Over a Century of U.S. Military Interventions

compiled by Zoltan Grossman

(revised 1/1/95)

The following is a partial list of U.S. military interventions from 1890 to 1994. This guide does not include demonstration duty by military police, mobilizations of the National Guard, offshore shows of naval strength, reinforcements of embassy personnel, the use of non-Defense Department personnel (such as the Drug Enforcement Agency), military exercises, non-combat mobilizations (such as replacing postal strikers), the permanent stationing of armed forces, covert actions where the U.S. did not play a command and control role, the use of small hostage rescue units, most uses of proxy troops, U.S. piloting of foreign warplanes, foreign disaster assistance, military training and advisory programs not involving direct combat, civic action programs, and many other military activities. Among sources used, besides news reports, are the Congressional Record (23 June 1969), 180 Landings by the U.S. Marine Corps History Division, Ege & Makhijani in Counterspy (July-Aug. 1982), and Ellsberg in Protest & Survive.

LOCATION/Period/Type of Force/Comments on U.S. role

  1. SOUTH DAKOTA/1890 (-?)/Troops/300 Lakota Indians massacred at Wounded Knee.
  2. ARGENTINA/1890/Troops/Buenos Aires interests protected.
  3. CHILE/l891/Troops/Marines clash with nationalist rebels.
  4. HAITI/1891/Troops/Black workers revolt on U.S.-claimed Navassa Island defeated.
  5. IDAHO/1892/Troops/Army suppresses silverminers' strike.
  6. HAWAII/l893 (-?)/Naval, troops/Independent kingdom overthrown, annexed.
  7. CHICAGO/1894/Troops/Breaking of rail strike, 34 killed.
  8. NICARAGUA/l894/Troops/Month-long occupation of Bluefields.
  9. CHINA/l894-95/Naval, troops/Marines land in Sino-Japanese War.
  10. KOREA/l894-96/Troops/Marines kept in Seoul during war.
  11. PANAMA/1895/Troops, naval/Marines land in Colombian province.
  12. NICARAGUA/l896/Troops/Marines land in port of Corinto.
  13. CHINA/l898-1900/Troops/Boxer Rebellion fought by foreign armies.
  14. PHILIPPINES/l898-1910(-?)/Naval, troops/Seized from Spain, killed 600,000 Filipinos.
  15. CUBA/l898-1902(-?)/Naval, troops/Seized from Spain, still hold Navy base.
  16. PUERTO RICO/1898(-?)/Naval, troops/Seized from Spain, occupation continues. GUAM/l898(-?)/Naval, troops/Seized from Spain, still use as base.
  17. MINNESOTA/l898(-?)/Troops/Army battles Chippewa at Leech Lake.
  18. NICARAGUA/l898/Troops/Marines land at port of San Juan del Sur.
  19. SAMOA/1899(-?)/Troops/Battle over succession to throne.
  20. NICARAGUA/l899/Troops/Marines land at port of Bluefields.
  21. IDAHO/1899-1901/Troops/Army occupies Coeur d'Alene mining region.
  22. OKLAHOMA/1901/Troops/Army battles Creek Indian revolt.
  23. PANAMA/1901-03(-?)/Naval, troops/Broke off from Colombia, annexed Canal Zone.
  24. HONDURAS/l903/Troops/Marines intervene in revolution.
  25. DOMINICAN REP./1903-04/Troops/U.S. interests protected in Revolution.
  26. KOREA/1904-05/Troops/Marines land in Russo-Japanese War.
  27. CUBA/1906-09/Troops/Marines land in democratic election.
  28. NICARAGUA/1907/Troops/"Dollar Diplomacy" protectorate set up.
  29. HONDURAS/l907/Troops/Marines land during war with Nicaragua.
  30. PANAMA/l908/Troops/Marines intervene in election contest.
  31. NICARAGUA/l9l0/Troops/Marines land in Bluefields and Corinto.
  32. HONDURAS/1911/Troops/U.S. interests protected in civil war.
  33. CHINA/1911-41/Naval, troops/Continuous occupation with flare-ups.
  34. CUBA/1912/Troops/U.S. interests protected in Havana.
  35. PANAMA/l9l2/Troops/Marines land during heated election.
  36. HONDURAS/l9l2/Troops/Marines protect U.S. economic interests.
  37. NICARAGUA/1912-33/Troops, bombing/20-year occupation, fought guerrillas.
  38. MEXICO/l9l3/Naval/Americans evacuated during revolution.
  39. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC/1914/Naval/Fight with rebels over Santo Domingo.
  40. COLORADO/1914/Troops/Breaking of miners' strike by Army.
  41. MEXICO/1914-18/Naval, troops/Series of interventions against nationalists.
  42. HAITI/1914-34/Troops, bombing/19-year occupation after revolts.
  43. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC/1916-24/Troops/8-year Marine occupation. CUBA/1917-33/Troops/Military occupation, economic protectorate.
  44. WORLD WAR I/19l7-18/Naval, troops/Ships sunk, fought Germany for 1 l/2 years.
  45. RUSSIA/1918-22/Naval, troops/Five landings to fight Bolsheviks.
  46. PANAMA/1918-20/Troops/"Police duty" during unrest after elections.
  47. HONDURAS/l9l9/Troops/Marines land during election campaign.
  48. GUATEMALA/1920/Troops/2-week intervention against unionists.
  49. WEST VIRGINIA/1920-21/Troops, bombing/Army intervenes against mineworkers.
  50. TURKEY/1922/Troops/Fought nationalists in Smyrna (Izmir).
  51. CHINA/1922-27/Naval, troops/Deployment during nationalist revolt.
  52. HONDURAS/1924-25/Troops/Landed twice during election strife.
  53. PANAMA/1925/Troops/Marines suppress general strike.
  54. CHINA/l928-34/Troops/Marines stationed throughout the country.
  55. EL SALVADOR/l932/Naval/Warships sent during Faribundo Marti revolt.
  56. WASHINGTON DC/1932/Troops/Army stops WWI vet bonus protest.
  57. WORLD WAR II/1941-45/Naval,troops, bombing, nuclear/Hawaii bombed, fought Japan, Italy and Germany for 3 years; 1st nuclear war.
  58. DETROIT/l943/Troops/Army puts down Black rebellion.
  59. IRAN/l946/Nuclear threat/Soviet troops told to leave north (Iranian Azerbaijan).
  60. YUGOSLAVIA/l946/Nuclear threat/Response to shooting-down of U.S. plane.
  61. URUGUAY/l947/Nuclear threat/Bombers deployed as show of strength.
  62. GREECE/l947-49/Command operation/U.S. directs extreme-right in civil war.
  63. GERMANY/l948/Nuclear threat/Atomic-capable bombers guard Berlin Airlift.
  64. PHILIPPINES/l948-54/Command operation/CIA directs war against Huk Rebellion.
  65. PUERTO RICO/1950/Command operation/Independence rebellion crushed in Ponce.
  66. KOREA/l951-53(-?)/Troops, naval, bombing, nuclear threats/U.S.& South Korea fight China & North Korea to stalemate; A-bomb threat in l950, and against China in l953. Still have bases.
  67. IRAN/l953/Command operation/CIA overthrows democracy, installs Shah.
  68. VIETNAM/l954/Nuclear threat/Bombs offered to French to use against siege.
  69. GUATEMALA/l954/Command operation, bombing, nuclear threat/CIA directs exile invasion after new gov't nationalizes U.S. company lands; bombers based in Nicaragua.
  70. EGYPT/l956/Nuclear threat/Soviets told to keep out of Suez crisis.
  71. LEBANON/l958/Troops, naval/Marine occupation against rebels.
  72. IRAQ/1958/Nuclear threat/Iraq warned against invading Kuwait.
  73. CHINA/l958/Nuclear threat/China told not to move on Taiwan isles.
  74. PANAMA/1958/Troops/Flag protests erupt into confrontation.
  75. VIETNAM/l960-75/Troops, naval, bombing, nuclear threats/Fought South Vietnam revolt & North Vietnam; one million killed in longest U.S. war; atomic bomb threats in l968 and l969.
  76. LAOS/1961/Command operation/Military buildup during guerrilla war.
  77. CUBA/l961/Command operation/CIA-directed exile invasion fails.
  78. GERMANY/l961/Nuclear threat/Alert during Berlin Wall crisis.
  79. CUBA/l962/Nuclear threat, naval/Blockade during missile crisis; near-war with Soviet Union.
  80. PANAMA/l964/Troops/Panamanians shot for urging canal's return.
  81. INDONESIA/l965/Command operation/Million killed in CIA-assisted army coup.
  82. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC/1965-66/Troops, bombing/Marines land during election campaign.
  83. GUATEMALA/l966-67/Command operation/Green Berets intervene against rebels.
  84. DETROIT/l967/Troops/Army battles Blacks, 43 killed.
  85. UNITED STATES/l968/Troops/After King is shot; over 21,000 soldiers in cities.
  86. CAMBODIA/l969-75/Bombing, troops, naval/Up to 2 million killed in decade of bombing, starvation, and political chaos.
  87. OMAN/l970/Command operation/U.S. directs Iranian marine invasion.
  88. LAOS/l971-73/Command operation, bombing/U.S. directs South Vietnamese invasion; "carpet-bombs" countryside. SOUTH DAKOTA/l973/Command operation/Army directs Wounded Knee siege of Lakotas.
  89. MIDEAST/1973/Nuclear threat/World-wide alert during Mideast War.
  90. CHILE/1973/Command operation/CIA-backed coup ousts elected marxist president.
  91. CAMBODIA/l975/Troops, bombing/Gas captured ship, 28 die in copter crash.
  92. ANGOLA/l976-92/Command operation/CIA assists South African-backed rebels.
  93. IRAN/l980/Troops, nuclear threat, aborted bombing/Raid to rescue Embassy hostages; 8 troops die in copter-plane crash. Soviets warned not to get involved in revolution.
  94. LIBYA/l981/Naval jets/Two Libyan jets shot down in maneuvers.
  95. EL SALVADOR/l981-92/Command operation, troops/Advisors, overflights aid anti-rebel war, soldiers briefly involved in hostage clash.
  96. NICARAGUA/l981-90/Command operation, naval/CIA directs exile (Contra) invasions, plants harbor mines against revolution.
  97. HONDURAS/l982-90/Troops/Maneuvers help build bases near borders.
  98. LEBANON/l982-84/Naval, bombing, troops/Marines expel PLO and back Phalangists, Navy bombs and shells Muslim positions.
  99. GRENADA/l983-84/Troops, bombing/Invasion four years after revolution.
  100. LIBYA/l986/Bombing, naval/Air strikes to topple nationalist gov't.
  101. BOLIVIA/1987/Troops/Army assists raids on cocaine region.
  102. IRAN/l987-88/Naval, bombing/US intervenes on side of Iraq in war.
  103. LIBYA/1989/Naval jets/Two Libyan jets shot down.
  104. VIRGIN ISLANDS/1989/Troops/St. Croix Black unrest after storm.
  105. PHILIPPINES/1989/Jets/Air cover provided for government against coup.
  106. PANAMA/1989-?/Troops, bombing/Nationalist government ousted by 27,000 soldiers, leaders arrested, 2000+ killed.
  107. LIBERIA/1990/Troops/Foreigners evacuated during civil war.
  108. SAUDI ARABIA/1990-91/Troops, jets/Iraq countered after invading Kuwait. 540,000 troops also stationed in Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Israel.
  109. KUWAIT/1991/Naval, bombing, troops/Kuwait royal family returned to throne. IRAQ/1990-?/Bombing, troops, naval/Blockade of Iraqi and Jordanian ports, air strikes; 200,000+ killed in invasion of Iraq and Kuwait; no-fly zone over Kurdish north, Shiite south, large- scale destruction of Iraqi military.
  110. LOS ANGELES/1992/Troops/Army, Marines deployed against anti- police uprising.
  111. SOMALIA/1992-94/Troops, naval, bombing/U.S.-led United Nations occupation during civil war; raids against one Mogadishu faction.
  112. JUGOSLAVIA/1992-94/Naval/Nato blockade of Serbia and Montenegro.
  113. BOSNIA/1993-?/Jets, bombing/No-fly zone patrolled in civil war; downed jets, bombed Serbs.
  114. HAITI/1994-?/Troops, naval/Blockcade against military government; troops restore President Aristide to office three years after coup.

For more information or with comments and additions please contact:
Zoltan Grossman
1705 Rutledge
Madison, WI 53704
Phone/Fax (608)246-2256.