Overseas Basing of U.S. Military Forces: An Assessment of Relative Costs and Strategic Benefits

Overseas Basing of U.S. Military Forces: An Assessment of Relative Costs and Strategic Benefits

Overseas Basing of U.S. Military Forces: An Assessment of Relative Costs and Strategic Benefits

Overseas Basing of U.S. Military Forces: An Assessment of Relative Costs and Strategic Benefits

Synopsis

This independent assessment is a comprehensive study of the strategic benefits, risks, and costs of U.S. military presence overseas. The report provides policymakers a way to evaluate the range of strategic benefits and costs that follow from revising the U.S. overseas military presence by characterizing how this presence contributes to assurance, deterrence, responsiveness, and security cooperation goals.

Excerpt

The United States has largely withdrawn its forces from Iraq, and it has identified the end of 2014 as the date when most forces will be out of Afghanistan. As U.S. forces from those conflicts return home, the Department of Defense (DoD) is reviewing its global basing structure to determine how it should be reconfigured to meet the strategic needs of the country. Congress has also turned its attention to future basing, and the conference report for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 contained the following language:

SEC. 347. STUDY ON OVERSEAS BASING PRESENCE OF UNITED
STATES FORCES
.

(a) INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT. The Secretary of Defense shall commission
an independent assessment of the overseas basing presence of United States forces.

(b) CONDUCT OF ASSESSMENT. The assessment required by subsection
(a) may, at the election of the Secretary, be conducted by (1) a Federally-funded
research and development center (FFRDC); or (2) an independent, non-govern
mental institute which is described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue
Code of 1986 and exempt from tax under section 501(a) of such Code, and has rec
ognized credentials and expertise in national security and military affairs appropri
ate for the assessment.

DoD asked RAND’s National Defense Research Institute (NDRI) to conduct the requested independent assessment, and this report constitutes NDRI’s response to that request.

This research was sponsored by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and conducted within the International Security and Defense Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff,

U.S. House of Representatives, Conference Report on H.R 1540, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, Report 112–239, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, December 12, 2011.

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