Recent horrors notwithstanding, there is a strong long-run global trend toward fewer war deaths.  A new paper by Tim Kane somewhat surprisingly shows that there is also a strong long-run trend toward lower U.S. troop deployments.  Basic graph:


US troops to US population uses the left scale; deployed US troops to world population uses the right scale.

The regional breakdown is also striking:


Extremely low deployments in Eastern Europe and the FSU make it even harder to take Russian nationalists’ resentment of American interference in their “sphere of influence” seriously.

Don’t drones change the whole story?  No.  High body counts for U.S. drones come to under 6000.  The includes some heinous manslaughter, but even that’s a tiny share of global wrongful killing.  As least so far, the U.S. is not taking advantage of robot soldiers to wage wars the American public would have refused to fight with human soldiers.