In Newsweek, political science professor Alexander Cooley comments on how the Pentagon is funneling money to ruling families in the Middle East, in exchange for rights to military bases.  From the article:

In Abu Dhabi, “we may be essentially buying our presence,” says Alexander Cooley, a professor at Barnard College who studies U.S. basing strategy. The U.S. regularly pays rents to foreign landowners, but those payments are separate from base rights, which are government-to-government agreements. On bases, Cooley says, “there is a quid pro quo that is tacit.”

Read the full article here.

Cooley is Associate Professor of Political Science at Barnard and a Faculty Member of Columbia’s Harriman Institute.  His research examines how external actors– including international organizations, aid donors, multinational companies, non-governmental organizations, and foreign military bases – have influenced the political and economic development of the former Soviet states, with a focus on Central Asia and the Caucasus.