While the U.S. Congress has issued Declarations of War in five wars over the past couple of hundred years, U.S. Presidents and the U.S Congress have authorized numerous military operations and even “wars” without such Declarations of War by the U.S. Congress. What does the Constitution actually say about this?

Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution says “The Congress shall have the power … To declare war…”
Article II, Section 2 says “The president shall be commander in chief of the army and navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States…”
Congress declared war:

In 1812 against Great Britain (War of 1812)
In 1846 against Mexico (Mexican-American War)
In 1898 against Spain (Spanish-American War)
In 1917 against Germany and Austria-Hungary (World War I)
In 1941 against Japan, Germany, Italy; in 1942 against Bulgaria, Hungary and Rumania (World War II)
Undeclared Wars:

There have been numerous undeclared wars in which the United States was engaged in military operations, but here are a few examples:
President John Adams asked Congress for legislation to protect American shipping, as American relations with France had deteriorated in 1798 to the point where the French navy had seized more than 300 American commercial ships. This was after the start of the French Revolution and was during a time of war between England and France.

President Thomas Jefferson asked Congress to pass legislation to protect American commercial ships against pirates from Tripoli in 1802; President James Madison did the same in 1815 against pirates from Algeria; the U.S. Congress authorized President James Monroe to use armed vessels to protect American shipping from pirates in the Caribbean and Latin American waters and he issued the Monroe Doctrine in 1823.
There were numerous wars fought against Native Americans.

U.S. military forces were used numerous times such as Commodore Perry carrying a letter from U.S. President Millard Fillmore to the Emperor of Japan and the opening of Japan to U.S. trade in 1853-1854; in the Boxer Rebellion in China 1900-1901; wars in Central America, etc.
After World War II there was a major shift with U.S. Presidents engaging in major “wars” without Congressional Declarations of War: President Harry Truman’s Korean War starting in 1950; and President Lyndon B. Johnson’s and President Nixon’s Vietnam War 1965-1975.
A Congressional Research Service report from 2007 states:

But a declaration of war automatically brings into effect a number of statutes that confer special powers on the President and the Executive Branch, especially concerning measures that have domestic effect. A declaration, for instance, activates statutes that empower the President to interdict all trade with the enemy, order manufacturing plants to produce armaments and seize them if they refuse, control transportation systems in order to give the military priority use, and command communications systems to give priority to the military. A declaration triggers the Alien Enemy Act, which gives the President substantial discretionary authority over nationals of an enemy state who are in the United States. It activates special authorities to use electronic surveillance for purposes of gathering foreign intelligence information without a court order under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. It automatically extends enlistments in the armed forces until the end of the war, can make the Coast Guard part of the Navy, gives the President substantial discretion over the appointment and reappointment of commanders, and allows the military priority use of the natural resources on the public lands and the continental shelf.

U.S. Congress made an attempt to regain its power “to declare” war with the War Powers Resolution Act of 1973. This bill allows the president to use military force for up to sixty days, with an additional thirty days to permit disengagement.
During the 1980s, members of Congress filed court cases charging that President Reagan violated the War Powers Act by sending military advisers to El Salvador; the invasion of Grenada, military actions in Nicaragua and the Person Gulf. The courts basically said if Congress doesn’t defend its right to declare war, the courts can’t step in to protect that right.

Similarly, members of Congress brought a lawsuit against President George H. W. Bush in 1990 for sending troops to the Persian Gulf. Another suit was brought by twenty-five members of the House of Representatives against President Bill Clinton for military action in Yugoslavia without congressional authorization. The courts gave similar rulings to the 1980s cases.

What has occurred is that basically presidents now have the power to start and conduct wars as they please.

Here is a list of the hundreds of uses of U.S. armed forces abroad from 1798 to 2009 by the Congressional Research Service. Of course, this list does not include covert operations by the CIA and other intelligence agencies. At the bottom of this article is a link where you can find the report.


1798-1800 — Undeclared Naval War with France. This contest included land actions, such as that in the Dominican Republic, city of Puerto Plata, where marines captured a French privateer under the guns of the forts. Congress authorized military action through a series of statutes.

1801-05 — Tripoli. The First Barbary War included the USS George Washington and USS Philadelphia affairs and the Eaton expedition, during which a few marines landed with United States Agent William Eaton to raise a force against Tripoli in an effort to free the crew of the Philadelphia. Tripoli declared war but not the United States, although Congress authorized US military action by statute.

1806 — Mexico (Spanish territory). Capt. Z. M. Pike, with a platoon of troops, invaded Spanish territory at the headwaters of the Rio Grande on orders from Gen. James Wilkinson. He was made prisoner without resistance at a fort he constructed in present day Colorado, taken to Mexico, and later released after seizure of his papers.

1806-10 — Gulf of Mexico. American gunboats operated from New Orleans against Spanish and French privateers off the Mississippi Delta, chiefly under Capt. John Shaw and Master Commandant David Porter.

1810 — West Florida (Spanish territory). Gov. Claiborne of Louisiana, on orders of the President, occupied with troops territory in dispute east of the Mississippi as far as the Pearl River, later the eastern boundary of Louisiana. He was authorized to seize as far east as the Perdido River.

1812 — Amelia Island and other parts of east Florida, then under Spain. Temporary possession was authorized by President Madison and by Congress, to prevent occupation by any other power; but possession was obtained by Gen. George Matthews in so irregular a manner that his measures were disavowed by the President.

1812-15 — War of 1812. On June 18, 1812, the United States declared war between the United States and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Among the issues leading to the war were British interception of neutral ships and blockades of the United States during British hostilities with France.

1813 — West Florida (Spanish territory). On authority given by Congress, General Wilkinson seized Mobile Bay in April with 600 soldiers. A small Spanish garrison gave way. Thus US advanced into disputed territory to the Perdido River, as projected in 1810. No fighting.

1813-14 — Marguesas Islands. US forces built a fort on the island of Nukahiva to protect three prize ships which had been captured from the British.

1814 — Spanish Florida. Gen. Andrew Jackson took Pensacola and drove out the British with whom the United States was at war.

1814-25 — Caribbean. Engagements between pirates and American ships or squadrons took place repeatedly especially ashore and offshore about Cuba, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, and Yucatan. Three thousand pirate attacks on merchantmen were reported between 1815 and 1823. In 1822 Commodore James Biddle employed a squadron of two frigates, four sloops of war, two brigs, four schooners, and two gunboats in the West Indies.

1815 — Algiers. The second Barbary War was declared against the United States by the Dey of Algiers of the Barbary states, an act not reciprocated by the United States. Congress did authorize a military expedition by statutes. A large fleet under Decatur attacked Algiers and obtained indemnities.

1815 — Tripoli. After securing an agreement from Algiers, Decatur demonstrated with his squadron at Tunis and Tripoli, where he secured indemnities for offenses during the War of 1812.

1816 — Spanish Florida. United States forces destroyed Nicholls Fort, called also Negro Fort, which harbored raiders making forays into United States territory.

1816-18 — Spanish Florida – First Seminole War. The Seminole Indians, whose area was a haven for escaped slaves and border ruffians, were attacked by troops under Generals Jackson and Gaines and pursued into northern Florida. Spanish posts were attacked and occupied, British citizens executed. In 1819 the Floridas were ceded to the United States.

1817 — Amelia Island (Spanish territory off Florida). Under orders of President Monroe, United States forces landed and expelled a group of smugglers, adventurers, and freebooters.

1818 — Oregon. The USS Ontario dispatched from Washington, landed at the Columbia River and in August took possession of Oregon territory. Britain had conceded sovereignty but Russia and Spain asserted claims to the area.

1820-23 — Africa. Naval units raided the slave traffic pursuant to the 1819 act of Congress.

1822 — Cuba. United States naval forces suppressing piracy landed on the northwest coast of Cuba and burned a pirate station.

1823 — Cuba. Brief landings in pursuit of pirates occurred April 8 near Escondido; April 16 near Cayo Blanco; July 11 at Siquapa Bay; July 21 at Cape Cruz; and October 23 at Camrioca.

1824 — Cuba. In October the USS Porpoise landed bluejackets near Matanzas in pursuit of pirates. This was during the cruise authorized in 1822.

1824 — Puerto Rico (Spanish territory). Commodore David Porter with a landing party attacked the town of Fajardo which had sheltered pirates and insulted American naval officers. He landed with 200 men in November and forced an apology. Commodore Porter was later court-martialed for overstepping his powers.

1825 — Cuba. In March cooperating American and British forces landed at Sagua La Grande to capture pirates.

1827 — Greece. In October and November landing parties hunted pirates on the islands of Argenteire, Miconi, and Androse.

1831-32 — Falkland Islands. Captain Duncan of the USS Lexington investigated the capture of three American sealing vessels and sought to protect American interests.

1832 — Sumatra. – February 6 to 9. A naval force landed and stormed a fort to punish natives of the town of Quallah Battoo for plundering the American ship Friendship.

1833 — Argentina. – October 31 to November 15. A force was sent ashore at Buenos Aires to protect the interests of the United States and other countries during an insurrection.

1835-36 — Peru. – December 10, 1835, to January 24, 1836, and August 31 to December 7, 1836. Marines protected American interests in Callao and Lima during an attempted revolution.

1836 — Mexico. General Gaines occupied Nacogdoches (Tex.), disputed territory, from July to December during the Texan war for independence, under orders to cross the “imaginary boundary line” if an Indian outbreak threatened.

1838-39 — Sumatra. – December 24, 1838, to January 4, 1839. A naval force landed to punish natives of the towns of Quallah Battoo and Muckie (Mukki) for depredations on American shipping.

1840 — Fiji Islands. – July. Naval forces landed to punish natives for attacking American exploring and surveying parties.

1841 — Drummond Island, Kingsmill Group. A naval party landed to avenge the murder of a seaman by the natives.

1841 — Samoa. – February 24. A naval party landed and burned towns after the murder of an American seaman on Upolu Island.

1842 — Mexico. Commodore T.A.C. Jones, in command of a squadron long cruising off California, occupied Monterey, Calif., on October 19, believing war had come. He discovered peace, withdrew, and saluted. A similar incident occurred a week later at San Diego.

1843 — China. Sailors and marines from the St. Louis were landed after a clash between Americans and Chinese at the trading post in Canton.

1843 — Africa. – November 29 to December 16. Four United States vessels demonstrated and landed various parties (one of 200 marines and sailors) to discourage piracy and the slave trade along the Ivory coast, and to punish attacks by the natives on American seamen and shipping.

1844 — Mexico. President Tyler deployed US forces to protect Texas against Mexico, pending Senate approval of a treaty of annexation. (Later rejected.) He defended his action against a Senate resolution of inquiry.

1846-48 — Mexican War. On May 13,1846, the United States recognized the existence of a state of war with Mexico. After the annexation of Texas in 1845, the United States and Mexico failed to resolve a boundary dispute and President Polk said that it was necessary to deploy forces in Mexico to meet a threatened invasion.

1849 — Smyrna. In July a naval force gained release of an American seized by Austrian officials.

1851 — Turkey. After a massacre of foreigners (including Americans) at Jaffa in January, a demonstration by the Mediterranean Squadron was ordered along the Turkish (Levant) coast.

1851 — Johanns Island (east of Africa). – August. Forces from the US sloop of war Dale exacted redress for the unlawful imprisonment of the captain of an American whaling brig.

1852-53 — Argentina. – February 3 to 12, 1852; September 17, 1852 to April 1853. Marines were landed and maintained in Buenos Aires to protect American interests during a revolution.

1853 — Nicaragua. – March 11 to 13. US forces landed to protect American lives and interests during political disturbances.

1853-54 — Japan. Commodore Perry and his expedition made a display of force leading to the “opening of Japan.”

1853-54 — Ryukyu and Bonin Islands. Commodore Perry on three visits before going to Japan and while waiting for a reply from Japan made a naval demonstration, landing marines twice, and secured a coaling concession from the ruler of Naha on Okinawa; he also demonstrated in the Bonin Islands with the purpose of securing facilities for commerce.

1854 — China. – April 4 to June 15 to 17. American and English ships landed forces to protect American interests in and near Shanghai during Chinese civil strife.

1854 — Nicaragua. – July 9 to 15. Naval forces bombarded and burned San Juan del Norte (Greytown) to avenge an insult to the American Minister to Nicaragua.

1855 — China. – May 19 to 21. US forces protected American interests in Shanghai and, from August 3 to 5 fought pirates near Hong Kong.

1855 — Fiji Islands. – September 12 to November 4. An American naval force landed to seek reparations for depredations on American residents and seamen.

1855 — Uruguay. – November 25 to 29. United States and European naval forces landed to protect American interests during an attempted revolution in Montevideo.

1856 — Panama, Republic of New Grenada. – September 19 to 22. US forces landed to protect American interests during an insurrection.

1856 — China. – October 22 to December 6. US forces landed to protect American interests at Canton during hostilities between the British and the Chinese, and to avenge an assault upon an unarmed boat displaying the United States flag.

1857 — Nicaragua. – April to May, November to December. In May Commander C.H. Davis of the United States Navy, with some marines, received the surrender of William Walker, who had been attempting to get control of the country, and protected his men from the retaliation of native allies who had been fighting Walker. In November and December of the same year United States vessels Saratoga, Wabash, and Fulton opposed another attempt of William Walker on Nicaragua. Commodore Hiram Paulding’s act of landing marines and compelling the removal of Walker to the United States, was tacitly disavowed by Secretary of State Lewis Cass, and Paulding was forced into retirement.

1858 — Uruguay. – January 2 to 27. Forces from two United States warships landed to protect American property during a revolution in Montevideo.

1858 — Fiji Islands. – October 6 to 16. A marine expedition chastised natives for the murder of two American citizens at Waya.

1858-59 — Turkey. The Secretary of State requested a display of naval force along the Levant after a massacre of Americans at Jaffa and mistreatment elsewhere “to remind the authorities (of Turkey) of the power of the United States.”

1859 — Paraguay. Congress authorized a naval squadron to seek redress for an attack on a naval vessel in the Parana River during 1855. Apologies were made after a large display of force.

1859 — Mexico. Two hundred United States soldiers crossed the Rio Grande in pursuit of the Mexican bandit Cortina.

1859 — China. – July 31 to August 2. A naval force landed to protect American interests in Shanghai.

1860 — Angola, Portuguese West Africa. – March 1. American residents at Kissembo called upon American and British ships to protect lives and property during problems with natives.

1860 — Colombia, Bay of Panama. – September 27 to October 8. Naval forces landed to protect American interests during a revolution.

1863 — Japan. – July 16. The USS Wyoming retaliated against a firing on the American vessel Pembroke at Shimonoseki.

1864 — Japan.- July 14 to August 3. Naval forces protected the United States Minister to Japan when he visited Yedo to negotiate concerning some American claims against Japan, and to make his negotiations easier by impressing the Japanese with American power.

1864 — Japan. – September 4 to 14. Naval forces of the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands compelled Japan and the Prince of Nagato in particular to permit the Straits of Shimonoseki to be used by foreign shipping in accordance with treaties already signed.

1865 — Panama. – March 9 and 10. US forces protected the lives and property of American residents during a revolution.

1866 — Mexico. To protect American residents, General Sedgwick and 100 men in November obtained surrender of Matamoras. After three days he was ordered by US Government to withdraw. His act was repudiated by the President.

1866 — China. From June 20 to July 7, US forces punished an assault on the American consul at Newchwang.

1867 — Nicaragua. Marines occupied Managua and Leon.

1867 — Formosa. – June 13. A naval force landed and burned a number of huts to punish the murder of the crew of a wrecked American vessel.

1868 — Japan (Osaka, Hiolo, Nagasaki, Yokohama, and Negata). – February 4 to 8, April 4 to May 12, June 12 and 13. US forces were landed to protect American interests during the civil war in Japan.

1868 — Uruguay. – February 7 and 8, 19 to 26. US forces protected foreign residents and the customhouse during an insurrection at Montevideo.

1868 — Colombia. – April. US forces protected passengers and treasure in transit at Aspinwall during the absence of local police or troops on the occasion of the death of the President of Colombia.

1870 — Mexico. – June 17 and 18. US forces destroyed the pirate ship Forward, which had been run aground about 40 miles up the Rio Tecapan.

1870 — Hawaiian Islands. – September 21. US forces placed the American flag at half mast upon the death of Queen Kalama, when the American consul at Honolulu would not assume responsibility for so doing.

1871 — Korea. – June 10 to 12. A US naval force attacked and captured five forts to punish natives for depredations on Americans, particularly for murdering the crew of the General Sherman and burning the schooner, and for later firing on other American small boats taking soundings up the Salee River.

1873 — Colombia (Bay of Panama). – May 7 to 22, September 23 to October 9. U.S. forces protected American interests during hostilities between local groups over control of the government of the State of Panama.

1873-96 — Mexico. United States troops crossed the Mexican border repeatedly in pursuit of cattle and other thieves and other brigands. There were some reciprocal pursuits by Mexican troops into border territory. Mexico protested frequently. Notable cases were at Remolina in May 1873 and at Las Cuevas in 1875. Washington orders often supported these excursions. Agreements between Mexico and the United States, the first in 1882, finally legitimized such raids. They continued intermittently, with minor disputes, until 1896.

1874 — Hawaiian Islands. – February 12 to 20. Detachments from American vessels were landed to preserve order and protect American lives and interests during the coronation of a new king.

1876 — Mexico. – May 18. An American force was landed to police the town of Matamoras temporarily while it was without other government.

1882 — Egypt. – July 14 to 18. American forces landed to protect American interests during warfare between British and Egyptians and looting of the city of Alexandria by Arabs.

1885 — Panama (Colon). – January 18 and 19. US forces were used to guard the valuables in transit over the Panama Railroad, and the safes and vaults of the company during revolutionary activity. In March, April, and May in the cities of Colon and Panama, the forces helped reestablish freedom of transit during revolutionary activity.

1888 — Korea. – June. A naval force was sent ashore to protect American residents in Seoul during unsettled political conditions, when an outbreak of the populace was expected.

1888 — Haiti. – December 20. A display of force persuaded the Haitian Government to give up an American steamer which had been seized on the charge of breach of blockade.

1888-89 — Samoa. – November 14, 1888, to March 20, 1889. US forces were landed to protect American citizens and the consulate during a native civil war.

1889 — Hawaiian Islands. – July 30 and 31. US forces protected American interests at Honolulu during a revolution.

1890 — Argentina. A naval party landed to protect US consulate and legation in Buenos Aires.

1891 — Haiti. US forces sought to protect American lives and property on Navassa Island.

1891 — Bering Strait. – July 2 to October 5. Naval forces sought to stop seal poaching.

1891 — Chile. – August 28 to 30. US forces protected the American consulate and the women and children who had taken refuge in it during a revolution in Valparaiso.

1893 — Hawaii. – January 16 to April 1. Marines were landed ostensibly to protect American lives and property, but many believed actually to promote a provisional government under Sanford B. Dole. This action was disavowed by the United States.

1894 — Brazil. – January. A display of naval force sought to protect American commerce and shipping at Rio de Janeiro during a Brazilian civil war.

1894 — Nicaragua. – July 6 to August 7. US forces sought to protect American interests at Bluefields following a revolution.

1894-95 — China. Marines were stationed at Tientsin and penetrated to Peking for protection purposes during the Sino-Japanese War.

1894-95 — China. A naval vessel was beached and used as a fort at Newchwang for protection of American nationals.

1894-96 — Korea. – July 24, 1894 to April 3, 1896. A guard of marines was sent to protect the American legation and American lives and interests at Seoul during and following the Sino-Japanese War.

1895 — Colombia. – March 8 to 9. US forces protected American interests during an attack on the town of Bocas del Toro by a bandit chieftain.

1896 — Nicaragua. – May 2 to 4. US forces protected American interests in Corinto during political unrest.

1898 — Nicaragua. – February 7 and 8. US forces protected American lives and property at San Juan del Sur.

1898 — The Spanish-American War. On April 25, 1898, the United States declared war with Spain. The war followed a Cuban insurrection against Spanish rule and the sinking of the USS Maine in the harbor at Havana.

1898-99 — China. – November 5, 1898 to March 15, 1899. US forces provided a guard for the legation at Peking and the consulate at Tientsin during contest between the Dowager Empress and her son.

1899 — Nicaragua. American and British naval forces were landed to protect national interests at San Juan del Norte, February 22 to March 5, and at Bluefields a few weeks later in connection with the insurrection of Gen. Juan P. Reyes.

1899 — Samoa. – February-May 15. American and British naval forces were landed to protect national interests and to take part in a bloody contention over the succession to the throne.

1899-1901 — Philippine Islands. US forces protected American interests following the war with Spain and conquered the islands by defeating the Filipinos in their war for independence.

1900 — China. – May 24 to September 28. American troops participated in operations to protect foreign lives during the Boxer rising, particularly at Peking. For many years after this experience a permanent legation guard was maintained in Peking, and was strengthened at times as trouble threatened.

1901 — Colombia (State of Panama). – November 20 to December 4. US forces protected American property on the Isthmus and kept transit lines open during serious revolutionary disturbances.

1902 — Colombia. – April 16 to 23. US forces protected American lives and property at Bocas del Toro during a civil war.

1902 — Colombia (State of Panama). – September 17 to November 18. The United States placed armed guards on all trains crossing the Isthmus to keep the railroad line open, and stationed ships on both sides of Panama to prevent the landing of Colombian troops.

1903 — Honduras. – March 23 to 30 or 31. US forces protected the American consulate and the steamship wharf at Puerto Cortez during a period of revolutionary activity.

1903 — Dominican Republic. – March 30 to April 21. A detachment of marines was landed to protect American interests in the city of Santo Domingo during a revolutionary outbreak.

1903 — Syria. – September 7 to 12. US forces protected the American consulate in Beirut when a local Moslem uprising was feared.

1903-04 — Abyssinia. Twenty-five marines were sent to Abyssinia to protect the US Consul General while he negotiated a treaty.

1903-14 — Panama. US forces sought to protect American interests and lives during and following the revolution for independence from Colombia over construction of the Isthmian Canal. With brief intermissions, United States Marines were stationed on the Isthmus from November 4, 1903, to January 21, 1914 to guard American interests.

1904 — Dominican Republic. – January 2 to February 11. American and British naval forces established an area in which no fighting would be allowed and protected American interests in Puerto Plata and Sosua and Santo Domingo City during revolutionary fighting.

1904 — Tangier, Morocco. “We want either Perdicaris alive or Raisula dead.” A squadron demonstrated to force release of a kidnapped American. Marines were landed to protect the consul general.

1904 — Panama. – November 17 to 24. US forces protected American lives and property at Ancon at the time of a threatened insurrection.

1904-05 — Korea. – January 5, 1904, to November 11, 1905. A guard of Marines was sent to protect the American legation in Seoul during the Russo-Japanese War.

1906-09 — Cuba. – September 1906 to January 23, 1909. US forces sought to restore order, protect foreigners, and establish a stable government after serious revolutionary activity.

1907 — Honduras. – March 18 to June 8. To protect American interests during a war between Honduras and Nicaragua, troops were stationed in Trujillo, Ceiba, Puerto Cortez, San Pedro, Laguna and Choloma.

1910 — Nicaragua. – May 19 to September 4. US forces protected American interests at Bluefields.

1911 — Honduras. – January 26. American naval detachments were landed to protect American lives and interests during a civil war in Honduras.

1911 — China. As the nationalist revolution approached, in October an ensign and 10 men tried to enter Wuchang to rescue missionaries but retired on being warned away, and a small landing force guarded American private property and consulate at Hankow. Marineswere deployed in November to guard the cable stations at Shanghai; landing forces were sent for protection in Nanking, Chinkiang, Taku and elsewhere.

1912 — Honduras. A small force landed to prevent seizure by the government of an American-owned railroad at Puerto Cortez. The forces were withdrawn after the United States disapproved the action.

1912 — Panama. Troops, on request of both political parties, supervised elections outside the Canal Zone.

1912 — Cuba. – June 5 to August 5. US forces protected American interests on the Province of Oriente, and in Havana.

1912 — China. – August 24 to 26, on Kentucky Island, and August 26 to 30 at Camp Nicholson. US forces protected Americans and American interests during revolutionary activity.

1912 — Turkey. – November 18 to December 3. US forces guarded the American legation at Constantinople during a Balkan War.

1912-25 — Nicaragua. – August to November 1912. US forces protected American interests during an attempted revolution. A small force, serving as a legation guard and seeking to promote peace and stability, remained until August 5, 1925.

1912-41 — China. The disorders which began with the overthrow of the dynasty during Kuomintang rebellion in 1912, which were redirected by the invasion of China by Japan, led to demonstrations and landing parties for the protection of US interests in China continuously and at many points from 1912 on to 1941. The guard at Peking and along the route to the sea was maintained until 1941. In 1927, the United States had 5,670 troops ashore in China and 44 naval vessels in its waters. In 1933 the United States had 3,027 armed men ashore. The protective action was generally based on treaties with China concluded from 1858 to 1901.

1913 — Mexico. – September 5 to 7. A few marines landed at Ciaris Estero to aid in evacuating American citizens and others from the Yaqui Valley, made dangerous for foreigners by civil strife.

1914 — Haiti.- January 29 to February 9, February 20 to 21, October 19. Intermittently US naval forces protected American nationals in a time of rioting and revolution.

1914 — Dominican Republic. – June and July. During a revolutionary movement, United States naval forces by gunfire stopped the bombardment of Puerto Plata, and by threat of force maintained Santo Domingo City as a neutral zone.

1914-17 — Mexico. Undeclared Mexican–American hostilities followed the Dolphin affair and Villa’s raids and included capture of Vera Cruz and later Pershing’s expedition into northern Mexico.

1915-34 — Haiti. – July 28, 1915, to August 15, 1934. US forces maintained order during a period of chronic political instability.

1916 — China. American forces landed to quell a riot taking place on American property in Nanking.

1916-24 — Dominican Republic. – May 1916 to September 1924. American naval forces maintained order during a period of chronic and threatened insurrection.

1917 — China. American troops were landed at Chungking to protect American lives during a political crisis.

1917-18 — World War I. On April 6, 1917, the United States declared war with Germany and on December 7, 1917, with Austria-Hungary. Entrance of the United States into the war was precipitated by Germany’s submarine warfare against neutral shipping.

1917-22 — Cuba. US forces protected American interests during insurrection and subsequent unsettled conditions. Most of the United States armed forces left Cuba by August 1919, but two companies remained at Camaguey until February 1922.

1918-19 — Mexico. After withdrawal of the Pershing expedition, US troops entered Mexico in pursuit of bandits at least three times in 1918 and six times in 1919. In August 1918 American and Mexican troops fought at Nogales.

1918-20 — Panama. US forces were used for police duty according to treaty stipulations, at Chiriqui, during election disturbances and subsequent unrest.

1918-20 — Soviet Russia. Marines were landed at and near Vladivostok in June and July to protect the American consulate and other points in the fighting between the Bolshevik troops and the Czech Army which had traversed Siberia from the western front. A joint proclamation of emergency government and neutrality was issued by the American, Japanese, British, French, and Czech commanders in July. In August 7,000 men were landed in Vladivostok and remained until January 1920, as part of an allied occupation force. In September 1918, 5,000 American troops joined the allied intervention force at Archangel and remained until June 1919. These operations were in response to the Bolshevik revolution in Russia and were partly supported by Czarist or Kerensky elements.

1919 — Dalmatia. US forces were landed at Trau at the request of Italian authorities to police order between the Italians and Serbs.

1919 — Turkey. Marines from the USS Arizona were landed to guard the US Consulate during the Greek occupation of Constantinople.

1919 — Honduras. – September 8 to 12. A landing force was sent ashore to maintain order in a neutral zone during an attempted revolution.

1920 — China. – March 14. A landing force was sent ashore for a few hours to protect lives during a disturbance at Kiukiang.

1920 — Guatemala. – April 9 to 27. US forces protected the American Legation and other American interests, such as the cable station, during a period of fighting between Unionists and the Government of Guatemala.

1920-22 — Russia (Siberia). – February 16, 1920, to November 19, 1922. A Marine guard was sent to protect the United States radio station and property on Russian Island, Bay of Vladivostok.

1921 — Panama – Costa Rica. American naval squadrons demonstrated in April on both sides of the Isthmus to prevent war between the two countries over a boundary dispute.

1922 — Turkey. – September and October. A landing force was sent ashore with consent of both Greek and Turkish authorities, to protect American lives and property when the Turkish Nationalists entered Smyrna.

1922-23 — China. Between April 1922 and November 1923 marines were landed five times to protect Americans during periods of unrest.

1924 — Honduras. – February 28 to March 31, September 10 to 15. US forces protected American lives and interests during election hostilities.

1924 — China. – September. Marines were landed to protect Americans and other foreigners in Shanghai during Chinese factional hostilities.

1925 — China. – January 15 to August 29. Fighting of Chinese factions accompanied by riots and demonstrations in Shanghai brought the landing of American forces to protect lives and property in the International Settlement.

1925 — Honduras. – April 19 to 21. US forces protected foreigners at La Ceiba during a political upheaval.

1925 — Panama. – October 12 to 23. Strikes and rent riots led to the landing of about 600 American troops to keep order and protect American interests.

1926-33 — Nicaragua. – May 7 to June 5, 1926; August 27, 1926, to January 3, 1933. The coup d’etat of General Chamorro aroused revolutionary activities leading to the landing of American marines to protect the interests of the United States. United States forces came and went intermittently until January 3, 1933.

1926 — China. – August and September. The Nationalist attack on Hankow brought the landing of American naval forces to protect American citizens. A small guard was maintained at the consulate general even after September 16, when the rest of the forces were withdrawn. Likewise, when Nationalist forces captured Kiukiang, naval forces were landed for the protection of foreigners November 4 to 6.

1927 — China. – February. Fighting at Shanghai caused American naval forces and marines to be increased. In March a naval guard was stationed at American consulate at Nanking after Nationalist forces captured the city. American and British destroyers later used shell fire to protect Americans and other foreigners. Subsequently additional forces of marines and naval forces were stationed in the vicinity of Shanghai and Tientsin.

1932 — China. American forces were landed to protect American interests during the Japanese occupation of Shanghai.

1933 — Cuba. During a revolution against President Gerardo Machado naval forces demonstrated but no landing was made.

1934 — China. Marines landed at Foochow to protect the American Consulate.

1940 — Newfoundland, Bermuda, St. Lucia, – Bahamas, Jamaica, Antigua, Trinidad, and British Guiana. Troops were sent to guard air and naval bases obtained by negotiation with Great Britain. These were sometimes called lend-lease bases.

1941 — Greenland. Greenland was taken under protection of the United States in April.

1941 — Netherlands (Dutch Guiana). In November the President ordered American troops to occupy Dutch Guiana, but by agreement with the Netherlands government in exile, Brazil cooperated to protect aluminum ore supply from the bauxite mines in Surinam.

1941 — Iceland. Iceland was taken under the protection of the United States, with consent of its government, for strategic reasons.

1941 — Germany. Sometime in the spring the President ordered the Navy to patrol ship lanes to Europe. By July US warships were convoying and by September were attacking German submarines. In November, the Neutrality Act was partly repealed to protect US military aid to Britain.

1941-45 — World War II. On December 8, 1941, the United States declared war with Japan, on December 11 with Germany and Italy, and on June 5, 1942, with Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. The United States declared war against Japan after the surprise bombing of Pearl Harbor, and against Germany and Italy after those nations, under the dictators Hitler and Mussolini, declared war against the United States. The US declared war against Bulgaria, Hungary and Rumania in response to the declarations of war by those nations against the United States.

1945 — China. In October 50,000 US Marines were sent to North China to assist Chinese Nationalist authorities in disarming and repatriating the Japanese in China and in controlling ports, railroads, and airfields. This was in addition to approximately 60,000 US forces remaining in China at the end of World War II.

1946 — Trieste. President Truman ordered the augmentation of US troops along the zonal occupation line and the reinforcement of air forces in northern Italy after Yugoslav forces shot down an unarmed US Army transport plane flying over Venezia Giulia. Earlier US naval units had been dispatched to the scene.

1948 — Palestine. A marine consular guard was sent to Jerusalem to protect the US Consul General.

1948 — Berlin. After the Soviet Union established a land blockade of the US, British, and French sectors of Berlin on June 24, 1948, the United States and its allies airlifted supplies to Berlin until after the blockade was lifted in May 1949.

1948-49 — China. Marines were dispatched to Nanking to protect the American Embassy when the city fell to Communist troops, and to Shanghai to aid in the protection and evacuation of Americans.

1950-53 — Korean War. The United States responded to North Korean invasion of South Korea by going to its assistance, pursuant to United Nations Security Council resolutions. US forces deployed in Korea exceeded 300,000 during the last year of the conflict. Over 36,600 US military were killed in action.

1950-55 — Formosa (Taiwan). In June 1950 at the beginning of the Korean War, President Truman ordered the US Seventh Fleet to prevent Chinese Communist attacks upon Formosa and Chinese Nationalist operations against mainland China.

1954-55 — China. Naval units evacuated US civilians and military personnel from the Tachen Islands.

1956 — Egypt. A marine battalion evacuated US nationals and other persons from Alexandria during the Suez crisis.

1958 — Lebanon. Marines were landed in Lebanon at the invitation of its government to help protect against threatened insurrection supported from the outside. The President’s action was supported by a Congressional resolution passed in 1957 that authorized such actions in that area of the world.

1959-60 — The Caribbean. 2d Marine Ground Task Force was deployed to protect US nationals during the Cuban crisis.

1962 — Thailand. The 3d Marine Expeditionary Unit landed on May 17, 1962 to support that country during the threat of Communist pressure from outside; by July 30 the 5,000 marines had been withdrawn.

1962 — Cuba. On October 22, President Kennedy instituted a “quarantine” on the shipment of offensive missiles to Cuba from the Soviet Union. He also warned Soviet Union that the launching of any missile from Cuba against nations in the Western Hemisphere would bring about US nuclear retaliation on the Soviet Union. A negotiated settlement was achieved in a few days.

1962-75 — Laos. From October 1962 until 1975, the United States played an important role in military support of anti-Communist forces