Special Report

Countries With the Most US Military Bases

As the world’s preeminent military power, the United States is tasked with keeping its own defense and that of its allies, as well as providing peacekeeping forces all over the world.

To do this, America has established more than 400 military bases on every continent except for Antarctica.

America’s military presence is more pronounced in some countries than others. The nations where the United States has the most military facilities are often former adversaries. Other nations with many bases include places where the United States had fought — be it in the two world wars (among the costliest wars in U.S. history) or after. The U.S. military also maintains bases at previous Cold War hot spots and in strategic areas in the Middle East. The U.S. military also built facilities to test weapons in the Western Hemisphere. The presence of the U.S. military has been a source of tension in some of the countries, and many of them do not respect America.

These facilities are used for training and deploying troops, for maintaining and testing weapons systems, for research and education, and operational support. Given the space requirements for these exercises, the physical size of these installations can be considerable. According to the Department of Defense’s Base Structure Report for fiscal year 2018, the approximate value of all military facilities is $749 billion. These bases comprise about 2.3 billion square feet.  

24/7 Wall Street has compiled a list of countries with the most U.S. military bases using data from the Department of Defense’s Base Structure Report for fiscal year 2018. The DoD  defines an installation as any military base, camp, post, station, yard, center, homeport facility for any ship, or other activity under the jurisdiction of the DoD, including leased spaces that are controlled by or primarily support DoD’s activities.

An installation may consist of one or more sites. The number of total acres at the site includes government-owned land, public land, public land withdrawn for military use, licensed and permitted land, and acreage of foreign land used by DoD. Only foreign installations that are at least 10 acres in size or are worth at least $10 million to replace were considered in our count. For the purposes of this list, we did not consider installations on the U.S. territories or possessions Guam, Puerto Rico, Marshall Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, or Virgin Islands.

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