bps review

What the U.S. Gets for Defending Its Allies and Interests Abroad

By Max Fisher and Sergio Peçanha for The New York Times. January 16, 2017 [x]

President-elect Donald J. Trump has questioned the return that the United States gets for defending its allies. Here’s the current picture of what America puts in and gets out of global alliances.

Treaties with more than 30 countries help bring stability to the most economically and politically important regions for the United States.

Countries with mutual defense treaties with the United States, and trade in 2015 between the United States and major partners

More than 210,000 American military personnel are deployed overseas. Most are not in active conflict zones.

Countries with more than 1,000 American military personnel

EUROPE

The European Union is America’s top trading partner. Keeping Europe peaceful and unified has been a top United States priority since World War II.

What the United States puts in

→ Promise to defend NATO states

→ Deterrent against Russia

→ Sixth Fleet based in Naples, Italy

→ Military training and exercises

What the United States gets back

→ NATO states promise to defend the United States

→ $699 billion in trade with the European Union, America’s largest trade partner

→ Bases near Russia, the Middle East and Africa

→ Counterterrorism and intelligence sharing

→ Allies cover 34 percent of the United States’ basing costs, worth $2.5 billion annually

NORTHEAST ASIA

The United States keeps a large footprint in Asia to counter the influence of China and to support allies against North Korea.

What the United States puts in

→ Promise to defend South Korea and Japan

→ 28,500 military personnel in South Korea

→ 45,000 military personnel in Japan

→ Seventh Fleet based in Yokosuka, Japan

→ Military training and exercises

What the United States gets back

→ Bases near China and North Korea, and allies against them

→ $194 billion in trade with Japan, the fifth-largest American trading partner

→ $115 billion in trade with South Korea, the sixth-largest American trading partner

→ Japan covers 75 percent of the United States’ basing costs there, worth $4.4 billion annually

→ South Korea covers 40 percent of the United States’ basing costs there, worth $843 million annually

SOUTHEAST ASIA

Thirty percent of global maritime trade runs through the South China Sea. The United States is competing with China to lead in that fast-growing market.

What the United States puts in

→ Promise to defend the Philippines and Australia

→ Military personnel fluctuate up to a few thousand

→ Military exercises in Thailand with several regional states

→ Freedom-of-movement exercises in the South China Sea

What the United States gets back

→ Basing rights in Singapore

→ Region friendlier to the United States and better able to unify against China

→ Protect South China Sea trade worth $5.3 trillion, about 30 percent of global maritime trade. Includes $1.2 trillion in trade with the United States

→ Philippines and Australia promise to defend the United States

PERSIAN GULF

In the Middle East, the United States wants to maintain access to oil and gas, and partners against terrorism and Iran.

What the United States puts in

→ About 28,000 military personnel in the Persian Gulf’s kingdoms

→ Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain

→ Pledge to defend free flow of oil and gas, known as the Carter Doctrine

→ Implicit promise to defend allies against Iran

What the United States gets back

→ Counterterrorism and intelligence-sharing against Islamist terrorists and Iran

→ Access to 34 percent of the world’s oil exports and 16 percent of natural gas exports

→ Allies cover 60 percent of the United States’ basing costs, worth $658 million annually

→ Bases near, and allies united against, Iran

Sources: United States Department of Defense; BP Statistical Review of World Energy; Office of the United States Trade Representative.

Note: United States cost-offsetting estimates for expenses to maintain a military presence in regions mentioned in this article are as of 2002, the last date for which data is available. Experts confirm that the numbers are still broadly representative.

2

Time for a snapshot of the science-y words in “State of the Union“ addresses since 1900. I took word frequency data (words per 10,000) from onetwothree.net and grouped the words by topic. For example “doctors,” “vaccines,” and “medicine” were all included in the “HEALTH” total. I added global oil prices (adjusted for inflation, source: BP Statistical Review) as a reference.

Things I noticed:

  • Presidents tend to talk more about alternative fuels and climate change near the end of their presidencies. Hmmm …
  • The 1973 Oil Crisis really got ‘em talking.
  • There’s a major shift from worrying about agriculture to worrying about health.
  • Look how excited Nixon was about natural resources!
  • Interesting how infrequently Obama uses health words compared to Clinton and Bush 2.