THE American government is keen to show its commitment to security in Asia by putting boots on the ground there. As this analysis shows, the number of American troops (Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force active duty personnel) in Asia is only slightly smaller than the number in Europe, where Americans in uniform are largely a hangover from the carve-up of the continent at the Yalta conference in 1945. Indeed, the one lesson that can be drawn from the data is that today’s strategic priorities can shape deployments for decades to come, long after the original reason for putting G.I.s in a particular region has gone. Another is that American forces do not pay much attention to Africa, despite the number of active or dormant conflicts there. The methodology used for this analysis has changed slightly from 2006 as the Department of Defence reports deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan based on contributing troops rather than actual boots on the ground, but that does not seem to make a huge difference, at least to this chart.