The Marine Corps Embassy Security Group provides all Marines stationed at U.S. Embassies. It's battalion-strength, which means it has been 300-1,200 Marines in it, total. In particularly, this Group has approx. 1,000 Marines stationed at 125 locations around the world. (http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...usmc/msgbn.htm
That's hardly "silly" when the total number of Embassy Marines is less than 1/2 of 1% of military personnel stationed overseas.
Is that really how you view the mission of U.S. Embassies?
The U.S. does a thriving business overseas. One of the principle jobs of an embassy is to represent U.S. interests abroad, including negotiating trade agreements, establishing inter-country trade laws, so that U.S. businesses can do business overseas. It's a vital part of our economy.
Admittedly, the mission statement of the Dept of State as a whole isn't very appealing: "Department Mission Statement: Advance freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community by helping to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world composed of well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty, and act responsibly within the international system. --From the FY 2010 Agency Financial Report, released November 2010"
If I were a non-democratic country, I'd see that as a threat. I think we, as a country, should change it to more closely match this definition: ""The functions of a diplomatic mission consist, inter alia, in representing the sending State in the receiving State; protecting in the receiving State the interests of the sending State and of its nationals, within the limits permitted by international law; negotiating with the Government of the receiving State; ascertaining by all lawful means conditions and developments in the receiving State, and reporting thereon to the Government of the sending State; promoting friendly relations between the sending State and the receiving State, and developing their economic, cultural and scientific relations." - Article 3 from the Vienna Conventions on International Relations: http://untreaty.un.org/ilc/texts/ins...s/9_1_1961.pdf
This business of forcing democracy on other governments is for the birds, particularly when other forms have been successfully used for longer than we've been in business. And by the way, the U.S. is not a democracy, as we do not have more or less direct control over the affairs of our government. It's a republic, as we have ultimate authority over our government as a whole. If we as a people thought all of them were corrupt, we could vote the entire lot of them out of office in less than 6 years. Except the Supreme Court Justices, of course, however, they can be impeached by a newly elected Congress if necessary.