Dude Where's My Troops? Pentagon Loses Track Of 44,000 Soldiers

"The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force," said Thomas Jefferson in an 1807 letter to Chandler Price. And what would the nation's third president and principal author of the Declaration of Independence say of today's American "global force" deployed across the earth?

America's "global military presence" is not hyperbole, but a literal fact, as a new Department of Defense study has found that US military personnel are stationed in literally every nation on the earth. The report bluntly confirms that, "The United States has military personnel in nearly every country in the world, ranging from two liaison officers in Fiji to tens of thousands from all of the service branches in Japan and Germany, according to the report."

But perhaps more important and equally absurd (when one considers the original beginnings of the humble "republic" envisioned by founders like Madison and Jefferson) is the fact that America's world-wide military presence is such that the Pentagon itself can't track how many US service members are deployed where. A new bombshell article in Stars and Stripes military newspaper is non-ironically headlined, "Report: 44,000 ‘unknown’ military personnel stationed around the world".

The Stripes article opens with a line that would seem straight out of the Onion, yet matter-of-factly states, "The U.S. military has more than 44,000 troops across the globe that the Pentagon claims it cannot track, according to a recent report."

The Pentagon's system for accounting troop deployment numbers, maintained by the Defense Manpower Data Center under the Office of the Secretary of Defense, lists up to 44,000 troops in a country location category labeled "Unknown". 

The report has come to light after a series of recent Pentagon press briefings on military actions in the Middle East and Africa which left journalists scratching their heads. For example the latest DoD admission that there are "about 2,000 troops in Syria" - four times the previously acknowledged figure - came after a late October Pentagon presser wherein an Army spokesman told reporters that 4,000 troops were deployed to Syria, after which he awkwardly walked back the statement less than 30 seconds later, saying "I'm sorry I mispoke there - there are approximately 500 troops in Syria".

And when news broke of the October 4 ambush and deaths of four elite Green Beret soldiers in Niger, the immediate reaction voiced among congressional leaders and echoed generally in the media was: "we have troops in Niger?" - after which it came to light that the US has at least 6,000 military personnel spread across the African continent, though few knew of AFRICOM's (US Africa Command) dangerously burgeoning number of undisclosed daily missions. 

Where are they? Image source: US Marine Corps

“We are not at a point where we can give numbers other than those officially stated,” said Army Col. Rob Manning, quoted in Stripes. Though as Stripes acknowledges it appears that this is due more to the Pentagon simply not knowing where it has stationed thousands of troops rather than the officially stated reasons of "secrecy" and force protection from enemies. The Army spokesman further asserted, “Our commitment is to be as transparent as we can, within the constraints of operation security,” but it's also that case that, "The Pentagon acknowledged in a statement that it has no good way to track how many service members are stationed overseas, where they are and when they were there," according to Stripes. 

A Pentagon statement also ambiguously acknowledged that its troop tracking methods will inevitably miscalculate the locations of its roughly 1.3 million total personnel across all branches, based on the worrisome reasoning that "there is no easy way to track all deployments":

“There is no one personnel system in the [Defense Department] that tracks the daily location of all DoD personnel. There is no easy way to track all deployments, training exercises, TDY (being attached to another unit for training or specific missions, typically for less than six months) or temporary assignments,” according to the statement. “If you take the total numbers assigned in the United States and assigned overseas, and add the ‘Unknown,’ you get the total force numbers for each service.”

The report also comes after President Trump unveiled a new Afghan strategy last summer, saying the US would not pull out of the now 16-year long war but would instead inject more troops into the country for increased anti-terror operations.  According to recent statements from the Pentagon, the total number of US soldiers in Afghanistan has risen to about 14,000, though accounting procures have been especially unclear concerning the nation's longest running war.

When Secretary of Defense James Mattis was asked during a news conference last summer about troops levels in Afghanistan he said, “There’s a very strange accounting procedure I inherited... What I’m probably going to end up doing is out putting everyone into one thing and saying, ‘Here’s how many are really there now."

And none of this addresses the even greater numbers of civilian contractors in global hot spots where America is present. According to Stripes, "The United States maintains 23,659 contractors in Afghanistan and 4,609 in Iraq, according to a fourth-quarter 2017 report from the Defense Department."

Given that we learned this week of 44,000 troops stationed in locations the Pentagon itself deems "unknown", perhaps we are long overdue for a massive drawback of overseas forces and bloated military budgets? Of course if the Pentagon can't find them in the first place, it might be hard to bring them home.


knukles BullyDog Sat, 12/09/2017 - 19:36 Permalink

Have no fear Wonder Dog is here!Look .... I mean I can understand maybe 44,000 pallets of toilet paper or $44,000 in cash 1,ooo's of times over but to misplace that many troopies?Ah hah!  Let me get this started for the UFO community.  The 44,000 people are on off planet duty that was hacked by Gary McKinnon.BfhtzzzzZzzzzzzzztPsssß

In reply to by BullyDog

Majestic12 two hoots Sun, 12/10/2017 - 15:44 Permalink

"Damn, we are stoopid"

It is no accident that the first comment on this page is "Damn, we are stoopid" to set the narrative.

Trolls aside, the narrative of "incompetence" is what "they" want all of us to believe.

It can't possibly be black ops, or purposeful fraud to use "fake" troops to get salaries for funding black ops either.

Anyone here who knows how mercs have worked for the last 70 years, knows this is exactly how they get "funding".

Wake the fuck up...they do shit in "your" name... for corps.

In reply to by two hoots

Trogdor knukles Sun, 12/10/2017 - 13:25 Permalink

Hell, the "Masters of the Universe" at the Pentagon can't even find $trillions in "missing" funds. 44K troops are of no consequence (at least in their eyes).

I guess it was that "airplane" that crashed into the *very location* of the Pentagon on 9/11 where the investigation to find that missing money was taking place. Those sneaky turrurists! They knew *exactly* where to crash that "plane" to wipe out all the records ...

In reply to by knukles

Identify as Ferengi virgule Sat, 12/09/2017 - 22:19 Permalink

"They" don't know that they're "lost."
/* Style Definitions */
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mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
Apparently, everyone's drawing their pay all right. They'll come home when they get hungry.

In reply to by virgule

nmewn SoilMyselfRotten Sat, 12/09/2017 - 20:00 Permalink

The article goes on to say...people were "shocked" to find there were US soldiers in a former French colonial outpost/possession/whateverthefuckyoucallit...Neee-Jair...as the New York press likes to pronounce it...because its...French, ya know!...that seems to mean something to them...sorta like...Pock-eee-stawn.The article is fucking stupid.Not putting it out there for public consumption (or a foes perusal) is rational not lost or unaccounted for.Besides, the statisticians at the Pentagon know exactly where they are, they are in "Unknown", thats what it says ;-)

In reply to by SoilMyselfRotten

nmewn knukles Sat, 12/09/2017 - 20:17 Permalink

Look at them knuk's...LMAO!...its like..."How come we don't know there are 44,000 US troops outside Líl Kims house waiting for the order to go?! This is a Democracy dammit! If it was Colludin-With-Pootin calling the shots and running the show we'd damned sure know!"I don't even know what to say to these idiots...lol.

In reply to by knukles

Not Too Important nmewn Sat, 12/09/2017 - 19:37 Permalink

When Rome was collapsing, HQ left the legions where they were, so they couldn't come home and 'sort things out'.

What if wars are started all over the planet, requiring great masses of US troops - necessitating a huge draft - and while America's finest are overseas fighting and dying the US borders are opened to the Muslims in the millions like Europe? There wouldn't be enough capable here to stop them.

Even the National Guard units are sent overseas, when they're supposed to be here to protect the homeland.

A Democrat's/RINO's dream. Just a thought...

In reply to by nmewn

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Not Too Important Sat, 12/09/2017 - 19:48 Permalink

Exactly. I studied in Rome and took a number of classics courses about Ancient Rome and Greece, Latin, and philosophy.

I also served in the US military during the 1980s.

Imagine being stationed, oh let's say at Camp Lemmonier in Djibouti, Africa. Impinge things get rough in the homeland (I cannot say how continuing to refer to the US as the homeland still creeps me out) and all pay is cut off, all communication is cut off and it is up to that soldier / sailor /airman to find their own way home.

One, most US military personnel do not have a passport. Why? They don't need one. DOD ID is adequate. Well, until it isn't and they try and board a commercial flight and have no passport. Even crossing the nearest border wouldn't be effective. No passport? Good luck boarding an international flight! You can't.

Don't get me started on if the servicemember has cash they can use in the local area or a local credit card (probably not).

If you are active duty and stationed abroad I would strongly advise a passport and several types of cash probably including BTC.

Stay safe, stay smart.

In reply to by Not Too Important

Urban Redneck HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Sun, 12/10/2017 - 08:26 Permalink

In addition to my time serving Uncle Sam I also studied the ENGLISH LANGUAGE at University...The cliche "almost every nation on earth" is disturbing and rings of doom porn...  If they are going to cite 2 guys on the beach in Fiji, which DoD happens to count as deployed, even though we all know how much work they are actually doing for the US taxpayers there... then what about the 2000 Marines assigned to MCESG?How many countries does the USSA NOT have a diplomatic presence in?  North Korea, Iran, Bhutan... IF the US State Department is present, THEN there are US troops deployed there.  It is that simple.  So all it takes, even in the elusive "peace time" for US troops to be deployed in EVERY country on earth is a literal handful of spec ops troops deployed in a handful of countries.  The US still has an embassy in Syria, it just doesn't have an ambassador there (unless something has changed recently).  So the US has troops in Syria since years before the Arab Spring... 44,000 troops unaccounted for by the war ordering bean counter chicken hawks in Washington is concerning, but superficial doom porn cliches about US troop presence around the globe make it more difficultto take the author seriously.

In reply to by HRH of Aquitaine 2.0

nmewn Not Too Important Sat, 12/09/2017 - 20:10 Permalink

I guess all the arms under the control of American citizens...registered or otherwise...just get turned in to .gov cuz .gov said so.Thats not how it works here. At all.One of the funniest fake nuuuz lines to come out of the Obama years was...Obama was going to declare martial law and have UN blue helmeted Bangladeshi troops running around North Florida to impose it...lol...they wouldn't even make it off Moody AFB or out of Mayport or MacDill.I guess what I'm trying to say here is, we are not Roman citizens dependent on Roman legions for our protection, you'd be surprised what we have out here.Its more like Sparta than Rome ;-) 

In reply to by Not Too Important

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 nmewn Sat, 12/09/2017 - 20:22 Permalink

Actually that is happening, right now. If you have a medical marijuana card in Hawaii they are telling those people to forfeit their guns.

The same thing for veterans with PTSD.

I am not saying all of those people are complying with BS dot gov orders.

But dot gov has shown up and the leftists hate that we own weapons. They hate that they paid to teach us how to shoot those weapons. I grew up shooting and reloading so not a big deal for me. Dot gov simply gave me access to nicer guns and equipment than what I had at home.

BTW, that oath I took? Against all enemies foreign and domestic? Didn't have an expiration date. I will fight to the very end against the fucking commies.

In reply to by nmewn