US Military Presence Overseas Mushrooming: Here, There, And Everywhere

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Alex Groka via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Around 200,000 US troops are stationed in 177 countries throughout the world. The forces use several hundred bases, more than 1,000 if the figure includes overseas warehouse and installations. The US may need more soon, with its presence and involvement in armed conflicts on the rise.

It was reported on August 7 that the Pentagon plans to conduct airstrikes on Islamic State (IS) in the Philippines. This move will be part of the effort to rout IS militants who occupied Marawi, a city in the south of the Philippines, in May, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in the entire southern region of Mindanao and ask the US for help. In June, the Joint Special Operations Task Force Trident joined the battle.

Just three days before that (on August 4), it was reported by the Pentagon that a Special Operations Forces (SOF) team was deployed to Yemen to support the ongoing United Arab Emirates (UAE) operation against the Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) terror group. The amphibious assault ship Bataan with several hundred Marines aboard is also operating in the region. Close-air support missions in the current offensive against AQAP are not ruled out.

On August 7, the US was also reported to be sending dozens more Marines to Helmand Province in southwestern Afghanistan. Army Gen. John Nicholson as the US commander in that country has been lobbying for 3,000 to 5,000 troops in addition to the 8,400 US service members already on the ground.

In June, the US increased the size of its special operations advisory force embedded with the Syrian Democratic Forces as the group prepared its invasion of Raqqa, Syria. Around 1,000 US service members are believed to be operating there.

The SOF play a special role to implement the «here, there and everywhere» policy. In 2016, the US SOF teams conducted missions in 138 countries - roughly 70 percent of the nations on the planet. The Special Operations Command is tasked with carrying out 12 core missions. Last year, US SOF were deployed to 32 African nations, about 60 percent of the countries on the continent. Navy SEALs, Green Berets, and other special operators are now conducting nearly 100 missions across 20 African countries at any given time. They are deployed in Libya - the country, which has its future uncertain after the 2011 US-led NATO involvement.

The US war footprint grows in the Middle East with no endgame in sight. In his remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Donald Trump said that the last 15 years of US military action in the Middle East had been an almost incomprehensible waste of money – six trillion dollars – and that after all that US war and meddling the region was actually in a worse shape than before the operations were launched. So, the policy was wrong, the president understands that and…keeps on doing the very same thing on a larger scale!

The presence in Europe is on the rise. Troops are being deployed to countries they had no presence in before, such as Norway and Estonia. It’s not forces only but also the costly logistics infrastructure. The military wants more large-scale exercises in Europe to further boost the presence and expand infrastructure there. During his recent foreign trip, Vice President Mike Pence said the US Air Force would deploy twice as many jets during the Russian exercise Zapad-2017 to be held in September.

The US military is calling for even greater presence in Europe. Air Force Brigadier General John Healy, the director of US exercises in Europe, says he wants one comprehensive training maneuver would be crucial in testing NATO's preparedness for a global showdown with Russia. As he put it, «What we're eventually going toward is a globally integrated exercise program so that we (are) ... all working off the same sheet of music in one combined global exercise». The military leader believes the exercise should encompass all domains of war – land, sea, air, space and cyber and involve all nine US combatant commands.

Under President Trump, drone strikes worldwide grew 432 percent as of mid-March. Civilian death toll is significant in Iraq and Syria as a result of US bombardment.

A war with Iran appears to be imminent. An attack against North Korea is on the cards. There is a plan to spend $8 billion on bulking up the US presence in the Asia-Pacific region over the next five years by upgrading military infrastructure, conducting additional exercises and deploying more forces and ships.

All these facts make one recall the events that took place just a few months ago. President Trump said he would avoid interventions in foreign conflicts. Instead of investing in wars, he would spend money to build up America's aging roads, bridges and airports. But there was a loophole. He promised to stay away from all other conflicts except Islamic State militancy.

Everybody thought he meant only airstrikes in the Middle East. Now it looks like the president meant the other regions as well. The Islamic State is present in Afghanistan and Africa. The IS terrorists have recently staged a terrorist act in Iran. They take responsibility for terrorist attacks in Europe. Jihadists operate in Russia and Central Asia. Their presence is menacing in the Asia-Pacific region. They are almost everywhere to serve as a pretext for US invasions or war preparations in almost any corner of the globe.

The United States in actually one way or another involved in all hot spots on the world map. No doubt, it will expand the involvement in the Philippines, Somalia, Afghanistan, Yemen, and boost the naval and air force presence in the Asia Pacific to oppose China – a move not related to the IS by any stretch of imagination as well as the beefing up of forces in Europe.

So, it’s Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa! It feels like the United States is always at war or preparing for a war somewhere. Yemen on August 4, the Philippines on August 7, perhaps some other place a few days later, you never know what to expect. It’s like the «perpetual war for perpetual peace» described by Charles Beard.

No matter how high the military expenditure is, the US military is doomed to be stretched thin until the policy is not changed. One cannot square the circle or embrace the boundless. The nation has a huge national debt. If the enemy is the Islamic State then the intelligence and military efforts should be concentrated on the mission to strike the group, not a number of tall orders to be accomplished by and large at the very same time.

With one mission accomplished, the US could review the priorities. The thing is - it will never be accomplished because the Islamic State is not only militants, but rather the ideology that drives them. This evil cannot be defeated by the people in uniform alone. But that’s a different story to talk about in another article. Anyway, stretching the resources thin is not an effective policy. The United States will be following two hares catching neither instead of setting the priorities straight and focusing on what is the primary mission.

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HRClinton's picture

It's all to force the Dollar and GS offices onto everyone.

TBT or not TBT's picture

The U.S. Military is only authorized to blow stuff and kill people outside the USA.   So, duh, they're spread around in places where they can do their jobs.  

Veritas X-'s picture

EEEEEHHH.....Wrong answer.

SPO-Timothy McViegh blew up the Murrary Building in Oklahoma City in a joint operation with....

....oooohhh...go ask Eric Holder & HillBillys.

The isreali military likes blowing up things in lower Manhattan & the rest of Heimeetown.



Mr 9x19's picture

you should call back your dogs murica, in less than 5 years the dollar will be valuated below zero you will not have enough money to pay your troops a  low cost fly to come back. hihihi


anyway, when a total supply money is deleted from publication ( M3 ) you can't imagine you will be let in your path infinitly, come on murica, where is your common sense ? oh, you don't have one. sorry.

Laughing.Man's picture

The Chinese are generally isolationists.  They won't be policing the globe.

Vilfredo Pareto's picture

That's true, but our policies have pushed them to change their views.


They used to take pride in not having any overseas military bases.  Now it appears they have one in Africa.  I am sure more are to follow.

swmnguy's picture

The Chinese have also observed the model of every single Empire in history.  They all, every one, get over-extended militarily and economically and eventually collapse.  

As a general rule the Chinese have been sending money overseas, to secure access to resources.  A number of times, US-sponsored "civil unrest" has developed right where China has made major investments.  And then US-backed forces, and even US forces themselves, show up to destroy or seize China's investments.  It's happened enough times to be more than coincidental.  Somalia, Libya, Sudan, to name three.  Questionable events in Kenya, Nigeria as well.  US involvement in Afghanistan, coincidentally or more probably not, has blocked a pipeline from Iran to China.

If the Chinese are putting military forces anywhere outside their borders, it's to make it more inconvenient for the US to interfere in Chinese business operations.

lew1024's picture

Yes, the path every empire ends on is zero money for troops at the exact point of maximum enemies.

Natural system dynamics, the sand grains pile higher and higher before the largest avalanche.

Miss Informed's picture

They're coming to a town near you. Also check out your local urban police department, they look pretty much the same.

Oh regional Indian's picture

First overextend, then over pretend and then die in a damp squib as the all imprtant supply lines needed to keep the empire are choked off one by one.

And here is a terribel thought for everyone to consider.

It is said, wisely I may add, in the book of the Dao that no ruler wants to bring his troops home. Troops come home with blood-lust, entitlement issues and the habit of getting what they want at the tip of a sword, spear or now barrel. Bringing troops home means social upheaval. See Born on the fourth of july or walk the streets of San Fran in case you missed the point. Or look at the VA, trying to kill all it's braves, softly of course, through neglect....

That is why, once beyond your own borders, it's extend, pretend and die...... every over-arching empire has faced the same issues. China is already spreading it's wings, thus sure to meeet the same fate.

For the moment though, China is America's future, your bond paper nuts firmly in the politburo's vice grip. Vast tracts of land being sold or acquired and perhaps the final settlement of debt bing the wholesale sale of the crumbling US of A. These are real possibilities.

A little symbolism might be telling, from my perspective anyways...

new game's picture

look ma, i got a 60 billion dollar raise. can i go to the candy store?

Jack Oliver's picture

Yeah - that's a big part of it !!

Jack Oliver's picture

Yeah - that's a big part of it - 'Controlling' the world's resources is their main objective - people included !

Archive_file's picture

What ever happened to maintaining a good coastal defense on the homeland and that's it?

TBT or not TBT's picture

The U.S. sent the marines to fuck up pirates in North Africa in the late 18th century, from memory.   The "Shores of Tripoli" made themselves out business over two centuries ago, so even then, with sailing ships musket and old Canon we went and kicked ass.   

Miss Informed's picture

Yes, but what has the Military Industrial Complex done for me lately?

Shemp 4 Victory's picture


Yes, but what has the Military Industrial Complex done for me lately?

They ruined the US economy, government, and rule of law in order to enrich themselves. Does that count?

Vilfredo Pareto's picture



"The United States in actually one way or another involved in all hot spots on the world map."


And it will end the way it always has at some point.  Empire is unsustainable.  Social and infrastructure needs don't get the resources they need, and it crumbles from within.

Freddie's picture

I am a constitutional conservative but it drives me crazy when some conservatives say we should bomb Iran or fill in the blank.

We are not trying to win in Afghanistan or bomb all the muslimcontries.  Most have no clue that we have been commiting genocide against Christians in the Middle East. 

And no one seems to remember The Framers of the Constitution were opposed to empire building BS. Ike warned us, JFK tried to stop it, Andrew Jackson stopped the central bank. 

And every sucker keeps believing ISIS is real and not a new and improved bogey man update of Al Qeada.

Many Americans still think a bus driver dropped off young children at pedophile Gene Rosen's house during Sandy Hoax.

Veritas X-'s picture

"Yankee GO HOME!"

Take your lbtq-*ITS* & your pedo-pervert generals with 'ya.


Yars Revenge's picture

Empire. Check.
Spread too thin. Check
Never ending conflict. Check.
Rampant political corruption. Check
Huge debt load. Check

Where have we seen this before?

blindfaith's picture



The Democratic Party?    I don't know, just guessing.  Did I win?

Peanut Butter Engineer's picture

Romam empire.

However, correlation does not mean causation, maybe all those hot zones attracted US instead of other way around. At least that's what CIA have mass all believed.

Sudden Debt's picture

If you look to the difference in American wealth from 2000 till now, you should realize that the next 10 years will see the same decline.

For every 1000 dollars the US spends on it's militairy, it costs 2000 to the citizens.


Amerrica can't even maintain it's roads infrastructure...  but they sure like to kill other people in the world of which they can't even point the country on the map.

let alone if they have a clue what it's about...

America wants a base next to China. And even if China says they don't care, they'll fund and support it covertly.

America will lose that one yet again. It can't even defeat an organisation like ISIS... and now they want to take on North Korea?

HAHAHAHAHA, I'm sorry but without the help of Russia, America won't defeat anybody.


Laughing.Man's picture

"...can't even defeat an organisation like ISIS..."

Defeat?  That's not the objective.  It never was.

Sandmann's picture

Now the Russians are destroying ISIS the US is reinventing Al-Qaeda

Miss Informed's picture

America is very good at stabbing itself in the foot.

erk's picture

Perhaps the us could send in ISIS to NK like they did in the Philippines recently.



SmittyinLA's picture

They're running out of gringo chumps to do AL Qaida a d Goldman Sacks dirty work

ItsAllBollocks's picture

Of cause, by Asia-Pacific they mean Australia, with no known enemies except the ones we create by our unquestioned involvment in US wars of agression. When oh when will Australia seperate itself from this ever-expanding hell? I guess while we have a Zionist government there is no chance. R.I.P. Australia.

Sandmann's picture

Australia has no future without China as a customer. 

AurorusBorealus's picture

It seems that the U.S. is on the verge of world conquest.  The neo-con dream is now reality. Given the great success of the U.S. military in occupying 70% of the world, the U.S. better sort out all the important issues of imperial administration and policy throughout its vast holdings.  Specifically, the empire needs to do the following: end that trans-gender ban; get the whole who-uses-what-bathroom issue sorted out; stop the Russian meddling; sponsor a parade every time someone unsuccessfully copulates with another person of the same sex; enforce hiring practices that discriminate against white and Asian males; censor the internet; start forcing all heterosexual women to mutilate their genitals and wear hijabs (that will teach them to be good lesbians); enforce gender-neutral vocabulary in every human language (which will be something of a project for the languages in which all nouns are "gendered"); and persecute Christians for their faith.  Sure some of this may offend billions of people but after a few thousand sorties of U.S. bombers and drones, everyone in the world will accept the fact that only "black lives" matter.

someup-somedown's picture





GracchusBrothers's picture

Maintaining a global military empire is costly...but the MIC loves the profits!

When did our Constitutional Republic become an Empire?

Future historians will debate that point and a new Gibbon will write "The History of the Decline and Fall of the American Empire."

Sandmann's picture

When did our Constitutional Republic become an Empire?


When FDR decided to take down the British Empire - so c 1942

Aristofani's picture

US has been at war for about 220 - 230 years of its 247 year history.

I think the empire building began very soon after 1770.

Obviously envy not hatred, of the English one was the main driving force!

ZeroBeek's picture

Yankees go home.

You deserve it.

hestroy's picture

Just... Fuck off!

JailBanksters's picture

I think Russia has about 3-4 Bases outside of Russia and one of those is in Antartica

And Russia is the one with the Expanding Empire

If you said Bullshit for each Russian Base it would take 5 seconds

If you said Bullshit for each US Base it would take you more than 16 Minutes

Try it, see how long you will last before saying, this is Bullshut



Shemp 4 Victory's picture


I think Russia has about 3-4 Bases outside of Russia and one of those is in Antartica

Slight correction: it is on a Russian island in the Arctic.

Jack Oliver's picture

Not only are the Zio/US 'involved' in all the ' Hot Spots ' - they CREATED all the FUCKING 'Hot Spots'

Murderous FUCKING barbarians !!

obelix's picture

DC and Congress's priority is to give over $800 billions annually of the US taxpayers money to this military appatus but neglecting health care, schools, infrastructure and poor unemployed people...taxes and taxes to this kind of game...shameful.....


Sandmann's picture

Americans don't want health care or education when they have a chance to watch "Shock and Awe" on TV all day

Sandmann's picture

German Luftwaffe and Norwegian Luftvorsfaret are given access to B61-12 nuclear bombs by USA too in breach of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Why these nuclear bombs are designed to fit German planes is unclear when the 1990 4+1 Agreement on German Unification BANS Germany from having access to nuclear weapons in perpetuity !!

Maybe European states should simply cut Defence Spending and let Us take up slack. Germany will NOT spend 2% GDP on Defence so Trump had better spend more and tax more

moorewasthebestbond's picture

The South shall rise again!