Global posture, Grand strategy

Past Virtual Event: Refusing to choose: Did the global posture review fail?

The U.S. deploys more than 200,000 military personnel globally in hundreds of military installations ranging from expeditionary outposts to sprawling mini-cities.

The U.S. commitment to defend Europe means, even post-Cold War, approximately 70,000 American servicemembers permanently deploy there. After nearly 30 years of war, around 40,000 U.S. servicemembers constantly rotate throughout the Middle East. With a shifting global balance of power, the U.S. military stations nearly 100,000 Americans across the Indo-Pacific—fraught U.S.-China tensions might mean more sent to Asia soon.

What American military presence is actually needed abroad, and where, to protect U.S security and prosperity?

The Biden Administration has just released its long-awaited Global Posture Review (GPR)—though virtually the entire document is classified. This review, the first of its kind since 2004, promised to ensure "America's military footprint is appropriately aligned with our foreign policy and national security priorities."

The limited information released from the GPR signals no major changes. Minor reinforcements have been made to U.S. forces in South Korea and Australia, and infrastructure improvements are slated to begin in Guam. But the U.S. force posture in Europe, the Middle East, and the rest of the world will remain as is.

Is the GPR an incremental step forward, even if oversold, or just a ratification of the status quo? With strategic competition with China firmly in front of us, what should the U.S. global posture look like? Is the United States long overdue to significantly change its overseas military footprint?

Event Speakers


Non-Resident Senior Fellow


Non-Resident Fellow