where our troops are


Where exactly are our troops? As it turns out, most (70%) are stationed right here at home (including in our territories). With plans afoot to shift our forces around the world, that percentage could rise even more. Here we offer some stats on where our troops are, plans to realign them and the painful process of money-saving base closing that is also in the works.

Where they are

(as of December 31st 2005) (DOD - pdf)

  • Active Duty: 1,411,000
  • Stationed in the US Territories: 1,107,000
  • Stationed abroad: 271,000 (not including Iraq and Afghanistan)
  • Deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan (including reserves and National Guard): 227,000

    • Iraq: 207,000 (see Iraq fact page for recent numbers on combat troop levels)
    • Afghanistan: 20,000

Note: numbers do not include military civilian personnel.

military personnel (army, navy, airforce & marines) stationed outside the US


Where US troops are placed today is largely a left-over of the defense grid used during the Cold War. In recent years, some strategists say our forces should be realigned to bring more troops home and station those abroad more effectively to deal with new threats, particularly terrorism. Below is a brief outline of the plan announced by the White House in mid-2004:

Over the next decade

  • Bring 60,000-70,000 foreign troops home (CNN)

  • Bring 100,000 civilian personnel home (CNN)

  • Replace two divisions, roughly 25,000 troops, in Germany with a mobile and easily deployed brigade (3,000-5,000)

  • Pull 24,000 troops out of South Korea by 2008 (BBC)

    • So far, about 12,000 have been pulled out of the original figure of 47,500 in 2004 (BBC)

  • Shut down roughly half of the 400 US bases across Europe by 2010 (CNN)

  • Open new bases in several Eastern European countries that would cost substantially less than Western European bases and would position troops closer to "danger zones" in the Middle East and the Balkans (BBC)

BRAC 2005 proposals

2005 BRAC Report

  • Closure of 33 bases

  • Realignment (expand or decrease the size of) 29 bases

  • Loss of 29,000 jobs

  • Contributing to a total savings of $50 billion over the next 20 years

Previous BRAC rounds


  • Since 1988, BRAC rounds have saved the DOD $43 billion (2005) in spending (GAO reported that as of 2003, the cumulative economic costs of BRAC ($23 billion) were far exceeded by the saving produced ($52 billion)--leaving a net profit of $29 billion.

  • The DOD has decreased in size and spending by 20% since the beginning of BRAC

  • 90% of BRAC land can be reused for commercial, industrial or residential development

  • 85% of civilian jobs lost due to BRAC have been recovered

  • Roughly 28% of BRAC land nationwide has yet to be turned over to the various states or to developers

  • 34 bases that have been labeled as toxic sites have not yet been cleaned

Where the facts are from:

To read more about realignment plans, check out these links:

  • BBC News -- Detail on the Korea realignment

  • CNN -- Detail on the global realignment plan

  • BBC News -- Detail on the Eastern European bases

And here's more about the BRAC:

Facts pulled together by Steven Cytryn. Last updated 6.22.05.

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Hey we need to bring the soldiers back home. Cause if we don't more are going to keep dying and leaving their families and love ones pain and sorrow. OVER 227,000 People had died this year, twice the number then last year before that and the year before that also. This is coming from a 15 year-old who pays attention on what Bush is doing to our soldiers. Just give them more protection and adjustable weapons, even if you don't allow them to come back home. Keep fighting 'til the end!

micah (not verified) | November 16, 2007 - 11:10am