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Q: How many countries has the US successfully transitioned into democracies? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: How many countries has the US successfully transitioned into democracies?
Category: Reference, Education and News > Current Events
Asked by: nathan_wheeler-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 13 Mar 2003 07:34 PST
Expires: 12 Apr 2003 08:34 PDT
Question ID: 175628
A recent anti-war email I received asked "How many of the 50 countries
we bombed since the end of WWII is now a functioning democracy?"

Is there a reliable media source that could answer this question?
Subject: Re: How many countries has the US successfully transitioned into democracies?
Answered By: snapanswer-ga on 13 Mar 2003 11:18 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
  The idea of 50 nations being bombed by the United States since World
War II seemed pretty high to me, forcing my curiousity to get the
better of me.  In looking into it further, the highest count that I
could find was 26.  I noted that some of these sites that list United
States bombings talk about the "50 years since World War II" and I
suspect that those "50 years" have been juxtaposed into "50
countries."  Even allowing for these sites to count the same country
more than once, the highest number of incidents I found was 37
(including some things that were not bombings or that are described as
"proxy" actions).

  Looking at the list of 26 countries then, 13 are a republic or some
variety of democracy.  I do not know how well those democracies are
functioning.  It would depend upon subjective criteria.  Here is the
list of 26 countries, duplicate entries removed:

China (Communist)
Korea (North Korea, authoritarian socialist dictatorship; South Korea,
Cuba (Communist)
Belgian Congo (dictatorship, transitional)
Laos (Communist)
Vietnam (Communist)
Libya (military dictatorship, or local council government
Iran (theocratic republic, theocracy)
Kuwait (constitutional monarchy)
Somalia (transitional)
Sudan (authoritarian military junta)
Afghanistan (transitional)
Yugoslavia (has broken into multiple states)

Guatemala (constitutional democratic republic)
Indonesia (republic)
Dominican Republic (representative democracy)
Peru (republic)
Cambodia (multiparty democracy under constitutional monarchy)
Lebanon (republic)
Grenada (constitutional monarchy, Westminster-style parliament)
El Salvador (republic)
Nicaragua (republic)
Panama (constitutional democracy)
Iraq (republic)
Croatia (presidential/parliamentary democracy)
Bosnia (emerging federal democratic republic)

Also, it is odd to me that the author of the email question wants to
exclude the ten years prior to the end of World War II, which would
then allow this list to contain the democracies of Germany and Japan,
as noted in my comment below.

CIA World Fact Book 2002:  National Governments

A list of the countries that the U.S. has bombed since the end of
World War II

No War

Inevitable Ring to the Unimaginable

Search Strategy:  Find the longest list of countries and correlate to
the Government type found in the CIA World Fact Book.

Search Terms:  50 countries bombed since World War II

I hope you have found this information useful and easy to understand. 
If you have questions about this information, please post a
clarification request prior to rating the answer.
nathan_wheeler-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Nicely answered.  I got much the same result.  I Googled "countries
bombed by america", cross-referenced, and then consulted the CIA World
Fact Book as you suggested in your earlier Comment.
I find in heartening that the picture is not quite as dim as the
anti-war writer promoted... and disheartening that the record is not

The record may be worse than 13.  On my count, I got 12.  I realize
what the difference came from:   Iraq is listed in the Factbook as a

Subject: Re: How many countries has the US successfully transitioned into democracies?
From: snapanswer-ga on 13 Mar 2003 10:08 PST
The question is phrased in an interesting way.  It specifically
excludes Japan and Germany.  The United States is such a young
country, and has only had bombers for about 70 years.  One wonders why
the email author of the original question wants to exclude the 10
years between the introduction of the bomber and the end of World War
II.  I suspect it is an effort to exclude the democracies of Japan and

It also seems to exclude the democracies created as a result of the
Cold War ending with the collapse of the Soviet Union, since the
question poses a prerequisite that we must first drop a bomb on the
country in question.

If you know the names of the 50 countries that the email says the
United States has bombed, you can see whether or not those countries
are now democracies, by checking the CIA World Fact Book.
Subject: Re: How many countries has the US successfully transitioned into democracies?
From: nibo13-ga on 22 Mar 2003 06:32 PST
As far as I remember Croatia was never bombed by the US. 
It is listed on, but I
don't know where this information is coming from.
Being from Croatia, I would probably remember...

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