Military prostitution was a most important vector in the
globalization and industrialization of prostitution in the late
20th century. The massive industrialized militaries of the 20th
century understood that prostitution was necessary to their military preparedness. The male soldiers were provided with easy, organized, cheap and ‘safe’ access to prostituted women. The prostituted women were recruited in a variety of ways. The ‘comfort women’ were kidnapped, deceived or bought from parents in Korea, China and other invaded and colonized countries for the Japanese military brothels of the 1930s and 1940s. The women and girls used by peacekeepers in brothels in Kosovo are trafficked women kept in debt bondage, mostly from Eastern Europe. The methods are strikingly similar but the degree of official involvement by militaries and state governments varies. Military prostitution on a scale similar to that employed by the Japanese was part of the US military rest and recreation régimes after World War II throughout South East Asia. This formed the basis for the huge sex industries and trafficking of women that developed in Korea, Thailand and the Philippines, and became such important sectors of their economies. In its sheer scale, military prostitution can be seen as kick-starting a crucial aspect of the globalization of prostitution, the sexual exploitation of a sexual proletariat of women and children from poor countries by members of rich westernized nations.
Jeffreys, Sheila. “The Industrial Vagina: The Political Economy of the Global Sex Trade.” Routledge, 2009. (p. 107)