A reader writes

The irony is of course we already have bases in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. It's not like we didn't have force in the region before the Iraq war. But this is a whole different scale. FIFTY bases. We have around 70 in Germany, but most of those were to support a war against Russia and at least 13 are closing. Is this really the same size and scope of the Cold War? The bases we have now keep a very low profile in order to reduce anti-American sentiment. In Japan, Germany, South Korea, US soldiers walk the streets unarmed with the blessing of the populace in general. The agreement on the bases specifically indicates both armed presence and immunity from prosecution for acts against the populace. THAT sounds like an occupation instead of a friendly mutual survival pact.

I think you ask the right question, is a military presence beyond our carriers in the Gulf a worthy strategic objective of the US? And will the presence of said bases encourage more anti-American sentiment which would outweigh the apparent benefits? It is the essential question, and your position might be the only deciding factor in which candidate you vote for.

This election is our first to decide whether the neo-conservative vision of an American-occupied Middle East is one the American people actually support. I don't. If that's McCain's vision, I can't support it.

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