US Military Presence Worldwide Timeline Map

History

Mother Jones magazine has created an interactive map showing US troop deployments around the world from 1950 to 2007. The vast majority of the world’s nations have or previously had US troops deployed with most of the US forces currently on foreign soil located Iraq, Germany, Japan, South Korea and Afghanistan. Keep in mind that most of the troops outside of Iraq and Afghanistan are deployed for defense, peace-keeping and training missions and not combat.

The map animation that opens this package uses Pentagon worldwide troop data from every half-decade since 1950, plus 2007, the latest year for which the data is available. These numbers are often fuzzy: Some deployments are classified, others are temporary, and just because the Defense Department claims 30 US troops in Indonesia last year doesn’t mean 1,500 didn’t pass through on training missions. Even so, the map, and the associated research, should give you a good feel for what the Pentagon is up to around the world.