U.S. Military Presence Worldwide

When someone from Mother Jones wrote me a few weeks ago with a minor question about one of my LewRockwell.com articles on overseas U.S. troops I had no idea what the magazine was up to. You must check out interactive map that Mother Jones has prepared on U.S. military presence worldwide. This is the most exhaustive piece of work on this subject that I have ever seen.

Will McCain or Obama do anything to reduce the number of U.S. troops overseas? I am not holding my breath.

Author: Laurence Vance

Laurence Vance holds degrees in history, theology, accounting, and economics. He has written and published twelve books and regularly contributes articles and book reviews to both secular and religious periodicals.

48 thoughts on “U.S. Military Presence Worldwide”

  1. Wow! Very cool map. It’s not actually as bad as I thought it was. Still it’s time to bring our troops home. All of them. I’m not sure about the embassey guards but other than that they should all be recalled.


    1. How many American embassies have you been to friend? Many, if not most, look like a super-max prison. About as inviting as a trip to the gulag. The embassy in Baghdad is a fortress. In general American embassies are a really, really BAD, first impression of America for people around the world.

      1. As I said I don’t know about the embassey guards. Thanks for informing me about what the embassies themselves look like. I do know about the one in Baghdad and from what I have read, it’s got to go. Of course I have also read stories about our embassies being used as spy hubs, not good at all. Perhaps a larger question is should we have embassies and if so what should thier role be? Thier appearance would also be an issue. Furthermore, if we have embassies, who should guard them, Marines or Blackwater. Possibly the local armed forces could do the job. I don’t really know much about this but I would love for some informed people to let me know. It would be great if someone could post information or links about how the embassies operate. I’ll try looking it up, but first hand knowledge would be most interesting.


      2. To my fresh Russian eye – schools in the US look very much like prisons. In Russia they look not pretty – but very “un-military” though – just a square building, 5-6 stories high. Compare that to “flat” US architecture, with inner yard and flags and fences.

    2. Yes, my feeling is the same – it is not as bad as it seems.

      On the other hand – it is not clear WHY Russia reacted so strongly now – 8.8.8 – that is because US are actually moving their bases into the former Russia sphere of influence.

      It’s enough time for Russia a) to voice (and act) protest, including military intervention if needed b) improve it’s nuclear forces to achieve parity in terms of deliverable warheads (Gorbachev reduced the number of “best” Soviet missiles)

      So – the message to US/UK/Zionist Elite is simple – you move bases closer – Russia doubles it’s military, builds military alliances, improves conventional armaments (i.e funds hi-tech, dual-purpose space programs and military industries much better then now), and – of course – puts most stress on better nuclear missiles in increases the number of warheads, even if not in service, but ready to be assembled.

      Now – the message is clear – stop encircling Russia – or face the nuclear war. It is expected that up to 25% of US population can be killed in such war – even now.

      Please forget about democracy, republic, freedom and Constitution – ask for just some SANITY – demand just SOME measure of responsibility from the US Govt. Ask you representatives – “Is nuclear War with Russia an option, as a result of current US international/military policies?” – just that one simple question.

      1. Vassili

        Here is a little piece I wrote back in rhe 90’s. What is surprising to me is that it took so long for Russia to realize the US’s game. It took a long time to awaken from its stupor.

        “The Cold War has been officially declared terminated. The winner by unanimous decision…The United States of America. The loser, the mighty Soviet Union, disintegrated, The true story of how this came about may never be fully known. We were told that it had something to do with the inability of communism to compete with free market economies and to enslave the minds of it’s citizens. Freedom along with unemployment, poverty, crime, social discontent, economic chaos, and state bankruptcy have been the great rewards for Russia and the Russian people. It is very hard, indeed, to see any benefit from this act of self destruction committed by the Soviet Union. Yet, that was a country possessing an enormous arsenal of weapons, including twenty-three thousand nuclear warheads. Throughout history, countries with such power simply took what they needed for survival. That is why I say the true cause of these events may still be unpublished.
        Nevertheless, the benefits for the United States of America have been plenty. The feared Warsaw Pact, the only opponent of NATO, has gone to its grave. The East European countries that formed it have now become client states of the U.S. The former republics of the Soviet Union, such as Kazakstan, are now independent countries. Not satisfied with this state of affairs, the United States has launched a very aggressive campaign against Russia. First in the West, the United States is pushing for the incorporation of it’s former allies into NATO, bringing this formidable military alliance to their very border. In the North, similar protocols have been signed with the Baltic States. In the South, in oil rich Kazakstan and others, American oil companies are attempting to gradually replace the Russians in the exploration and exploitation of the gigantic oil and gas reserves of the Caspian sea. There has even been talk of joint military exercises with the Kazak military. The same policy is being actively pursued with Azerbaijan and Georgia. The extraordinary support given by the U.S. to the Georgian president Eduard Shevarnadze who was the last foreign minister of the Soviet Union and an active participant in its dissolution may give us a hint of the untold story of this momentous event. In any case, it does not take a strategic genius to realize that these geopolitical moves are meant to secure the gigantic oil reserves of the Caspian Sea and a route for it to Turkey and the Black Sea.
        This is not a very wise policy, since it will only serve to radicalize Russia, a country that can not be taken for granted since it remains a potent nuclear power. There is deep concern in Russia about America’s growing economic and military influence in the former Soviet Republics. The Russian military has observed the U.S.’s willingness to use devastating force against Iraq to eradicate any threat to its oil interest in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. In Grenada and Panama, violent assaults were severely executed to serve notice that the United States would not tolerate any challenge in an area it has traditionally considered its own backyard. Is it not only a question of time before Russia starts to assert itself with force when it feels that its vital interests in its traditional backyard are being threatened ? And now that more and more Russians are seeing the U.S. as this threat, isn’t the possibility of a military confrontation between Russia and the U.S. becoming less and less inconceivable ? And the winner of such a confrontation will be the side that can muster the political will to carry on to the brink of global thermonuclear war. My guess is that the side with the greedy multinational corporations that have the most to lose will back down. I often wonder if our mediocre policy makers have ever taken this scenario into account.”

    3. comment by Ralph

      With today’s technology there is no reason at all for the U.S. to have embassies and consulates in any country—except for the age-old reason, they create taxpayer-funded jobs for the state’s favorites.

  2. As far as I know, I am the ONLY Senate candidate that supports withdrawal of ALL troops world-wide. We haven’t declared war since June 5, 1942; why do we have troops in 151 countries?

    1. “…I am the ONLY Senate candidate that supports withdrawal of ALL troops world-wide.” therein lies the problem eh Darryl? No my friend, you’ll need some help…like China dumping all it’s dollar holdings! Besides, the american sheeple and their masters need to be taught a lesson they’ll not soon forget!

    2. What about a limited task of stopping the military encirclement of Russia? That is the MAJOR threat to US population right now – wars with the rest of the World can result in event s similar to 9/11 at most (even if it was not staged by US Govt.).

      But crossing the “red lines” in Europe – can result in a full scale nuclear war, with 10-25% of us population killed as a result.

      Keep in mind also, that Russia would be building it’s military potential while US would be building these military bases closer to Russian borders, with most stress on nuclear forces. Russia’s current military strategy is written clearly – “Due to the weakness in conventional forces, Russia would use nuclear weapon to complement that weakness”.

      Even a small kitten (feline) can do an unacceptable damage to a human, if pitted into a corner (a loss of an eye or two) – what about full scale nuclear power with means of delivery?

    3. Darryl W. Perry,

      “why do we have troops in 151 countries?”

      Because America has taken over the duties of all the Western colonialists before it; Great Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Netherlands. Particularly the British. All they have to do is cheer you on now. Add to that Israel, and you end up with what America is now. And I suppose having progressed through American society and right up to the doorsteps of the American Senate, you must be somewhat aware of the American attitude that makes that charade possible.

      1. This is a little unfair … As most of the citizens of the countries mentioned loathe the new world order of the USA and generally the US administration. They rather see non-interventionist administration … none likes a bully.

        1. billy,

          Yes, of course they do. Yet, the song remains the same, so to speak. And it gets worse when considering that all of these countries are most loud, when it comes to their claims to democracy. You could understand that with a dictatorship, but with a democracy? So, the people in those democracies are against intervention and yet for centuries, they are having governments that do nothing but that in one way or another, and as is the case here through the military of America. Perhaps they are not democracies, which I am more inclined to consider as the root of that contradiction. Yet again, through the customary tools of democracy, Bush and Blair were elected to the highest offices of their democracies for a second term. France elected a pathetic warmongering clown as its president. Italy elected Il Comico as its prime minister, and he promptly sent troops to patrol the streets of Italy, and the labor government of UK is, well, nothing but the hardest of the hard core right wing. Not to mention that Obama is not doing very well in America, and to do “well” with the American electorate, he has to keep on doing a lot worse.

          Perhaps there is a third explanation. I have always thought of Israel as a democracy of criminals. Just like when Mafia bosses sit down and decide what to do. That is a democratic process, I suppose. The outcome is not really important. They go out and kill a father or a son or a brother and in the evening go back to their homes and are perfect family men. They uphold all sorts of family values and society values and so forth. They need that sort of thing in their homes to keep going. They just will not and cannot sit at the dinner table and relate to their kids what their food has come from, and they simply ignore and even take pride in the fact that their kids actually know where the food on table has come from. And they go to churches and repeat after the priest, “thou shall not kill, thou shall not steal” and they are against killing and stealing and pimping and all those sins. I suppose, what gives them the right to think like that is that all those decisions were made democratically. They divided the sin between themselves and came out shining like brand new.

          A lot has been made of the American public’s ignorance. But that no longer cuts it, with me at least. Ron Paul was elected multiple times to the Senate from Texas. Yet, how did he do in Texas? They knew him in Texas. Now they do not know him in Texas? Their own currently serving Senator from Texas?

          Yes, the population in all those countries are opposed to the interventionist policies of their governments. They also do know where the food on the table comes from. That is all they need to know, while taking their democracy very, very seriously.

  3. This map would have horrified the founding fathers. It must be so much fun for those technocrats, bureaucrats and military brass in Washington to play all around the world like this. And all courtesy of the American taxpayer.

  4. I have noticed that whenever the MSM says that the US is “warming ties/relations” with country X, there ALWAYS has to be a placement of US troops in that now-friendly country. I thought increasing ties was about opening diplomatic ties, increasing trade and travel, and student exchange programs. The rat infestation in the US government (from foreign lobbies, special interest groups, etc) needs to be taken care of. Obama will not “change” a thing.

    1. America’s foreign policy is basically the same and remains unchanged whichever of the two establishment parties is in power. What is REALLY needed is a whole new party in power. One that is not owned by AIPAC and the corporations. A truly grassroots organization.

      1. America has a few, but, alas, they are beneath the public’s collective radar and too small to garner any significant attention.

  5. This map is incomplete. The numbers it places in Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic, and even in Tajikistan are too small. Each of these countries has had a major US Military base since at least 2004 with no less than 200 US Military servicemen. This information I know as a fact, the US Military now operates Air Force bases in Bulgaria and Romania near Ukraine and Russia, there are also around 100-500 US Military “Consultants” in Georgia.

    Yes, this structure is part of the Global US Empire, I don’t think the US will be saying its soldiers need to leave anytime soon(like it is telling Russia).

    1. It did seem inclomplete to me also. My first question was, is that all the troops we really have or are they hiding tons more?


      1. There are probably more .. but I think they included the numbers of the troops that they could confirm. In many countries, the regimes hide the actual number of American troops and ‘contractors’ as to not upset the local population. Case in point, Jordan.

  6. Ex-Marine Acquitted in Iraqi Killings Case:
    “One of the jurors, Ingrid Wicken, hugged Nazario’s sobbing mother, Sandra Montanez, without speaking after the verdict was read. “I watched her all week. She was being tortured every day,” Wicken said later.”


    A crime committed in Iraq against Iraqi citizens is being tried in the US by jury who undoubtly have great deal of hostility towards the Iraqis as is shwon her.

  7. In the above case one is reminded by all white jury trials in deep south to decide if a white man guilty of lynching a black man back then !

  8. Congressman Dennis Kucinich is now redoubling his effort to impeach Bush and Cheney immediately and has started a new drive to get a million more signatures on a petition to impeach. Go here to find out more and to sign the petition:


    1. Thanks for the link Eugene. I signed the petition…it won’t do a gawddamn bit of good, but I signed it! It’s much too late for this weakling effort to have any appreciable effect.

      1. I agree with you little guy that it won’t do any good. But sometimes it’s better to do the right thing even though it won’t help than to sit back and do nothing at all. Anyone who considers themselves informed should also sign. It might not help but it sure won’t hurt. If a person (non-sheeple) can’t bring themself to do at least this little bit whats the point. They might just as well stick thier heads back in the sand.


  9. Thanks for the link Eugene. I went and signed it just now. I am glad to see Kucinich leading the fight. One thing I don’t get about Kucinich is how he could have gone to the convention and kissed up to the party and Obama. After the way he has been treated you would think he would tell them to go blank themselves. The more I have thought about it the more I am dissapointed with Ron Paul for not getting on board and making impeachment one of his number one goals. But at least he isn’t even considering backing McCain. Oh and Ron Paul has recently made a statement about the ignorance of our Georgian policy. I still think Paul and Kucinich would make one heck of a team. No they don’t agree on many issues but they agree on the most important ones.


  10. Speaking of McCain and Obama why is there zero coverage of the dozens of arrests of protesters
    to the Republican Convention in St. Paul this weekend. Tens of thousands will attend the protest of the War in Iraq and Afghanistan and expanding the war to Iran. Yet not one mention
    of the convention. It appears you are disconnected to the grass roots anti war movement almost entirely.
    What gives?

    1. There are at least two anti-war movements: one is a real “grassroots” effort to bring an end to the madness of war…the other is a very slick, very well funded, COINTELPRO operation designed to control and weaken the dissent.

      The fake “anti-war” movement mounts flaccid attacks directed at the enemies strongest, most well defended points (AIPAC, the Neo-Cons, the Bush administration, etc.) while simultaneously ignoring, and thus protecting, the enemies vulnerabilities (911, election fraud, Bilderburg, CIA drug trafficking, etc.)!

      The truth is, Tom, is that they have already won in their battle to control and misdirect the the minds of the american sheeple.

  11. Check out these links to the police state raids in St. Paul.


    This preemptive strike on protesters was well organized and used dozens of heavily armed state thugs. The goal was obviously to scare off as many protesters as possible. Yet another example of our shamefull police state and state media’s non-coverage. Of course we don’t have time for this right now gustav is on the way. Be afraid, be very afraid, and don’t look this way.


    1. Thanks for the links Brad. It says the ‘police’ handcuffed a five year old kid. We are living in a police state.

  12. Thanks for the Glenn Greenwald connect Mr. Smith. Why that and other similar articles are not included in the Anti War main page is beyond me. How is it possible that the convention and the massive protest planned for months is totally ignored by Justin Raimondo?

    1. Could it be he doesn’t want his home and office raided for “Conspiracy to start a riot”? None of the people targeted in these raids were advocating violence, yet they were subjected to a smash and grab campaign by our state mandated thugs. I imagine Justin Raimondo has to walk a fairly fine line. Our state and corporate (same thing) controlled media ignores or diminishes all protest to the point where it appears to be non-existant. Conspiracy sites such as rense.com can get away with just about anything because they are just conspiracy nuts, so I guess they feel a little more free to print what they feel like. Sites like this and lewrockwell.com do a great job getting information out about the militery/state/corporate fascism. But they would run the risk of being labled as nuts like Jeff Rense or shut down completely if they go too far (i.e. publishing information about 9/11 truth movements).


  13. America should take over the whole world you anti war freaks are a bunch of anti americans iam a marine who just got back from my second tour in iraq and believe it or not we are making a difference in the world. Instead of sitting at home on your computer talking about how much you hate America. Why dont you get off your lazy ass’ and do something about it. I DID!

    1. Why don’t some of us join you in your building of an empire… probably because we have more IQ points than the average GI and know an illegal war when we see one.

      Sorry to break it to you but the ones who truly hate America are the ones you support. You know the ones – the ones that shred the constitution, engage in illegal wars, drain the treasury, curtail American citizen’s freedoms, out CIA agents, jerry-rig elections etc etc etc.

      And how is pointing out that America has troops stationed around the world “hating America”? Seriously now – think about what you are saying. You are clearly stating that any and all exercising of long-standing rights to freedom of speech are not to be used in any fashion that can be construed by the tiny-majority(that’s you) as anti-American. It’s you that hates America because you don’t want anybody to exercise their right to free speech.

      Joe use your GI bill to get an education – you need it.

    2. What a difference!

      Invaded,destroyed,and occupied a country never was a threat to you attacked you,brought death and destruction to millions of people,and made millions more refugees that war crimes!

    3. Joe, the job of the U.S. armed forces should be to defend America, not “make a difference in the world”. Your not a social worker with a machine-gun. Iraq didn’t attack America. Do you understand the meaning of the word defense?

    4. Yeah, real difference, more people hate you and the US now then ever before! Thats your Difference!!!By the way, did you enjoy killing those people for not having the WMD and for not having anythink to do with 9/11? You are the real hero! Has new Rambo movie come out yet?

    5. Sorry Joe but you will find more vets on here than you would think. It may be that when you get back and do some research you will realize that you have been lied to and misused. I also served in combat twice (5/21 light infantry) and when I realized it was all one big lie I was P@ssed off big time. I know at this point you don’t even want to consider that your actions hurt our country. You want to stay in denial about the true facts about our actions in Iraq. But believe me someday it will be made clear to you that we here at Anti-war.com and all the vets in organizations like Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War are on the right side and hopefully you will then join us. Once your eyes have been opened to the facts it will be a shock and you will be outraged at what was done to you and what you have done. You can either use your outrage for good and fight against the war, or have it eat you up in side. Of course you can just stick your head in the sand and continue along your merry path of ingnorance. But if you do some research and wake up I hope you join us.


  14. Good for Mother Jones. With Lawrence Vance, I am not holding my breath waiting for Obama-McCain to do much about our warmongering ways. When it comes to Iraq, they will do what Israel wants. They haven’t even spoken out about Project Drago, and if Obama had class, he would thank Russia for preventing this international plot against him.

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