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President Joe Biden’s declaration that the withdrawal from Afghanistan puts an end to “an era of major military operations to remake other countries” adds further urgency to the question of what America’s military footprint in the Middle East should be. This is a central element in Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s forthcoming global posture review.
But does the United States need to have any permanent military bases in the Middle East at all? Not according to former Pentagon advisor Eugene Gholz, who argues in a Quincy Institute Paper titled Nothing Much to Do: Why America Can Bring All Troops Home From the Middle East that the U.S.’s core interests in the region are safe, and as a result, the United States should begin significant withdrawals from the region and eventually close down all permanent bases there.
Join us for a debate between Eugene Gholz and Kirsten Fontenrose, former Senior Director for the Persian Gulf at the National Security Council, on the future U.S. military footprint in the Middle East. Trita Parsi, executive vice president of the Quincy Institute, will moderate.