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   U.S. Military "Interventions" From Wounded Knee to Afghanistan

WHAT A HISTORY:

U.S. Military “Interventions” From Wounded Knee to Afghanistan

Compiled by Zoltan Grossman

Editor's comment: Regrettably the numbers for military and civilian deaths for these 'interventions' are not readily knowable, but the total surely runs into the millions. Were the benefits achieved (if any) worth all of these violent deaths?

U.S. 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. Here’s what we’ve been buying with all that money. It’s not being spent just for “national defense”—not by a long shot.

The following is a partial list (revised on September 20, 2002) of U.S. military interventions from 1890 to 1999. This guide does NOT include demonstration duty by military police, mobilizations of the National Guard, offshore shows of naval strength, reinforcements of embassy personnel, the use of non-Defense Department personnel (such as the Drug Enforcement Agency), military exercises, non-combat mobilizations (such as replacing postal strikers), the permanent stationing of armed forces, covert actions where the U.S. did not play a command and control role, the use of small hostage rescue units, most uses of proxy troops, U.S. piloting of foreign warplanes, foreign disaster assistance, military training and advisory programs not involving direct combat, civic action programs, and many other military activities.

SOUTH DAKOTA, 1890 (-?) Troops: 300 Lakota Indians massacred at Wounded Knee.
ARGENTINA 1890 Troops Buenos Aires interests protected.
CHILE 1891 Troops Marines clash with nationalist rebels.
HAITI 1891 Troops Black workers revolt on U.S.-claimed Navassa Island defeated.
IDAHO 1892 Troops Army suppresses silver miners' strike.
HAWAII 1893 (-?) Naval, troops Independent kingdom overthrown, annexed.
CHICAGO 1894 Troops Breaking of rail strike, 34 killed.
NICARAGUA 1894 Troops Month-long occupation of Bluefields.
CHINA 1894-95 Naval, troops Marines land in Sino-Japanese War.
KOREA 1894-96 Troops Marines kept in Seoul during war.
PANAMA 1895 Troops, naval Marines land in Colombian province.
NICARAGUA 1896 Troops Marines land in port of Corinto.
CHINA 1898-1900 Troops Boxer Rebellion fought by foreign armies.
PHILIPPINES 1898-1910(-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, killed 600,000 Filipinos.
CUBA 1898-1902(-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, still hold Navy base.
PUERTO RICO 1898(-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, occupation continues.
GUAM 1898(-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, still use as base.
MINNESOTA 1898(-?) Troops Army battles Chippewa at Leech Lake.
NICARAGUA 1898 Troops Marines land at port of San Juan del Sur.
SAMOA 1899(-?) Troops Battle over succession to throne.
NICARAGUA 1899 Troops Marines land at port of Bluefields.
IDAHO 1899-1901 Troops Army occupies Coeur d'Alene mining region.
OKLAHOMA 1901 Troops Army battles Creek Indian revolt.
PANAMA 1901-14 Naval, troops Broke off from Colombia 1903, annexed Canal Zone 1914-99.
HONDURAS 1903 Troops Marines intervene in revolution.
DOMINICAN REP. 1903-04 Troops U.S. interests protected in Revolution.
KOREA 1904-05 Troops Marines land in Russo-Japanese War.
CUBA 1906-09 Troops Marines land in democratic election.
NICARAGUA 1907 Troops "Dollar Diplomacy" protectorate set up.
HONDURAS 1907 Troops Marines land during war with Nicaragua.
PANAMA 1908 Troops Marines intervene in election contest.
NICARAGUA 1910 Troops Marines land in Bluefields and Corinto.
HONDURAS 1911 Troops U.S. interests protected in civil war.
CHINA 1911-41 Naval, troops Continuous occupation with flare-ups.
CUBA 1912 Troops U.S. interests protected in Havana.
PANAMA 19l2 Troops Marines land during heated election.
HONDURAS 19l2 Troops Marines protect U.S. economic interests.
NICARAGUA 1912-33 Troops, bombing 20-year occupation, fought guerrillas.
MEXICO 19l3 Naval Americans evacuated during revolution.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1914 Naval Fight with rebels over Santo Domingo.
COLORADO 1914 Troops Breaking of miners' strike by Army.
MEXICO 1914-18 Naval, troops Series of interventions against nationalists.
HAITI 1914-34 Troops, bombing 19-year occupation after revolts.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1916-24 Troops 8-year Marine occupation.
CUBA 1917-33 Troops Military occupation, economic protectorate.
WORLD WAR I 19l7-18 Naval, troops Ships sunk, fought Germany
RUSSIA 1918-22 Naval, troops Five landings to fight Bolsheviks.
PANAMA 1918-20 Troops "Police duty" during unrest after elections.
YUGOSLAVIA 1919 Troops Marines intervene for Italy against Serbs in Dalmatia.
HONDURAS 1919 Troops Marines land during election campaign.
GUATEMALA 1920 Troops 2-week intervention against unionists.
WEST VIRGINIA 1920-21 Troops, bombing Army intervenes against mineworkers.
TURKEY 1922 Troops Fought nationalists in Smyrna (Izmir).
CHINA 1922-27 Naval, troops Deployment during nationalist revolt.
HONDURAS 1924-25 Troops Landed twice during election strife.
PANAMA 1925 Troops Marines suppress general strike.
CHINA 1927-34 Troops Marines stationed throughout the country.
EL SALVADOR 1932 Naval Warships sent during Faribundo Marti revolt.
WASHINGTON DC 1932 Troops Army stops WWI vet bonus protest.
WORLD WAR II 1941-45 Naval,troops, bombing, nuclear Fought Axis for 3 years; 1st nuclear war.
DETROIT 1943 Troops Army puts down Black rebellion.
IRAN 1946 Nuclear threat Soviet troops told to leave north (Iranian Azerbaijan).
YUGOSLAVIA 1946 Naval Response to shooting-down of U.S. plane.
URUGUAY 1947 Nuclear threat Bombers deployed as show of strength.
GREECE 1947-49 Command operation U.S. directs extreme-right in civil war.
CHINA 1948-49 Troops Marines evacuate Americans before Communist victory.
GERMANY 1948 Nuclear threat Atomic-capable bombers guard Berlin Airlift.
PHILIPPINES 1948-54 Command operation CIA directs war against Huk Rebellion.
PUERTO RICO 1950 Command operation Independence rebellion crushed in Ponce.
KOREA 1950-53 Troops, naval, bombing, nuclear threats U.S.& South Korea fight China & North Korea to stalemate; A-bomb threat in 1950, & vs. China in 1953. Still have bases.
IRAN 1953 Command operation CIA overthrows democracy, installs Shah.
VIETNAM 1954 Nuclear threat Bombs offered to French to use against siege.
GUATEMALA 1954 Command operation, bombing, nuclear threat CIA directs exile invasion after new gov't nationalizes U.S. company lands; bombers based in Nicaragua.
EGYPT 1956 Nuclear threat, troops Soviets told to keep out of Suez crisis; MArines evacuate foreigners
LEBANON 1958 Troops, naval Marine occupation against rebels.
IRAQ 1958 Nuclear threat Iraq warned against invading Kuwait.
CHINA 1958 Nuclear threat China told not to move on Taiwan isles.
PANAMA 1958 Troops Flag protests erupt into confrontation.
VIETNAM 1960-75 Troops, naval, bombing, nuclear threats Fought South Vietnam revolt & North Vietnam; 1-2 million killed in longest U.S. war; atomic bomb threats in 1968 and 1969.
CUBA 1961 Command operation CIA-directed exile invasion fails.
GERMANY 1961 Nuclear threat Alert during Berlin Wall crisis.
CUBA 1962 Nuclear threat Naval Blockade during missile crisis; near-war with USSR.
LAOS 1962 Command operation Military buildup during guerrilla war.
PANAMA 1964 Troops Panamanians shot for urging canal's return.
INDONESIA 1965 Command operation Million killed in CIA-assisted army coup.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1965-66 Troops, bombing Marines land during election campaign.
GUATEMALA 1966-67 Command operation Green Berets intervene against rebels.
DETROIT 1967 Troops Army battles Blacks, 43 killed.
UNITED STATES 1968 Troops After King is shot; over 21,000 soldiers in cities.
CAMBODIA 1969-75 Bombing, troops, naval Up to 2 million killed in decade of bombing, starvation, and political chaos.
OMAN 1970 Command operation U.S. directs Iranian marine invasion.
LAOS 1971-73 Command operation, bombing U.S. directs South Vietnamese invasion; "carpet-bombs" countryside.
SOUTH DAKOTA 1973 Command operation Army directs Wounded Knee siege of Lakotas.
MIDEAST 1973 Nuclear threat World-wide alert during Mideast War.
CHILE 1973 Command operation CIA-backed coup ousts elected marxist president.
CAMBODIA 1975 Troops, bombing Gas captured ship, 28 die in copter crash.
ANGOLA 1976-92 Command operation CIA assists South African-backed rebels.
IRAN 1980 Troops, nuclear threat, aborted bombing Raid to rescue Embassy hostages; 8 troops die in copter-plane crash. Soviets warned not to get involved in revolution.
LIBYA 1981 Naval jets Two Libyan jets shot down in maneuvers.
EL SALVADOR 1981-92 Command operation, troops Advisors, overflights aid anti-rebel war, soldiers briefly involved in hostage clash.
NICARAGUA 1981-90 Command operation, naval CIA directs exile (Contra) invasions, plants harbor mines against revolution.
LEBANON 1982-84 Naval, bombing, troops Marines expel PLO and back Phalangists, Navy bombs and shells Muslim and Syrian positions.
HONDURAS 1983-89 Troops Maneuvers help build bases near borders.
GRENADA 1983-84 Troops, bombing Invasion four years after revolution.
IRAN 1984 Jets Two Iranian jets shot down over Persian Gulf.
LIBYA 1986 Bombing, naval Air strikes to topple nationalist gov't.
BOLIVIA 1986 Troops Army assists raids on cocaine region.
IRAN 1987-88 Naval, bombing US intervenes on side of Iraq in war.
LIBYA 1989 Naval jets Two Libyan jets shot down.
VIRGIN ISLANDS 1989 Troops St. Croix Black unrest after storm.
PHILIPPINES 1989 Jets Air cover provided for government against coup.
PANAMA 1989-90 Troops, bombing Nationalist government ousted by 27,000 soldiers, leaders arrested, 2000+ killed.
LIBERIA 1990 Troops Foreigners evacuated during civil war.
SAUDI ARABIA 1990-91 Troops, jets Iraq countered after invading Kuwait; 540,000 troops also stationed in Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Israel.
IRAQ 1990-? Bombing, troops, naval Blockade of Iraqi and Jordanian ports, air strikes; 200,000+ killed in invasion of Iraq and Kuwait; no-fly zone over Kurdish north, Shiite south, large-scale destruction of Iraqi military.
KUWAIT 1991 Naval, bombing, troops Kuwait royal family returned to throne.
LOS ANGELES 1992 Troops Army, Marines deployed against anti-police uprising.
SOMALIA 1992-94 Troops, naval, bombing U.S.-led United Nations occupation during civil war; raids against one Mogadishu faction.
YUGOSLAVIA 1992-94 Naval Nato blockade of Serbia and Montenegro.
BOSNIA 1993-95 Jets, bombing No-fly zone patrolled in civil war; downed jets, bombed Serbs.
HAITI 1994-96 Troops, naval Blockade against military government; troops restore President Aristide to office three years after coup.
CROATIA 1995 Bombing Krajina Serb airfields attacked before Croatian offensive.
ZAIRE (CONGO) 1996-97 Troops Marines at Rwandan Hutu refuge camps, in area where Congo revolution begins.
LIBERIA 1997 Troops Soldiers under fire during evacuation of foreigners.
ALBANIA 1997 Troops Soldiers under fire during evacuation of foreigners.
SUDAN 1998 Missiles Attack on pharmaceutical plant alleged to be "terrorist" nerve gas plant.
AFGHANISTAN 1998 Missiles Attack on former CIA training camps used by Islamic fundamentalist groups alleged to have attacked embassies.
IRAQ 1998-? Bombing, Missiles Four days of intensive air strikes after weapons inspectors allege Iraqi obstructions.
YUGOSLAVIA 1999-? Bombing, Missiles Heavy NATO air strikes after Serbia declines to withdraw from Kosovo.
YEMEN 2000 Naval Suicide bomb attack on USS Cole.
MACEDONIA 2001 Troops NATO troops shift and partially disarm Albanian rebels.
UNITED STATES 2001 Jets, naval Response to hijacking attacks.
AFGHANISTAN 2001 Massive U.S. mobilization to attack Taliban, Bin Laden. War could expand to Iraq, Sudan, and beyond.

U.S. 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.

Among sources used, besides news reports, are the Congressional Record (23 June 1969), “180 Landings by the U.S. Marine Corps History Division,” Ege & Makhijani in Counterspy (July-Aug. 1982), and Daniel Ellsberg in Protest & Survive. Also used: "Instances of Use of United States Forces Abroad, 1798-1993" by Ellen C. Collier of the Library of Congress Congressional Research Service.


For more information or with comments and additions please contact: Zoltan Grossman at mtn@igc.apc.org

Permission to reproduce this list in its entirety is granted by the author. Please notify of publication via email to above address.


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This story was published on October 2, 2002.
  
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