“Mr Biden’s moves represent the start of a larger transformation in America’s posture. ‘There’s a working hypothesis…that we’re probably overinvested in the Middle East,’ says Michèle Flournoy, a former Pentagon official. ‘Despite discussions of prioritising the Asia-Pacific, we haven’t actually shifted all that much of our weight in that direction,’ she adds. The vast Al-Udeid air base in southern Qatar actually expanded in the Trump years. It is thought still to house more than 10,000 American troops, part of a presence amounting to some 60,000 troops in the Middle East…”

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