Military development in the world is dominated by the
United States. In order to utilize its military force
effectively and in view of the rapid development in the
military command area, cooperation between the various
branches of defense has increased. This is founded, among
other things. on lessons learned from the Kuwait War
1990–91. The leadership also makes demands on the
cooperative nations' defense forces, e.g. Swedish
associations that are part of (UN) NATO/US-led operations.
The experience of prolonged fighting in Iraq and
Afghanistan and the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001,
is that conventional military strategy is not enough. To
quickly win military victories on the battlefield must be
able to be followed up. This requires a new focus on the
ability of the army and naval associations mainly, and this
focus is introduced during ongoing operations. It means
increased ability to deal with long unconventional warfare,
combating terrorism, support for reconstruction and the
creation of stability.
After the end of the Cold War, the defense was organized
as a so-called global peripheral defense in collaboration
with allies, mainly countries in Europe as well as Japan and
South Korea. In several of these countries, the United
States has bases for aviation and naval combat forces as
well as intelligence services. In addition, Germany, South
Korea and Japan have extensive ground and naval forces.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US defense
focused on being able to manage two regional conflicts
simultaneously. The doctrine is called "advanced presence"
and means, among other things. increased focus on defense
against ballistic missiles, increased strategic and tactical
mobility, restriction of stationing abroad, differentiation
of readiness and armor restrictions.
Three principled decisions indicated that the Cold War
was in a different phase. The Berlin Brigade left the city
in 1995. In 1996, the US-Japan security agreement was
renewed with promises of a far-reaching US military
presence, and in 1997 a decision was made to expand NATO
eastward and to invite the Russian Federation to join a new
Euro-Asian Partnership Council. The latter means that the
Russian Federation has a far-reaching influence with
participation in the Partnership Council's ministerial
council as well as ambassador and liaison officers, but no
veto rights. The task of the old NATO was, according to its
first Secretary General HL Ismay, "to keep the Russians out,
the Americans inside and the Germans down." In the new NATO,
it is necessary to "hold the Russians in," ie. they will be
involved in European security work.
During the 1990s, the civil war in the Balkan Peninsula
broke out with extensive UN-sanctioned efforts by unions,
not least from the United States; a maximum of 26,000 people
participated in Bosnia and Herzegovina (SFOR) and Kosovo
On September 11, 2001, the terrorist attacks against the
World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon occurred.
This changed the conditions for national defense against
attacks by other states. It was clear that non-national
forces have a significant ability to carry out terrorist
acts. This development affects both individual states and
the world community and not least the UN. The UN Charter has
not entirely foreseen this form of large-scale violence by
In 2002, the United States adopted a new security policy
strategy aimed at preventing attacks on the United States
and establishing and retaining an international coalition of
states aimed at waging war on terrorism. This has led to the
change of the US base strategy. Bases in less important
areas are being downgraded, and new ones are being built in
an arc from northern Africa across the Middle East to the
Far East. Bases in Central Europe are being moved east to
Poland, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.
The 2003 war actions in Iraq were carried out at a very
high pace and in such a way that the defender's ability was
paralyzed at an early stage. The material destruction was
considerably less than during the Kuwaiti war, despite the
fact that the capital Baghdad was occupied by ground combat
allies. This new strategy is called by the United States for
EBO (Effects Based Operations).
In the fall of 2003, the United States had 146,000 men in
Iraq, and by 2008 the strength had increased to 165,000 men.
In November 2008, two key agreements were signed between
Iraq and the United States, which means that the US is
reducing its presence, while Iraqi army and police forces
are taking over responsibility for the country's security.
In June 2009, the United States withdrew from cities and
villages, and in December 2009, the United States left all
conflicting tasks and transitioned to support, education and
counseling. By August 2010, US forces had dropped to 50,000
men. By December 2011, US military forces should have left
In the autumn of 2003, the United States had 8,300 men in
Afghanistan, and in 2008 the force had increased to 23,300.
In 2009, US President Barack Obama took office. A
comprehensive review was thus made of the existing strategy,
and a new direction was decided in Afghanistan. This is
aimed at protecting the population, strengthening domestic
institutions and removing heavier army and air force
platforms. One wants to win the "long war against violent
The effort in Afghanistan was increased to just under
68,000 men in late summer 2009. In December, the decision
was made to increase the effort by another 30,000 men in
2010 with a focus on counseling and assistance and at the
same time aiming to reduce the presence of combatants from
2011. At The Kabul Conference in July 2010, led by the UN,
emphasized NATO and ISAF countries that the transfer of
security responsibilities is not bound by a timetable, but
the purpose is for Afghan security forces to have full
responsibility in 2014.
The US military force is based on strategic nuclear
weapons and consists of airborne, submarine-based and
ground-based systems supported by five worldwide warning and
information gathering systems. In 2003, there were
approximately 6,000 nuclear warheads, which were scheduled
to be reduced in 2007 to the START 2 agreement level of
3,500. In this context, an agreement was concluded with the
Russian Federation both on adjustment of deployment of
missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic as
well as on follow-up of the strategic disarmament START 1,
which otherwise would have expired in December 2009.
Dressings that can be quickly deployed all over the earth
are prepared from advanced bases, groups of aircraft
carriers and navy wound dressings. The United States is the
only nation that has the logistical capacity to provide
extensive operations with air and sea transportation. The
military strategic management is located in the US
(Nebraska), otherwise the management is decentralized to a
number of all-round staffs responsible for the following
areas (management position in brackets): Europe (Belgium)
with the Atlantic (Virginia), Pacific (Hawaii), the central
area including the Gulf of Persia (Bahrain), Central and
South America (Florida), and Northern Command (Colorado).
The defense (2010) comprises about 1,580,000 men
recruited, with 865,000 men in reserve. The armed forces
have been increased to 662,000 men and reorganized into
three types of brigade units: heavy brigades, infantry
brigades and so-called Stryker brigades. In total, 36
brigades will be organized together with the National
Guard's 28 brigades. In Afghanistan (NATO/ISAF), the army
has 34,800 men and in Operation Enduring Freedom 31,200 men,
in Iraq 50,000 men (decommissioned), in Germany 38,000 men
and in South Korea 17,000 men.
The fleet (335,000 men) with just under 300 battleships,
including 11 aircraft carriers and 71 strategic submarines,
is distributed with two fleets in the Pacific, one in the
Indian Ocean/Persian Gulf, one in the Atlantic and one in
The Navy (204,000 men) has a division in Japan, a
division divided with a brigade in Iraq, a division in
Afghanistan and a reserve division in the United States. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that USA stands for United States.
The Air Force comprises 334,000 men with 2,650 modern
combat aircraft based in the Pacific region. In Japan, there
are 12,500 men out of the Air Force, in South Korea 8,000
men, in Germany 14,500 men, in Italy 4,000 men and in the
United Kingdom 8,500 men.
Of the US total defense spending budget (2010), about 10%
goes to combat irregular armed units, 50% to traditional
conflicts and 40% is future-oriented. Defense spending has
fallen by 35% in real terms since 1985. In 2006, they
amounted to 4.0% of GDP, with 2008 reaching 4.8% of GDP.
The United States participates in most of the UN
United States defense overview
The President of the United States is commander-in-chief
of the armed forces. Under the National Security Act,
the Army, Navy and Air Force in 1947 were placed under a
Joint Secretary of Defense (Secretary of Defense).
The three branches of defense have their own ministries, led
by ministers, who are subject to the Minister of Defense.
The highest organ of defense issues is the defense council
(National Security Council). US President is the
chairman of the council, which also consists of the vice
president, ministers with special ties to defense issues and
chairman of the military Joint Chiefs of Staff (Joint
Chiefs of Staff).
The Defense Mobilization Board (Office of
Civil and Defense Mobilization) is an advisory body for
the President of the United States on issues of civil
defense, military mobilization, and war preparation for
civil society. The defense chief's committee consists of the
chairman, who is appointed by the president of the United
States, the defense chiefs, and the commander of the Marine
Corps (US Marines). The task of the chief scholar
is to be a military advisory body for the president and the
defense minister and to lead the strategic planning. In the
United States, military service is volunteer-based. The
United States is a member of NATO.
In 2018, according to IISS figures, total force figures
were 1,359,450 active personnel, in addition to a reserve of
The president alone is responsible for triggering the use
of nuclear weapons. This applies whether these weapons are
strategic or tactical. The strategic nuclear weapons forces
can be divided into offensive and defensive forces. In 2018,
the offensive naval forces mainly consisted of 14 Ohio-class
nuclear-powered submarines capable of firing Trident II D –
5 ballistic missiles. Air Force Global Strike Command had in
2018 about 400 intercontinental ballistic missiles of the
types Minuteman III, and in addition tactical nuclear
weapons in the form of cruise missiles and free-falling
bombs for use of aircraft. As of April 2019, the United
States had about 3,800 nuclear warheads. Disarmament of
nuclear weapons takes place in accordance with the New START
The defensive nuclear forces are operative under the
North American Air Defense Command (NORAD, North
American Aerospace Defense Command), a joint
US-Canadian organization with headquarters in Colorado. The
force includes interceptor fighters and early air warning
(AEW) aircraft. NORAD also has several other warning systems
that include both satellites and complicated ground
The Department of the Army is headed by the
Secretary of the Army, who is the head of the Chief
of Staff Army. The Defense Department's administration
and administration is primarily handled by the Ministry of
the Army, while the purely military issues fall under the
Chief of the Army, who is at the same time the Chief
Minister of the Army.
In 2018, the Army had a total force of 476 200 active
personnel. In war or crisis, the regular Army Reserve
of 188,800 personnel can be summoned and the Army
National Guard of 335,200 reservists. In addition to
forces in the continental United States, the army and forces
in Europe, the Pacific, Asia, the Middle East, and the
Caribbean/Latin America. The army has its own aircraft,
helicopters and landings to ensure tactical mobility.
In 2018 included Army heavier materials 2,386 tanks
category M1 Abrams (in addition about 3500 edition), 1745
reconnaissance vehicles, 2,931 armored cars (in addition
about 2000 edition), and 10,547 armored personnel carriers
(in addition about 8000 edition).
The army also had 116 amphibious warships, of which eight
were landings of 4200 tons and 70 smaller landings.
The Army aircraft included 156 light transport aircraft,
eight ELINT aircraft and four training aircraft. Helicopters
included 714 Apache combat helicopters, 2822 transport
helicopters, 249 rescue helicopters, and about 50 training
helicopters. The army also had 388 medium and heavy drones.
The United States Air Force (USAF) became an independent
defense branch in 1947. The Department of the Air Force
is headed by the Secretary of the Air Force, who is
the head of the Chief of Staff Air Force. The Air
Force is divided into commands by function and geographical
location. In addition to forces in the continental United
States, the Air Force has forces in Europe (USAFE), the
Pacific (PACAF), Alaska and the Middle East.
The Air Force had a personnel strength of 325,900.
Aircraft included 264 fighter jets (including 105 F-15 Eagle
and 159 F-22 Raptor), 922 fighter aircraft (of which 557
F-16, 211 F-15E Strike Eagle and 154 F-35A Lightning II),
141 attack aircraft of type A-10C Thunderbolt II, 139
bombers (of which 61 B1-B Lancer, 20 B-2A Spirit and 58
B-52H Stratofortress), 215 tankers (of which 156 KC-135
Stratotanker and 59 KC-10 Extender), 31 AWACS aircraft,
22 ELINT aircraft, 41 reconnaissance aircraft, 14 EK
aircraft, 331 transport aircraft, 1127 training aircraft,
and 19 other aircraft. Helicopters included 62 light
transport helicopters and 74 rescue helicopters. The Air
Force also had 244 heavy drones, including 200 combat
In reserve, the Air National Guard comes with a staff of
107 450 reservists, 157 fighters (137 F-15 Eagle and 20 F-22
Raptor), 336 fighter aircraft (F-16), 86 attack aircraft
(A-10 Thunderbolt II), 172 tankers, 218 transport aircraft,
18 helicopters, 35 heavy drones, and 37 other aircraft. In
addition, the Air Force Reserve Command with a staff of
68,700 reservists, 230 aircraft and 16 helicopters, and the
Civil Reserve Air Fleets which include civilian cargo and
Navy and Marine Corps
The Department of the Navy is headed by the
Secretary of the Navy, who is the Chief of Naval
Operations and the Commander of the Marine Corps,
both of whom are military advisers to the Navy.
In 2018, the naval personnel had 329,850 active
personnel, plus a reserve of 100,950. The fleet included 11
nuclear-powered aircraft carriers (10 of the Nimitz class
and one of the Gerald R. Ford class), 32 amphibious
warships, of which nine were eight Wasp-class and one of
America class), 11 dock landing ship, and 12 landing ships
docked), two command ship Blue Ridge-class, 22 cruisers
Ticonderoga-class, 65 destroyers of the Arleigh Burke-class
destroyer, 13 frigates, 61 patrol boats, 11 minesweepers,
245 landings, and 14 logistics and auxiliary vessels.
In addition, the 14 strategic submarines mentioned above
come with offensive nuclear weapons, and 53 attack
submarines. The Navy also has a significant number of
vessels in reserve.
The Navy has its own air forces; in 2018, these included
736 fighter aircraft, mainly Hornet and Super Hornet types,
140 anti-submarine aircraft, 131 EK aircraft, 80 AEW & C
aircraft, 60 transport aircraft, nine ELINT aircraft, three
tankers, 582 training aircraft, 670 helicopters, and 76
medium and heavy aircraft drones.
Personnel strength of marine corps was in 2018 at 185,400
personnel active in addition a reserve of 38 350. For
heavier materials, Marine Corps 447 M1 Abrams tanks, 448
reconnaissance carriages of a LAV 25 and 3629 armored
personnel carrier, which 1200 amphibious central AAV- 7.
The Marine Corps Air Force included 443 fighter aircraft
(251 Hornet, 126 Harrier II and 66 F-35 Lightning II), nine
EK aircraft, 45 tankers, 20 transport aircraft, three
training aircraft, 306 MV-22 Osprey aircraft, 177 Cobra
fighter helicopters, 286 transport helicopters, four rescue
helicopters and 80 light drones.
The US Coast Guard belongs in peace under the Department
of Transport, but goes to war as part of the Navy. In 2018,
the Coast Guard had a personnel force of about 42,100 (of
which 8500 civilians), 160 patrol boats, 78 logistics and
relief vessels, 54 aircraft and 146 rescue helicopters.
In 2018, the United States took part in NATO operations
in Afghanistan (Operations Resolute Support) with
8475 personnel and in Serbia (KFOR) with 685 personnel.
In addition, the United States participated in UN
operations in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) with
eight personnel, the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO)
with three personnel, in Libya (UNSMIL) with an observer, in
Mali (MINUSMA) with 24 personnel, in the Middle East (UNTSO)
with two observers, and in South Sudan (UNMISS) with seven
The US also had forces in Iraq consisting of 5,000
personnel, combat helicopters and drones (Operation Inherent
Resolve), and 14,000 personnel in Kuwait.