With thousands of American soldiers in Afghanistan and hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops and reserves standing by to catch the next bus to Iraq, it's easy to feel like we're entering a new era of interventionism.
However heartfelt, such a sentiment ignores existing troop deployments around the globe. The figures here were tallied a month prior to the 9/11 attacks. They include permanent bases and peacekeeping forces only. Short-term operational deployments and regular movements by the Atlantic and Pacific fleets, each more than 100,000 strong, are not included.
112,000 European Command (Germany, Belgium, Greece, Italy, Mediterranean, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom)
79,800 Pacific Command (Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Guam, Australia, Diego Garcia, Thailand; not counting troops in Alaska and Hawaii)
11,262 Central Command (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Nigeria)
1,280 Southern Command (Colombia and Honduras)
4,258 Joint Forces Command (Bermuda, Cuba, Iceland, Portugal, UK)
15,451 UN and Peacekeeping Forces (Bosnia, Croatia, East Timor, Egypt, Macedonia, Georgia, Hungary, Iraq/Kuwait, Middle East, Western Sahara, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Yugoslavia)
SOURCE: The Military Balance: 2001-2002 (International Institute for Strategic Studies)