Published On: Fri, Jun 12th, 2015

UN Security Council Members With Overseas Military Bases In 2015

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Analysing a country’s military presence overseas is a good way to gauge its global influence. How do the permanent members of the UN Security Council measure up when it comes to bases abroad? Charting the geographic spread of military power can prove difficult due to temporary deployments and the rapid pace of world affairs. However, when it comes to a permanent military presence abroad, nowhere comes close to the United States. The US military has troops stationed in no less than 30 countries from Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.

Russia is aggressively reasserting its influence worldwide and primarily maintains bases in Central Asia and Eastern Europe in addition to its naval facility in Tartus, Syria. China has rapidly risen as an economic and military power. Even though it boasts the world’s largest army, it has no troops permanently based overseas. However, it is believed that China will establish a permanent base in Obock in Djibouti at some stage in the future.  See chart farther down.

 

Statistics and facts about the Armed Forces of the United States
The United States is infamous world over for the massive size of its military and the equally massive budget necessary to maintain it. In 2013, the United States spent 640 billion U.S. dollars on its military, far outspending fellow world powers China and Russia, among others. China, however, trumps the U.S. when it comes to pure manpower. 2012 records show the Chinese military had 2.25 million active members of its military, compared to the 1.63 million active American servicemen. The U.S. Armed Forces consists of five service branches, namely the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy.

The United States military has been increasingly active in the Middle East in the last 25 years. As of 2008, the U.S. was spending of 142 billion U.S. dollars on military operations in Iraq, while also spending another 44 billion on operations in Afghanistan. The U.S. has since withdrawn troops from Iraq, significantly lowering overall military spending in the Middle East, though spending in Afghanistan is now twice that of 2008.

Recent records of gender distribution in the military put the total number of active duty male officers at nearly 200, 000, versus just under 40, 000 female officers. Of all military branches, the Marine Corps has the lowest share of female officers. The Marine Corps became a topic of conversation recently for considering adjustments to its physical fitness standards in order to be more inclusive to women, as the majority of female applicants are unable to complete the mandatory number of chin-ups required for entry into the corps. There are many critics of this idea, with some saying it will demoralize equality among the troops and erode the high standards for which the Marine Corps prides itself.

This chart shows UN Security Council members with a permanent overseas military presence in 2015.

Infographic: UN Security Council Members With Overseas Military Bases In 2015 | Statista

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