Beyond the Wire | 2023 | Events

Beyond the Wire: US Military Deployments and Host Country Public Opinion
Carla Martínez headshot
Carla Martinez Machain
University at Buffalo
October 18, 2023


The United States stands at a crossroads in international security. The backbone of its international position for the last 70 years has been the massive network of overseas military deployments. However, the US now faces pressures to limit its overseas presence and spending. This project argues that the US has entered into a "Domain of Competitive Consent" where the longevity of overseas deployments relies upon the buy-in from host-state populations and what other major powers offer in security guarantees. Drawing from three years of surveys and interviews across fourteen countries, it demonstrates that a key component of building support for the US mission is the service members themselves as they interact with local community members. Highlighting both the positive contact and economic benefits that flow from military deployments and the negative interactions like crime and anti-base protests, this project shows how US policy on the ground shapes its ability to advance its foreign policy goals.


Carla Martínez Machain is a Professor of Political Science at the University at Buffalo. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Rice University in May 2012.  She also received her B.A. from Rice University, in Economics and Political Science, in 2007. Martínez Machain’s research (funded by the Department of Defense’s Minerva Initiative and the Army Research Office, among others) focuses on foreign policy analysis, with a focus on military policy and international conflict. Her forthcoming book with Oxford University Press is titled Beyond the Wire: U.S. Military Deployments and Host Country Public Opinion. Her work has appeared in various journals, including the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics, and the Journal of Conflict Resolution. She has also written for policy-oriented outlets such as the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog and The Conversation. Martínez Machain has also served as region President for ISA Midwest and Section Program Chair for the SSIP section of the ISA. She currently serves as part of the editorial team for the ISA journal International Interactions