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US military operations in the 20th and 21st centuries

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This is a timeline of United States military operations. From 1776 to 2008, there have been hundreds of instances of the deployment of United States military forces abroad and domestically. The list through 1975 is based on information from the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs (now known as the Committee on Foreign Affairs). Dates show the years in which U.S. military units participated. The bolded items are the U.S. wars most often considered to be major conflicts by historians and the general public. Note that instances where the U.S. gave aid alone, with no military personnel involvement, are excluded. A list of covert US operations is given below, and shown in full in the articles Cold War covert overthrow of governments by the US and post-Cold War covert regime change by the US.

Extraterritorial and major domestic deployments

Portions of this list are from the Congressional Research Service report RL30172.[1]


1900 – China. May 24 to September 28. Boxer Rebellion American troops participated in operations to protect foreign lives during the Boxer rising, particularly at Peking. For many years after this experience a permanent legation guard was maintained in Peking, and was strengthened at times as trouble threatened.[1]

1901 – Colombia (State of Panama). November 20 to December 4. Panamanian Revolution US forces protected American property on the Isthmus and kept transit lines open during serious revolutionary disturbances.[1]

1902 – Colombia. - April 16 to 23. US forces protected American lives and property at Bocas del Toro during a civil war.[1]

1902 – Colombia (State of Panama). September 17 to November 18. The United States placed armed guards on all trains crossing the Isthmus to keep the railroad line open, and stationed ships on both sides of Panama to prevent the landing of Colombian troops.[1]

1903 – Honduras. March 23 to 30 or 31. US forces protected the American consulate and the steamship wharf at Puerto Cortes during a period of revolutionary activity.[1]

1903 – Dominican Republic. March 30 to April 21. A detachment of marines was landed to protect American interests in the city of Santo Domingo during a revolutionary outbreak.[1]

1903 – Syria. September 7 to 12. US forces protected the American consulate in Beirut when a local Moslem uprising was feared.[1]

1903-04 – Abyssinia (Ethiopia). Twenty-five marines were sent to Abyssinia to protect the US Consul General while he negotiated a treaty.[1]

1903-14 – Panama. US forces sought to protect American interests and lives during and following the revolution for independence from Colombia over construction of the Isthmian Canal. With brief intermissions, United States Marines were stationed on the Isthmus from November 4, 1903, to January 21, 1914 to guard American interests.[1]

1904 – Dominican Republic. January 2 to February 11. American and British naval forces established an area in which no fighting would be allowed and protected American interests in Puerto Plata and Sosua and Santo Domingo City during revolutionary fighting.[1]

1904 – Tangier, Morocco. "We want either Ion Perdicaris|Perdicaris alive or Mulai Ahmed er Raisuli|Raisuli dead." A squadron demonstrated to force release of a kidnapped American. Marines were landed to protect the consul general.[1]

1904 – Panama. November 17 to 24. U.S forces protected American lives and property at Ancon at the time of a threatened insurrection.[1]

1904-05 -- Korea. - January 5, 1904, to November 11, 1905. A guard of Marines was sent to protect the American legation in Seoul during the Russo-Japanese War.[1]

1906-09 -- Cuba. - September 1906 to January 23, 1909. US forces sought to protect interests and re-establish a government after revolutionary activity.[1]

1907 -- Honduras. - March 18 to June 8. To protect American interests during a war between Honduras and Nicaragua, troops were stationed in Trujillo, Ceiba, Puerto Cortes, San Pedro Sula, Laguna and Choloma.[1]

1910 -- Nicaragua. - May 19 to September 4, 1910. Occupation of Nicaragua US forces protected American interests at Bluefields.[1]


1911 -- Honduras. - January 26. American naval detachments were landed to protect American lives and interests during a civil war in Honduras.[1]

1911 -- China. As the Tongmenghui-led Xinhai Revolution approached, in October an ensign and 10 men tried to enter Wuchang to rescue missionaries but retired on being warned away, and a small landing force guarded American private property and consulate at Hankow. Marines were deployed in November to guard the cable stations at Shanghai; landing forces were sent for protection in Nanking, Chinkiang, Taku and elsewhere.[1]

1912 -- Honduras. A small force landed to prevent seizure by the government of an American-owned railroad at Puerto Cortes. The forces were withdrawn after the United States disapproved the action.[1]

1912 -- Panama. Troops, on request of both political parties, supervised elections outside the Panama Canal Zone.[1]

1912 -- Cuba, June 5 to August 5. U.S. forces protected American interests in the Provinces of Cuba|province of Oriente and in Havana.[1]

1912 -- China. - August 24 to 26, on Kentucky Island, and August 26 to 30 at Camp Nicholson. US forces protected Americans and American interests during the Xinhai Revolution.[1]

1912 -- Turkey. - November 18 to December 3. U.S. forces guarded the American legation at Constantinople during the First Balkan War[1]

1912-25 -- Nicaragua. - August to November 1912. U.S. forces protected American interests during an attempted revolution. A small force, serving as a legation guard and seeking to promote peace and stability, remained until August 5, 1925.[1]

1912-41 -- China. The disorders which began with the overthrow of the dynasty during Kuomintang rebellion in 1912, which were redirected by the invasion of China by Japan, led to demonstrations and landing parties for the protection of US interests in China continuously and at many points from 1912 on to 1941. The guard at Peking and along the route to the sea was maintained until 1941. In 1927, the United States had 5,670 troops ashore in China and 44 naval vessels in its waters. In 1933 the United States had 3,027 armed men ashore. The protective action was generally based on treaties with China concluded from 1858 to 1901.[1]

1913 -- Mexico. - September 5 to 7. A few marines landed at Ciaris Estero to aid in evacuating American citizens and others from the Yaqui Valley, made dangerous for foreigners by civil strife.[1]

1914 -- Haiti. - January 29 to February 9, February 20 to 21, October 19. Intermittently US naval forces protected American nationals in a time of rioting and revolution.[1] The specific order from the Secretary of the Navy to the invasion commander, Admiral William Deville Bundy, was to "protect American and foreign" interests.

1914 -- Dominican Republic. - June and July. During a revolutionary movement, United States naval forces by gunfire stopped the bombardment of Puerto Plata, and by threat of force maintained Santo Domingo City as a neutral zone.[1]

1914-17 -- Mexico. Tampico Affair led to United States occupation of Veracruz, 1914|Occupation of Veracruz, Mexico. Undeclared Mexican--American hostilities followed the Tampico Affair and Villa's raids . Also Pancho Villa Expedition) -- an abortive military operation conducted by the United States Army against the military forces of Francisco "Pancho" Villa from 1916 to 1917 and included capture of Veracruz, Veracruz|Vera Cruz. On March 19, 1915 on orders from President Woodrow Wilson, and with tacit consent by Venustiano Carranza General John J. Pershing led an invasion force of 10,000 men into Mexico to capture Villa.[1]

1915-34 -- Haiti. - July 28, 1915, to August 15, 1934. United States occupation of Haiti (1915-1934)|United States occupation of Haiti 1915-1934 US forces maintained order during a period of chronic political instability.[1] During the initial entrance into Haiti, the specific order from the Secretary of the Navy to the invasion commander, Admiral William Deville Bundy, was to "protect American and foreign" interests.

1916 -- China. American forces landed to quell a riot taking place on American property in Nanking.[1]

1916-24 -- Dominican Republic. - May 1916 to September 1924. Occupation of the Dominican Republic American naval forces maintained order during a period of chronic and threatened insurrection.[1]

1917 -- China. American troops were landed at Chongqing (named Chungking in Imperial times) to protect American lives during a political crisis.[1]

1917-18 -- World War I. On April 6, 1917, the United States declared war with Germany and on December 7, 1917, with Austria-Hungary. Entrance of the United States into the war was precipitated by Unrestricted submarine warfare (February 1917)#Unrestricted submarine warfare resumed in February 1917|Germany's submarine warfare against neutral shipping.[1]

1917-22 -- Cuba. US forces protected American interests during insurrection and subsequent unsettled conditions. Most of the United States armed forces left Cuba by August 1919, but two companies remained at Camaguey until February 1922.[1]

1918-19 -- Mexico. After withdrawal of the Pershing expedition, U.S. troops entered Mexico in pursuit of bandits at least three times in 1918 and six times in 1919. In August 1918 American and Mexican troops fought at Nogales, The Battle of Ambros Nogales. The incident began when German spies plotted an attack with Mexican soldiers on Nogales Arizona. The fighting began when a Mexican officer shot and killed a U.S. soldier on American soil. A full scale battle then ensued, ending with a Mexican surrender.[1]

1918-20 -- Panama. US forces were used for police duty according to treaty stipulations, at Chiriqui, during election disturbances and subsequent unrest.[1]

1918-20 -- Soviet Union. Marines were landed at and near Vladivostok in June and July to protect the American consulate and other points in the fighting between the Bolshevik troops and the Czech Army which had traversed Siberia from the western front. A joint proclamation of emergency government and neutrality was issued by the American, Japanese, British, French, and Czech commanders in July. In August 7,000 men were landed in Vladivostok and remained until January 1920, as part of an allied occupation force. In September 1918, 5,000 American troops joined the allied intervention force at Archangel and remained until June 1919. These operations were in response to the Bolshevik revolution in Russia and were partly supported by Czarist or Kerensky elements. [1] For details, see the American Expeditionary Force Siberia and the American Expeditionary Force North Russia.

1919 -- Dalmatia (Croatia). US forces were landed at Trau at the request of Italian authorities to police order between the Italians and Serbs.[1]

1919 -- Turkey. Marines from the USS Arizona were landed to guard the US Consulate during the Greek occupation of Constantinople.[1]

1919 -- Honduras. - September 8 to 12. A landing force was sent ashore to maintain order in a neutral zone during an attempted revolution.[1]


1920 -- China. - March 14. A landing force was sent ashore for a few hours to protect lives during a disturbance at Kiukiang.[1]

1920 -- Guatemala. - April 9 to 27. US forces protected the American Legation and other American interests, such as the cable station, during a period of fighting between Unionists and the Government of Guatemala.[1]

1920-22 -- Russia (Siberia). - February 16, 1920, to November 19, 1922. A Marine guard was sent to protect the United States radio station and property on Russian Island, Bay of Vladivostok.[1]

1921 -- Panama - Costa Rica. American naval squadrons demonstrated in April on both sides of the Isthmus to prevent war between the two countries over a boundary dispute.[1]

1922 -- Turkey. - September and October. A landing force was sent ashore with consent of both Greek and Turkish authorities, to protect American lives and property when the Turkish National Movement|Turkish nationalists Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922)|entered İzmir (Smyrna.[1]

1922-23 -- China. Between April 1922 and November 1923, Marines were landed five times to protect Americans during periods of unrest.[1]

1924 -- Honduras. - February 28 to March 31, September 10 to 15. U.S. forces protected American lives and interests during election hostilities.[1]

1924 -- China. - September. Marines were landed to protect Americans and other foreigners in Shanghai during Chinese factional hostilities.[1]

1925 -- China. - January 15 to August 29. Fighting of Chinese factions accompanied by riots and demonstrations in Shanghai brought the landing of American forces to protect lives and property in the International Settlement.[1]

1925 -- Honduras. - April 19 to 21. U.S. forces protected foreigners at La Ceiba during a political upheaval.[1]

1925 -- Panama. - October 12 to 23. Strikes and rent riots led to the landing of about 600 American troops to keep order and protect American interests.[1]

1926-33 -- Nicaragua. - May 7 to June 5, 1926; August 27, 1926, to January 3, 1933. The coup d'état of General Chamorro aroused revolutionary activities leading to the landing of American marines to protect the interests of the United States. United States forces came and went intermittently until January 3, 1933.[1]

1926 -- China. - August and September. The Nationalist attack on Hankow brought the landing of American naval forces to protect American citizens. A small guard was maintained at the consulate general even after September 16, when the rest of the forces were withdrawn. Likewise, when Nationalist forces captured Kiukiang, naval forces were landed for the protection of foreigners November 4 to 6.[1]

1927 -- China. - February. Fighting at Shanghai caused American naval forces and marines to be increased. In March a naval guard was stationed at American consulate at Nanking after Nationalist forces captured the city. American and British destroyers later used shell fire to protect Americans and other foreigners. Subsequently additional forces of marines and naval forces were stationed in the vicinity of Shanghai and Tientsin.[1]


1932 -- China. American forces were landed to protect American interests during the Japanese occupation of Shanghai.[1]

1933 -- Cuba. During a revolution against President Gerardo Machado naval forces demonstrated but no landing was made.[1]

1934 -- China. Marines landed at Fuzhou|Foochow to protect the American Consulate.[1]


1940 -- Newfoundland, Bermuda, St. Lucia, - Bahamas, Jamaica, Antigua, Trinidad, and British Guiana. Troops were sent to guard air and naval bases obtained under lease by negotiation with the United Kingdom. These were sometimes called lend-lease bases but were under the Destroyers for Bases Agreement.[1]

1941 -- Greenland. Greenland was taken under protection of the United States in April.[1]

1941 -- Netherlands (Dutch Guiana). In November the President ordered American troops to occupy Dutch Guiana, but by agreement with the Netherlands government in exile, Brazil cooperated to protect aluminum ore supply from the bauxite mines in Suriname.[1]

1941 -- Iceland. Iceland during World War II|Iceland was taken under the protection of the United States, with consent of its government replacing British troops, for strategic reasons.[1]

1941 -- Germany. Sometime in the spring the President ordered the Navy to patrol ship lanes to Europe. By July US warships were convoying and by September were attacking German submarines. In November, the Neutrality Act was partly repealed to protect US military aid to Britain. [1]

1941-45 -- World War II. On December 8, 1941, the United States declared war with Japan in response to the Attack on Pearl Harbor|bombing of Pearl Harbor. The US declared war against Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Romania in response to the declarations of war by those nations against the United States.[1]

1945 -- China. In October 50,000 US 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 US forces remaining in China at the end of World War II.[1]


1945-49 Allied occupation of Germany|Occupation of part of Germany.

1945-55 Allied occupation of Austria|Occupation of part of Austria.

1945-46 Occupation of part of Italy.

1945-52 Occupation of Japan.

1944-46 Temporary reoccupation of the Philippines during WWII and in preparation for previously scheduled independence.[unverified]

1945-49 Occupation of South Korea and defeat of a leftist insurgency.[unverified]

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 Yugoslav forces shot down an unarmed US Army transport plane flying over Venezia Giulia.. Earlier US naval units had been sent to the scene.[1] Later the Free Territory of Trieste, Zone A.

1945-47 United States Marine Corps|US Marines garrisoned in mainland China to oversee the removal of Soviet and Japanese forces after World War II.[2]

1948 -- Palestine. A marine consular guard was sent to Jerusalem to protect the US Consul General.[1]

1948 -- Berlin. Berlin Airlift After the Soviet Union established a land blockade of the US, 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.[1]

1948-49 -- 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.[1]


1950-53 -- Korean War. The United States responded to North Korean invasion of South Korea by going to its assistance, pursuant to United Nations Security Council resolutions. US forces deployed in Korea exceeded 300,000 during the last year of the conflict. Over 36,600 US military were killed in action.[1]

1950-55 -- Formosa (Taiwan). In June 1950 at the beginning of the Korean War, President Truman ordered the US Seventh Fleet to prevent Chinese Communist attacks upon Formosa and Chinese Nationalist operations against mainland China.{[1]

1954-55 -- China. Naval units evacuated US civilians and military personnel from the Tachen Islands.[1]

1955-64 -- Vietnam. First military advisors sent to Vietnam on 12 Feb 1955, in violation of the 1954 Geneva Accords, Articles 15c, 16e, 17c, 19, and 27. By 1964, US troop levels had grown to 21,000. On 7 August 1964, US 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. . ."[3]

1956 -- Egypt. A marine battalion evacuated US nationals and other persons from Alexandria during the Suez crisis.[1]

1958 -- Lebanon. Lebanon crisis of 1958 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.[1]


1959-60 -- The Caribbean. Second Marine Ground Task Force was deployed to protect US nationals following the Cuban revolution.[1]

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.[1]

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 US nuclear retaliation on the Soviet Union. A negotiated settlement was achieved in a few days.[1]

1962-75 -- Laos. From October 1962 until 1975, the United States played an important role in military support of anti-Communist forces in Laos.[1]

1964 -- Congo (Zaire). The United States sent four transport planes to provide airlift for Congolese troops during a rebellion and to transport Belgian paratroopers to rescue foreigners.[1]

1959-75 -- Vietnam War. US 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 termed were attacks on US destroyers in the Tonkin Gulf, President Johnson asked in August 1964 for a resolution expressing US determination to support freedom and protect peace in Southeast Asia. Congress responded with the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, expressing support for "all necessary measures" the President might take to repel armed attacks against US forces and prevent further aggression. Following this resolution, and following a Communist attack on a US installation in central Vietnam, the United States escalated its participation in the war to a peak of 543,000 military personnel by April 1969.[1]

1965 -- Dominican Republic. Operation Power Pack|Invasion of Dominican Republic The United States intervened to protect lives and property during a Dominican revolt and sent 20,000 US troops as fears grew that the revolutionary forces were coming increasingly under Communist control.[1]

1967 --Israel. The USS Liberty incident, whereupon a United States Navy Technical Research Ship was attacked June 8, 1967 by Israeli armed forces, killing 34 and wounding more than 170 U.S. crew members.

1967 -- Congo (Zaire). The United States sent three military transport aircraft with crews to provide the Congo central government with logistical support during a revolt.[1]

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 -- Cambodia Campaign. US troops were ordered into Cambodia to clean out Communist sanctuaries from which Viet Cong and North Vietnamese attacked US 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.[1]

1973 -- Operation Nickel Grass, a strategic airlift Military operation|operation conducted by the United States to deliver weapons and supplies to Israel during the Yom Kippur War.

1974 -- Evacuation from Cyprus. United States naval forces evacuated US civilians during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.[1]

1975 -- Operation Frequent Wind|Evacuation from Vietnam. On April 3, 1975, President Ford reported US naval vessels, helicopters, and Marines had been sent to assist in evacuation of refugees and US nationals from Vietnam.[1]

1975 -- Evacuation from Cambodia. On April 12, 1975, President Ford reported that he had ordered US military forces to proceed with the planned evacuation of US citizens from Cambodia.[1]

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 US citizens and 5,500 third country nationals and South Vietnamese from landing zones near the US Embassy in Saigon and the Tan Son Nhut Airfield.[1]

1975 -- Cambodia. Mayagüez incident|Mayagüez Incident. On May 15, 1975, President Ford reported he had ordered military forces to retake the Template:SS, a merchant vessel which was seized from Cambodian naval patrol boats in international waters and forced to proceed to a nearby island.[1]

1976 -- Lebanon. On July 22 and 23, 1974, helicopters from five US 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.[1]

1976 -- Korea. Additional forces were sent to Korea after Axe Murder Incident|two American soldiers were killed by North Korean soldiers in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea while cutting down a tree.[1]

1978 -- Zaire (Congo). From May 19 through June 1978, the United States utilized military transport aircraft to provide logistical support to Belgian and French rescue operations in Zaire.[1]


1980 -- Iran. Operation Eagle Claw On April 26, 1980, President Carter reported the use of six US transport planes and eight helicopters in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue American hostages being held in Iran.[1]

1981 -- El Salvador. After a guerrilla offensive against the government of El Salvador, additional US military advisers were sent to El Salvador, bringing the total to approximately 55, to assist in training government forces in counterinsurgency.[1]

1981 --Libya. Gulf of Sidra incident (1981)|First Gulf of Sidra Incident On August 19, 1981, US 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.[1]

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. Participation had been authorized by the Multinational Force and Observers Resolution, Public Law 97-132.[1]

1982 -- Lebanon. Multinational Force in Lebanon. On August 21, 1982, President Reagan reported the dispatch of 80 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.[1]

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.[1]

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 Airborne Early Warning and Control|AWACS electronic surveillance plane to Egypt.[1]

1983 -- Grenada. Citing the increased threat of Soviet and Cuban influence and noting the development of an international airport following a bloodless Grenada coup d'état and alignment with the Soviets and Cuba, the U.S. launches Operation Urgent Fury to invade the sovereign island nation of Grenada.[1]

1983-89 -- 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 US military helicopters and crewmen ferried Honduran troops to the Nicaraguan border to repel Nicaraguan troops.[1]

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.[1]

1984 -- Persian Gulf. On June 5, 1984, Saudi Arabian jet fighter planes, aided by intelligence from a US 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.[1]

1985 -- Italy. On October 10, 1985, US 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.[1]

1986 -- Libya. Action in the Gulf of Sidra (1986) On March 26, 1986, President Reagan reported on March 24 and 25, US 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.[1]

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 al-Gaddafi was responsible for a bomb attack at a German disco that killed two U.S. soldiers.[1]

1986 -- Bolivia. U.S. Army personnel and aircraft assisted Bolivia in anti-drug operations.[1]

1987-88 -- Persian Gulf. After the Iran-Iraq War resulted in several military incidents in the Persian Gulf, the United States increased US joint military forces operations in the Persian Gulf and adopted a policy of reflagging and escorting Kuwaiti oil tankers through the Persian Gulf, called Operation Earnest Will. President Reagan reported that US 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.[1] It was the largest naval convoy operation since World War II.[4]

1987-88 -- Operation Earnest Will was the U.S. military protection of Kuwaiti oil tankers from Iraqi and Iranian attacks in 1987 and 1988 during the Tanker War phase of the Iran-Iraq War. It was the largest naval convoy operation since World War II.

1987-88 -- 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 -- 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 -- 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 -- Template:USS shoot down of Iran Air Flight 655

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, US lives, property and interests in the area." The forces supplemented 10,000 US military personnel already in the Panama Canal Zone.[1]

1989 -- Libya. Gulf of Sidra incident (1989)|Second Gulf of Sidra Incident On January 4, 1989, two US Navy F-14 aircraft based on the USS John F. Kennedy shot down two Libyan jet fighters over the Mediterranean Sea about 70 miles north of Libya. The US pilots said the Libyan planes had demonstrated hostile intentions.[1]

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 11,000 U.S. forces already in the area.[1]

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 US 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.[1]

1989 -- Philippines. 1989 Philippine coup attempt. On December 2, 1989, President Bush reported that on December 1 US fighter planes from Clark Air Base in the Philippines had assisted the Aquino government to repel a coup attempt. In addition, 100 marines were sent from the US Navy base at Subic Bay to protect the US Embassy in Manila.[1]

1989-90 -- Panama. Operation Just Cause On December 21, 1989, President Bush reported that he had ordered US 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.[1] 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 US Embassy in Monrovia, and that helicopter teams had evacuated US citizens from Liberia.[1]

1990 -- Saudi Arabia. On August 9, 1990, President Bush reported that he had ordered the forward deployment of substantial elements of the US 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.[1]


1991 -- Iraq. Gulf War|Persian Gulf War On January 16 America attacked Iraqi forces and military targets in Iraq and Kuwait, in conjunction with a coalition of allies and UN Security Council resolutions. Combat operations ended on February 28, 1991.[1] (See Gulf War#Operation Desert Shield|Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm)

1991 -- Iraq. On May 17, 1991, President Bush stated that the Iraqi repression of the Kurdish people had necessitated a limited introduction of US forces into northern Iraq for emergency relief purposes.[1]

1991 -- Zaire. On September 25-27, 1991, after widespread looting and rioting broke out in Kinshasa, US Air Force C-141s transported 100 Belgian troops and equipment into Kinshasa. US planes also carried 300 French troops into the Central African Republic and hauled evacuated American citizens.[1]

1991-96 -- Operation Provide Comfort. Delivery of humanitarian relief and military protection for Kurds fleeing their homes in northern Iraq, by a small Allied ground force based in Turkey.

1992 -- Sierra Leone. On May 3, 1992, US military planes evacuated Americans from Sierra Leone, where military leaders had overthrown the government.[1]

1992-1996 -- 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.[5]

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.[1]

1992-2003 -- Iraq. Iraqi no-fly zones|Iraqi No-Fly Zones The U.S. together with the United Kingdom declares and enforces "no fly zones" over the majority of sovereign Iraqi airspace, prohibiting Iraqi flights in zones in southern Iraq and northern Iraq, and conducting aerial reconnaissance and bombings. (See also Operation Southern Watch) [1]

1992-95 -- Somalia. "Operation Restore Hope" History of Somalia#Somali Civil War|Somali Civil War On December 10, 1992, President Bush reported that he had deployed US armed forces to Somalia in response to a humanitarian crisis and a UN Security Council Resolution. The operation came to an end on May 4, 1993. US forces continued to participate in the successor United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM II). (See also Battle of Mogadishu (1993)|Battle of Mogadishu)[1]

1993-Present -- Bosnia-Herzegovina.

1993 -- Macedonia. On July 9, 1993, President Clinton reported the deployment of 350 US soldiers to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to participate in the UN Protection Force to help maintain stability in the area of former Yugoslavia.[1]

1994-95 -- Haiti. Operation Uphold Democracy US ships had begun embargo against Haiti. Up to 20,000 US military troops were later deployed to Haiti.[1]

1994 -- Macedonia. On April 19, 1994, President Clinton reported that the US contingent in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia had been increased by a reinforced company of 200 personnel.[1]

1995 -- Bosnia. NATO bombing of Bosnian Serbs.[1] (See Operation Deliberate Force)

1996 -- Liberia. On April 11, 1996, President Clinton reported that on April 9, 1996 due to the "deterioration of the security situation and the resulting threat to American citizens" in Liberia he had ordered US military forces to evacuate from that country "private US citizens and certain third-country nationals who had taken refuge in the US Embassy compound...."[1]

1996 -- Central African Republic. On May 23, 1996, President Clinton reported the deployment of US military personnel to Bangui, Central African Republic, to conduct the evacuation from that country of "private US citizens and certain U.S. Government employees", and to provide "enhanced security for the American Embassy in Bangui."[1]

1997 -- Albania. On March 13, 1997, US military forces were used to evacuate certain U.S. Government employees and private US citizens from Tirana, Albania. (See also Operation Silver Wake)[1]

1997 -- Congo and Gabon. On March 27, 1997, President Clinton reported on March 25, 1997, a standby evacuation force of US military personnel had been deployed to Congo and Gabon to provide enhanced security and to be available for any necessary evacuation operation.[1]

1997 -- Sierra Leone. On May 29 and May 30, 1997, US military personnel were deployed to Freetown, Sierra Leone, to prepare for and undertake the evacuation of certain US government employees and private US citizens.[1]

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 US military personnel were deployed at Utapao#USAF use during the Vietnam War|Utapao Air Base in Thailand for possible evacuations. [1]

1998 -- Iraq. US-led bombing campaign against Iraq.[1] (See Operation Desert Fox)

1998 -- Guinea-Bissau. On June 10, 1998, in response to an army mutiny in Guinea-Bissau endangering the US Embassy, President Clinton deployed a standby evacuation force of US military personnel to Dakar, Senegal, to evacuate from the city of Bissau.[1]

1998 - 1999 Kenya and Tanzania. US military personnel were deployed to Nairobi, Kenya, to coordinate the medical and disaster assistance related to the bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. [1]

1998 -- Afghanistan and Sudan. Operation Infinite Reach On August 20, air strikes were used against two suspected terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical factory in Sudan.[1]

1998 -- Liberia. On September 27, 1998 America deployed a stand-by response and evacuation force of 30 US military personnel to increase the security force at the US Embassy in Monrovia.[1]

1999 - 2001 East Timor. INTERFET|East Timor Independence Limited number of US military forces deployed with UN to restore peace to East Timor.[1]

1999 -- NATO's bombing of Serbia in the Kosovo Conflict.[1] (See Operation Allied Force)

2000- present

2000 -- Sierra Leone. On May 12, 2000 a US Navy patrol craft deployed to Sierra Leone to support evacuation operations from that country if needed.[1]

2000 -- Yemen. On October 12, 2000, after the Template:USS attack in the port of Aden, Yemen, military personnel were deployed to Aden.[1]

2000 -- East Timor. On February 25, 2000, a small number of U.S. military personnel were deployed to support of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET). [1]

2001 -- Afghanistan. War in Afghanistan (2001–present)|War in Afghanistan. The War on Terrorism begins with Operation Enduring Freedom. On October 7, 2001, US Armed Forces invade Afghanistan in response to the 9/11 attacks and "begin combat action in Afghanistan against Al Qaeda terrorists and their Taliban supporters."[1]

2002 -- Yemen. On November 3, 2002, an American MQ-1 Predator fired a Hellfire missile at a car in Yemen killing Qaed Senyan al-Harthi, an al-Qaeda leader thought to be responsible for the USS Cole bombing.[1]

2002 -- Philippines. Operation Enduring Freedom - Philippines|OEF-Philippines. January 2002 U.S. "combat-equipped and combat support forces" have been deployed to the Philippines to train with, assist and advise the Philippines' Armed Forces in enhancing their "counterterrorist capabilities."[1]

2002 -- Côte d'Ivoire. On September 25, 2002, in response to a rebellion in Côte d'Ivoire, US military personnel went into Côte d'Ivoire to assist in the evacuation of American citizens from Bouake.[6] [1]

2003 -- 2003 invasion of Iraq leading to the Iraq War. March 20, 2003. The United States leads a coalition that includes Britain, Australia and Spain to invade Iraq with the stated goal of eliminating Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and undermining Saddam Hussein.[1]

2003 -- Liberia. Second Liberian Civil War On June 9, 2003, President Bush reported that on June 8 he had sent about 35 combat-equipped US military personnel into Monrovia, Liberia, to help secure the US Embassy in Nouakchott, Mauritania, and to aid in any necessary evacuation from either Liberia or Mauritania.[1]

2003 -- Georgia and Djibouti "US combat equipped and support forces" had been deployed to Georgia and Djibouti to help in enhancing their "counterterrorist capabilities."[7]

2004 -- 2004 Haïti rebellion occurs. The US sent first sent 55 combat equipped military personnel to augment the US Embassy security forces there and to protect American citizens and property in light. Later 200 additional US combat-equipped, military personnel were sent to prepare the way for a UN Multinational Interim Force, MINUSTAH.[1]

2004 -- War on Terrorism: US anti-terror related activities were underway in Georgia, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen, and Eritrea.[8]

2006 -- Pakistan. 17 people including known Al Qaeda bomb maker and chemical weapons expert Midhat Mursi, were killed in an American MQ-1 Predator airstrike on Damadola (Pakistan), near the Afghan border.[9][10][11]

2006 -- Lebanon. US Marine Detachment, the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit[unverified], begins evacuation of US citizens willing to the leave the country in the face of a likely ground invasion by Israel and continued fighting between Hezbollah and the Israeli military.[12][13]

2007 -- Somalia. Battle of Ras Kamboni. On January 8, 2007, while the conflict between the Islamic Courts Union and 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.[unverified]

2008 -- South Ossetia, Georgia. Helped Georgia humanitarian aid[14], helped to transport Georgian forces from Iraq during 2008 South Ossetia war|the conflict. In the past, the US has provided training and weapons to Georgia.

2009-- Pakistan, In relation to efforts in Afghanistan, U.S. Forces struck an insurgent encampment in the Northern mountains, killing 24, with missiles fired from an unmanned aerial assault vehicle.

Covert operations, coups, military advisers etc.

See also Cold War covert overthrow of governments by the US, post-Cold War covert regime change by the US, Covert US regime change actions, CIA sponsored regime change

  • Communist states 1945-1989
  • Iran 1953
  • Guatemala 1954
  • Cuba 1959-
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo 1960
  • Iraq 1963
  • Brazil 1964
  • Iraq 1968
  • Chile 1973
  • Afghanistan 1973-74
  • Argentina 1976
  • Afghanistan 1978-1980s
  • Iran 1980
  • Turkey 1980
  • Nicaragua 1981-1990
  • Republic of Ghana
  • Iraq 1992-1995
  • Guatemala 1993
  • Zimbabwe 2000s
  • Serbia 2000
  • Venezuela 2002
  • Georgia, 2003
  • Ukraine, 2004
  • Equatorial Guinea 2004
  • Lebanon 2005
  • Palestinian Authority, 2006-Present
  • Somalia 2006-2007
  • Venezuela 2007
  • Iran 2001-present
  • U.S. commando units
  • Jundullah militants
  • Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan
  • People's Mujahedin of Iran
  • Myanmar (Burma), 2007

Other interventions

In addition to the operations listed above, the US has a very active Foreign relations of the United States|foreign policy that uses various methods to influence events in other countries. These methods include

20th C battles with the Native Americas

See also: Indian Wars, Indian massacres

  • New Mexico Navajo War (1913)
  • Colorado Paiute War (1915)
  • American Indian Movement|AIM Takeovers (1969 - 75)
  • Seneca Indian Nation Standoff and New York State Thruway Blockade (1997)

Relocation and internment

  • German American internment|World War II-Era German American Internment (1942-1945)
  • Japanese American internment|World War II-Era Japanese American Internment (1942-1946)
  • Italian American internment|World War II-Era Italian American Internment (1942-1943)

20th C armed insurrections and slave revolts

See also: Slave rebellion, Tax revolt

  • Green Corn Rebellion Oklahoma (1917)
  • The Bonus March (1932)
  • Jayuya Uprising - Puerto Rico (1950)
  • Wounded Knee incident Wounded Knee, SD (1973)

20th C range wars

See also: Range war

  • Sheep Wars (Texas-New Mexico borderlands, ~1879-1900)
  • Posey War (Utah, 1923)

Bloodless boundary disputes

  • Chamizal dispute (1895–1963, U.S.-Mexico)
  • Alaska boundary dispute (1907, U.S.-Canada)
  • Red River Bridge War (1932, Oklahoma-Texas)

20th & 21st C terror, paramilitary groups and guerrilla warfare

  • Black Patch Tobacco Wars (1904-1914?)
  • Mass racial violence in the United States (1917; 1919; 1921; 1943; 1965; 1967)
  • April 1983 U.S. Embassy bombing|U.S. Embassy Bombing (1983)
  • Marine Barracks Bombing (1983)
  • 1998 United States embassy bombings|U.S. Embassy Bombings (1998)
  • USS Cole bombing|USS Cole Bombing (2000)
  • September 11, 2001 attacks (2001)
  • Puerto Rico counter-guerrilla operations (1950s - present)

Labor-management disputes

See Timeline of labor issues and events and List of strikes

  • Battle of Blair Mountain (1921)

State and national secession attempts

See List of extinct states and Historic regions of the United States#Unrecognized|Unrecognized historic regions of the United States

  • State of Jefferson (1941)
  • Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket secession attempt (1977)

Riots, Disorder and Natural Disasters

  • Detroit Race Riot (1943) Detroit, Michigan (1943)
  • Watts Riots Los Angeles, California (1965)
  • Los Angeles riots (1992)
  • Hurricane Andrew (1992)
  • Hurricane Katrina (2005)


  • 1981 US sends military advisors to El Salvador.[15]


  • Canal Zone Riots (1964)
  • Kent State massacre (1970)
  • War on Drugs (~1972—)
  • Iran hostage crisis (1979–1981)
  • USS Stark (FFG-31)|Iraqi attack on USS Stark (1987)
  • Waco Siege (1993)

See also

  • American empire
  • American foreign policy
  • Awards and decorations of the United States military
  • CIA sponsored regime change
  • United States Department of Defense|Department of Defense
  • Declaration of war by the United States
  • Military history of the United States
  • Overseas expansion of the United States
  • Overseas interventions of the United States
  • Relative costs of American wars
  • United States and state terrorism
  • United States Armed Forces
  • United States casualties of war
  • War crimes committed by the United States


  1. 1.000 1.001 1.002 1.003 1.004 1.005 1.006 1.007 1.008 1.009 1.010 1.011 1.012 1.013 1.014 1.015 1.016 1.017 1.018 1.019 1.020 1.021 1.022 1.023 1.024 1.025 1.026 1.027 1.028 1.029 1.030 1.031 1.032 1.033 1.034 1.035 1.036 1.037 1.038 1.039 1.040 1.041 1.042 1.043 1.044 1.045 1.046 1.047 1.048 1.049 1.050 1.051 1.052 1.053 1.054 1.055 1.056 1.057 1.058 1.059 1.060 1.061 1.062 1.063 1.064 1.065 1.066 1.067 1.068 1.069 1.070 1.071 1.072 1.073 1.074 1.075 1.076 1.077 1.078 1.079 1.080 1.081 1.082 1.083 1.084 1.085 1.086 1.087 1.088 1.089 1.090 1.091 1.092 1.093 1.094 1.095 1.096 1.097 1.098 1.099 1.100 1.101 1.102 1.103 1.104 1.105 1.106 1.107 1.108 1.109 1.110 1.111 1.112 1.113 1.114 1.115 1.116 1.117 1.118 1.119 1.120 1.121 1.122 1.123 1.124 1.125 1.126 1.127 1.128 1.129 1.130 1.131 1.132 1.133 1.134 1.135 1.136 1.137 1.138 1.139 1.140 1.141 1.142 1.143 1.144 1.145 1.146 1.147 1.148 1.149 Congressional Research Service report RL30172. United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs. URL accessed on 2006-07-15.
  2. Frank, Benis M. History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II, Volume V: Victory and Occupation. Historical Branch, G-3 Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. URL accessed on 2009-03-18.
  3. George McTurnin Kahin and John W. Lewis. The US in Viet Nam: An analysis in depth of America's involvement in Viet Nam.
  4. COMNAVSURFOR Hosts Medal of Honor Ceremony, United States Navy, October 4, 2007,, retrieved 2008-01-10 </li>
  5. Operation Provide Promise from
  6. Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. The White House. URL accessed on 2007-04-18.
  7. Presidential Letter. The White House. URL accessed on 2007-04-17.
  8. Presidential Letter. The White House. URL accessed on 2007-04-17.
  9. "Headlines: 6 Die in US Missile Strike in Pakistan". Democracy Now. 29 July 08. </li>
  10. Habibullah Khan, Brian Ross (January 18, 2006). "U.S. Strike Killed Al Qaeda Bomb Maker". ABC News. Retrieved 2007-10-04. </li>
  11. Chris Mathews (January 19, 2006). "'Hardball with Chris Matthews' for January 18". MSNBC. Retrieved 2007-10-04. </li>
  12. Josh White (July 18, 2006). "U.S. Prepares Huge Lebanon Evacuation". Washington Post. p. A12. Retrieved 2007-10-04. </li>
  13. Lebanon Non-combatant Evacuation Operation (NEO) 2006. URL accessed on 2007-10-04.
  14. U.S. Assails Russian 'Escalation' Of Crisis. Washington Post. 10 August, 2008.
  15. Tom gibb. El Salvador verdicts 'could open floodgates'. BBC News. URL accessed on 2007-04-18.
  16. </ol>


Further reading

  • Crandall, Russell (2006). Gunboat democracy: US interventions in the Dominican Republic, Grenada and Panama (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers).
  • Allan Reed Millet & Peter Maslowski For the Common Defense: A Military History of the United States. ISBN 9780029215975 Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group, 1994.
  • Bill Yenne Indian Wars: The Campaign for the American West ISBN 1-59416-016-3, Westholme, 2005

External links

Template:American conflicts Template:US military navbox Template:US history

Category:Wars involving the United States|Wars involving the United States Category:United States military history timelines| Category:Rebellions in the United States|Rebellions in the United States Category:History of the foreign relations of the United States Category:United States military lists|History events

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