Why Diego Garcia Is An Important U.S. Military Base

USA World
An undated file photo of Diego Garcia, the largest island in the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean and the site of a major US military base leased from Britain in 1966. Reuters

Business Insider: See inside Diego Garcia, a secretive US Navy base on British land at the center of a bitter tug-of-war in the Indian Ocean

* In 1966, the UK leased the US the remote, 17-square-mile Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia.
* Diego Garcia is now a key US military base in the region, and it is used as a launchpad for Air Force missions in the Middle East.
* About 5,000 service members and contractors are based on Diego Garcia, which has a bowling alley, a burger bar, and stores.
* The British government evicted thousands of islanders from their homes on Diego Garcia and the surrounding area to make way for the base.
* The UN’s top court recently ruled that the British illegally gained possession of the island in 1965, placing the future status of the base in doubt.

On the remote tropical island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean lies a secretive, strategically vital US military base.

The base has served as a launchpad for US military operations in the Middle East and as a refueling point for Air Force patrols headed to the South China Sea, and it was even designated an emergency landing spot for space missions by NASA.

But this distant outpost of American power isn’t located on US territory. Instead it occupies what used to be part of the British Empire — and its former owners want it back.


WNU Editor: The Americans are not going to give up this base.