Special Report

33 Countries With the Most US Military Bases

Sean Gallup / Getty Images News via Getty Images

The United States, the world’s preeminent military power, operates at least 750 U.S. military base sites abroad in 80 countries and territories, according to the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. The U.S. has at least three times as many overseas bases as all other nations combined. Maintaining these bases abroad costs American taxpayers an estimated $55 billion annually.

To determine the countries with the most active U.S. military bases that are overseas, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed military think-tank the Quincy Institute’s 2021 article Drawdown: Improving U.S. and Global Security Through Military Base Closures Abroad. We ranked the countries according to the number of active bases within each country. We did not include countries with less than four bases. All data is from the Quincy Institute.

Excepting South America, the U.S. has bases on every continent. The overwhelming majority of facilities are in Europe and Asia, a vestige of America’s involvement in World War II and responsibilities stemming from confronting communism during the Cold War. Though the Department of Defense considers its installations as U.S. military facilities, many of them are operated jointly with the host nation or through alliances such as NATO. (Here are all NATO members ranked by military power.)

The United States has added bases in Africa in recent years, including in the nations of Niger and Somalia.

There is a growing debate among government officials over the need for so many U.S. overseas facilities. Besides the cost, there are concerns that the bases are a lightning rod for hostility toward the United States and serve as a recruiting tool for militant groups. The Quincy Institute notes that foreign installations have made it easier for America to become involved in wars of choice. (Also see, the six European bases where the U.S. is storing nuclear bombs.)

Click here to see countries with the most U.S. military bases.

33. Poland
> Number of US military installations: 4
> First US base opened: 2012
> US active-duty personnel in country: 226 – #30 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Lask, Powidz

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32. Syria
> Number of US military installations: 4
> First US base opened: 2016
> US active-duty personnel in country: 900 – #18 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Al-Tanf 1, Dier Ezzour

31. Bulgaria
> Number of US military installations: 4
> First US base opened: 2005
> US active-duty personnel in country: 2,500 – #11 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Bezmer Air Base, Aitos Logistics Center

30. Spain
> Number of US military installations: 4
> First US base opened: 1953
> US active-duty personnel in country: 3,353 – #9 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Moron AB, Naval Station Rota

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29. N. Mariana Islands
> Number of US military installations: 5
> First US base opened: 1944
> US active-duty personnel in country: 45 – #51 out of 80
> Notable base(s): NAVBASE Guam Tinian

28. Somalia
> Number of US military installations: 5
> First US base opened: 2013
> US active-duty personnel in country: 71 – #46 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Bosasso, Camp Baledogle, Mogadishu

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27. Oman
> Number of US military installations: 6
> First US base opened: 1981
> US active-duty personnel in country: 25 – #56 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Masirah Island Mpt Site 1, Al Mussanah AB

26. The Bahamas
> Number of US military installations: 6
> First US base opened: 1966
> US active-duty personnel in country: 56 – #49 out of 80
> Notable base(s): AUTEC Main Base, AUTEC Big Wood Cay

25. Israel
> Number of US military installations: 6
> First US base opened: 1979
> US active-duty personnel in country: 127 – #40 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Haifa, Mashabim Air Base

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24. Romania
> Number of US military installations: 6
> First US base opened: 2007
> US active-duty personnel in country: 165 – #36 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Smardan Training base, Cincu Training Base, Campia Turzii

23. Netherlands
> Number of US military installations: 6
> First US base opened: 1954
> US active-duty personnel in country: 641 – #22 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Eygelshoven Army Depot, Schinnen Emma Mine

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22. Virgin Islands
> Number of US military installations: 6
> First US base opened: 1973
> US active-duty personnel in country: 787 – #20 out of 80
> Notable base(s): NG Bethlehem Military Compound, NG Sprat Hall

21. Iraq
> Number of US military installations: 6
> First US base opened: 2014
> US active-duty personnel in country: 2,500 – #11 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Al Asad AB, Anbar, Abu Ghraib, Camp Taji

20. Norway
> Number of US military installations: 7
> First US base opened: 2018
> US active-duty personnel in country: 167 – #35 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Rygge

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19. Australia
> Number of US military installations: 7
> First US base opened: 1963
> US active-duty personnel in country: 1,736 – #16 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Alice Springs, Robertson Barracks, Tindal Air Base

18. Niger
> Number of US military installations: 8
> First US base opened: 2012
> US active-duty personnel in country: 21 – #57 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Dirkou, Arlit

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17. Philippines
> Number of US military installations: 8
> First US base opened: 2002
> US active-duty personnel in country: 155 – #38 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Basa Air Base, Camp Navarro

16. Greece
> Number of US military installations: 8
> First US base opened: 1969
> US active-duty personnel in country: 446 – #24 out of 80
> Notable base(s): NSA Souda Bay, NATO Ordnance Area

15. Kuwait
> Number of US military installations: 10
> First US base opened: 1991
> US active-duty personnel in country: 2,054 – #13 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Camp Arifjan, Camp Patriot, Camp Virginia

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14. Panama
> Number of US military installations: 11
> First US base opened: 2007
> US active-duty personnel in country: 35 – #52 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Panama City Support Complex, North Coast Area Test Sites

13. Saudi Arabia
> Number of US military installations: 11
> First US base opened: 1951
> US active-duty personnel in country: 693 – #21 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Drone Base, Jeddah, Prince Sultan AB

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12. Belgium
> Number of US military installations: 11
> First US base opened: 1962
> US active-duty personnel in country: 1,869 – #14 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Brussels, Zutendaal, Chievres AB

11. Marshall Islands
> Number of US military installations: 12
> First US base opened: 1944
> US active-duty personnel in country: 96 – #43 out of 80
> Notable base(s): US Army Kwajalein Atoll, Meck Island

10. Bahrain
> Number of US military installations: 12
> First US base opened: 1948
> US active-duty personnel in country: 4,603 – #8 out of 80
> Notable base(s): NSA Bahrain, Sheik Isa Air Base

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9. Turkey
> Number of US military installations: 13
> First US base opened: 1951
> US active-duty personnel in country: 1,758 – #15 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Batman AB, Incirlik AB, Izmir AB

8. Portugal
> Number of US military installations: 21
> First US base opened: 1944
> US active-duty personnel in country: 256 – #29 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Lajes Air Base, Cinco Picos Globecom Annex

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7. United Kingdom
> Number of US military installations: 25
> First US base opened: 1942
> US active-duty personnel in country: 10,770 – #7 out of 80
> Notable base(s): RAF Alconbury, RAF Molesworth, RAF Mildenhall

6. Puerto Rico
> Number of US military installations: 34
> First US base opened: 1902
> US active-duty personnel in country: 13,571 – #5 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Mayaguez AFRC, Fort Buchanan, MTA Camp Santiago Rq

5. Italy
> Number of US military installations: 44
> First US base opened: 1951
> US active-duty personnel in country: 14,756 – #4 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Camp Darby, Aviano Air Base, NAS Sigonella

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4. Guam
> Number of US military installations: 54
> First US base opened: 1899
> US active-duty personnel in country: 11,295 – #6 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Agana, Andersen AFB, Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz

3. South Korea
> Number of US military installations: 76
> First US base opened: 1946
> US active-duty personnel in country: 28,503 – #3 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Camp Casey, Camp Humphreys, Kunsan AB

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2. Germany
> Number of US military installations: 119
> First US base opened: 1945
> US active-duty personnel in country: 46,562 – #2 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Duelmen Tower Barracks, Kaiserslautern, Spangdahlem AB

1. Japan
> Number of US military installations: 119
> First US base opened: 1946
> US active-duty personnel in country: 63,690 – #1 out of 80
> Notable base(s): Camp Fuji, Camp Hansen, Kadena AB

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