U.S. military forces stationed abroad play vital roles. As regional political and military dynamics shift, so too will the United States need to adjust its overseas military posture to accommodate new objectives and missions in new places. In general, that posture will need to become more flexible and more expeditionary, covering a wider array of challenges and broader geographic areas. Such changes can be unsettling to accomplish and may even worry allies and friends. Yet the United States cannot adequately reassure foreign countries with an outdated force posture. Planning for these changes should not be based on marginal adjustments to arbitrary manpower levels but should assess strategic objectives, missions, and requirements before considering the implications for manpower, units, activities, and money. This planning also should establish coherent goals and orderly means of reaching them, rather than muddle along in incremental ways that lack direction or can be blown off course by the shifting political winds. This study offers eight options that can be used to help guide thinking and planning for the coming era of change.
Table of Contents
Current U.S. Overseas Presence
The Impact of Future International Conditions on the U.S. Overseas Presence
New Purposes and Geography for U.S. Overseas Presence
Toward Different and Better Forces
Options for Future U.S. Overseas Presence