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I assume you meant to say well over 100 countries and not 200? A quick google estimates it is 135 counties and can't be over 200 since there aren't 200 countries in the world

195 countries in the world, with quite a bit of debate over autonomous provinces that are essentially their own country, but aren't recognized as sovereign nations. There are quite a few examples, including Taiwan, Java (Indonesia), Luzon, Salsette, and plenty of others. In my eyes those are countries, even if they aren't officially recognized as such. Catalonia is still fighting for independence when they are basically a fully autonomous province in Spain. Whether Catalonia seceding from Spain would be a good thing remains to be seen, as many other provinces are keeping a close eye on the situation and considering doing the same thing. Catalonia is arguably one of the wealthiest and most economically stable parts of Spain, and leaving would definitely hurt the rest of the country.

At the time of that article in March, the count was 177 countries that US troops were in. That does not include civilian/DoD contractors. The last time I checked, there were only 6 countries on the entire planet that we didn't have any kind of military presence in (that I know of). It is entirely possible that the number is smaller than that.

Before you think you have explained away the deaths in Niger, ask yourself what connection this might have to Trump putting Chad on the ban list ... quite inexplicably ... and Chad responding by pulling their troops out of Niger. Chad plays a key role in the region for housing the forces which hunt ISIS and attempt to keep the region stable.

Chad is definitely a strong ally in the region, and their assistance fighting Boko Haram was definitely appreciated. Most news networks are reporting that Chad was dropped because they ran out of passport paper. This is partly true. The US did request samples of passport paper from other countries as a security measure, to verify the authenticity of individuals travelling from those countries. Chad had run out and couldn't provide the sample, nor had they issued any passports in several months prior to that. Without official passports/travel papers at all, it was somewhat of a security issue, even though Chad isn't a terrorism hot spot like other countries in the region. Individuals were travelling from Chad without passports simply because the country couldn't issue them. Additionally, there was some friction due to a lack of sharing intelligence and information related to terrorism from Chad.

We have a lot of people in Niger right now. A decent number of special forces are still hunting down members of the Islamic State in the area. Some are just there in a training/advising capacity, working with Niger troops and police. Additionally, there are quite a few civil engineers in the region for plumbing, electrical, HVAC, construction, and heavy equipment operation - primarily in support of the refugee crisis in the area.

Welgard I appreciate your comments.

Thanks Tinker, I appreciate your rational discussion as well.
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