The Swiss Institute for Peace and Energy Research (SIPER) recently created a series of maps depicting the foreign military installations of five nations with large defense budgets. The five nations are:
- The United States: Spending $611 billion in defense with 587 military bases in 42 other nations in addition to the 4.154 bases in the US and 114 bases in US overseas territories. See also our US Combatant Commands map post and see how the US views the world militarily.
- France: The French have military bases in 11 foreign nations, most of which are located in former west African French colonies. France, however, also has a presence in French Guyana (South America), Germany, and, oddly, in the United Arab Emirates. See also our Francophone map post.
- The United Kingdom: Like the French, British military bases may be found in eleven foreign nations. Unlike the more concentrated French presence in west Africa, however, British bases are found in a more scattered form across the globe. See also our British Empire map post.
- Russia: Military bases belonging to Russia are present in 9 other nations, most of which are located along Russia's periphery. These include: Armenia (2 bases), Belarus (4 bases), Kazakhstan (4 basess), Kyrgyzstan (1 base) , and Tajikistan (7 bases). There is also a Russian presence in breakaway regions of Transnistria (Moldova), South Ossetia and Abkhazia (Georgia). Only Syria and Vietnam are host to Russian bases further afield. See also our Russian Geopolitics map post.
- China: China's only military base outside of China is found in Djibouti at the mouth of the Bab-el-Mandeb, a geostrategic location at the southern end of the Red Sea. See also our Geostrategic choke points map.
Given the minimal fixed military presence of both Russia and China, the neoconservative and growing liberal concerns regarding these nations seem over-estimated. Vietnam aside, the maps reveal Russia's primary concern with its immediate borders and with the protection of Christians in the Mideast. China also focuses on its periphery, seeing the particularly growing American presence in southern and eastern Asia as an encircling threat.
To view all five maps, along with a bonus map depicting an overlap of Russian and American bases, please read this excellent map post from Strange Maps.