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There were about 1.3 million active duty military personnel at the end of June this year, according to the Department of Defense's Defense Manpower Data Center. About 200,000 of those were stationed around the world.

Expand chart

Data: Defense Manpower Data Center; Map: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

The 10 places with the biggest U.S. troop presence: Japan (39,623), Germany (34,399), South Korea (23,297), Italy (11,806), Afghanistan (10,107), United Kingdom (8,126) , Kuwait (7,097), Iraq (6,137), Bahrain (5,894) and Guam (4,299).

Why it matters: Tens of thousands of troops remain in the Middle East and Afghanistan, and the U.S. has a huge deployment well within missile range of the next potential flashpoint, North Korea.

  • See all the small dots in the map? Those represent a small number of active duty personnel in a country or territory. Usually, they are attached to a U.S. embassy in a security or advisory role.
  • The DMPC data we used for this map lists about 26 thousand troops whose location is unaccounted for. According to the Department of Defense: "Some records do not include location information for operational security reasons. There is also the possibility that a small number of records have data errors that do not correspond to a particular location."

Go deeper

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Sanctions increased under Obama and dramatically under Trump. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Biden administration is rethinking the U.S. approach to sanctions after four years of Donald Trump imposing and escalating them.

The big picture: Sanctions are among the most powerful tools the U.S. has to influence its adversaries’ behavior without using force. But they frequently fail to bring down regimes or moderate their behavior, and they can increase the suffering of civilians and resentment of the U.S.

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Merkel's farewell spoiled by Poland crisis at EU summit

One last awkward EU "family photo." Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Angela Merkel took up her vaunted mantle as Europe's crisis manager for what could be the last time tonight, as she urged the EU to find compromise in its showdown with Poland.

Why it matters: The European Commission has threatened to withhold over $40 billion in pandemic recovery funds after Poland's constitutional tribunal — stacked with loyalists from the ruling right-wing populist party — rejected the principle that EU law has primacy over national law.

Republicans who put it all on the line

Rep. Nancy Mace speaks with reporters after voting to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A small contingent of House Republicans risked their political futures on Thursday, they say, in the name of constitutional responsibility.

Why it matters: The nine Republicans who voted to hold former Trump aide Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress are now in peril of becoming political pariahs. They've opened themselves up to potential primary challengers and public attacks from their party's kingmaker — former President Trump.