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Early last year, the US military announced it was withdrawing 11,000 troops from Germany and Italy, as part of its strategic shift to annoying people in Afghanistan rather than in Europe.
This was euphemistically referred to as “downsizing our European footprint.” European footprint. That kind of sounds like the impression one makes with an overpriced ugly shoe, doesn’t it?
And perhaps that makes it the perfect metaphor to discuss America’s military presence in countries around the world. It’s a big footprint.
Our military feet are jammed in the doors of over 150 countries around the world. Nearly 200,000 American troops “police” the world outside US territories. This does not even include the huge numbers serving in embassies or those aboard naval ships.
More than 100,000 of those personnel are stationed in Germany, Japan, and South Korea. WWII ended nearly 70 years ago, yet we still live in the past, patrolling those evil nations out there who might otherwise wreak havoc on the democratic stability instilled by our military presence.