Declassified UK: REVEALED: The UK military’s overseas base network involves 145 sites in 42 countries
By Phil Miller
November 27, 2020 "Information Clearing House" - "Daily Maverick" - Britain’s armed forces have a far more extensive base network than ever presented by the Ministry of Defence. New research by Declassified reveals the extent of this global military presence for the first time – as the government announces an extra 10% spending on defence.
UK military has base sites in five countries around China: naval base in Singapore, garrisons in Brunei, drone testing sites in Australia, three facilities in Nepal and quick reaction force in Afghanistan
Cyprus hosts 17 UK military installations including firing ranges and spy stations, with some located outside UK’s “sovereign base areas”
Britain maintains military presence in seven Arab monarchies where citizens have little or no say in how they are governed
UK personnel are stationed across 15 sites in Saudi Arabia, supporting internal repression and the war in Yemen, and at 16 sites in Oman, some run directly by British military
In Africa, British troops are based in Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Mali
Many UK overseas bases are located in tax havens such as Bermuda and Cayman Islands
Britain’s military has a
permanent presence at 145 base sites in 42
countries or territories around the world,
research by Declassified UK has found.
The size of this global military presence is far larger than previously thought and is likely to mean that the UK has the second largest military network in the world, after the United States.
It is the first time the true size of this network has been revealed.
The UK uses 17 separate military installations in Cyprus as well as 15 in Saudi Arabia and 16 in Oman – the latter both dictatorships with whom the UK has especially close military relations.
The UK’s base sites include 60 it manages itself in addition to 85 facilities run by its allies where the UK has a significant presence.
These appear to fit the description of what General Mark Carleton-Smith, Britain’s Chief of the General Staff, recently termed as “lily pads” – sites which the UK has easy access to as and when required.
Declassified has not included in the figures the UK’s small troop contributions to UN peacekeeping missions in South Sudan or the Cyprus buffer zone, nor staffing commitments at NATO administrative sites in Europe or most of its special forces deployments, which are largely unknown.
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