A political analyst tells Press TV that the American soldiers are grossly demoralized by the kinds of activities they are engaged in which involves the killing of a lot of innocent men, women and children.
This is while 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.
Press TV has conducted an interview with James Fetzer, American philosopher, to further discuss the issue. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Mr. Fetzer, hundreds of thousands of US troops stationed around the world. Tell us first of all how they systematically operate?
Well it is a fairly astonishing number to have 1.4 million troops stationed abroad. The US military only includes about 3 million altogether distributed over the five services-- the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Coast Guard and then counting the Marine Corps separately but now it is part of the Navy. About half of that 3 million is a reserve force but that does not mean they are called into active duty. But to have a staggering number is an indication of the ongoing effort to fulfill the conception of the neo-cons of an American empire worldwide. I find it quite shocking.
And of course how does this fall into the context of territorial integrity and sovereignty of the countries hosting those troops especially?
Well it is astonishing because you know American forces are performing all these actions, these aggressive actions, invasions and occupation led in Afghanistan. It is very troubling for the American soldiers themselves. During the first nine months of the last year two hundred and forty seven American military forces committed suicide. There was only two hundred and twenty two were killed as a result of alleged combat incidents.
I mean what that means is that these soldiers are grossly demoralized by the kinds of activities they are engaged in which I am sorry to say involves the killing of a lot of innocent men, women and children, a lot of which now of course today is being done by the use of drones but in my opinion in the highly objectionable ways where even the American citizens too are being targeted now by the American government. It is a profoundly disturbing situation.
And it is interesting it is very detrimental to the people of those nations as well?
There is no doubt about it. One sign of hope I see here is that Senator Chuck Hagel is nominated by the President to become our new Secretary Defense. Well Hagel is a friend of Republicans by saying and describing himself as the Senator from United States rather than a Senator from Israel.
It is embarrassing when you see Wendy Gramm and then John McCain....representing Israel rather than the United States. So it looks as though in spite of their opposition that Senator Hagel was going to be confirmed and I regard this as a very important step forward. It separates the interest of United States from those of Israel. Because they are in fact very different and often actually in conflict.