Speaking  at the Aspen Ideas Festival on June 28, Secretary of State John Kerry sought to ease anxiety over an ever-rising global “turmoil and strife” by pointing to an eyebrow-raising fact. “I state unabashedly to every single one of you: The United States of America is more engaged in more places with greater impact today than at any time in American history,” he reassured the audience. “And that is simply documentable and undeniable.”
Kerry made it clear that when he talks about “engagement,” war is a key part of the equation. “We’ve been working with countries to support a new Government of National Accord in Libya,” he said, referencing a dubious state  that the U.S. is moving to heavily arm. “I was recently in the United Arab Emirates. I think we’ve come to a common understanding of how to strengthen that government and go after Daesh in Libya. We’re supporting Afghanistan in its fight against extremists and support a sovereign and democratic Ukraine.”
Kerry’s observation of unprecedented engagement may, in fact, be an understatement. As David Vine, the author of the book Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World, noted  in 2015, the United States “probably has more foreign military bases than any other people, nation, or empire in history.” The roughly 800  U.S. military bases around the world compare to a grand total of zero free-standing foreign bases on U.S. soil, Vine reported.