America’s Military Empire
From Liberty Maven
As I wrote earlier this year, one of the sticking points I encounter in conversation is when someone challenges me that America does not have, as I allege, a military empire. However, they never seem to be able to rattle off any facts or statistics to the contrary. This updated article is my attempt to document those facts. The Department of Defense last issued information on troop deployment in March 2009. (photo)
The DoD report reveals:
- America has military personnel in 150 countries.
- There are 194 states in the world, so therefore we have troops in 77% of all countries on the planet.
- The size of America’s armed forces is 1,412,529 soldiers.
- 380,011 of these troops, or 27% are stationed on land overseas. (Included in this figure is an estimate 25,000 in South Korea.) 16% of our troops are engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- 54,043 soldiers are based in Germany, although WWII ended 64 years ago.
- 34,544 soldiers are based in Japan, although WWII ended 64 years ago.
- Although figures were not available (and reported as zero), 24,655 soldiers were reported last quarter as based in South Korea as technically this “police action” that resulted in the deaths of 36,516 Americans and the wounding of 92,134. In my opinion, the greatest barrier to peace with North Korea is the presence of these soldiers.
- We have only 15 troops and 0 bases in Vietnam, and get along with their nation fairly well, considering 58,159 were killed and 303,635 wounded during that “police action.”
- America’s DoD is “one of the world’s largest “landlords” possessing 545,714 buildings, 5,429 bases, spanning 29.8 million acres of land. (p3/205)
- 761 bases, or 14%, are located on foreign soil. (p23/205)
- 12 of the 111 bases designated as “large” are located on foreign soil. (p33/205)
- However, reading the remainder of the report reveals that bases in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Israel are not listed, so both number of bases and “large” bases are too low.
Over 5,100 soldiers have died in Iraq and Afghanistan for the War of Terror. (source)
Furthermore, CBS and the military revealed that 18 veterans commit suicide per day during the 8-year Global War on Terror, resulting in an estimated 46,000 deaths. (source)
Time Magazine asked several days ago “Why Are Army Recruiters Killing Themselves?“
The DoD stated its total spending in 2009 will be $620 Billion. (p7/26) The data put together by War Resisters League appears to be closer to reality. They demonstrate that America will spend $1,449 Billion on our military during 2009. They estimate the War of Terror has cost $990 Billion.
However, the numbers placed together by Dr. Robert Higgs are perhaps the best estimate of our military budget, at over $1 trillion annually.
Keep these facts in mind when “supporting our troops.” My conclusion is the best way to do this is for all major deployments should return to US soil as soon as possible. There is absolutely no reason to not immediately begin returning the troops from Germany, Japan, and even South Korea. Without a state of war declared, there is no constitutional reason to have these troops based abroad, other than to support the military empire.
Restore the Republic or Pay for a Bankrupt Military Empire, this is the current generation’s choice.
September 28, 2009
Words from another Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, in 1821:
“America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.
She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.
She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.
She will recommend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her own example.
She well knows that by once enlisting under the banners other than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, ambition, which assumed the colors and usurped the standards of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force…
She might become the dictatress of the world.
She would no longer be the ruler of her own spirit.“