In response to a Washington Post story about an army general’s mishandling of a sexual-assault case in Japan, Libertarian Party Political Director Carla Howell made the following statement on Press TV:
U.S. military personnel, especially those in leadership positions, must be held to high standards. Refusing to investigate allegations of sexual assault or to prosecute offenders appropriately is unacceptable.
There have been reports of American soldiers committing sex crimes around U.S. bases in Japan for decades. Yet the response on the part of military officials remains inadequate.
But we need to ask a more fundamental question: Why arethere U.S. military bases in Japan?
World War II ended almost 70 years ago. That’s seven-zero — 70 — years ago. Why do we still have troops there?
Japan is one of the wealthiest and most industrialized nations in the world, fully capable of defending its people militarily. There is no justification for the U.S. to maintain costly and unnecessary bases there or to keep our troops separated from their families.
We must close the U.S. military bases in Japan and bring our troops home.
Libertarian candidates running for congress and U.S. senate this year are pledging to close overseas military bases and bring our troops home. They have also pledged to cut U.S. military spending as much as sixty percent.
Even after cutting military spending by sixty percent, the U.S. will still be spending more on military operations than both Russia and China spend combined.
Cutting military spending and bringing our troops home will remove the temptation for misconduct on the part of military personnel stationed abroad. It will start to heal our relationship with parts of Japan that have resented our military presence, and it will foster peace. It will enable us to stop overspending, balance our federal budget, and stop incurring debt. We will no longer borrow money from China to fund foreign interventions around the world.