With a census of slightly over 300 million in a world of almost seven billion people, the U.S. accounts for over 40 percent of officially acknowledged worldwide government military spending with a population that is only 4 percent of that of the earth's: A 10-1 disparity. [Please see our articles, "America vs. Europe," and "Reducing Europe to the Status of Greece in the Days of Rome."]
In addition to its 1,445,000 active duty service members, the Pentagon can and does call upon 1.2 million National Guard and other reserve components. As many as 30% of troops that have served in Afghanistan and Iraq are mobilized reservists. The Army National Guard has activated over 400,000 soldiers since the war in Afghanistan began and in March of 2009 approximately 125,000 National Guard and other reserve personnel were on active duty. [Please see our video, "GREED IS GOOD."]
After allotting over a trillion dollars for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq alone and packing off more than two million of its citizens to the two nations, the U.S. military establishment is laying the groundwork for yet more wars. Boeing, Raytheon and General Electric won't be kept waiting ... [Please see our article on a very important related article, "The Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse – Pestilence;" the article deals at some length with the Carlyle Group – one of the main "players" in the armaments trade.]
[At present, the U.S. is operating] without constraints on five of six inhabited continents and has troops stationed in all six. United States armed forces personnel and weapons, including nuclear arms, are stationed at as many as 820 installations in scores of nations.
The U.S. has recently assigned thousands of troops to seven new bases in Bulgaria and Romania, deployed the first foreign troops to Israel in that nation's history to run an interceptor missile radar facility in the Negev Desert, and last week signed a status of forces agreement with Poland for Patriot missiles (to be followed by previously ship-based Aegis Standard Missile's interceptors) and U.S. soldiers to be stationed there. The troops will be the first foreign forces based in Poland since the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact in 1991.
The U.S., whose current military budget is at Cold War, which is to say at the highest of post-World War II, levels, also officially accounts for over 41% of international military spending according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's report on 2008 figures: $607 billion of $1.464 trillion worldwide ...
... The American government has for several decades been the standard-bearer in outsourcing to private sector contractors in every realm and the Pentagon is certainly no exception to the practice. According to some estimates, American military and military-related allotments in addition to the formal Pentagon budget can bring annual U.S. defense spending as high as $1.16 trillion, almost half of official expenditures for all of the world's 192 nations, including the U.S., last year.
The U.S. also has the world's second largest standing army, over 1,445,000 men and women under arms according to estimates of earlier this year, second only to China with 2,255,000. China has a population of over 1.325 billion, more than four times that of America, and does not have a vast army of private contractors supplementing its armed forces. And of course unlike the U.S. it has no troops stationed abroad. India, with a population of 1.140 billion, has active duty troop strength smaller than that of the U.S. at 1,415,000.
The U.S. ... is alone in the world in deploying reservists to war zones; this last February the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen acknowledged that 600,000 reserves have been called up to serve in the area of responsibility of the U.S. Central Command, in charge of the Afghan and Iraqi wars, since 2001. In addition to its 1,445,000 active duty service members, the Pentagon can and does call upon 1.2 million National Guard and other reserve components. As many as 30% of troops that have served in Afghanistan and Iraq are mobilized reservists. The Army National Guard has activated over 400,000 soldiers since the war in Afghanistan began and in March of 2009 approximately 125,000 National Guard and other reserve personnel were on active duty.
The Defense Department also has over 800,000 civilian employees at home and deployed worldwide. The Pentagon, then, has more than 3.5 million people at its immediate disposal excluding private military contractors ...
On December 18 a story was posted on several American armed forces websites that U.S. soldiers have been sent to Afghanistan and Iraq 3.3 million times since the invasion of the first country in October of 2001. The report specifies that "more than 2 million men and women have shouldered those deployments, with 793,000 of them deploying more than once."
The break-down according to services is as follows:
This past October alone 172,800 soldiers, 31,500 airmen, 30,000 sailors and 20,900 Marines were dispatched to the two war zones.
The bulk of the U.S.'s permanent global warfighting force may be deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, but enough troops are left over to man newly acquired bases in Eastern Europe, remain in Middle East nations other than Iraq, be based on and transit through the Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan, take over seven new military bases in Colombia, run regional operations out of America's first permanent base in Africa – Camp Lemonier in Djibouti, where 2,400 personnel are stationed – and engage in counterinsurgency campaigns in the Philippines, Mali, Uganda, Yemen and Pakistan.
Recently a U.S. armed forces newspaper reported in an article titled "AFRICOM could add Marine Air Ground Task Force" that "A 1,000-strong Marine combat task force capable of rapidly deploying to hot spots could soon be at the disposal of the new U.S. Africa Command."
The feature added that a Marine unit previously attached to the newly launched AFRICOM has "already deployed in support of training missions in Uganda and Mali," whose armies are fighting the Lord's Resistance Army and Tuareg rebels, respectively.
In Yemen, Houthi rebel sources "accused the U.S. air force [on December 15] of joining attacks against them, and killing at least 120 people in a raid in the north of the poor Arab state."
Their information office said "The savage crime committed by the U.S. air force shows the real face of the United States."
According to ABC News ... the U.S. military launched cruise missiles early Thursday [December 17] against two suspected al-Qaeda sites in Yemen," to complement mounting missile attacks in Pakistan.
The Houthi rebels are religiously Shi'ia, so any attempt at exploiting an al-Qaeda rationale for bombing their villages is a subterfuge.
During the same week's summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) in Havana, Cuba, the host country's president Raul Castro said of the latest Pentagon buildup in Colombia that "The deployment of [U.S.] military bases in the region is...an act of aggression against Latin America and the Caribbean."
Less than a week later the government of Colombia, the third largest recipient of American military aid in the world, announced it would construct a new military base near its border with Venezuela. "Defense Minister Gabriel Silva said [on December 18] that the base, located on the Guajira peninsula near the city of Nazaret, would have up to 1,000 troops. Two air battalions would also be activated at other border areas....Army Commander General Oscar Gonzalez meanwhile announced [the following day] that six air battalions were being activated, including two on the border with Venezuela." [Please see our articles, "The Devil Was Here" and "The Bolivarian Revolution Reaches America's Southern Border."]