Doesn't having a military base in a country demonstrate some level of control over that country?
What empire is missing?
Could it be the one that occupies a good chunk of the North American land mass, big parts of the Pacific, good sized pieces of the Middle East, and has over 700 known military bases around the world - and a lot more undisclosed ones?
Nah, the US isn't one of those empire things.
It's just a big, benign country with blue jeans and rock and roll that shares its blessings with the world without asking for anything in return.
You're really running an empire right when your own people say you don't have one and it's the biggest one the world has ever seen (or not seen as the case may be.)