December 16, 2020

Small, Distributed, and Secure: A New Basing Architecture for the Middle East

The recent assassination of Iranian physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh may not have been an American-led operation, but it nonetheless raised the risk of reprisal attacks, quite possibly targeting U.S. bases. The vulnerability of American military bases in the Middle East to missile attack is not new, but growing Iranian capabilities make U.S. assets deployed in the region more vulnerable. In recognition of this threat, a rethink of U.S. basing architecture is needed.

A rethink of U.S. basing architecture is needed.

The administrations of both Barack Obama and Donald Trump sought to scale back commitments in the Middle East in order to focus on countering Russia and China. But these plans were repeatedly thwarted by challenges in the region, as well as nervous local partners, and complications created by Washington’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran. President-elect Joe Biden has also argued for a reduced U.S. presence in the Middle East. It is this impulse to disengage from the region, combined with the risks to U.S. bases there, that makes a rethink so essential.

Read the full article in War on the Rocks.

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Policy
    • February 19, 2024
    How Ukraine Can Help Itself

    The challenge is not how to innovate but how to scale up production, given skilled labor shortages, supply chain bottlenecks, corruption, and Russian attacks....

    By Franz-Stefan Gady

  • Reports
    • February 8, 2024
    Evolution Not Revolution

    This report concludes that drones have transformed the battlefield in the war in Ukraine, but in an evolutionary rather than revolutionary fashion. While tactical innovation a...

    By Stacie Pettyjohn

  • Reports
    • February 7, 2024
    “DIU 3.0”

    Foreword By Richard Fontaine Rapid technological change touches virtually every aspect of life today. This includes defense and national security, and for good reason: To main...

    By Douglas A. Beck

  • Video
    • January 22, 2024
    Is The U.S. Navy Ready For The Red Sea Threat?

    In the Red Sea drone and missile attacks by the Houthi rebels are stemming the flow of commerce in a critical part of the world. The U.S. Navy has deployed numerous ships to h...

    By Tom Shugart

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia