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U.S. Army soldiers in Baghdad, Iraq on December 6, 2003 (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The U.S. military has made hefty investments in the Middle East for the past two decades, but shifts in the Biden administration’s priorities toward the Indo-Pacific have caused the U.S. to reassess how to maintain its interests in the region while also scaling back.

  • Becca Wasser, fellow in the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security, said U.S. military strategy has been linked to outdated priorities and should better reflect the country’s interests, including protection of the homeland, prevention of nuclear weapons proliferation and the free flow of commerce.
  • Wasser said the U.S. should unlink old conflicts from necessary military presence when determining force structure.
  • She said focusing on a narrow set of military partners helps strengthen relationships and increase effectiveness.

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