Timeline of United States Military Operations
MILITARISM, 3 Apr 2023
From 1945 to 2021 –> Addicted to Destruction of the Other
1945: China: In October 50,000 U.S. Marines were sent to North China to assist Chinese Nationalist authorities in disarming and repatriating the Japanese in China and in controlling ports, railroads, and airfields. This was in addition to approximately 60,000 U.S. forces remaining in China at the end of World War II.[RL30172]
1945–1949: Occupation of part of Germany.
1945–1955: Occupation of part of Austria.
1945–1952: Occupation of Japan.
1946: Trieste, (Italy): President Truman ordered the increase of US troops along the zonal occupation line and the reinforcement of air forces in northern Italy after the Yugoslav People’s Army shot down an unarmed U.S. Army transport plane flying over Venezia Giulia. Earlier U.S. naval units had been sent to the scene.[RL30172] Later the Free Territory of Trieste, Zone A.
1948: Berlin: Berlin Airlift After the Soviet Union established a land blockade of the U.S., British, and French sectors of Berlin on June 24, 1948, the United States and its allies airlifted supplies to Berlin until after the blockade was lifted in May 1949.[RL30172]
1948–1949: China: Marines were dispatched to Nanking to protect the American Embassy when the city fell to Communist troops, and to Shanghai to aid in the protection and evacuation of Americans.[RL30172]
Map of military operations since 1950
1950–1953: Korean War: The United States responded to the North Korean invasion of South Korea by going to its assistance, pursuant to United Nations Security Council resolutions. U.S. forces deployed in Korea exceeded 300,000 during the last year of the active conflict (1953). Over 36,600 US military were killed in action.[RL30172]
1950–1955: Formosa (Taiwan): In June 1950, at the beginning of the Korean War, President Truman ordered the U.S. Seventh Fleet to prevent People’s Liberation Army attacks upon Formosa and Republic of China Armed Forces operations against mainland China.[RL30172]
1950: Puerto Rico (United States colonial territory): The United States National Guard used P-47 Thunderbolt attack aircraft, land-based artillery, mortar fire, and grenades to counterattack Puerto Rican freedom fighters, Nationalists and independence rebels looking to end U.S. colonial rule during the Jayuya uprising.
1955–1964: Vietnam: First military advisors sent to Vietnam on February 12, 1955. By 1964, U.S. troop levels had grown to 21,000. On August 7, 1964, U.S. Congress approved Gulf of Tonkin resolution affirming “All necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States. . .to prevent further aggression. . . (and) assist any member or protocol state of the Southeast Asian Collective Defense Treaty (SEATO) requesting assistance. . .”[Vietnam timeline]
1958: Lebanon: 1958 Lebanon crisis, Marines were landed in Lebanon at the invitation of President Camille Chamoun to help protect against threatened insurrection supported from the outside. The President’s action was supported by a Congressional resolution passed in 1957 that authorized such actions in that area of the world.[RL30172]
1955–1975: Vietnam War: U.S. military advisers had been in South Vietnam for a decade, and their numbers had been increased as the military position of the Saigon government became weaker. After citing what he falsely termed were Vietnam People’s Navy attacks on U.S. destroyers, in what came to be known as the Gulf of Tonkin incident, President Lyndon B. Johnson asked in August 1964 for a resolution expressing U.S. determination to support “freedom and protect peace in Southeast Asia.” Congress responded with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, giving President Johnson authorization, without a formal declaration of war by Congress, for the use of conventional military force in Southeast Asia. Following this resolution, and following a communist attack on a U.S. installation in central Vietnam, the United States escalated its participation in the war to a peak of 543,000 military personnel by April 1969.[RL30172]
1962: Thailand: The Third Marine Expeditionary Unit landed on May 17, 1962, to support that country during the threat of Communist pressure from outside; by July 30, the 5,000 marines had been withdrawn.[RL30172]
1962: Cuba: Cuban Missile Crisis, On October 22, President Kennedy instituted a “quarantine” on the shipment of offensive missiles to Cuba from the Soviet Union. He also warned Soviet Union that the launching of any missile from Cuba against nations in the Western Hemisphere would bring about U.S. nuclear retaliation on the Soviet Union. A negotiated settlement was achieved in a few days.[RL30172]
1962–1975: Laos: From October 1962 until 1975, the United States played an important role in military support of anti-Communist forces in Laos.[RL30172] Meanwhile, the United States was fighting a covert military operation using CIA paramilitary forces, known as The Secret War.
1964: Congo (Zaïre): The United States sent four transport planes to provide airlift for Congolese troops during a rebellion and to transport Belgian paratroopers to rescue foreigners.[RL30172]
1965: Invasion of Dominican Republic: Operation Power Pack, The United States intervened to protect lives and property during a Dominican revolt and sent 20,000 U.S. troops as fears grew that the revolutionary forces were coming increasingly under Communist control.[RL30172] A popular rebellion broke out, promising to reinstall Juan Bosch as the country’s elected leader. The revolution was crushed when U.S. Marines landed to uphold the military regime by force.
1967: Israel: The USS Liberty incident, whereupon a United States Navy Technical Research Ship was attacked June 8, 1967, by the Israel Defense Forces, killing 34 and wounding more than 170 U.S. crew members.
1967: Congo (Zaïre): The United States sent three military transport aircraft with crews to provide the Congo central government with logistical support during a revolt.[RL30172]
1968: Laos & Cambodia: U.S. starts secret bombing campaign against targets along the Ho Chi Minh trail in the sovereign nations of Cambodia and Laos. The bombings last at least two years. (See Operation Commando Hunt)
1970: Cambodian Campaign: U.S. troops were ordered into Cambodia to clean out Communist sanctuaries from which Viet Cong and North Vietnam attacked U.S. and South Vietnamese forces in Vietnam. The object of this attack, which lasted from April 30 to June 30, was to ensure the continuing safe withdrawal of American forces from South Vietnam and to assist the program of Vietnamization.[RL30172]
1972: North Vietnam: Christmas bombing Operation Linebacker II (not mentioned in RL30172, but an operation leading to peace negotiations). The operation was conducted from December 18–29, 1972. It was a bombing of the cities Hanoi and Haiphong by B-52 bombers.
1975: Evacuation from Vietnam: Operation Frequent Wind, On April 3, 1975, President Gerald Ford reported U.S. naval vessels, helicopters, and Marines had been sent to assist in evacuation of refugees and US nationals from Vietnam.[RL30172]
1975: Evacuation from Cambodia: Operation Eagle Pull, On April 12, 1975, President Ford reported that he had ordered U.S. military forces to proceed with the planned evacuation of the U.S. citizens from Cambodia.[RL30172]
1975: South Vietnam: On April 30, 1975, President Ford reported that a force of 70 evacuation helicopters and 865 Marines had evacuated about 1,400 U.S. citizens and 5,500 third country nationals and South Vietnamese from landing zones in and around the U.S. Embassy, Saigon and Tan Son Nhut Airport.[RL30172]
1975: Cambodia: Mayaguez incident, On May 15, 1975, President Ford reported he had ordered military forces to retake SS Mayaguez, a merchant vessel which was seized from Kampuchean Revolutionary Army naval patrol boats in international waters and forced to proceed to a nearby island.[RL30172]
1976: Lebanon: On July 22 and 23, 1976, helicopters from five U.S. naval vessels evacuated approximately 250 Americans and Europeans from Lebanon during fighting between Lebanese factions after an overland convoy evacuation had been blocked by hostilities.[RL30172]
1980: Iran: Operation Eagle Claw, on April 26, 1980, President Carter reported the use of six U.S. transport planes and eight helicopters in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue the American hostages in Iran.
1980: U.S. Army and Air Force units arrive in the Sinai in September as part of “Operation Bright Star“. They are there to train with the Egyptian Armed Forces as part of the Camp David peace accords signed in 1979. Elements of the 101st Airborne Division, (1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry) and Air Force MAC (Military Airlift Command) units are in theater for four months & are the first U.S. military forces in the region since World War II.
1981: El Salvador: After a guerrilla offensive against the government of El Salvador, additional U.S. military advisers were sent to El Salvador, bringing the total to approximately 55, to assist in training government forces in counterinsurgency.[RL30172]
1981: Libya: First Gulf of Sidra incident, on August 19, 1981, U.S. planes based on the carrier USS Nimitz shot down two Libyan jets over the Gulf of Sidra after one of the Libyan jets had fired a heat-seeking missile. The United States periodically held freedom of navigation exercises in the Gulf of Sidra, claimed by Libya as territorial waters but considered international waters by the United States.[RL30172]
1982: Sinai: On March 19, 1982, President Reagan reported the deployment of military personnel and equipment to participate in the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai Peninsula. Participation had been authorized by the Multinational Force and Observers Resolution, Public Law 97-132.[RL30172]
1982: Lebanon: Multinational Force in Lebanon, on August 21, 1982, President Reagan reported the dispatch of 800 Marines to serve in the multinational force to assist in the withdrawal of members of the Palestine Liberation force from Beirut. The Marines left September 20, 1982.[RL30172]
1982–1983: Lebanon: On September 29, 1982, President Reagan reported the deployment of 1200 marines to serve in a temporary multinational force to facilitate the restoration of Lebanese government sovereignty. On September 29, 1983, Congress passed the Multinational Force in Lebanon Resolution (P.L. 98-119) authorizing the continued participation for eighteen months.[RL30172]
1983: Egypt: After a Libyan plane bombed a city in Sudan on March 18, 1983, and Sudan and Egypt appealed for assistance, the United States dispatched an AWACS electronic surveillance plane to Egypt.[RL30172]
1983: Grenada: Operation Urgent Fury, citing the increased threat of Soviet and Cuban influence and noting the development of an international airport following a coup d’état and alignment with the Soviet Union and Cuba, the U.S. invades the island nation of Grenada.[RL30172]
1983–1989: Honduras: In July 1983, the United States undertook a series of exercises in Honduras that some believed might lead to conflict with Nicaragua. On March 25, 1986, unarmed U.S. military helicopters and crewmen ferried Honduran troops to the Nicaraguan border to repel Nicaraguan troops.[RL30172]
1983: Chad: On August 8, 1983, President Reagan reported the deployment of two AWACS electronic surveillance planes and eight F-15 fighter planes and ground logistical support forces to assist Chad against Libyan and rebel forces.[RL30172]
1984: Persian Gulf: On June 5, 1984, Saudi Arabian jet fighter planes, aided by intelligence from a U.S. AWACS electronic surveillance aircraft and fueled by a U.S. KC-10 tanker, shot down two Iranian fighter planes over an area of the Persian Gulf proclaimed as a protected zone for shipping.[RL30172]
1985: Italy: On October 10, 1985, U.S. Navy pilots intercepted an Egyptian airliner and forced it to land in Sicily. The airliner was carrying the hijackers of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro who had killed an American citizen during the hijacking.[RL30172]
1986: Libya: Action in the Gulf of Sidra (1986), on March 26, 1986, President Reagan reported on March 24 and 25, U.S. forces, while engaged in freedom of navigation exercises around the Gulf of Sidra, had been attacked by Libyan missiles and the United States had responded with missiles.[RL30172]
1986: Libya: Operation El Dorado Canyon, on April 16, 1986, President Reagan reported that U.S. air and naval forces had conducted bombing strikes on terrorist facilities and military installations in the Libyan capitol of Tripoli, claiming that Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi was responsible for a bomb attack at a German disco that killed two U.S. soldiers.[RL30172]
1987: Persian Gulf: Operation Nimble Archer. Attacks on two Iranian oil platforms in the Persian Gulf by United States Navy forces on October 19. The attack was a response to Iran’s October 16, 1987, attack on the MV Sea Isle City, a reflagged Kuwaiti oil tanker at anchor off Kuwait, with a Silkworm missile.
1987–1988: Persian Gulf: Operation Earnest Will. After the Iran–Iraq War (the Tanker War phase) resulted in several military incidents in the Persian Gulf, the United States increased U.S. joint military forces operations in the Persian Gulf and adopted a policy of reflagging and escorting Kuwaiti oil tankers through the Persian Gulf to protect them from Iraqi and Iranian attacks. President Reagan reported that U.S. ships had been fired upon or struck mines or taken other military action on September 21 (Iran Ajr), October 8, and October 19, 1987, and April 18 (Operation Praying Mantis), July 3, and July 14, 1988. The United States gradually reduced its forces after a cease-fire between Iran and Iraq on August 20, 1988.[RL30172] It was the largest naval convoy operation since World War II.
1987–1988: Persian Gulf: Operation Prime Chance was a United States Special Operations Command operation intended to protect U.S.-flagged oil tankers from Iranian attack during the Iran–Iraq War. The operation took place roughly at the same time as Operation Earnest Will.
1988: Persian Gulf: Operation Praying Mantis was the April 18, 1988, action waged by U.S. naval forces in retaliation for the Iranian mining of the Persian Gulf and the subsequent damage to an American warship.
1988: Honduras: Operation Golden Pheasant was an emergency deployment of U.S. troops to Honduras in 1988, as a result of threatening actions by the forces of the (then socialist) Nicaraguans.
1988: Panama: In mid-March and April 1988, during a period of instability in Panama and as the United States increased pressure on Panamanian head of state General Manuel Noriega to resign, the United States sent 1,000 troops to Panama, to “further safeguard the canal, U.S. lives, property and interests in the area.” The forces supplemented 10,000 U.S. military personnel already in the Panama Canal Zone.[RL30172]
1989: Libya: Second Gulf of Sidra incident. On January 4, 1989, two U.S. Navy F-14 aircraft based on USS John F. Kennedy shot down two Libyan jet fighters over the Mediterranean Sea about 70 miles north of Libya. The U.S. pilots said the Libyan planes had demonstrated hostile intentions.[RL30172]
1989: Panama: On May 11, 1989, in response to General Noriega’s disregard of the results of the Panamanian election, President Bush ordered a brigade-sized force of approximately 1,900 troops to augment the estimated 1,000 U.S. forces already in the area.[RL30172]
1989: Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru: Andean Initiative in War on Drugs, On September 15, 1989, President Bush announced that military and law enforcement assistance would be sent to help the Andean nations of Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru combat illicit drug producers and traffickers. By mid-September there were 50–100 U.S. military advisers in Colombia in connection with transport and training in the use of military equipment, plus seven Special Forces teams of 2–12 persons to train troops in the three countries.[RL30172]
1989: Philippines: Operation Classic Resolve, On December 2, 1989, President Bush reported that on December 1, Air Force fighters from Clark Air Base in Luzon had assisted the Aquino government to repel a coup attempt. In addition, 100 marines were sent from U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay to protect the United States Embassy in Manila.[RL30172]
1989–1990: Panama: United States invasion of Panama and Operation Just Cause, On December 21, 1989, President Bush reported that he had ordered U.S. military forces to Panama to protect the lives of American citizens and bring General Noriega to justice. By February 13, 1990, all the invasion forces had been withdrawn.[RL30172] Around 200 Panamanian civilians were reported killed. The Panamanian head of state, General Manuel Noriega, was captured and brought to the U.S.
1990: Liberia: On August 6, 1990, President Bush reported that a reinforced rifle company had been sent to provide additional security to the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, and that helicopter teams had evacuated U.S. citizens from Liberia.[RL30172]
1990: Saudi Arabia: On August 9, 1990, President Bush reported that he launched
1990: Liberia: On August 6, 1990, President Bush reported that a reinforced rifle company had been sent to provide additional security to the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, and that helicopter teams had evacuated U.S. citizens from Liberia.[RL30172]
1990: Saudi Arabia: On August 9, 1990, President Bush reported that he launched Operation Desert Shield by ordering the forward deployment of substantial elements of the U.S. armed forces into the Persian Gulf region to help defend Saudi Arabia after the August 2 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. On November 16, 1990, he reported the continued buildup of the forces to ensure an adequate offensive military option.[RL30172]American hostages being held in Iran.[RL30172]
1991–1996: Iraq: Operation Provide Comfort, Delivery of humanitarian relief and military protection for Kurds fleeing their homes in northern Iraq during the 1991 uprising, by a small Allied ground force based in Turkey which began in April 1991.
1991: Iraq: On May 17, 1991, President Bush stated that the Iraqi repression of the Kurdish people had necessitated a limited introduction of U.S. forces into northern Iraq for emergency relief purposes.[RL30172]
1991: Zaire: On September 25–27, 1991, after widespread looting and rioting broke out in Kinshasa, Air Force C-141s transported 100 Belgian troops and equipment into Kinshasa. American planes also carried 300 French troops into the Central African Republic and hauled evacuated American citizens.[RL30172]
1992: Sierra Leone: Operation Silver Anvil, Following the April 29 coup that overthrew President Joseph Saidu Momoh, a United States European Command (USEUCOM) Joint Special Operations Task Force evacuated 438 people (including 42 Third Country nationals) on May 3. Two Air Mobility Command (AMC) C-141s flew 136 people from Freetown, Sierra Leone, to the Rhein-Main Air Base in Germany and nine C-130 sorties carried another 302 people to Dakar, Senegal.[RL30172]
1992–1996: Bosnia and Herzegovina: Operation Provide Promise was a humanitarian relief operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Yugoslav Wars, from July 2, 1992, to January 9, 1996, which made it the longest running humanitarian airlift in history.
1992: Kuwait: On August 3, 1992, the United States began a series of military exercises in Kuwait, following Iraqi refusal to recognize a new border drawn up by the United Nations and refusal to cooperate with UN inspection teams.[RL30172]
1992–2003: Iraq: Iraqi no-fly zones, The U.S., United Kingdom, and its Gulf War allies declared and enforced “no-fly zones” over the majority of sovereign Iraqi airspace, prohibiting Iraqi flights in zones in southern Iraq and northern Iraq, conducting aerial reconnaissance, and several specific attacks on Iraqi air-defense systems as part of the UN mandate. Often, Iraqi forces continued throughout a decade by firing on U.S. and British aircraft patrolling no-fly zones.(See also Operation Northern Watch, Operation Southern Watch) [RL30172]
1993–1995: Bosnia: Operation Deny Flight, On April 12, 1993, in response to a United Nations Security Council passage of Resolution 816, U.S. and NATO enforced the no-fly zone over the Bosnian airspace, prohibited all unauthorized flights and allowed to “take all necessary measures to ensure compliance with [the no-fly zone restrictions].”
1993: Somalia: Battle of Mogadishu, or the First Battle of Mogadishu, the outcome of Operation Gothic Serpent. October 3–4, 1993, Task Force Ranger, made up largely of the 75th Ranger Regiment and Delta Force entered hostile urban area Mogadishu to seize two high ranking Somali National Army leaders. Two American UH-60 Black Hawks are shot down, 18 Americans are killed in action, with another 73 wounded, and 1 captured. The events of the battle were gathered in the book Black Hawk Down, which was later adapted to a movie of the same name.
1993: Macedonia: On July 9, 1993, President Clinton reported the deployment of 350 U.S. soldiers to the Republic of Macedonia to participate in the UN Protection Force to help maintain stability in the area of former Yugoslavia.[RL30172]
1994: Bosnia: Banja Luka incident, NATO become involved in the first combat situation when NATO U.S. Air Force F-16 jets shot down four of the six Bosnian Serb J-21 Jastreb single-seat light attack jets for violating UN-mandated no-fly zone.
1994–1995: Haiti: Operation Uphold Democracy, U.S. ships had begun embargo against Haiti. Up to 20,000 U.S. military troops were later deployed to Haiti to restore democratically elected Haiti President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from a military regime which came into power in 1991 after a major coup.[RL30172]
1994: Macedonia: On April 19, 1994, President Clinton reported that the U.S. contingent in Macedonia had been increased by a reinforced company of 200 personnel.[RL30172]
1994: Kuwait: Operation Vigilant Warrior began in October 1994 when Iraqi Republican Guard Divisions began repositioning within Iraq south near the Kuwaiti border. U.S. Forces countered with a movement of forces to the Gulf – the largest since Operation Desert Shield. The operation as officially terminated on December 22, 1994. Also see
1995: Bosnia: Operation Deliberate Force, On August 30, 1995, U.S. and NATO aircraft began a major bombing campaign of Bosnian Serb Army in response to a Bosnian Serb mortar attack on a Sarajevo market that killed 37 people on August 28, 1995. This operation lasted until September 20, 1995. The air campaign along with a combined allied ground force of Muslim and Croatian Army against Serb positions led to a Dayton Agreement in December 1995 with the signing of warring factions of the war. As part of Operation Joint Endeavor, U.S. and NATO dispatched the Implementation Force (IFOR) peacekeepers to Bosnia to uphold the Dayton agreement.[RL30172]
1996: Central African Republic, Operation Quick Response: On May 23, 1996, President Clinton reported the deployment of U.S. military personnel to Bangui, Central African Republic, to conduct the evacuation from that country of “private U.S. citizens and certain U.S. government employees”, and to provide “enhanced security for the American Embassy in Bangui.”[RL30172] United States Marine Corps elements of Joint Task Force Assured Response, responding in nearby Liberia, provided security to the embassy and evacuated 448 people, including between 190 and 208 Americans. The last Marines left Bangui on June 22.
1997: Congo and Gabon: On March 27, 1997, President Clinton reported on March 25, 1997, a standby evacuation force of U.S. military personnel had been deployed to Congo and Gabon to provide enhanced security and to be available for any necessary evacuation operation.[RL30172]
1997: Sierra Leone: On May 29 and 30, 1997, U.S. military personnel were deployed to Freetown, Sierra Leone, to prepare for and undertake the evacuation of certain U.S. government employees and private U.S. citizens.[RL30172]
1997: Cambodia: On July 11, 1997, In an effort to ensure the security of American citizens in Cambodia during a period of domestic conflict there, a Task Force of about 550 U.S. military personnel were deployed at Utapao Air Base in Thailand for possible evacuations. [RL30172]
1998–1999: Kenya and Tanzania: U.S. military personnel were deployed to Nairobi, Kenya, to coordinate the medical and disaster assistance related to the bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.[RL30172]
1998: Afghanistan and Sudan: Operation Infinite Reach. On August 20, President Clinton ordered a cruise missile attack against two suspected terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical factory in Sudan.[RL30172]
1998: Liberia: On September 27, 1998, America deployed a stand-by response and evacuation force of 30 U.S. military personnel to increase the security force at the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia.  [RL30172]
1999: Serbia: Operation Allied Force: U.S. and NATO aircraft began a major bombing of Serbia and Serb positions in Kosovo on March 24, 1999, during the Kosovo War due to the refusal by Serbian President Slobodan Milošević to end repression against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. This operation ended on June 10, 1999, when Milošević agreed to pull his troops out of Kosovo. In response to the situation in Kosovo, NATO dispatched the KFOR peacekeepers to secure the peace under UNSC Resolution 1244.[RL30172]
- 2000: Sierra Leone: On May 12, 2000, a U.S. Navy patrol craft deployed to Sierra Leoneto support evacuation operations from that country if needed.[RL30172]
- 2000: Nigeria: Special Forces troops are sent to Nigeriato lead a training mission in the country.
- 2000: Yemen: On October 12, 2000, after USS Coleattack in the port of Aden, Yemen, military personnel were deployed to Aden.[RL30172]
- 2000: East Timor: On February 25, 2000, a small number of U.S. military personnel were deployed to support the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor(UNTAET). [RL30172]
- 2001: On April 1, 2001, a mid-air collision between a United States Navy EP-3E ARIES IIsignals surveillance aircraft and a People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) J-8II interceptor fighter jet resulted in an international dispute between the United States and the People’s Republic of China called the Hainan Island incident.
- 2001–2021: War in Afghanistan: The War on Terrorbegins with Operation Enduring Freedom. On October 7, 2001, U.S. Armed Forces invade Afghanistan in response to the 9/11 attacks and “begin combat action in Afghanistan against Al Qaeda terrorists and their Taliban“[RL30172]
- 2002: Yemen: On November 3, 2002, an American MQ-1 Predatorfired a Hellfire missile at a car in Yemen killing Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi, an al-Qaeda leader thought to be responsible for USS Cole bombing.[RL30172]
- 2002: Philippines: OEF-Philippines, As of January, U.S. “combat-equipped and combat support forces” have been deployed to the Philippinesto train with, assist and advise the Philippine Armed Forces in enhancing their “counterterrorist capabilities.”[RL30172]
- 2002: Côte d’Ivoire: On September 25, 2002, in response to a rebellion in Côte d’Ivoire, U.S. military personnel went into Côte d’Ivoire to assist in the evacuation of American citizens from Bouaké.[RL30172]
- 2003–2011: War in Iraq: Operation Iraqi Freedom, March 20, 2003, The United States leads a coalition that includes the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland to invade Iraq with the stated goal being “to disarm Iraq in pursuit of peace, stability, and security both in the Gulf region and in the United States.”[RL30172]
- 2003: Liberia: Second Liberian Civil War, On June 9, 2003, President Bush reported that on June 8 he had sent about 35 U.S. Marines into Monrovia, Liberia, to help secure the U.S. Embassy in Nouakchott, Mauritania, and to aid in any necessary evacuation from either Liberia or Mauritania.[RL30172]
- 2003: Georgiaand Djibouti: “US combat equipped and support forces” had been deployed to Georgia and Djibouti to help in enhancing their “counterterrorist capabilities.”
- 2004: Haiti: 2004 Haitian coup d’étatoccurs, The U.S. first sent 55 combat equipped military personnel to augment the U.S. Embassy security forces there and to protect American citizens and property in light. Later 200 additional U.S. combat-equipped, military personnel were sent to prepare the way for a UN Multinational Interim Force, MINUSTAH.[RL30172]
- 2004: War on terror: U.S. anti-terror related activities were underway in Georgia, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen, and Eritrea.
- 2004–present: The U.S. deploys drone strikes to aid in the War in North-West Pakistan.
- 2005–2006: Pakistan: President Bush deploys troops from U.S. Army air cavalry brigades to provide humanitarian relief to far remote villages in the Kashmirmountain ranges of Pakistan stricken by a massive earthquake.
- 2005–2008: Operation WILLING SPIRIT, Colombia – the rescue of American hostages held hostage by the FARC.
- 2006: Lebanon: part of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unitbegins evacuation of U.S. citizens willing to leave the country in the face of a likely ground invasion by Israel and continued fighting between Hezbollah and the Israeli military.
- 2007– The Mogadishu Encounter, on October 29, 2007, Somali Pirates boarded and attacked a North Korean merchant vessel. Passing U.S. Navy Ships and a helicopter that were patrolling at the time responded to the attack. Once the ship was freed from the pirates, the American forces were given permission to board and assist the wounded crew and handle surviving pirates.
- 2007: Somalia: Battle of Ras Kamboni, on January 8, 2007, while the conflict between the Islamic Courts Unionand the Transitional Federal Government continues, an AC-130 gunship conducts an aerial strike on a suspected al-Qaeda operative, along with other Islamist fighters, on Badmadow Island near Ras Kamboni in southern Somalia.
- 2010–present: al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen: The U.S. has been launching a series of drone strikes on suspected al-Qaeda, al-Shabaab, and ISISpositions in Yemen.
- 2010–2011: Operation New Dawn, on February 17, 2010, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gatesannounced that as of September 1, 2010, the name “Operation Iraqi Freedom” would be replaced by “Operation New Dawn”. This coincides with the reduction of American troops to 50,000.
- 2011: 2011 military intervention in Libya: Operation Odyssey Dawn, United States and coalition enforcing N. Security Council Resolution 1973with bombings of Libyan forces.
- 2011: Osama Bin Laden is killed by U.S. military forces in Abbottabad, Pakistanas part of Operation Neptune Spear.
- 2011: Drone strikes on al-Shabaab militants begin in Somalia.This marks the 6th nation in which such strikes have been carried out, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen and Libya.
- 2011–present: Uganda: U.S. Combat troops sent in as advisers to Uganda.
- 2012: Jordan: 150 U.S. troops deployed to Jordan to help it contain the Syrian Civil Warwithin Syria’s borders.
- 2012: Turkey: 400 troops and two batteries of Patriot missilessent to Turkey to prevent any missile strikes from Syria.
- 2012: Chad: 50 U.S. troops have deployed to the African country of Chadto help evacuate U.S. citizens and embassy personnel from the neighboring Central African Republic‘s capital of Bangui in the face of rebel advances toward the city.
- 2013: Mali: U.S. forces assisted the French in Operation Servalwith air refueling and transport aircraft.
- 2013: Somalia: U.S. Air Force planes supported the French in the Bulo Marer hostage rescue attempt. However, they did not use any weapons.
- 2013: 2013 Korean crisis
- 2013: Navy SEALs conducted a raid in Somalia and possibly killed a senior Al-Shabaabofficial, simultaneously another raid took place in Tripoli, Libya, where Special Operations Forces captured Abu Anas al Libi (also known as Anas al-Libi)
- 2014–present: Uganda: V-22 Ospreys, MC-130s, KC-135sand additional U.S. soldiers are sent to Uganda to continue to help African forces search for Joseph Kony.
- 2014–present: American intervention in Iraq: Hundreds of U.S. troops deployed to protect American assets in Iraq and to advise Iraqi and Kurdish fighters.In August the S. Air Force conducted a humanitarian air drop and the U.S. Navy began a series of airstrikes against Islamic State-aligned forces throughout northern Iraq.
- 2014: 2014 American rescue mission in Syria: The U.S. attempted to rescue James Foleyand other hostages being held by ISIL. Air strikes were conducted on the ISIL military base known as “Osama bin Laden camp”. Meanwhile, the bombings, Delta teams parachuted near an ISIL high-valued prison. The main roads were blocked to keep any target from escaping. When no hostage was found, the American troops began house to house searches. By this time, ISIL militants began arriving to the area. Heavy fighting occurred until the Americans decided to abandon the mission due to the hostages being nowhere in the area. Although the mission failed, at least 5 ISIL militants were killed, however 1 American troop was wounded. According to the reports, Jordan had a role in the operation and that one Jordanian soldier had been wounded as well. This was unconfirmed.
- 2014–present: American-led intervention in Syria: American aircraft bomb Islamic Statepositions in Syria. Airstrikes on al-Qaeda, al-Nusra Front and Khorasan positions are also being conducted.
- 2014–present: Intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant: Syrian locals forces and American-led coalition forceslaunch a series of aerial attacks on ISIL and al-Nusra Front positions in Iraq and Syria.
- 2014: 2014 Yemen hostage rescue operations against al-Qaeda: On November 25, U.S. Navy SEALs and Yemeni Special Forces launched an operations in Yemen in attempt to rescue eight hostages that were being held by al-Qaeda. Although the operation was successful, no American hostages were secured. In the first attempt, six Yemenis, one Saudi Arabian, and one Ethiopian were rescued. On December 4, 2014, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula(AQAP) threatened to execute the Somers if the U.S. failed to the unspecified commands. AQAP also stated that they would be executed if the U.S. attempted another rescue operation. On December 6, a second operation was launched. 40 U.S. SEALs and 30 Yemeni troops were deployed to the compound. A 10-minute fire fight occurred before the American troops could enter where the remaining hostages (Somers and Korkie) were being held. They were alive, but fatally wounded. Surgery was done in mid air when flying away from the site. Korkie died while in flight, and Somers died once landed on USS Makin Island. No American troop was killed/injured, however a Yemenis soldier was wounded.
- 2015: April 30, 2015, U.S. sends ships to the Strait of Hormuzto shield vessels after Iranian seizure of a commercial vessel, MV Maersk Tigris. Iran fired shots over the bow, and seized the ship registered in the Marshall Islands, as part of a decade-long legal dispute between Iran and Maersk.
- 2015–present: In early October 2015, the U.S. military deployed 300 troops to Cameroon, with the approval of the Cameroonian government; their primary mission was to provide intelligence support to local forces as well as conducting reconnaissance flights.
- 2017: 2017 Shayrat missile strike: Tomahawk missiles launched from U.S. naval vessels in the Mediterranean hit a Syrian airbase in Homs Governorate in response to a chemical weapons attack against civilians south-west of Idlib. Seven were killed and nine wounded.
- 2018: missile strikeswere launched by the U.S. and allies on military targets in Damascus and near Homs in response to the Douma chemical attack against civilians in April 2018.
- 2019: Operation Sentinel: U.S. Central Command was developing a multinational maritime effort to increase surveillance of and security in key waterways in the Middle East to ensure freedom of navigation.
- 2020: Response to attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. The U.S. embassy in Baghdad came under siege on December 31, 2019, following U.S. retaliation for an attack by the pro-Iranian Kataeb Hezbollahin which four service members were wounded and one civilian contractor was killed. In response, Marines and aircraft were immediately dispatched from Kuwait for defense of the embassy and overwatch. On January 2, 2020, the U.S. launched an airstrike on a convoy, killing Iranian Quds Force Major-General Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. An additional 4,000 U.S. troops were mobilized to the region, including some 750 from the 82nd Airborne Division. In an annual report released by the Pentagon on May 6, 2020, it cited that approximately 132 civilians have been killed in 2019 as part of US military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria. The Department of Defense (DoD) added that no civilian casualties were reported under the US military operations in Libya and Yemen civil wars respectively.
- 2021:February 2021 United States airstrike in Syria: On February 25, 2021, the United States military carried out an airstrike on a site believed to have been occupied by Iranian-backed Iraqi militias operating from across the border in eastern Syria in response to recent attacks against US and coalition forces in Iraq.
- 2021:June 27, 2021, the U.S. military conducted airstrikes on Iranian-backed militias on both sides of the Iraq–Syria border in response to drone attacks on U.S. forces and facilities in the region.
- 2021:American military intervention in Somalia (2007–present): July 20, 2021, U.S. military airstrikes were conducted on al-Shabab militants in Somalia, the first of its kind since US troops withdrew and President Joe Biden took office in January 2021. On July 22, 2021, further airstrikes were conducted by the S. Air Force against al-Shabab militants.
- 2021:2021 evacuation from Afghanistan: as part of an ongoing, multi-national effort by NATO partner countries to extract citizens and Afghan partners from the country following the 2021 fall of Kabul to the Taliban. The U.S. deployed 6,000 troops to seize control of Hamid Karzai International Airport to serve as a base of operations for the evacuation effort. The DOD confirmed on August 16 that General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., Commander, United States Central Command, had met Taliban leaders in Qatar to secure an agreement. The Taliban reportedly agreed to allow American evacuation flights at Kabul Airport to proceed without hindrance. International airlifts of evacuees had resumed by August 17 following a temporary halt to clear the runway of civilians as the DOD confirmed the airport was open for all military flights and limited commercial flights. Pentagon officials added that evacuation efforts were expected to speed up and were scheduled to continue until August 31. On the evening of August 22, Lloyd Austin, United States Secretary of Defense, ordered the activation of the American Civil Reserve Air Fleet to aid in the evacuations, only the third time in history that the fleet had been activated. On August 26, 2021, two suicide attacks occurred outside the gates of the Kabul airport, killing at least 170 people including 13 U.S. military personnel (11 Marines, one soldier, and one Navy corpsman), along with over 150 wounded. On August 27, 2021, U.S. military forces conducted a drone strike in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan on a presumed “planner” for the ISIS-K militant organization in response to the Kabul airport attack that occurred on August 26, 2021. On September 6, 2021, the United States evacuated four American citizens (specifically, an Amarillo, Texas woman and her three children) from Afghanistan via an overland route, marking the first overland evacuation facilitated by the US Department of State since the military withdrawal. The Taliban was aware of the evacuation and did not make any effort to stop it. On September 17, 2021, the S. CENTCOM commander, General Frank MacKenzie, announced that an investigation by the U.S. military of the aforementioned drone strike found that it killed 10 civilians (including 7 children and a U.S. aid worker), and that the vehicle targeted was likely not a threat associated with ISIS-K. In December 2021, in response to the errant August strike, the Pentagon stated that no U.S. military personnel involved would be disciplined. As of November 2021, the U.S. State Department believes as many as 14,000 U.S. legal permanent residents remain in Afghanistan.
- 2021:On October 22, 2021, a U.S. airstrike in northwestern Syria killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar as part of ongoing anti-terrorism operations in the region.
Submitted by TRANSCEND member Satoshi Ashikaga
Tags: Anglo America, Cultural violence, Culture of Violence, Exceptionalism, Hegemony, Imperialism, Invasion, Military Industrial Media Complex, Occupation, Pentagon, Regime Change, Structural violence, US Military, War Economy, Warfare, Weapons of Mass Destruction
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 3 Apr 2023.
Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: Timeline of United States Military Operations, is included. Thank you.
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.
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