One reason why it is strategically useful to invade countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, regardless of how (un)smooth the occupation goes, is that the US gets to keep giant military bases there after it leaves. This is superimportant for world domination, since it is only through the noose of military bases (in countries like Japan, Korea, Philippines, Germany, etc.) that it is able to remain the big bully of world politics.
How many foreign bases does the US maintain over the globe? Answer: over 700, not including the covert ones, which puts the number well over 1000, nor the domestic ones, of which there are many thousands (here and here).
How much does the United States spend on its enormous military network? 689 billion dollars officially, much more unofficially (labeled as “emergency spending, etc.)
How many bases currently in Iraq? Answer: over 300 of them.
How much are tax-payers spending on all these bases? Billions and billions and billions.
Report: 700 Military Bases in Afghanistan
The website TomDispatch.com is reporting the number of military bases in Afghanistan now totals around 700. A spokesperson for the US-led NATO occupation force confirmed US and NATO bases outnumber those of the Afghan military by around 400 to 300. The bases range from small sites to mega-bases like Bagram Air Base, which boasts outlets of US fast food chains like Burger King and Popeyes Chicken. At least twelve more bases are slated for construction to host the additional 30,000 troops arriving in Afghanistan as part of President Obama’s escalation of the Afghan war.
Pasted from <http://www.democracynow.org/2010/2/12/headlines#13>