From Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, the US has had a military presence across the world, from almost day one of her independence.
What constitutes invasion? As one map below shows, the US has a military presence in much of the world without being an occupying force (though some would dispute that definition).
For instance, although the Confederacy considered the US to be a hostile invading power, indy100 are not counting the Civil War or any annexation within the continental United States as an 'invasion'.
Using data on US military interventions published by the Evergreen State College, in Olympia Washington, indy100 has created this map (below). The data was compiled by Dr Zoltan Grossman, a professor of Geography and Native Studies.
The map documents a partial list of occasions, since 1890, that US forces were used in a territory outside the US.
- Deployment of the military to evacuate American citizens,
- Covert military actions by US intelligence,
- Providing military support to an internal opposition group,
- Providing military support in one side of a conflict (e.g. aiding Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War 1988-89),
- Use of the army in drug enforcement actions (e.g. Raids on the cocaine region in Bolvia in 1986)
It does not include threats of nuclear weapons against a territory, such as during the Berlin Air Lift (1948-49).
It also excludes any time US military personnel were deployed to a foreign country for an exclusively humanitarian purpose - e.g. sending troops to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to provide assistance to refugees fleeing the Rwandan genocide (1996-97).
For more details, click on the country:
US Military overseas today
On Monday, President Donald Trump announced that the US would be increasing the number of troops it had in Afghanistan.
During the televised remarks from Fort Myer, Virginia the President did not allude to the specific numbers, but said the troops would be there to train members of the Afghan army.
Despite withdrawal policies advocated by President Obama, and President Trump while he was campaigning, there remains a significant US military presence throughout the world.
According to these figures from the US Department of Defense, the US had 199,005 members of its military on active duty at that time.
The top three locations from this map are:
- Japan (39,623)
- Germany (34,399)
- South Korea (23,297)
When numbers were published for the June quarter, the UK was home to 8,126 active duty US soldiers.
Absent from the map are Iran, North Korea, and other locations that are openly hostile to the United States.
Moreover, there were zero active duty military in June, in the Central African Republic, Georgia, Iceland, Luxembourg, Macao, Montenegro, the island of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, and Swaziland.