By Bonnie Kristian, May 4, 2015
Where in the world is the U.S. military? The better question might be, “Where isn’t it?”
Though many Americans don’t realize it, our government maintains and expansive—and expensive—military presence worldwide. There are over 150,000 U.S. troops stationed outside our borders in more than 800 bases in some 70 countries.
Shockingly, that huge troop total doesn’t count our presence in key countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, and other theaters of the war on terror. And this is where it gets tricky, as the White House and the Pentagon have been notoriously secretive and Orwellian about just how many American soldiers are on the ground in these areas—as well as exactly what they’re doing there.
Take Iraq, for example. In October, a Pentagon representative said that U.S. troops “are not in a combat role in Iraq’’—but the exact same week, Col. Steve Warren, a military spokesman actually located in Baghdad, said the exact opposite. “We’re in combat,” he told reporters, “That’s why we all carry guns. That’s why we all get combat patches when we leave here. That’s why we all receive imminent danger pay.”
This article was originally published by U.S. News and World Report. Read the piece in its entirety HERE.
Bonnie Kristian is a fellow at Defense Priorities. She is a contributing writer at The Week and a columnist at Rare, and her writing has also appeared at Relevant Magazine and The American Conservative, among other outlets.
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