Where are US Military Deployments in the World and How Many Bases Are There
Among the top 5 nations in the world with the biggest and best-equipped armed forces is the United States.
Therefore, the number of US military bases abroad should come as no surprise. However, how many US military installations are there globally? The goal of today’s article on the number of US military bases worldwide is to examine US military bases all over the globe.
Read more: How Many Troops Are There in the U.S. Military: Statistics And Facts
The United States keeps troops on every continent even as it increases its military presence in the Middle East.
There are 171,736 active-duty military personnel in 178 countries as of September 2022; the largest numbers are found in Japan (53,973), Germany (35,781), and South Korea (25,372). With 120, 119, and 73 bases each, these three nations also host the greatest number of US military installations.
There are 750 American military installations spread across at least 80 nations, according to Al Jazeera, though the precise number “may be even higher as not all data is published by the Pentagon.”
Japan and Germany have the most American military bases because they were established following World War II, “when the U.S. took position as the global leader and peacekeeper in and around those countries.” The US then had an additional justification for its worldwide military buildup—the need to contain communism—after the Cold War and the Korean War.
Since then, the United States has increased its presence in the Middle East and its surroundings; Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Turkey now each have at least ten bases.
The federal government of the United States received $6.4 trillion from taxpayers between October 2001 and September 2020, money that was used for the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Pakistan. The Department of Defense also received a $884 billion increase to its base budget for the years following 9/11 through 2022.
The United States spent $877 billion on its armed forces in 2022, more than any other nation, including China, Russia, India, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, South Korea, Japan, and the Ukraine put together. The report states that $19.9 billion in military aid to Ukraine is included in this amount.
According to NATO data, the United States spends $2,169 on military spending per person. The United States devotes approximately 12% of its total budget to the armed forces, while China devotes 4.79%.
The Global Policy Forum notes that although the United States’ reliance on Middle Eastern oil has also served as “an underlying motive for direct military intervention or meddling in political development,” the country has historically used the advancement of democracy as justification for its extensive military network.
Every base has a distinct function. Usually, they are for the general stability of the region or a particular security objective. In the event of a conflict, some are also meant to aid allies. The main foundations date from the post-World War II stabilization initiatives. overall. The relationships between nations are influenced by these US foreign bases. Usually, the host countries get financial and/or relationship support (mostly a combination of both).
Roughly 750 US foreign military bases can be found in 80 different countries! The UK comes in second to the US with a mere 145 bases. China only has five bases, while Russia has roughly thirty. According to this, the United States has three times as many bases as all other nations put together.
11 combatant commands for the United States are housed at Pentagon headquarters:
The first combatant command, Africa Command, is in charge of defending the nation’s interests in African nations, while the Central Command focuses on the Middle East, the European Command is in charge of Europe, Eurasia, and parts of the Middle East, and the Indo-Pacific, Southern, and Northern commands are in charge of their respective commands’ domains.
The United States has increased its military presence in the Middle East and South China Sea as tensions rise in these areas.
The U.S. has increased its military presence in the Middle East overall and provided military support to Israel following Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7, which resulted in an Israeli siege of Gaza.
The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, the Navy’s “newest and most advanced aircraft carrier,” was given the order by Austin on October 8 to move into the area and be prepared to support Israel.
Israel is getting ready for a ground invasion in response to the first attack by Hamas and the Israeli blockade of Gaza, which lasted for more than two weeks. If the ground offensive begins, Iran has hinted that it may intervene on behalf of Hamas.
The Middle East is becoming more tense, and 24 American soldiers have been hurt in “a wave of attacks” on American bases in Syria and Iraq.
On October 21, Austin declared that military forces would be dispatched throughout the Middle East to “bolster regional deterrence efforts, increase force protection for U.S. forces in the region, and assist in the defense of Israel.” Additionally, another aircraft carrier, the Eisenhower, would be sent to the same area.
Tensions have risen in the South China Sea, which separates China and Taiwan, since the year’s beginning. According to Taiwan Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng, China believes it has sovereignty over the island, which has been under its own rule for almost 75 years. China may be stepping up its efforts in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
China conducted “large-scale combat exercises around Taiwan” in April 2023, which included mock blockades.
Despite not having formal recognition, the United States is required by law to give Taiwan the resources it needs to defend itself.
The United States and the Philippines reached an agreement in February that grants the U.S. military entry to four more military bases in the Philippines, two of which are close to Taiwan. This gives the U.S. access to nine military bases. The president of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., assured China that the U.S. military would only use its military bases to support the Philippines and not engage in any “offensive action.”
Young Americans generally appear to be less trusting of American institutions, including the military, and to be skeptical of American military engagement overseas.
According to a Gallup poll conducted in September 2023, 25% of Generation Z said they had “very little” faith in the US military; however, Gen Z Republicans are more likely than Gen Z Democrats to have faith in the military.
According to a Chicago Council on Global Affairs survey, more than half of Gen Z members think the United States should keep out of international affairs, and more than one-third think it should reduce its defense budget.
With the Israel-Hamas war intensifying, the US faces the danger of getting sucked into a broader fight that might involve some of the more than 40,000 US military personnel stationed in the area.
Since Hamas’ surprise attack against Israeli civilians and soldiers on October 7, Iranian-backed militia groups have launched over a dozen attacks against U.S. troops and military contractors in Iraq and Syria.
The number of American soldiers stationed in Israel is unknown, but the United States does have at least one military facility there.
Code-named “Site 512,” the classified base is thought to be home to a radar surveillance system capable of identifying and monitoring ballistic missile threats to the United States.
As of June 2023, there were about 2,900 American military personnel stationed there at the request of the Jordanian government, despite the fact that their presence is a contentious domestic issue in Jordanian politics.
Qatar is essential to the United States’ military strategy in the region as another significant non-NATO ally. The sizable Al Udeid Air Base, southwest of Doha, is home to the regional headquarters of U.S. Central Command and is home to at least 8,000 American soldiers.
At NSA Bahrain, the U.S. naval base serving as the headquarters of the U.S. Fifth Fleet and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, there were more than 9,000 U.S. military personnel.
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