Under President Donald Trump, the number of US troops in the Middle East is now greater than it was when he took office, and despite his pledge to end the "countless wars", there are still some 200,000 troops remaining in separate locations, according to a New York Times report.
The report's authors, Thomas Gibbons and Eric Schmidt, said that the wars since September 11, 2001 are not over, that more soldiers have been sent to the Middle East in recent months than have returned home, and that Trump has done little to end the wars because he is moving troops from Conflict to another.
Tens of thousands of US troops are still deployed around the world, some in war zones such as Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, they said.
The report estimated the number of US troops deployed overseas now at 200,000 as follows:
Afghanistan: 12 to 13 thousand
At the height of the war in 2010 and 2011 there were more than 100,000 troops. When Trump took office, the number hovered around 10,000, and the new strategy announced in 2017 added thousands more.
Syria: about 200
What began as 50 Special Operations soldiers at the end of 2015 increased to more than 2,000 in 2017 when US and SDF forces were fighting ISIS in Raqqa.
In December 2018, Trump issued his first order to withdraw all US troops from the country.In contrast, the Pentagon tried to draw up a plan to withdraw 1,000 troops while keeping the rest deployed throughout the region in northeastern Syria.
In recent weeks, Trump has ordered the withdrawal of the remaining troops, leaving a small contingent of about 200 in the south of the country. The rest of the troops who have left northern Syria in recent days have not returned to the United States, he said, but are now based in western Iraq.
Iraq: about 6,000
After peaking from 2003 to 2011 and reaching 150,000, a small unit remained when all US troops left in 2011. A small ground force remained to grow to about 5,000 in 2016. That number increased to about 6,000 as US troops moved north Syria to western Iraq.
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries: 45 to 65 thousand
In response to Iran's provocations and attacks since May, the Pentagon has deployed some 14,000 additional troops in the Gulf region, including 3,500 in Saudi Arabia in recent weeks. The total number is widespread between Jordan and the Sultanate of Oman, and they are charged with operating airports, managing headquarters, and operating ships and aircraft.
Africa: 6,000 to 7,000
This number is spread across Africa, and the largest number is in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa. There are about 500 special operations forces in Somalia.
Japan and South Korea: about 78 thousand
NATO countries: more than 35 thousand
During the Cold War, there were more than 300,000 American troops across Europe to resist the Soviet Union. That number eventually fell to about 30,000 after the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. Over the past year, the United States and its NATO allies have completed the deployment of about 4,500 additional troops in three Baltic states and Poland.
Other places: more than 2000
The Pentagon has deployed troops elsewhere in the world. There are about 250, most of them special forces, in the Philippines to assist in counterterrorism operations, and over the past six years some 2,000 Marines have been deployed in northern Australia to act as a response force for the Pacific region.