On August 15, 2021, Taliban troops took control of Afghanistan's capital Kabul after months of skirmishes and attacks, effectively ending the U.S.-backed Islamic Republic of Afghanistan under President Ashraf Ghani. It also ended the United States' involvement in the country, with the last of its troops departing Afghanistan on August 30. As our chart shows, open military interventions by United States troops since the end of the Cold War mainly concentrated on North Africa and Western Asia.
Apart from its decades-long history with Afghanistan, one of the most high-profile examples of military intervention by the U.S. is its involvement in Iraq, from the 1991 Gulf War to air strikes and naval blockades over the following ten years and the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The latter, in particular, has been widely criticized due to the questionable reasoning for the invasion. With no signs of the Iraqi government stockpiling weapons of mass destruction, even Republican presidential nominee John McCain called the operation a "mistake" in 2008. A more recent example in the area is the United States' activities during the Syrian Civil War. After years of indirect support, U.S. aircraft attacked Shayrat Airbase in April 2017. This became the first direct military operation aimed at the Syrian government by the North American country.
Concerning the African continent, the earliest direct military activity by the U.S. after the dissolution of the USSR took place in 1993 during UNOSOM II in Somalia, a humanitarian intervention turning into full-scale combat culminating in the Battle of Mogadishu. Other countries on the African continent where U.S. troops took part in open military warfare include Liberia, Sudan, Libya and Niger.
While open military action by the United States has been focused on the Eastern Hemisphere since the end of 1991, U.S. agencies have also taken part in or orchestrated many covert or civil operations in Latin America and the Caribbean over the last decades, including furthering the causes of presidential candidates with a pro-Western or liberal stance as opposed to left-wing contenders. Since sources on these operations are often more unreliable than those on direct interventions, the former were excluded from this analysis.