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THE true scale of Britain's global military presence was revealed for the first time today, with 145 bases in 42 countries and territories around the world.
The figure, unearthed by a Declassified UK investigation, makes Britain’s overseas military network the second-largest in the world after the US.
Among the findings include British military presence in seven Arab kingdoms, where citizens have little or no say in how they are governed.
These include 15 bases in Saudi Arabia, which supports internal suppression and the war in Yemen, and 16 sites in Oman, where some are run directly by British troops.
Many British overseas bases are located in tax havens such as Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, the investigation also found.
The findings come days after the government announced a 10 per cent hike in defence spending to £16.5 billion over four years.
Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) told the Star: “This shocking investigation makes it all the more appalling that the UK has added another £16 billion to what was already one of the largest military budgets in the world.
“The UK military should not be colluding with despots, dictatorships and regimes that abuse human rights.
“It only serves to entrench their authoritarian rule and makes the UK complicit in their abuses.”
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) have not yet responded to requests for comment.
The department was forced to apologise to Declassified UK in September after apparently blacklisting the investigative site by refusing to engage with its journalists, including former Morning Star reporter Phil Miller.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has commissioned an independent review into claims that Government Communications Service (GCS) guidelines and the Civil Service Code were breached.
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