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

By Mark L. Gillem

American servicemen and -women are at the moment stationed in additional than one hundred forty international locations from crucial the US to Western Europe to the center East, usually residing and dealing on army bases that not just dominate overseas territories but in addition re-create usual area that “feels like home”—gated groups full of rambling subdivisions, franchised eating places, and luxurious golfing courses.


In America Town, Mark Gillem unearths smooth army outposts as key symbols of not only American strength but additionally buyer 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 yank Dream, as suburban tradition replicated within the type of titanic eco-friendly lawns, three-car garages, and big-box shops. With ardour and eloquence he questions the impression of this tradition at the remainder of the area, exposing the boldness 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 in the back of base construction that reproduce greatly spaced, abundantly paved, and commonly manicured American suburbs, whatever the host nation’s terrain and tradition or the impression on neighborhood groups dwelling below empire’s wings.


Throughout America Town, Gillem demonstrates how the excesses of yankee tradition are strikingly obvious within the approach that the U.S. army builds its outposts. The security of the United States, he concludes, has resulted in the big imposition of tract houses and strip department stores 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 collage 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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Extra resources for America Town: Building the Outposts of Empire

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37 But these definitions, largely determined by geographical factors, apply equally to military bases in the United States and overseas. Regardless of their label, their impact can be disproportional to their size. 36 billion, which makes it a “medium installation,” 26 Pax Americana but it is barely more than half the size of Futenma. 38 This imperial reach comes with a shocking price tag. 39 This does not include the billions of dollars contributed by the host nations and allied militaries. As the British found out, building, staffing, and maintaining an empire is expensive.

Reports by Christian missionaries in India of abuses of women by British soldiers, escalating protests against the Cantonment Acts in Britain, and crises in other parts of the British Empire, convinced the secretary of state that the Acts should be repealed and the new policy implemented. In 1895 the Cantonment Amending Bill passed, thus outlawing compulsory examinations and banning prostitutes from living in cantonments. The story does not end there. One year later, the infection rate remained staggeringly high, 522 per 1,000, and two years later, the rate was still 507 per 1,000.

39 This does not include the billions of dollars contributed by the host nations and allied militaries. As the British found out, building, staffing, and maintaining an empire is expensive. America, however, has decided to charge it. S. 3 billion, consuming roughly 20 percent of the federal budget. ” At least one thing comes cheaply—the land America’s outposts occupy. Following historical precedent, the United States does not directly pay for using another nation’s land. Rather, the nation “lucky enough” to host the United States must foot the bill.

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