I’m not a pacifist, but generally I think the U.S. military has too much money and too many troops in foreign countries. I don’t understand why we need a military presence in every country that will allow us one. As far as I know, we’re not actively at war with anyone except the nebulous “war on terror.” Do we really need 33,000 soldiers in Japan? Or 104 in Thailand? Why do we have 9,000 in Italy? Or 17 in Finland?
You can see these numbers at Mother Jones, which has a great interactive map on Mission Creep that shows how many troops the United States has in each country from 1950 to 2007 (the latest year for which data was available). It’s interesting to see the numbers change over time. However, a close look reveals there are few countries where there isn’t at least one U.S. troop. Maybe in addition to calling for troops to be brought home from Iraq and Afghanistan, we should ask to bring them home from everywhere.