These are all the countries where the US has a military presence

From Quartz
http://qz.com/374138/these-are-all-the-countries-where-the-us-has-a-military-presence/

On Mar. 24, US president Barack Obama announced that all 9,800 US troops currently stationed in Afghanistan will remain until the end of 2015. This generated a fair amount of criticism: it was, after all, Obama’s promise that the last American troop would leave the country in 2014.

 

Those expecting the US to leave Afghanistan, however, should take a minute to consider this: the US still hasn’t left Germany. In fact, there are quite a few places the US hasn’t left, and while certainly most of them don’t pose a threat to American soldiers, they reveal a pattern about the US staying, rather than leaving.

According to official information provided by the Department of Defense (DoD) and its Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) there are still about 40,000 US troops, and 179 US bases in Germany, over 50,000 troops in Japan (and 109 bases), and tens of thousands of troops, with hundreds of bases, all over Europe. Over 28,000 US troops are present in 85 bases in South Korea, and have been since 1957.

Altogether, based on information contained in the DoD’s latest Base Structure Report (BSR), the US has bases in at least 74 countries and troops practically all over the world, ranging from thousands to just one in some countries (it could be a military attaché, for instance).

By comparison, France has bases in 10 countries, and the UK has bases in seven.

Calculating the extent of the US military presence abroad is not an easy task. The data released by the Department of Defense is incomplete, and inconsistencies are found within documents. Quartz has requested clarification from the Department of Defense, but hasn’t received a response.

In his forthcoming book Base Nation: How US Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World, David Vine, associate professor of anthropology at American University details the difficulties of assessing the US military presence abroad. He writes:

according to the most recent publicized count, the U.S. military currently still occupies 686 “base sites” outside the fifty states and Washington, DC.

While 686 base sites is quite a figure in its own right, that tally strangely excludes many well-known U.S. bases, like those in Kosovo, Kuwait, and Qatar. Less surprisingly, the Pentagon’s count also excludes secret (or secretive) American bases, like those reported in Israel and Saudi Arabia. There are so many bases, the Pentagon itself doesn’t even know the true total.

That is not the only issue—even a definitive count of bases would include a wide range of facilities. “Base” itself is an umbrella term that includes locations referred to as “post,” “station,” “camp,” or “fort” by different military bodies. Vine explains:

bases come in all sizes and shapes, from massive sites in Germany and Japan to small radar facilities in Peru and Puerto Rico. […] Even military resorts and recreation areas in places like Tuscany and Seoul are bases of a kind; worldwide, the military runs more than 170 golf courses.

The map below represents US military bases abroad, according to the official BSR, and from independent research conducted by Vine (and Quartz) using verified news reports as well as cross-referencing information with Google Maps. This map does not take into account NATO bases, including a rumored base in Turkmenistan and a base in Algeria, reported by Wikileaks to be a suspected US base.

 

Most of the countries appear to have a small concentration of US bases (below 10). That’s compared to Germany’s 179, Puerto Rico’s 37, or Italy’s 58. The largest military footprint remains in countries that the US invaded in WWII, while its presence in areas of more recent contention, such as the Middle East, is somewhat reduced, at least in terms of bases.

It has been noted by commentators before that not all the bases are of significant size. However, given the information available it’s hard to truly gauge the size of the different installation. Vine writes:

The Pentagon says that it has just 64 “active major installations” overseas and that most of its base sites are “small installations or locations.” But it defines “small” as having a reported value of up to $915 million. In other words, small can be not so small.

The information about troops abroad, too, isn’t completely clear, which makes it difficult to know the true extent of the American military footprint. IHS Jane’s armed forces analyst Dylan Lehrke told Quartz that it’s hard to even settle on the definition of military presence—for the government, that means bases or deployed troops, although it would seem acceptable to include other forms of presence:

Surely one could say that the US has a military presence in Syria at the moment. They may not have bases and troops on the ground but we should include the warplanes in the sky. The US military arguably has more presence in Syria than it does in Germany […]. To take this idea further, it would also be rational to say the US has a military presence wherever it uses unmanned aerial vehicles to strike targets.

All the countries that have some sort of American military presence—from one military attaché to the troops involved in Iraq and Afghanistan—essentially results in highlighting pretty much the entire world (Russia included, where the DoD reports having 24 military personnel).

Taking into account a sizable troop presence, existence of bases, and whether the US is conducting drone strikes (Yemen, Syria, Pakistan) in a country results in the geographic representation of US military power abroad as below:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/these-are-all-the-countries-where-the-us-has-a-military-presence/5442345

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U.S. troops will train Ukrainian forces (Including Azov Battalion) in ultra-nationalist stronghold

On March 17, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted in favor of a bill submitted by Poroshenko on admitting foreign servicemen for multinational exercises in Ukraine in 2015.

This bill violates the Minsk agreements. These actions by the United States and by Ukraine violate the Minsk agreements.

From Rick Rozoff

Interfax-Ukraine
March 30, 2015

U.S. army personnel to train National Guardsmen in Lviv region

On April 20, U.S. army personnel will arrive at Yavoriv training ground in Lviv region to participate in a joint military exercise with National Guard of Ukraine personnel, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has said.

American commandos, numbering 290, will come to Yavoriv training ground, Lviv region, on April 20. This is where a long-term military exercise of 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team of the U.S. Army and combat units of the National Guard will be held,” he wrote on Facebook on Sunday.

Avakov said that 900 guardsmen will participate in the exercise.

“Three parts with 300 national guardsmen each. Three parts for eight weeks each. Then the joint exercise [will be held],” he said.

According to Avakov, the following battalions will take part in the exercise – Azov [Right Sector], Kulchynsky Yahuar (jaguar), Omega, and others from Kyiv, Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, Odesa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Vinnytsia.

“Our American partners will present special ammunition and communication devices to the National Guard detachments that underwent training at the end of the exercise,” he said.

Avakov also said that preparative work between the Cabinet of Ministers and the National Guard had been completed.

I’m grateful to Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, and the employees of U.S. embassy in Ukraine. Without their vigor, the important and complicated preparation of training would have been impossible,” Avakov said, and he added that the agreement on the military exercise had been reached during negotiations between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden.

On March 17, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted in favor of a bill submitted by Poroshenko on admitting foreign servicemen for multinational exercises in Ukraine in 2015.

On March 22, U.S. Department of Defense reported it was taking the necessary measures to organize the military exercises, and that it would dispatch U.S. army personnel to Ukraine to train National Guard personnel

In keeping with the scheduled exercises, the Yavoriv district in Lviv region will host the Ukraine-U.S. Fearless Guardian 2015 drills scheduled for March through November 2015. Up to 2,200 servicemen will participate: up to 200 Armed Forces of Ukraine personnel, up to 1,000 National Guard of Ukraine personnel, and up to 1,000 U.S. Armed Forces personnel.

From July to October 2015, the international center for peacekeeping and security in Yavoriv district in Lviv region will host the Ukrainian-U.S. Saber Guardian/Rapid Trident 2015 exercises. The total number of participants will be up to 2,100 servicemen. This will include 1,000 Armed Forces of Ukraine personnel, 500 U.S. Armed Forces personnel, and up to 600 from NATO member states and countries participating in the Partnership for Peace program.

Servicemen from the 173rd Sky Soldiers airborne brigade stationed in Vicenza, Italy, will be sent to Ukraine to train six National Guard companies with an emphasis on domestic security and territorial defense, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren had said.

He said that the training program is part of a long-term strategy to improve Ukraine’s defense potential and capabilities, and to increase the professionalism of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

According to Warren, the program will be similar to the ones held in Ukraine since 1995, and he added that the United States was holding joint exercises with parties and allies in Europe, and also throughout the world.