Thanks to Sergio Lub: "We have a surplus of US military bases that are no longer needed but are maintained because of inertia at home, and to satisfy local authorities that have grown dependent on the economic activity generated by our presence in their soil. We need to start winding them down, and to use this opportunity to rebuild good will and mutual cooperation.
A few ideas on how to start repurposing some of them:
- Retrain our willing military personel how to decontaminate as needed and to refurbish our buildings to serve as centers for domestic and international non-profits organizations invited by the host country. Like we have done at Fort Mason in San Francisco.
- Offer training to our service personnel for learning new practical skills to reinforce our ties to the locals, like becoming English teachers, technical trainers, social workers, counselors.
- Assist local authorities to locate and invite back those families originally displaced by the bases that wish to return and start anew in their old land.
- Help Americans who are allowed to stay there as expatriates for a while.
- Open join research centers to help advance the development of their science and technology, and for us to learn from their unique fauna, flora, geography, healing traditions and culture.
- Recycle old buildings to build housing for HS & college exchange students, teachers and visitors, thus encouraging joint education and new friendships. Strive to include student's and artists exchanges with home stays all over the country and in the US.
- Co-create conference centers with locals to host international gatherings including hotels, airports. Provide affordable leases of our surplus planes and ships to help transportation needs where needed.
- Allow access to large undeveloped areas for locals to landscape, create public parks and camping spaces, host festivals and all kinds of public gatherings.
- Offer spaces to exhibit and demonstrate how to build traditional and new efficient shelters, better use of resources including water, soil, minerals, recycling, animal husbandry, fisheries, cooking, and to make freely available the know-how and expertise accumulated by their elders.
- Empower our citizens to recommend and vouch for those locals they have known to trust so it is easier for them to visit and get to see our country.
- Let nature take over other areas while preserving them for the imagination of new generations.
In the 70s, as a young volunteer in Israel, I saw the incredible farms and villages created in the occupied Sinai desert. To my dismay, all that valuable pioneering work was bulldozed before returning the arid land to Egypt. That unique opportunity was then lost to help young Palestinian families relocate and reduce the tensions of the Gaza conflict, a huge mistake we are all still paying for."
A partial map of major locations, out of about 800 known: