Activists, Alliances, and Anti-U.S. Base Protests
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No other country maintains a global military presence comparable to the United States. Yet outside the United States, considerable debate exists about what this presence is about and how well it serves national and global interests. Anti-U.S. base protests, played out in parliaments and the streets of host nations, continue to arise in different parts of the world. In a novel approach fusing international relations theory with social movement perspectives, this book examines the impact of anti-base movements and the important role bilateral alliance relationships play in shaping movement outcomes. The author explains not only when and how anti-base movements matter, but also how host governments balance between domestic and international pressure on base-related issues. Drawing on interviews with activists, politicians, policy makers, and U.S. base officials in the Philippines, Japan (Okinawa), Ecuador, Italy, and South Korea, the author finds that the security and foreign policy ideas held by host government elites act as a political opportunity or barrier for anti-base movements, influencing their ability to challenge overseas U.S. basing policies.
2009 electoral pledge to pursue a more “equal partnership” with the United States has led some to predict a downward shift in the security consensus. Although the dimension of breadth may have narrowed slightly, the depth of the consensus remains very high. Chapter 6 provides further insight on this point. Anti-Base Movements and Security 31 and the Philippines (1991) is coded as weak. The security consensus was neither particularly deep (especially in Ecuador) nor wide in these two countries
At the end of the violent melee, over one hundred protestors, police, and soldiers were injured, and 524 protestors were taken into custody. Witnessing the violent clashes from a rooftop, South Korean National Assembly member Lim Jong-in noted the tragic irony of events: South Korean security forces battled fellow Korean citizens for control of land to be given to USFK as U.S. soldiers observed the drama outside from the safety of their base. Why did the South Korean government resort to coercion
anti-base activists. Background on the Manta Base Agreement How did the U.S. military end up in Ecuador in the ﬁrst place? For U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), Panama had always played an important strategic role. However, the U.S. military’s departure in 1999 left Washington scouring the region for replacement sites.5 In particular, the loss of Howard Air Force Base two years earlier required the United States to ﬁnd replacement facilities to continue its regional counternarcotics operations.
decisions made by political elites. This raises a problem of causal inference, making it difﬁcult to assess the weighted impact of social movements. The absence of any security consensus may simply have led powerful anti-base elites, such as President Correa, to reject U.S. bases based on their own preferences, regardless of social movement pressure. Thus President Correa would have rejected U.S. bases even if activists had never mobilized. If anti-base movements truly mattered, some doubt should
future of U.S. base plans in northern Italy? How did the Italian government juggle international alliance commitments and domestic political pressure? The Vicenza episode parallels Okinawan anti-base movement episodes in several respects. Although the internal dynamics of the No Dal Molin campaign differ from Okinawan anti-base movements, the cycle of anti-base action and government reaction follows a similar pattern. In the face of anti-base pressure, the Italian government initially dragged its