Handing over Taji military base to Iraqi forces, Baghdad Governorate, August 2020
Thaier Al-Sudani / Reuters

Since declaring his candidacy for president, Joe Biden, like his two Oval Office predecessors, has made it clear that he wants to rebalance the United States’ military presence in the Middle East. During the 2020 campaign, Biden pledged to “end the forever wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East.” After assuming office, he similarly promised to stop “an era of major military operations to remake other countries.” His administration’s Global Posture Review, interim National Security Strategic Guidance, and forthcoming National Defense Strategy reflect these calculations as Washington shifts its focus to China and the broader Indo-Pacific.

But what rightsizing looks

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