We have similar threads like this for Game of Thrones and Outlander, so I thought it might be useful for The Handmaid's Tale too. Sometimes non-book readers have questions about the books but don't want to be spoiled, so here is the place to ask!
Book readers, please use the quote function to quote the question you are answering and then put your answers under the spoiler tag. This allows non-book readers to find out the answers to their questions without being spoiled about everything else
THE MILITARY QUESTIONS
Interesting questions in the episode threads about the military in Gilead, and what about those stationed overseas, basically how did it all happen?
From memory, book and show, but please feel free to chime in, correct, speculate, etc.