US Interventions

US Military and Clandestine Operations in Foreign Countries - 1798-Present

Note: This list does not pretend to be definitive or absolutely complete. Nor does it seek to explain or interpret the interventions. Information and interpretation on selected interventions will be later included as links. Note that US operations in World Wars I and II have been excluded.

1798-1800
France
Undeclared naval war against France, marines land in Puerto Plata.

1801-1805
Tripoli
War with Tripoli (Libya), called “First Barbary War”.

1806
Spanish Mexico
Military force enters Spanish territory in headwaters of the Rio Grande.

1806-1810
Spanish and French in Caribbean
US naval vessels attack French and Spanish shipping in the Caribbean.

1810
Spanish West Florida
Troops invade and seize Western Florida, a Spanish possession.

1812
Spanish East Florida
Troops seize Amelia Island and adjacent territories.

1812
Britain
War of 1812, includes naval and land operations.

1813
Marquesas Island
Forces seize Nukahiva and establish first US naval base in the Pacific.

1814
Spanish (East Florida)
Troops seize Pensacola in Spanish East Florida.

1814-1825
French, British and Spanish in Caribbean
US naval squadron engages French, British and Spanish shipping in the Caribbean.

1815
Algiers and Tripoli
US naval fleet under Captain Stephen Decatur wages “Second Barbary War” in North Africa.

1816-1819
Spanish East Florida
Troops attack and seize Nicholls’ Fort, Amelia Island and other strategic locations. Spain eventually cedes East Florida to the US.

1822-1825
Spanish Cuba and Puerto Rico
Marines land in numerous cities in the Spanish island of Cuba and also in Spanish Puerto Rico.

1827
Greece
Marines invade the Greek islands of Argentiere, Miconi and Andross.

1831
Falkland/Malvinas Islands
US naval squadrons aggress the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic.

1832
Sumatra, Dutch East Indies
US naval squadrons attack Qallah Battoo.

1833
Argentina
Forces land in Buenos Aires and engage local combatants.

1835-1836
Peru
Troops dispatched twice for counter-insurgency operations.

1836
Mexico
Troops assist Texas war for independence.

1837
Canada
Naval incident on the Canadian border leads to mobilization of a large force to invade Canada. War is narrowly averted.

1838
Sumatra, Dutch East Indies
US naval forces sent to Sumatra for punitive expedition.

1840-1841
Fiji
Naval forces deployed, marines land.

1841
Samoa
Naval forces deployed, marines land.

1842
Mexico
Naval forces temporarily seize cities of Monterey and San Diego.

1843
China
Marines land in Canton.

1843
Ivory Coast
Marines land.

1846-1848
Mexico
Full-scale war. Mexico cedes half of its territory to the US by the Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo.

1849
Ottoman Empire (Turkey)
Naval force dispatched to Smyrna.

1852-1853
Argentina
Marines land in Buenos Aires.

1854
Nicaragua
Navy bombards and largely destroys city of San Juan del Norte. Marines land and set fire to the city.

1854
Japan
Commodore Perry and his fleet deploy at Yokohama.

1855
Uruguay
Marines land in Montevideo.

1856
Colombia (Panama Region)
Marines land for counter-insurgency campaign.

1856
China
Marines deployed in Canton.

1856
Hawaii
Naval forces seize small islands of Jarvis, Baker and Howland in the Hawaiian Islands.

1857
Nicaragua
Marines land.

1858
Uruguay
Marines land in Montevideo.

1858
Fiji
Marines land.

1859
Paraguay
Large naval force deployed.

1859
China
Troops enter Shanghai.

1859
Mexico
Military force enters northern area.

1860
Portuguese West Africa
Troops land at Kissembo.

1860
Colombia (Panama Region)
Troops and naval forces deployed.

1863
Japan
Troops land at Shimonoseki.

1864
Japan
Troops landed in Yedo.

1865
Colombia (Panama Region)
Marines landed.

1866
Colombia (Panama Region)
Troops invade and seize Matamoros, later withdraw.

1866
China
Marines land in Newchwang.

1867
Nicaragua
Marines land in Managua and Leon in Nicaragua.

1867
Formosa Island (Taiwan)
Marines land.

1867
Midway Island
Naval forces seize this island in the Hawaiian Archipelago for a naval base.

1868
Japan
Naval forces deployed at Osaka, Hiogo, Nagasaki, Yokohama and Negata.

1868
Uruguay
Marines land at Montevideo.

1870
Colombia
Marines landed.

1871
Korea
Forces landed.

1873
Colombia (Panama Region)
Marines landed.

1874
Hawaii
Sailors and marines landed.

1876
Mexico
Army again occupies Matamoros.

1882
British Egypt
Troops land.

1885
Colombia (Panama Region)
Troops land in Colon and Panama City.

1885
Samoa
Naval force deployed.

1887
Hawaii
Navy gains right to build permanent naval base at Pearl Harbor.

1888
Haiti
Troops landed.

1888
Samoa
Marines landed.

1889
Samoa
Clash with German naval forces.

1890
Argentina
US sailors land in Buenos Aires.

1891
Chile
US sailors land in the major port city of Valparaiso.

1891
Haiti
Marines land on US-claimed Navassa Island.

1893
Hawaii
Marines and other naval forces land and overthrow the monarchy. Read More

1894
Nicaragua
Marines land at Bluefields on the eastern coast.

1894-1895
China
Marines are stationed at Tientsin and Beijing. A naval ship takes up position at Newchwang.

1894-1896
Korea
Marines land and remain in Seoul.

1895
Colombia
Marines are sent to the town Bocas del Toro.

1896
Nicaragua
Marines land in the port of Corinto.

1898
Nicaragua
Marines land at the port city of San Juan del Sur.

1898
Guam
Naval forces seize Guam Island from Spain and the US holds the island permanently.

1898
Cuba
Naval and land forces seize Cuba from Spain.

1898
Puerto Rico
Naval and land forces seize Puerto Rico from Spain and the US holds the island permanently.

1898
Philippines
Naval forces defeat the Spanish fleet and the US takes control of the country.

1899
Philippines
Military units are reinforced for extensive counter-insurgency operations.

1899
Samoa
Naval forces land

1899
Nicaragua
Marines land at the port city of Bluefields.

1900
China
US forces intervene in several cities.

1901
Colombia/Panama
Marines land.

1902
Colombia/Panama
US forces land in Bocas de Toro

1903
Colombia/Panama
With US backing, a group in northern Colombia declares independence as the state of Panama

1903
Guam
Navy begins development in Apra Harbor of a permanent base installation.

1903
Honduras
Marines go ashore at Puerto Cortez.

1903
Dominican Republic
Marines land in Santo Domingo.

1904-1905
Korea
Marines land and stay in Seoul.

1906-1909
Cuba
Marines land. The US builds a major naval base at Guantanamo Bay.

1907
Nicaragua
Troops seize major centers.

1907
Honduras
Marines land and take up garrison in cities of Trujillo, Ceiba, Puerto Cortez, San Pedro, Laguna and Choloma.

1908
Panama
Marines land and carry out operations.

1910
Nicaragua
Marines land in Bluefields and Corinto.

1911
Honduras
Marines intervene.

1911-1941
China
The US builds up its military presence in the country to a force of 5000 troops and a fleet of 44 vessels patrolling China’s coast and rivers.

1912
Cuba
US sends army troops into combat in Havana.

1912
Panama
Army troops intervene.

1912
Honduras
Marines land.

1912-1933
Nicaragua
Marines intervene. A 20-year occupation of the country follows.

1913
Mexico
Marines land at Ciaris Estero.

1914
Dominican Republic
Naval forces engage in battles in the city of Santo Domingo.

1914
Mexico
US forces seize and occupy Mexico’s major port city of Veracrus from April through November.

1915-1916
Mexico
An expeditionary force of the US Army under Gen. John J. Pershing crosses the Texas border and penetrates several hundred miles into Mexican territory. Eventually reinforced to over 11,000 officers and men.

1914-1934
Haiti
Troops land, aerial bombardment leading to a 19-year military occupation.

1916-1924
Dominican Republic
Military intervention leading to 8-year occupation.

1917-1933
Cuba
Landing of naval forces. Beginning of a 15-year occupation.

1918-1920
Panama
Troops intervene, remain on “police duty” for over 2 years.

1918-1922
Russia
Naval forces and army troops fight battles in several areas of the country during a five- year period.

1919
Yugoslavia
Marines intervene in Dalmatia.

1919
Honduras
Marines land.

1920
Guatemala
Troops intervene.

1922
Turkey
Marines engaged in operations in Smyrna (Izmir).

1922-1927
China
Naval forces and troops deployed during 5-year period.

1924-1925
Honduras
Troops land twice in two-year period.

1925
Panama
Marines land and engage in operations.

1927-1934
China
Marines and naval forces stationed throughout the country.

1932
El Salvador
Naval forces intervene.

1933
Cuba
Naval forces deployed.

1934
China
Marines land in Foochow.

1946
Iran
Troops deployed in northern province.

1946-1949
China
Major US army presence of about 100,000 troops, fighting, training and advising local combatants.

1947-1949
Greece
US forces wage a 3-year counterinsurgency campaign.

1948
Italy
Heavy CIA involvement in national elections.

1948-1954
Philippines
Commando operations, “secret” CIA war.

1950-1953
Korea
Major forces engaged in war in Korean peninsula.

1953
Iran
CIA overthrows government of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh. Read More

1954
Vietnam
Financial and materiel support for colonial French military operations, leads eventually to direct US military involvement.

1954
Guatemala
CIA overthrows the government of President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman.

1958
Lebanon
US marines and army units totaling 14,000 land.

1958
Panama
Clashes between US forces in Canal Zone and local citizens.

1959
Haiti
Marines land.

1960
Congo
CIA-backed overthrow and assassination of Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba.

1960-1964
Vietnam
Gradual introduction of military advisors and special forces.

1961
Cuba
CIA-backed Bay of Pigs invasion.

1962
Cuba
Nuclear threat and naval blockade.

1962
Laos
CIA-backed military coup.

1963
Ecuador
CIA backs military overthrow of President Jose Maria Valesco Ibarra.

1964
Panama
Clashes between US forces in Canal Zone and local citizens.

1964
Brazil
CIA-backed military coup overthrows the government of Joao Goulart and Gen. Castello Branco takes power. Read More

1965-1975
Vietnam
Large commitment of military forces, including air, naval and ground units numbering up to 500,000+ troops. Full-scale war, lasting for ten years.

1965
Indonesia
CIA-backed army coup overthrows President Sukarno and brings Gen. Suharto to power.

1965
Congo
CIA backed military coup overthrows President Joseph Kasavubu and brings Joseph Mobutu to power.

1965
Dominican Republic
23,000 troops land.

1965-1973
Laos
Bombing campaign begin, lasting eight years.

1966
Ghana
CIA-backed military coup ousts President Kwame Nkrumah.

1966-1967
Guatemala
Extensive counter-insurgency operation.

1969-1975
Cambodia
CIA supports military coup against Prince Sihanouk, bringing Lon Nol to power. Intensive bombing for seven years along border with Vietnam.

1970
Oman
Counter-insurgency operation, including coordination with Iranian marine invasion.

1971-1973
Laos
Invasion by US and South Vietnames forces.

1973
Chile
CIA-backed military coup ousts government of President Salvador Allende. Gen. Augusto Pinochet comes to power.

1975
Cambodia
Marines land, engage in combat with government forces.

1976-1992
Angola
Military and CIA operations.

1980
Iran
Special operations units land in Iranian desert. Helicopter malfunction leads to aborting of planned raid.

1981
Libya
Naval jets shoot down two Libyan jets in maneuvers over the Mediterranean.

1981-1992
El Salvador
CIA and special forces begin a long counterinsurgency campaign.

1981-1990
Nicaragua
CIA directs exile “Contra” operations. US air units drop sea mines in harbors.

1982-1984
Lebanon
Marines land and naval forces fire on local combatants.

1983
Grenada
Military forces invade Grenada.

1983-1989
Honduras
Large program of military assistance aimed at conflict in Nicaragua.

1984
Iran
Two Iranian jets shot down over the Persian Gulf.

1986
Libya
US aircraft bomb the cities of Tripoli and Benghazi, including direct strikes at the official residence of President Muamar al Qadaffi.

1986
Bolivia
Special Forces units engage in counter-insurgency.

1987-1988
Iran
Naval forces block Iranian shipping. Civilian airliner shot down by missile cruiser.

1989
Libya
Naval aircraft shoot down two Libyan jets over Gulf of Sidra.

1989
Philippines
CIA and Special Forces involved in counterinsurgency.

1989-1990
Panama
27,000 troops as well as naval and air power used to overthrow government of President Noriega.

1990
Liberia
Troops deployed.

1990-1991
Iraq
Major military operation, including naval blockade, air strikes; large number of troops attack Iraqi forces in occupied Kuwait.

1991-2003
Iraq
Control of Iraqi airspace in north and south of the country with periodic attacks on air and ground targets.

1991
Haiti
CIA-backed military coup ousts President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

1992-1994
Somalia
Special operations forces intervene.

1992-1994
Yugoslavia
Major role in NATO blockade of Serbia and Montenegro.

1993-1995
Bosnia
Active military involvement with air and ground forces.

1994-1996
Haiti
Troops depose military rulers and restore President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to office.

1995
Croatia
Krajina Serb airfields attacked.

1996-1997
Zaire (Congo)
Marines involved in operations in eastern region of the country.

1997
Liberia
Troops deployed.

1998
Sudan
Air strikes destroy country’s major pharmaceutical plant.

1998
Afghanistan
Attack on targets in the country.

1998
Iraq
Four days of intensive air and missile strikes.

1999
Yugoslavia
Major involvement in NATO air strikes.

2001
Macedonia
NATO troops shift and partially disarm Albanian rebels.

2001
Afghanistan
Air attacks and ground operations oust Taliban government and install a new regime.

2003
Iraq
Invasion with large ground, air and naval forces ousts government of Saddam Hussein and establishes new government.

2003-present
Iraq
Occupation force of 150,000 troops in protracted counter-insurgency war

2004
Haiti
Marines land. CIA-backed forces overthrow President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Articles by: Global Policy Forum

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