Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2009

Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2009

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • When did American forces occupy Vladivostok?
  • How many times have US forces set foot on Chinese soil?
  • How many times did the US send forces to a specific country?
  • What official reasons were given for specific conflict?
  • What deployments specifically targeted pirates?


This is a Congressional Research Service report posted by the Air University, a professional military educational institute run by the United States Air Force.

From the report’s introduction:

This report lists hundreds of instances in which the United States has used its armed forces abroad in situations of military conflict or potential conflict or for other than normal peacetime purposes. It was compiled in part from various older lists and is intended primarily to provide a rough survey of past U.S. military ventures abroad, without reference to the magnitude of the given instance noted. The listing often contains references, especially from 1980 forward, to continuing military deployments especially U.S. military participation in multinational operations associated with NATO or the United Nations. Most of these post-1980 instances are summaries based on Presidential reports to Congress related to the War Powers Resolution.

Each conflict is described in entries varying from a sentence to a long paragraph. The country of deployment is always mentioned and sometimes specific cities are as well.

The introduction the report also lists the eleven formally declared wars of the United States.


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