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David Vine Professor Department of Anthropology

Send email to David Vine
(202) 885-2923 (Office)
(202) 885-1830 (Office)
CAS - Anthropology
Hamilton - 311
OFFICE HOURS: For times and appointments, visit
PhD and MA, Anthropology, Graduate Center, City University of New York

BA, Sociology, Wesleyan University

Languages Spoken
English and proficient French, Morisyen (Mauritian Kreol), Seselwa (Seychelles Kreol); some Spanish and Italian
David Vine is author of Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt, August 2015) and Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia (Princeton, 2009). David Vine’s work focuses on issues including U.S. foreign and military policy, U.S. wars, U.S. military bases abroad, forced displacement, refugees, and human rights. David's newest book, If We Build Them, Wars Will Come: Military Bases, Permanent War, and American Empire from Columbus to Today (University of California Press), will be out in 2020. With the Network of Concerned Anthropologists, David helped produce the Counter-Counterinsurgency Manual, or Notes on Demilitarizing American Society (Prickly Paradigm, 2009) and Militarization: A Reader. His other writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Guardian, Mother Jones, Foreign Policy in Focus, Chronicle of Higher Education, and International Migration, among others. David has also conducted research about gentrification in Brooklyn, NY, environmental refugees, homelessness and mental illness, and DC-area basketball. He was previously, briefly, a dancing waiter. For links to David's most recent writing, speaking events, and more information, see and For office hours:
See Also
David Vine's Personal Website
Website for David's "Base Nation"
Office Hours
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.


Spring 2020

  • ANTH-251 Anthropological Theory

  • ANTH-544 Topics in Public Anthropology: Costs of War: Pub Anth Clinic

  • ANTH-602 The Craft of Anthropology II

  • ANTH-899 Doctoral Dissertation

Partnerships & Affiliations

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications

Major, selected publications. See c.v. and for additional publications.


2020  If We Build Them, Wars Will Come: Military Bases, Permanent War, and American Empire from Columbus to Today. Oakland: University of California Press. [Winner, UC Press Series in Public Anthropology International Book Competition 2018.]

2015  Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Overseas Are Damaging America and the World. New York: Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt.


Co-Authored Books

2009  Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

2019  Militarization: A Reader. Edited by Roberto González, Hugh Gusterson, and Gustaaf Housman, with David Vine, et al. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

2009 The Counter-Counterinsurgency Manual: On Demilitarizing American Society. Co-edited with Network of Concerned Anthropologists Steering Committee. Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press.


Articles and Book Chapters

2019  No Bases? How Social Movements against U.S. Military Bases Abroad Are Challenging Militarization and Militarism. Current Anthropology 60, supp. 19, “Cultures of Militarism,” edited by Catherine Besteman and Hugh Gusterson.

2018  Islands of Imperialism: Military Bases and the Ethnography of U.S. Empire in the Middle East. In Ethnographies of U.S. Empire, edited by Carole McGranahan and John Collins, 249-269. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

2019  Troubling Past, Uncertain Future: How Disputed Islands, a US Military Base, and an Exiled People’s Fate Reflect a Transforming World. The Diplomat, July 1.

2018  After Kavanaugh’s Confirmation, Men Must Do More. The Eagle, November 16.

2017  “Forty-five Blows Against Democracy: How U.S. Military Bases Back Dictators, Autocrats, and Military Regimes.”, May 16.

2016  “Everyone Has the Right to Live on Their Island. Why Not Us?” Foreign Policy in Focus, December 6.

2016  "Doubling Down on a Failed Strategy: The Pentagon’s Dangerous “New” Base Plan.", January 14.

2015  “My Body Was Not Mine, But the U.S. Military’s”: Inside the Disturbing Sex Industry Thriving around America’s Bases. Politico, November 1.   

2015  Garrisoning the Globe: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Undermine National Security and Harm Us All., September 13.

2014  "We're Profiteers": How Military Contractors Reap Billions from U.S. Military Bases Overseas. Monthly Review 66(3).

2013  Tracing Paul Farmer's Influence. American University College of Arts and Sciences News, May 23. 

2013  Compensating a People for the Loss of Their Homeland: Diego Garcia, the Chagossians, and the Human Rights Standards Damages Model. With Philip Harvey and S. Wojciech Sokolowski. Northwestern Journal of International Human Rights 11, no. 1: 152-185.

2012  The Lily-Pad Strategy: How the Pentagon Is Quietly Transforming Its Overseas Base Empire and Creating a Dangerous New Way of War., July 16.

2012  Bipartisan Strategy Takes Shape to Close Overseas U.S. Bases. 2nd author, with Raymond DuBois. Defense News, January 29.

2011  Public Anthropology in Its Second Decade: Robert Borofsky’s Center for a Public Anthropology. American Anthropologist 113(2): 336-339.

2008  Homesick for Camp Justice. Mother Jones online, August 22.

2007  Enabling the Kill Chain. Chronicle of Higher Education, November 30: B9-10.

2007  Island of Injustice: The U.S. Has a Moral Duty to the People of Diego Garcia. The Washington Post, January 2: A17.

2003  Billions for Brooklyn—No Questions Asked: The Borough’s New Power Brokers. The Brooklyn Rail, Winter: 2-3. [3rd Place, New York City Independent Press Awards.]


Media Appearances

Major recent appearances only. See CV for a additional appearances.

2018  USA TBD with Dave Bernath, November. Interviewed. 


2018  Newsweek, “V-J Day: U.S. Military Power in Asia Grew after World War II, But Do We Still NeedBases There?” August 22. Quoted.


2018  Los Angeles Times, “A Half-Century after Being Uprooted for a Remote U.S. Naval Base, TheseIslanders Are Still Fighting to Return.” August 14. Quoted.


2017 Wake [foreign policy podcast], “The Costs and Benefits of Overseas Base,” May 1. Interviewed. 

2016 Cultural Anthropology: A Toolkit for a Global Age (W.W. Norton), Kenneth J. Guest. Two-page profile.


2016 Monthly Review, “Empire of Bases,” review of Base Nation by Zoltan Grossman, vol. 68, no. 7 (December).

2016 Wake Up Call podcast, “The Unbelievably Horrific Diego Garcia Tragedy with Dr. David Vine,” August 19.

2016 Economist, “Go Home, Yankee,” August 13-19.

2016 Pivot TV, Truth and Power, “Camp Justice,” March 18. Profiled.


2016 NPR, Here and Now, January 27.

2016 Reason TV, “ISIS is Expanding. Should U.S. Military Bases Abroad Expand Too?” January 21.

2015 NPR, On Point with Tom Ashbrook, “A New String of Military Bases Abroad?” December 14.

2015 NPR, To the Point, “Should the US Rethink the Huge Cost of Its Military Bases?” September 16.

2015 CSPAN-TV, “Book Discussion on Base Nation,” August 26. Book talk at Politics & Prose, Washington, DC.

2015 NPR, All Things Considered, “Do America’s Military Bases Abroad Help Or Hinder Global Security?” August 23.

2015-2016 Selected additional Base Nation radio interviews with POTUS SiriusXM Satellite Radio; No Alibis KCSB; KPFK Pacifica Public Radio; Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Ring of Fire; Texas Public Radio; BYU Public Radio; Wisconsin Public Radio; Vassar College Public Radio; This is Hell; Mike Feder Show; Michael Caster Show.



Professional Services

Steering Committee Member. Network for Concerned Anthropologists.

Expert witness. Research for US and UK lawsuits brought for Chagossians by attorneys Michael Tigar (Washington, DC) and Richard Gifford (London), 2001-present.

Co-editor, "Public Anthropology Reviews," American Anthropologist, 2009-2012.


Research Interests

David’s scholarly interests include U.S. foreign and military policy, militarization and human rights, foreign military bases, forced displacement, gentrification, indigenous peoples, race/ethnicity, gender and sexuality, poverty and inequality, the Indian Ocean, urban anthropology, cities and urban development, ethnography and writing ethnography for non-academic audiences, and public anthropology. He is a steering committee member of the Network of Concerned Anthropologists and a contributor to and Foreign Policy in Focus. He was founding co-editor of the "Public Anthropology Reviews" section in American Anthropologist.