13 January 2006

Foreign Military Bases

It is worthwhile to pause occassionally and see the big picture of the U.S. military. American military bases abroad are part of that big picture. There are fewer than one might expect. What follows is a breakdown of Americans based abroad as of March 31, 2005, listing all countries with 100 or more active duty service members from a single service (Guam and Puerto Rico, which are U.S. territories, and the U.S. states of Alaska and Hawaii are also listed as if each were a separate country, but are not included in the percentage serving abroad):

Army (Total 493,041, 47% serving abroad)
Iraq/Kuwait 121,400
Germany 58,014
S. Korea 25,087
Hawaii 17,066
Afghanistan 16,100
Alaska 7,598
Italy 3,397
Japan 1,791
Kosovo 1,699
Belgium 821
United Kingdom 408
Egypt 287
Bosnia 243
Honduras 211
Qatar 165
Puerto Rico 158
Cuba (Guantanamo) 143
Saudi Arabia 108

Marines (Total 177,338, 28% serving abroad)
Iraq/Kuwait 30,500
Japan 14,504
Hawaii 4,768
Afloat (Outside U.S. Waters) 2,343
Afghanistan 2,000
S. Korea 321
Germany 303
Spain 201
Cuba (Guantanamo) 155
Bahrain 150
United Kingdom 134

Air Force (Total 362,707, 22% serving abroad)
Iraq/Kuwait 17,600
Germany 16,124
Japan 14,085
United Kingdom 9,852
Alaska 9,583
S. Korean 9,067
Hawaii 4,854
Italy 4,724
Afghanistan 2,800
Guam 1,831
Turkey 1,618
Portugal 959
Diego Gracia 909
Iceland 687
Belgium 487
Spain 313
Honduras 206

Navy (Total 365,747, 13% serving abroad)
Afloat (Outside U.S. Waters) 21,217
Iraq/Kuwait 13,000
Hawaii 7,387
Japan 4,548
Italy 4,352
Bahrain 1,472
Guam 1,354
Spain 1,204
United Kingdom 951
Iceland 695
Cuba (Guantanamo) 519
Greece 369
Diego Garcia 334
S. Korea 328
Germany 276
Alaska 118

The percentage of troops stationed abroad in each service is a crude, but relevant measure of the strain that each of the four services is currently facing. The Army is currently under an immense strain compared to the other services.

Large swaths of the world have very few U.S. troops. In all of Sub-Saharan Africa, there are only 461 active duty military personnel, of whom 369 are Marines, most of whom likely serve as embassy guards. Aside from Guantanamo, which is U.S. controlled territory, there are only 1,124 U.S. troops outside of the United States in the Western Hemisphere, of whom 155 are in Canada and 458 of which are in Honduras. There are just 126 U.S. troops in the former Soviet Union. In East Asia and the Pacific, there are just 1,193 who are not in Japan, South Korea or afloat.

Current plans call for reducing the foreign presence of U.S. troops even more, as bases in Germany and South Korea are reduced in size.

Source: New York Times Almanac 2006

1 comment:

DareDevil said...

interesting