The United States is at an inflection point in its defense planning due to a number of factors: the end of the Iraq War, the planned end of U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan in 2014, increased emphasis on security commitments and threats in the Pacific, and fiscal constraints. The 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance sets the course for this shift and has significant implications for overseas military posture, which needs to be designed to effectively and efficiently support the strategy as an integral component of overall defense capabilities. To that end, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 directed the Department of Defense (DoD) to commission an independent assessment of the overseas basing presence of U.S. forces. The legislation specifically asked for an assessment of the location and number of forces needed overseas to execute the national military strategy, the advisability of changes to overseas basing in light of potential fiscal constraints and the changing strategic environment, and the cost of maintaining overseas presence. DoD asked the RAND National Defense Research Institute to carry out that assessment. Overseas posture should be designed as part of an integrated set of capabilities to execute the U.S. defense strategy. These capabilities include improving operational responsiveness to contingencies, deterring adversaries and assuring allies, and facilitating security cooperation with partner militaries. Posture also incurs risks associated with overseas facilities, including uncertainty of access in time of need and the vulnerability of such bases to attack from hostile states and nonstate actors, and costs. To inform the assessment of overseas forces, we examined how overseas posture translates to benefits, the risks it poses, the cost of maintaining it, and how these costs would likely change were U.S. overseas presence to be modified in different ways, for example, by changing from permanent to rotational presence.