Less is More: The Future of the U.S. Military in the Persian Gulf

Joshua Rovner, Caitlin Talmadge
Content Type
Journal Article
The Washington Quarterly
Issue Number
Publication Date
Fall 2014
Center for Strategic and International Studies
Five years ago, the total number of U.S. military personnel in the Persian Gulf was over 230,000. Today, that number is well under 50,000. The rapid exit of so many U.S. fighting men and women has caused many observers to fear for the future of the Gulf. As one analyst put it, the regional forecast is bleak with "violence, followed by intermittent violence, and renewed violence." Beyond the short - term problem of insecurity lies a raft of long - term nightmares, including political instability, oil shocks, and nuclear proliferation. Policymakers and military officials in Washington and the Persian Gulf share these concerns. The belief that a precipitous U.S. drawdown is creating a security vacuum and political breakdown is close to the conventional wisdom.
Military Affairs
Political Geography
United Kingdom, Washington, Persia