Publié le 28/05/2020
Aerial view of US Naval Base, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba


Throughout history, great powers have relied upon forward military bases, either to support their interventions in areas of interest, to re-assure allies or to control a territory.

Because of their key role in force projection, forward bases have also become priority targets for adversaries. Although intrusion and harassment by indirect fires have been the preferred operating modes employed by armed groups during the wars of Afghanistan, Iraq and Mali, future operational environment will be rigged by the rise of new offensive capabilities, especially in the field of indirect fires and deep strikes, both among non-state actors and emerging powers. These operational threats add to a geopolitical context leading to a more transactional relation with host countries, thus fragilizing the diplomatic seating of some forward bases abroad. Taken together, these trends call for adapting forward presence networks, both in terms of protection (active defense, alternate operational options) and strategic posturing.

This content is only available in French: Les bases de la puissance. Enjeux géopolitiques et stratégiques des bases militaires avancées [1].