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So if we are there and not controlling anything outside our bases we are technically not occupying anything except the bases. Hey we pay rent, don't we?

Do they? Everywhere?
I don´t know the situation today but at least in the late 1980s Germany paid the USA around $1 billion per year for "Stationierungskosten" (cost for bases etc.).

Don´t have any link for this because at least in the German federal budget this item is very well hidden.
I researched it in the 1990s just out of curiosity.

Ha, but found this.

It´s called "Bilateral Cost Sharing" today. :)

And so the German "contribution" in 2003 was around $860 million. Most of it in "indirect support". As in: waived rents, taxes and other forgone revenues.
(In 2000 it seems Germany "contributed" around $ 1.2 billion.)

So, although the number of US troops in Germany went down quite a lot, the German "contributions" didn´t went down that far.
(From around 300000 during the Cold War to around 70000.)

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Thu Sep 17th, 2009 at 02:56:46 PM EST

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