The writer of a Dec. 25 letter seems to be confused as to the purpose of the United States' military bases.
The 800 military bases around the world are there to promote peace and safeguard the people around them -- people of every race and religion.
The United States is unique in that it does not go to war to conquer, subjugate or to take what belongs to another, but to protect herself or most often to help a weaker nation that is being abused by a stronger nation. We then spend billions of dollars rebuilding those nations.
As for the countries living in peace without fear of terrorists, one can live in a neighborhood surrounded by crack dealers and live in relative peace as long as one looks the other way.
The huge sums we spend on weaponry are, unfortunately, necessary to protect not only ourselves, but also countless others around the globe.
America has been the glue that holds the world together. If she were to disappear today, military dictators, religious fanatics and just plain nuts of all stripes would very quickly gain power and enslave and butcher millions. Without our stabilizing influence, horrors that are now held in check would be commonplace.
Many people want to see our power and influence greatly diminished. God help us if they ever get their wish.