Following last year’s exit of U.S. troops from a 20-year war in Afghanistan, more than 30,000 remain active in the Middle East and surrounding areas. While this figure is lower than the recent past, the full scope of the U.S. military presence in the Middle East remains difficult to determine, frustrating analysts.
Despite the administration’s reluctance to reveal the exact number of U.S. troops still in the region, a Jan. 20 Newsweek article by Tom O’Conner, Biden Seeks to End ‘Forever Wars,’ But Still Has Over 30,000 Troops in Middle East One Year On, draws on research by Michael Allen of Boise State’s political science program to get a clearer picture of the real U.S. military presence in the region and around the globe.
“This issue is important to our research, as we rely on having consistent numbers in understanding the effects of U.S. deployments overseas,” Allen told Newsweek. “Researchers, citizens, and policymakers should have reasonable estimates of where soldiers are, generally, as the decisions made overseas has consequences both domestically and abroad.”