My answer to Why are there US military bases around the world but no foreign military bases in US?
Answer by Ken Larson:
Let us define a national military base. It is an installation operated, developed, modernized and secured by a nation as a physical entity.
Other nations authorize the United States to position military bases in their country in return for security and support. In return the U.S. provides the agreed upon support and is the lynch pin in alliances like NATO.
There is a military presence in the U.S. by other nations but not logistics entities as defined above. Why? As others have noted, the are expensive, we do not need other nations’ security inside our country and we accommodate allies at our installations who visit for cooperative military activities.
America has a huge armaments industry.
Part and parcel of what is sold on military assistance contracts to foreign governments is training programs for their personnel. I worked with many on ordnance and aerospace programs that required training foreign personnel and one major system where foreign personnel were required to train us on their system.
These personnel come to the United States to be trained by or provide services to our defense companies who make weapons. These foreign personnel are usually stationed in around our military bases and are vetted by our State Department that controls high technology items and weapons through the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR).
Training and Export licensing under the ITAR can be a lengthy process. Services and technical data as well as products of a weapons or high technology nature requiring licenses appear on a controlled items list in the ITAR.
A company can unwittingly make an illegal export of technical data simply by conveying the wrong specifics regarding a controlled item to a foreigner over the phone. Companies have been fined millions for violations.
The serious nature of ITAR violations can be seen in case histories at the following web site:
For excellent articles on ITAR compliance, please see the following link: