In 2015 the US has expanded its military reach throughout the world to 135 nations, an increase of 80% since 2010. Today, roughly seventy percent of the world’s nations now have US troops in them. As Nick Turse reports, the funding of this expansion has tripled in the last ten years.
Special Ops funding totaled three billion dollars in 2001; today it totals nearly ten billion dollars—a figure that does not include various other military branches, which are estimated to cost another eight billion dollars annually.
According to the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) the number of Special Forces troops deployed overseas has nearly tripled in these same years, and Special Forces have doubled their personal from 33,000 to 70,000.
Although the number of Special Forces operatives deployed in the Middle East has decreased in recent years, more US troops are now stationed in the Africa Command’s areas of operation, including Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Cameron.
As Turse summarizes, “Odds are, if you throw a dart at a world map or stop a spinning globe with your index finger and don’t hit water,” US Special Operations forces “have been there sometime in 2015.”
Source: Nick Turse, “A Secret War in 135 Countries,” Tom Dispatch, September 24, 2015, http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176048/.
Student Researcher: Scott Arrow (Sonoma State University)
Faculty Evaluator: Robert McNamara (Sonoma State University)