Defense think tank calls for shifting military bases in Middle East

The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, the influential defense think tank, has called on the U.S. military to redraw the map of military bases scattered throughout the Middle East.

Last week, reported on the center’s report, which concludes “Tehran’s investment in anti-ship and precision guided missiles designed to strike targets throughout the region, combined with sophisticated air defense systems, means that U.S. may have to shift its presence in the region in the coming decade.”

Mark Gunzinger, a senior fellow at CSBA, and Chris Dougherty, a research fellow, joined Pentagon Solutions to discuss the report.

The new strategy, “Outside-In, Operating from Range to Defeat Iran’s Anti-Access and Area-Denial Threats,” explains the concept of the A2/AD strategy, which has been undertaken by a number of countries as well, including China. A2/AD essentially means the U.S. military in the future may not have access to the “close-in” bases it has generally enjoyed “unfettered access” to.


The discussion of U.S. military force structure in the Middle East is especially timely because of the release of the Pentagon’s new strategy about two weeks ago, and the expected release this week of the fiscal 2013 budget request that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said will flesh out the execution of that strategy.

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