — the Soviet Union.
This is also the most intriguing question that no one is prepared to answer regarding the US-Afghan pact, known popularly as the Bilateral Security Agreement or the BSA, which was signed in Kabul on September 30. What explains the long-term military presence of a superpower on foreign soil?