US military spending ($343 billion in the year 2000) is 69 percent greater than that of the next five highest nations combined. Russia, which has the second largest military budget, spends less than one-sixth what the United States does. Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Cuba, Sudan, Iran, and Syria spend $14.4 billion combined; Iran accounts for 52 percent of this total. Check the damage at Zoltan Grossman's excellent Zmag at: http://www.zmag.org/list2.htm.
The information presented below is taken from a report produced by AdBusters.
Though the motivations for some of these military actions may be questioned, the fact of American military action is beyond doubt in each case. William Blum in his book "Rogue State" has made a similar list of American military interventions.
Assignment: List direct American military intervention on other nations' soil from World War II to the present day. Do not include: indirect military involvement such as arms sales, however significant (e.g. Israel); nuclear threats or nuclear testing (e.g. Marshall Islands); establishment of controversial bases or defense systems (e.g. Western Europe, Saudi Arabia); humanitarian missions that did not involve combat; or the geopolitical impacts of military treaty development, acceptance or rejection. Discuss.
WORLD WAR II 1941-45
Fought Axis forces for three years; first nuclear war, against Japan.
Supports and directs extreme right in civil war.
CIA directs war against leftist Huk Rebellion.
PUERTO RICO 1950
Nationalist insurrection challenges American occupation; US command operation puts down rebellion.
KOREAN WAR 1950-53
Joins South Korea and other allies to fight China and North Korea.
CIA directs overthrow of elected left-leaning government, installs Shah.
CIA directs exile invasion and overthrow of leftist government; military junta installed.
US occupation ends under UN Observer Group.
VIETNAM WAR 1960-75
Fought South Vietnam rebels and North Vietnam forces; 1-2 million killed.
CIA-directed "Bay of Pigs" invasion.
Green Berets active in training, military buildup, support of rightist forces during guerrilla war.
Control of Panama Canal Zone challenged; rioting against US forces.
Army coup assisted to an unknown degree by CIA; left-leaning elected government toppled; between 250,000 to 1,000,000 lives lost.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1965-66
Troops invade during election as pre-emptive action against leftist rebellion or communist government.
Command operation; Green Berets aid in combat against leftist rebels.
War against leftist forces; intense bombing; up to 2 million killed.
US directs Iranian invasion in support of Omani government against Marxist "Dhufar rebellion."
US directs South Vietnamese invasion.
CIA-backed coup ousts elected leftist president; rightist dictator installed.
CIA assists South African-backed rebels.
EL SALVADOR 1981-92
Advisors aid government forces against leftist rebels.
US directs guerrilla exile invasion ("Contra war") against revolutionary government; US forces plant mines.
Marines help police negotiated evacuation of Palestine Liberation Organization; US forces combat Muslim and Syrian fighters in support of Christian government.
Military bases established for US-backed "Contra war" with Nicaragua.
US troops topple pro-Cuban government.
Air strikes against nationalist government with terrorist links.
Operation Blast Furnace; US troops and Bolivian police face peasant resistance in cocaine-producing regions.
Intervention on side of Iraq in war against Iran.
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 1989
Troops restore order after civil unrest spurred by Hurricane Hugo.
Armed US aircraft support constitutional government against failed coup.
Nationalist government ousted by 27,000 US soldiers; more than 2,000 people killed.
GULF WAR 1990-
Operation Desert Storm drives Iraq out of Kuwait; 200,000+ killed. No-fly zone ongoing; periodic bombing.
US-led United Nations occupation during civil war.
US troops in NATO operation to enforce sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro.
Operation Deny Flight patrols civil war no-fly zone; air combat, Serbs bombed.
Troops restore elected leftist president to office three years after coup.
American and NATO forces attack Bosnian Serb airfields prior to Croatian offensive.
Pharmaceutical factory with terrorist links bombed; retaliation for terrorist attacks on US embassies in Africa.
Bombing of Islamic fundamentalist military camps; retaliation for terrorist attacks on US embassies in Africa.
US aircraft play the key role in heavy NATO air strikes against Serbian forces in Kosovo.
Special Forces train anti-narcotics and anti-rebel battalions, supply combat aircraft.
US forces in NATO's Operation Essential Harvest partially disarm Albanian rebels.
In retaliation for terrorist attacks in US, forces attempt ouster of Afghanistan's Taliban government, attack bases linked to Islamic militant Osama bin Laden.
The list here, by contrast, is slightly different.
Former President Jimmy Carter has explained, "We have only to go to Lebanon, to Syria, to Jordan, to witness firsthand the intense hatred among many people for the United States, because we bombed and shelled and unmercifully killed totally innocent villagers, women and children and farmers and housewives, in those villages around Beirut...as a result, we have become a kind of Satan in the minds of those who are deeply resentful. That is what precipitated the taking of hostages and that is what has precipitated some terrorist attacks." (New York Times-3/26/89)
American munitions often make use of depleted uranium
List of US military interventions
Telling pictures of the US bombing of Belgrade http://go.to/bombe
A great book on US cold war psychology The Ugly American - contrary to the title the book is very positive about US intervention in SE Asia
War is expensive http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/2062429.stm