Requirements of Setting up Military Bases in Foreign Nations and Law Governing the Process

Published: 2021-08-11
1350 words
5 pages
12 min to read
George Washington University
Type of paper: 
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Background of the study: According to Glebov (2009), a military base refers to an installation that is created to support and serve military logistics and operations. They can have different roles such as air, navy, or land bases. Depending on their specific roles, military settlements can act as weaponry stock, posts of intelligence, test-ranges for weaponry, military operations, and as hosts for military corps. There are a number of regulations limiting the jurisdiction and level of operations by foreign military in the host countries.

Problem statement: The major controversy concerning these military settlements is in regard to their establishment in foreign territories which is a global issue in power distribution and influence. The principle of sovereignty as talked about from the times of Socrates dictates that a country is only sovereign in its territory. No other country should be allowed to impose its jurisdiction on foreign lands. This principle clashes with the establishment of military bases by foreign nations in host counties and the laws regulating these situations should be clearly understood.


Main independent variable:

Establishment of military bases

Independent variables

Security and distribution of power

Research methodology: Qualitative method will be used. This is because qualitative research deals with the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data by observing what people do and say, and these techniques afford rich insight into lives of the respondents and target population. The research has looked at military bases in five countries namely: the US, the UK, France, Russia, and Turkey. The states featured seek different levels of control. The US looks to protect its borders and Turkey is looking for good political alignment. The UK helps its colonies in trainings and as training sites for their forces while Russia is in it for the seaways and exercise of control. France seeks to assist in peace keeping missions for countries in Africa.

Research question: How does establishment of overseas military bases help to improve international security and streamline distribution of power?

Objective of the research: to analyze how the military installations in foreign countries are governed and ensure equitable distribution of power to help international security.

Importance of the research: The purpose of the paper is to outline statutory requirements in addition to the relevant laws and regulations that govern processes, events and actions leading to the establishment of overseas military bases to strengthen international security in the modern society and facilitate distribution of power. This paper will look at military bases in five different countries; analyze the benefits of having military bases in other countries, and look at laws governing these installations. It will also look at realism and liberalism as predisposing factors to the formation of bases in various countries across the world.

Literature review: Barfield (2010) and Sarantakes (2000) both agree that the presence of military bases abroad is beneficial to the host country in different ways. Social, political and economic benefits are some that accrue from hosting these installations. The creation of foreign bases is directly connected to communication lines and economic and political alignments. Routes connect commercial and military units abroad, and these bases are located strategically (Zanotti 2012).

According to Rosenfeld, the law is unclear on how to deal with some of the crimes committed by the military of visiting nations. SOFAs were created for the purpose of redefining the responsibilities and legal rights of military forces on foreign soil. SOFAs are international laws that are agreeable between nations which create obligations on jurisdiction over the civilian citizen or the foreign states military (Rosenfeld 2014, p.280).

Access to foreign nations means increased influence (Pettyjohn 2013) and (Calder 2007). According to a research by the Global Research Institute, the US has the highest number of bases in the world. For example, the Vietnam, Korean, and Gulf Wars ended because the US has key Military installation s in these places making it very easy to support the operations (Bohdan 2013).

Establishment of bases around the world should however, not only be seen as though they are only for militia purposes (Durukan 2012). They promote political, economic, and social objectives. Setting food relations between countries, construction of key trade passes and foreign direct investments are also some of the uses of these installations (Cotalengo 2014) and (Clark Cate 2014).

Military bases need to be effectively run and controlled to support strategies as integral components of the host countrys defense capabilities. An assessment of the presence of these bases has helped in execution of joint military strategies, offered advisory services to host nations, and helping in changing tactics according to the strategic environments (Cordesman 2012). Increasing capabilities comes in different ways including improving response to contingencies, defense from adversaries, and offering assurance to allies (Storrs 2006)




Liberalism ideally refers to the freedom of a nation. Its core ideals are universality, human rights, duty to be treated well and freedom from social actions. It also represents the right to live in home countries without any interference. Harmony between nations has been studied by several representatives of government with the consent of free people who should exist in a political order. This principle coined after the Second World War has however been reshaped to neo-liberalism. This has brought about cooperation that takes into account the interdependence that entails mutual interest and increases the levels of peace between countries.

RealismAlignment of nations agendas must be taken into consideration by every government first. In the world today where the security risks involved are too high, it is important that nations align themselves strategically. However, Neo-realism which is the modern realism has separated from the political laws and its characteristics and sees the structures that states exist in are anarchic because of lack of sovereign authority. Neo-realists explain that nation's should serve their interests overseas by following strict codes of self-help because of lack of authority above them. They should also try and acquire the power to secure themselves in a situation where their own countries will not come to help if they have problems.

Realist approach as predisposing factorsIn comparison with Liberalism, Realism is not too optimistic about international relations. There are limited possibilities of peace in a neo-realists perspective which can be considered pragmatic in light of international politics in the middle of all the security competition and anarchy. Pursuing realist policies can come up with better policies in setting up of military bases leading to a more stable world where rules apply in full force. NATO involvement in some places is driven by moral compulsions and international cooperation to help fight ethnic and international wars.

Security studies

Security studies gained traction after the Cold War that takes into account classical politics, criminology, and military sciences. This field provides a think tank for various security measure taken by a country in the achievement of several goals within and out of a country.


United States

The US has the highest number of military bases in the world. It has over 1000installations in the world in about 130 countries making it the largest network of international bases according to the Global Research Institute. After the Cold War, the US decreased its military presence and scaled it up again after 9/11. The US adopts cooperation to reaffirm its purpose abroad.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom of Great Britain has several military installations in the world associated with naval capabilities and strong relations with foreign nations. As part of the British Overseas Territory, it has installations in Gibraltar and Falklands Islands. It is also present in Sierra Leone and Kenya to jointly train the armed forces of these countries to help them stabilize their regimes (GOV UK 2014). Britain and the US enjoy a cordial relationship that has allowed both countries set up bases on each others soil.

FranceAfrica is where France has a significant number of its military bases present. It also has smaller facilities in Germany that remained at the end of the Second World War. The French colonial policy that lasted till recent centuries ensured continuity of bases in Chad, Gabon, and Djibouti. These bases are tasked with peacekeeping roles and security maintenance since these countries have had spurts of conflicts overtime (Cou...

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