14 lakh US troops on global active duty: Pentagon

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WASHINGTON: Official figures released by the Pentagon show that about 1.4 million US soldiers are currently on active duty around the world.

According to the data, a fifth of the troops – about 200,000 – have placed their boots on the soil of at least 150 countries in different continents. 

The figures are based on statistics collected since September 30, 2012. 

The US has sent its soldiers to European, Asian, and Persian Gulf states, among others. 

Some 66,000 US soldiers, the highest number of American troops stationed in a foreign country, are currently in Afghanistan. 

Analysts say the so-called war on terror has been used as an excuse to send US soldiers to countries such as Afghanistan. 

Over 50,930 US soldiers are also in Japan. More than 47,760 are on duty in Germany, 27,500 in South Korea, and at least 10,920 in Italy.

US troops are also stationed in Spain, the UK, Kyrgyzstan, Belgium, Cuba, and Turkey. The United States has even sent a noticeable number of troops to Bahrain and Kuwait. 

Washington says the soldiers are deployed overseas to pursue US interests across the world. The US claims its military presence is necessary in order to protect its allies. 

However, a rise in civilian deaths and rape cases has caused public anger in several host countries. 

Meanwhile, the White House deployed Predator drones to Niger on Friday, setting up a new drone base in Africa, a continent not mentioned in the list provided by the Pentagon. The move is seen as a way for Washington to increase its influence in Africa and become involved in the war on Mali. Agencies

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