What would happen if we brought all the troops home?

Why does the USA NEED to have so many troops in so many countries? (Other than to protect embassies.)

What would happen if in the next 12 months, all United States non-embassy military personnel were removed from all foreign countries?

I ask this because I have come to believe that the world, as much as they purport to hate the US, has become very complacent with the idea that they don’t have to try to make things better because the USA will always be there if things go amiss.

So what if we say: “Screw you guys, we’re going home!”

Speaking as a non-American, that’s a heck of a misconception you’ve got there. Do you really believe that us non-Americans want the US to come blundering into our local affairs?

It’s not like the English had any reason to get involved in Korea or the Australians in Vietnam, for instance - the US dragged its allies into those particular messes, just like it dragged its allies into Iraq and Afghanistan. Americans have a long and bloody history of getting their allies killed in pointless unwinnable wars and then forgetting that those allies were even there.

My non-American viewpoint is that the rest of the world hopes and prays that the US stays the hell out of our parts of the planet. If there’s a war, we’ll let you know, and if you guys get into a proper declared war, let us know and we’ll help out. But we’re sick of getting dragged into your international sheriff act. Thanks for the help during WW2 and all, but we’d appreciate if you stopped claiming all of the credit and pretending that the US defeated Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan all by itself.

…so, in answer to the original question, the rest of the world would heave a giant sigh of relief if the US took all its troops home.

Like it or not the US is the world’s police force in a manner of speaking.

Bring all the troops home you could expect all sorts of wars of aggression to crop up.

In Asia China might go for Taiwan (and other resources in the area). North Korea might well have a go at South Korea.

Russia might start taking back some former client states (at this point western Europe could probably protect itself…Britain and France have nukes).

The Middle East would likely go foom. Expect Israel would be in someone’s sights. Iran might go for control of mid-east oil. India and Pakistan (ok…not mid-east countries…sue me) might have at it (two nuclear states so maybe not).

Lord knows what Central America might do to itself.

South America…not sure either.

Africa is a mess anyway, they’d probably keep at it as they are today.

Also remember a lot of our forces protect OUR interests. We want mid-east oil flowing freely. We want Taiwan left alone. We want peace in Europe as a big trading partner.

In short, uneasy as it may be, the US military machine is about the only thing that really makes those wanting a war of aggression think twice these days.

Well, since the French dragged us into Vietnam first, perhaps you should be mad at them.

And as for WW2: I give a hearty thank you to the Soviet Union for the millions of lives they gave to help defeat Hitler (and we couldn’t have done it without them)… As for that jag-off Monty whose ego cost countless lives — kiss my American butt. We saved England’s ass. Deal with it.

It just seems that the world is taking advantage of the better angels of our republic.

The RAF defeated the Luftwaffe in late 1940, saving England’s “ass” before the US was even in the war. The English might not have been able to free occupied Europe by themselves, but they absolutely saved their own arses.

Operation Sealion was definitely 100% dead in the water (literally) before the US got involved. Unless you want to claim that Spifires and Hurricanes were designed, built, and flown by Americans, and used American oil (they didn’t, the UK was still getting its oil from the middle east at that point).

Guess you forgot the Battle of the Atlantic.

Sealion may have been off but good luck getting that mid-east oil while being choked to death by u-boats.

Heck, even Winston Churchill said the u-boats scared him most of all during WWII (paraphrased but that was the upshot as I recall).

Without lend-lease and a massive US supply effort Britain would have been done for. Hitler could easily afford to ignore Britain in those circumstances. If you thought Sealion was dead how about Operation Overlord? Without the US forget it. Brits would get to sit and stew till Hitler consolidated his gains and then thought about what to do with Britain at his leisure.

The Allies helped and needed each other a lot. Plenty of back patting to go around. We needed each other and worked well together for that.

Did the UK have the troops, air power, landing craft, resources, men, sea-power, ammunition, tanks, ability to create landing harbours, and industrial capacity to continue to supply the troops to prevent Hitler from retooling, re-arming, and ultimately invading Great Britain?

I didn’t think so.

Hitler did not understand the importance of English radar. He also got caught up in the tit-for tat of the bombing of London and then Dresden. If the USA had not been involved, he would have had plenty of time to re-evaluate and re-tool and re-attack Great Britain. He would have used advanced technology such as jet aircraft to crush the RAF. Without US troops, leadership, and industry preventing him, Hitler would have danced in the streets of London like a giddy schoolgirl.

Thank God the USA ignored British arrogence and saved your pommy ass.

Actually I think this misses most of the OP’s point.

I can understand getting your panties in a twist over being dragged into Iraq and such.

But the OP is talking about bring all troops home. Stop sailing the navy around and such.

US bases in places like Britain do absolutely zero to meddle in local affairs (or near enough to zero). Such bases are forward staging to discourage aggressors. They act as a tripwire. Particularly since one way to get Americans to come to your defense is to have Americans already there getting killed by whoever is attacking you.

Pull the Americans out and you are an easier target. That is not to say a pushover by any means but easier any way you slice it thus making you more likely to be a target.

Frankly I’d like to see the rest of the world start picking up a bigger part of their defense budget. The US could use the money. See how you like trying to maintain a sufficient defense force to feel safe all on your own. Have fun adding a few tens of billions of pounds (or hundreds) to your taxes to pay for it all.

I agree. Which was my point: the US didn’t do it alone, and ignoring things like the Battle of Britain, or the crucial effect that breaking the Enigma codes had on winning the Battle of the Atlantic (and WW2 in general) is ignorant and arrogant.

In the Hollywood version, it was American sailors who captured Kriegsmarine Enigma machines and codebooks. In real life, it was British sailors that did it, and it was British codebreakers and scientists, with important early help from Poles, who actually broke the codes. The allies, including the US Navy, were losing the Battle of the Atlantic until British codebreakers rescued them.

Last I checked, the Korean conflict was a UN Security Council sanctioned intervention. That means Britain had veto power. But given the recent history of Britain going into WWII as well as the threat of the Soviets and communist China, I doubt the US had to drag Britain into anything when recognizing the threat that an expansionist North Korea (backed by the Soviets and Chinese) posed.

Also, you keep referring to the English doing this or that. I’m pretty sure all the Scots, Welsh, and Northern Irish who served, fought, and died during WWII and beyond might take issue with that.

For good and sometimes for bad, the US is a force of stability throughout the world. Primarily because we do have such a large footprint abroad, we’re involved in so many military alliances, and we tend to announce what we’re going to do ahead of time (thus making us somewhat predictable). Nature abhors a vacuum, so if the US did pull back entirely, something would take its place in each region. In many parts of the world, I can’t see this alternative being too attractive, particularly in the chaos of any transition period.

By the time the US were dragged into [the European] war by the Germans declaring war on them, 90% of the German military were 500 miles inside Russia, and the war turned on who won there.

The idea that the involvement of the Americans from 1942 onwards prevented the Germans invading the UK then is simply ludicrous. Where on earth would the German have got the resources for that? Late 1940 was their one and only chance.

Oh, and the British invented the jet and had it flying before the Germans did.

Oh please, don’t start claiming that the rest of the world doesn’t maintain their own defence forces.

Pick whatever US ally annoys you the most and then go and look up what percentage of their national budget goes into military spending, then come back here and give us a cite if you find the amount unsatisfactory. Show us some facts and figures, don’t just assume that the US pays for everything.

I’m willing to bet you can’t find a single US ally that doesn’t spend a large percentage of its national budget on its own defence force.

One habit of many Americans which I find very annoying is the concept of American Exceptionalism.

Notice that Wack-a mole seems to think without US military power the rest of the world is likely to fall into some kind of barbarism.

I dunno why Hollywood portrayed it as Americans in that movie. Doubtless some marketing weenie decided they’d sell more tickets if they portrayed it as Americans. Stupid because I cannot think of anyone who would want to watch that movie who would be put off if they used British actors. Whatever…Hollywood. They are notorious for playing fast and loose with history.

Enigma was huge and certainly saved a lot of people. However, till we got a good handle on that and started seriously sinking u-boats it was an insanely dangerous journey. One Americans made. Further, the US was turning out Liberty ships (cargo) at an astonishing rate. IIRC Hitler, when he found out how fast they were being made, was floored. His u-boats literally could not sink them fast enough even if all of them in the North Atlantic were supremely lucky.

Remember those ships were carry gobs of food and raw materials without which Britain would have been in dire straits.

Yeah? Well we saved your arse in WWIII.


Err…I resent that.

I am NOT into the American exceptionalism schtick. Faaar from it.

That does not change reality.

The US has considerable forces arrayed around the world. We are one of the few, perhaps the only, country that can effectively project power anywhere on the globe (excepting nukes).

Why would you think withdrawing all of that would have no effect on geopolitics? It’d have to.

China has been rattling its saber at Taiwan for ages. The US has maintained a fleet relatively nearby for ages to dissuade them.

North Korea wants South Korea. They have an astonishing number of artillery pointed at Seoul and North Korea is probably the least sane government on the planet. Remove the tripwire force in South Korea and nothing will happen?

The Middle East has the oil the rest of the world desperately wants. Iran and Saudi Arabia could have all sorts of fun in the Strait of Hormuz…for starters. Arab solidarity? Don’t bet on it. Without the US as a common enemy and military presence they will happily fight each other (Iraq attacked Iran, Iraq attacked Kuwait). Add in Israel for more fun (many attempts by Arab countries after them).

India and Pakistan have simmering tensions.

Russia seems to miss its glory days. I would not be surprised if they started taking back some breakaway states.

How do you think the world would be all peaceful?

Since no mention of who was responsible for victory in WW2 was made in the OP.
And since you are the one who brought that subject up… I propose that you are the one who is ignorant and arrogent, not to mention a thread-shitter.

A military operational British jet? With the resources available to keep it in battle?
Please cite?