Counter-Terrorism’?: Two Decades after 9/11, New Interactive Map Details Footprint of US War Machine in 85 Countries

By Brett Wilkins

Global Research, February 26, 2021Common Dreams 25 February 2021

“The map raises a number of questions. Why is the United States militarily active in so many countries? Are these operations meeting the stated U.S. goals of reducing violence against Americans?”

A new report published Thursday details United States so-called “counterterrorism” operations by the U.S. military in 85 nations since 2018 as part of its “Global War on Terror,” the open-ended post-9/11 campaign that has seen over half a dozen countries attacked or invaded, hundreds of overseas military bases built, hundreds of thousands of lives lost, and trillions of dollars spent—with no end in sight.

The report—published by the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute and USA Today—features an interactive map showing U.S. military operations on every inhabited continent on Earth, including combat, training, exercises, and bases.

click map to access interactive map on USA Today:

“Despite the Pentagon’s assertion that the U.S. is shifting its strategic emphasis away from counterterrorism and towards great power competition with Russia and China, examining U.S. military activity on a country-by-country basis shows that there is yet to be a corresponding drawdown of the counterterror apparatus,” the report states. “If anything, the map demonstrates that counterterrorism operations have become more widespread in recent years.”

According to the report, the U.S. has provided “counterterrorism” training or assistance in 79 nations since 2018, with U.S. troops carrying out bombing or ground attacks in 10 countries—Afghanistan, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen—over the same period. American forces participated in training exercises in 41 nations over the past three years. Additionally, under “Section 127e” programs, U.S. special operations forces have planned, controlled, and participated in missions in numerous African nations.

Despite recently closing hundreds of bases in Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. still maintains nearly 800 overseas military bases on six continents, according toindependent research by Base Nation author David Vine. The new report’s interactive map shows how these have proliferated during the post-World War II era, especially in the 21st century.“Meanwhile,” notes USA Today, “China—considered by many to be the greatest competitor and threat to the U.S.—has only one official overseas base, in Djibouti,” a country in the Horn of Africa that also hosts an American base.Forty-Five Blows Against Democracy

The report then details the approximately $6.4 trillion the U.S. has spent on the never-ending War on Terror, noting annual U.S. military spending of $731.8 billion—or more than the next 10 biggest military spenders combined.

In the section on casualties, the report states that more than 15,000 U.S. troops and contractors, nearly 12,500 allied troops, 177,000 national military and police officers, 1,300 journalists and humanitarian aid workers, nearly 260,000 enemy fighters, and nearly 336,000 civilians have been killed.

Stephanie Savell, co-director of the Costs of War Project and report lead researcher, says that “the map raises a number of questions. Why is the United States militarily active in so many countries? Are these operations meeting the stated U.S. goals of reducing violence against Americans and/or other civilians around the world? If not, what could the U.S. be doing instead? What human rights abuses or other negative consequences do these U.S. engagements have for people who live in these countries? What are the financial implications of this vast expanse of activities?”

“Now, as many Americans are calling for an end to ‘endless war,’ the map is a stark reminder that this war stretches far beyond Afghanistan,” adds Savell. “If the U.S. is truly to end the post-9/11 wars and related activities around the world, then the U.S. public and its leaders must take a broader view of their reach.”

From Common Dreams: Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.


Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Related Articles

Pentagon implements Global Military Policing

The following report raises some very serious concerns. It points to the involvement of US special forces in countries which do not represent a threat to the US and with which the US is not at war.  The SOCOM program essentially carries out the mandate of the 2000 Project for a New…

24 April 2006

New Documents Detail America’s Strategic Response to 9/11

Table of contents: New Documents Detail America’s Strategic Response to 9/11 New Documents Detail America’s Strategic Response to 9/11 New Documents Detail America’s Strategic Response to 9/11 (09/11)From: National Security Archive <archive@GWU.EDU> Browse the NSARCHIVE online archives. National Security Archive Update, September 11, 2011Secret U.S. Message to Mullah Omar: “Every…

12 September 2011

2019, The Strategies of Global Warfare: War with China and Russia? Washington’s Military Design in the Asia-Pacific

8 January 2019The original source of this article is Common DreamsCopyright © Brett WilkinsCommon Dreams, 2021


  1. I used to be an activist. It was part of my journey of waking up. It was 9/11. I watched it on TV in my small country. I knew instantly it was a lie. I saw it so clearly. I did my best to try to stop the impending invasion of Iraq. In my small way. Just a wee drop in the ocean. Nothing spectacular. There were millions that opposed this Bush war. Am not talking about Americans. Am talking about almost every other country in the world. Millions upon millions marched. We all knew 9/11 was staged. Unfortunately Americans did not agree. America. The Empire. People lost faith in the US Empire. Their own people had no idea. Patriotism çan blind the people along with the brainwashing. My point and question is why has nothing changed? USA has been a bully and has caused more deaths than WW2. An Empire at its worst. History shows how corrupt Empires collapse from their crimes. And now we have another war. A war of lies. A war of Evil. Its global. Not just US. Today. Ömg. You had a President that was ridiculed and abused by the media and the Democrats. I even believed your msm bullshit. Most people did. Never ever again. Your America is rotten to the core. You had a good man. Donald Trump. I apologise for buying into the evil msm. I honour him for trying tö MAGA. It is now up to the people to make the changes so we can as a race have peace. Finally.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.