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US JCS Chief: Permanently Basing Troops Overseas Needs a Rethink

Write: 2020-12-05 13:22:36Update: 2020-12-05 13:26:36

US JCS Chief: Permanently Basing Troops Overseas Needs a Rethink

Photo : YONHAP News

The U.S. military’s top officer has joined a growing group of senior defense officials who have questioned the need for permanently stationing troops around the world.

Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, shared concerns on Thursday that the post-World War II/Cold War-era model of sending troops and their families overseas for years-long tours is no longer the best idea.

He said it's time "we take a hard look at that” during remarks at the virtual Washington Defense Forum. 

He said he thinks the U.S. has too much infrastructure overseas and that presence puts a target on American troops, and more importantly, the families they bring with them to duty stations in Japan, Korea, Germany and more.

Milley said the answer is probably more rotational deployments like those that already happen in Korea, Germany and Guam, where U.S.-based units forward deploy for nine months, or so, without making a full permanent change-of-station move.

He added that what he's suggesting will be a major muscle movement for the Department of Defense and that frankly there’s not a lot of enthusiasm to do what he said, but he does think it is necessary.

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