Every three months the US Department of Defense publishes a short report on active duty military personnel strength, listed by regional area and by country.
Let’s focus on the most significant data:
- the greatest part of the US soldiers (more than 1 million) works in the United States;
- the ones deployed in Europe are no more than 85,000; more than a half of them works in the US Army, 31,000 in the US Air Force, 5,000 in the US Navy; only few of them belongs to the Marine Corps;
- a large number works in the Far East and Pacific Area, with more than 70,000 military units, more or less uniformly distributed: 20,000 in the Army and the Air Force, 15,000 in the Navy and the Marine Corps;
- in the four remaining parts of the world the US military presence is very small: in North Africa, Middle East and Southern Asia there are no more than 8,000 soldiers; in Sub-Saharan Africa about 2,700 units. In the so-called “Western Hemisphere” (Southern and Central America) about 2,000 troops. In some of the former USSR countries about 154 US military are deployed;
- finally, there is a small but significant data which refers to the so-called “undistributed” troops, about 122,000 soldiers. Most of them are probably deployed in US fleets in international waters, since almost 88,000 units work in the US Navy, and about 26,000 are Marines.
Let’s examine these data by region and country:
- starting with Europe, the military presence in Germany is still very large (56,200 soldiers, almost the entire US Army in the whole Europe, about a half of the USAF units); just behind Germany come Italy and Great Britain with less than 10,000 soldiers each: in Italy remains less than a half of the US Navy units in the whole Europe, while in Great Britain most of the soldiers works for the USAF (mainly dealing with intelligence activities at Menwith Hill base – with hosts important infrastructure of the Echelon network – and in the Lakenheath base, which will be the most important US nuclear weapons’ warehouse in Europe after the probable dismantling of Ramstein, Germany);
- in the Far East there are 33,000 units based in Japan, of which 14,000 are Marines (almost the entire Marines presence), and 26,339 in South Korea, with 2/3 of them working for the US Army;
- finally, we can underline the situation in Djibouti, a small African country near the Red Sea facing the Arabic Peninsula, where the in former “Foreign Legion” base in Camp Lemonier – enlarged five times – 2,400 military units are deployed (750 Marines, 700 US Navy, 600 units from infantry and 350 units working in the air forces); here in Djibouti the US State Department plan to build the headquarters of the new AFRICOM command, now based in Germany as well as the EUCOM.
In conclusion, 290,178 US soldiers are deployed in foreign countries, with 81,709 of them in NATO member countries. If we add those who work in the USA, we have 1,373,205 soldiers as the total strength of the US armed forces.
195,000 of them are deployed in Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom) and 31,000 in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom). About 10 per cent of these soldiers comes from military bases in foreign countries, in particular Germany, Italy and Japan (but also South Korea and Great Britain). This fact allows to consider these countries as accomplices in the “Global war on terror” started by US administration soon after 11/9, even though in absence (and this is certainy not the case of Italy) of an active military contribution to the American egemonic plans.
You can read that document (most recent edition – March 2008) here.