Permanent U.S. bases in Iraq
"From the start, in 2003, the first Army engineers rolling into Balad [Air Base in Iraq] took the long view, laying out a 10-year plan envisioning a move from tents to today's living quarters in air-conditioned trailers, to concrete-and-brick barracks by 2008," Charles J. Hanley wrote March 22, 2006, for the Associated Press.
Colonel Dan Smith, USA (Ret.) wrote in April 2006: "Over the last few months, the media have reported that the Pentagon is busy constructing what appear to be 'enduring' (i.e., permanent) bases in Iraq. A recent Associated Press story noted that in 2005-2006, one billion dollars had been requested or approved for building or improving bases in Iraq. The Supplemental Appropriations bill itself includes a request for $348 million for further base and other construction.
"Earlier stories spoke of the U.S. retaining possibly 14 bases of the 108 set up around the country. (Thirty-four of these 108 have been 'returned' to Iraqi control to date.) Of these 14, four locations as enduring bases have been specifically cited," (as written by Col. Smith):
- Balad Air Base, some 40 miles north of Baghdad, where two million cubic feet of concrete has been laid for runways and parking aprons for C-5 and C-130 airplanes and for as many as 120 helicopters. Facilities will accommodate 25,000 troops in its 15 square miles;
- Al Assad Air Base, 180 miles west of Baghdad and ten miles from the Syrian border. Covering 19 square miles, it is home to 17,000 U.S. military and civilians;
- Ali Air Base at Tallil, between Baghdad and Basra, home to a new mess hall able to seat 6,000.
- Al Qayyarah Air Base in the north near Mosul
"These four airbases would provide quick response capability for U.S. or U.S.-Iraqi operations. Make no mistake: as long as U.S. ground troops are in Iraq, whether as units or as embedded trainers/advisors, U.S. warplanes will be close by. And the converse is true: as long as U.S. warplanes are needed to support Iraqi counterinsurgency operations, even after all U.S. units have left the country, U.S. soldiers will have to be on the ground to direct bombing and strafing runs," Smith wrote.
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- "Iraq Facilities," GlobalSecurity.org. Note: "In January 2005 it was reported that the Pentagon was building a permanent military communications system in Iraq. The new Central Iraq Microwave System, is to consist of up to 12 communications towers throughout Iraq, along with fiber-optic cables connecting Camp Victory to other coalition bases in the country."
- "If the U.S. is ultimately leaving Iraq, why is the military building 'permanent' bases?" Friends Committee on Federal Legislation, reviewed May 25, 2005; viewed May 26, 2006.
- Jay Bookman, "The President's Real Goal in Iraq," Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Common Dreams), September 29, 2002.
- Thom Shanker and Eric Schmitt, "Pentagon Expects Long-Term Access to Four Key Bases in Iraq," New York Times, April 19, 2003.
- "US denies Iraq bases plan," BBC, April 21, 2003: "US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has denied that the US is planning long-term military involvement in Iraq, including bases."
- Jim Lobe, Analysis: "Is It the Bases?" Inter Press Service, November 28, 2003.
- Doug Giebel, "Permanent Bases. Leave Iraq? Hell No, We Won't Go!" CounterPunch, January 6, 2004.
- Christine Spolar, "14 'enduring bases' set in Iraq. Long-term military presence planned," Chicago Tribune (GlobalSecurity.org), March 23, 2004.
- David R. Francis, "US bases in Iraq: sticky politics, hard math," Christian Science Monitor, September 30, 2004.
- Kimberly Marten and Alexander Cooley, "Permanent military bases won't work," International Herald Tribune (German Marshall Fund in the United States), February 3, 2005.
- Joshua Hammer, "Digging In," Mother Jones, March/April 2005: "If the U.S. government doesn't plan to occupy Iraq for any longer than necessary, why is it spending billions of dollars to build 'enduring' bases?"
- Bradley Graham, "Commanders Plan Eventual Consolidation of U.S. Bases in Iraq," Washington Post, May 22, 2005.
- Tom Engelhardt, "Tomgram: It’s a Pentagon World and Welcome to It. Bases, Bases Everywhere. Pentagon Planning in Iraq, 2003-2005," TomDispatch.com, June 1, 2005.
- David Adelaide, "Canada to establish permanent military base in Persian Gulf region," WSWS, July 2, 2005.
- Sam Graham-Felsen, "Operation: Enduring Presence," AlterNet, July 28, 2005: "The issue of permanent bases cuts to the heart of not only how long we intend to stay in Iraq, but why we got there in the first place."
- Ashraf Fahim, "Basic questions about bases," Asia Times, August 6, 2005.
- Rep. Barbara Lee, "Permanent Occupation," In These Times, September 29, 2005; GlobalPolicy.org.
- Phyllis Bennis, Erik Leaver and the IPS Iraq Task Force, "The Iraq Quagmire: The Mounting Costs of War and the Case for Bringing Home the Troops," A Study by the Institute for Policy Studies and Foreign Policy In Focus, August 30, 2005: Full Report (pdf); Fact Sheet (pdf); and Key Findings.
- Sen. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., News Release: "Turning the Corner in Iraq," Speech at the Council on Foreign Relations November 21, 2005; posted on U.S. Senate website.
- William Douglas and James Kuhnhenn, "Debate heats up about the U.S. presence in Iraq," Knight Ridder Newspapers, November 23, 2005.
- Chris Hughes, "Exclusive: Billion Dollar Bunker. Exclusive: U.S. plans Baghdad embassy more secure than Pentagon," Mirror (UK), January 3, 2006.
- Oliver Poole, "Football and pizza point to US staying for long haul," Telegraph (UK), February 11, 2006.
- Tom Engelhardt, "Tomgram: A Permanent Basis for Withdrawal? Can You Say 'Permanent Bases'? The American Press Can't," TomDispatch, February 14, 2006; Common Dreams, February 14, 2006; and Asia Times, February 16, 2006.
- Tom Engelhardt, "Permanent bases in Iraq? The Bush administration claims the U.S. intends to leave Iraq. But its massive military 'super-bases' tell a different story," Salon, February 15, 2006. Preview or subscription required.
- "Still No Timetable For Iraq Exit," Associated Press (Military.com), February 17, 2006.
- "Rumsfeld: US not looking for permanent base in Iraq," Associate Press (Deccan Herald), February 17, 2006.
- Dahr Jamail, "Iraq: Permanent US Colony," truthout, March 14, 2006; ZNet, March 17, 2006.
- Dan Butts, "Permanent US. "Super-Bases" in Iraq ('a slice of U.S. suburbia'). Lee Bill Attempts to Block Permanent Iraq Bases," greenhouseonline.org, March 19, 2006.
- "Extended presence of U.S. in Iraq looms large. $1 billion for construction of American military bases and no public plans," Associated Press (MSNBC), March 21, 2006; Common Dreams.
- "Military builds up its bases in Iraq. U.S. officials talk of a long-term commitment, but they avoid using the word 'permanent'," Associated Press (St. Petersburg Times (FL)), March 21, 2006.
- Matthew Yglesias, "The Elephant In The Military Base," Yglesias.typepad.com, March 21, 2006.
- David Swanson, Opinion: "Media Avoids Covering Vote on Permanent Bases," Scoop (New Zealand), March 21, 2006.
- Charles J. Hanley, "Permanent US bases in Iraq," Associated Press (GlobalEcho.org), March 22, 2006.
- Jim Lobe, "Are US Intentions More 'Base' Than Honorable?" AntiWar.com, March 24, 2006.
- Peter Spiegel, "Requests to Build Big U.S. Bases in Iraq Raise Concern," Los Angeles Times (GlobalResearch.ca), March 23, 2006.
- Peter Spiegel, "U.S. hedges on whether Iraq bases permanent. Lawmakers wonder how long GIs will remain in country," San Francisco Chronicle, March 24, 2006.
- Oliver Poole, "Inside the al-Asad air base," BBC, March 28, 2006.
- Becky Branford, "Iraq bases spur questions over US plans," BBC, March 30, 2006.
- David R. Francis, "US bases in Iraq: a costly legacy," Christian Science Monitor, April 3, 2006.
- Mark Matthews, "Gov't. Spending Millions On Building Bases In Iraq. Would Permanently House U.S. Forces," ABC News, April 4, 2006.
- Tom Engelhardt, "The Hyperpower Hype," TomDispatch.com (AlterNet), April 5, 2006: "While Bush talked a great game when it came to exporting democracy to the Middle East, his main exports have been mayhem and ruins."
- Col. Dan Smith, "Alternatives to War: Permanent Bases in Iraq: Where Politics and Law Hit a Brick Wall," Friends Committee on National Legislation, April 6, 2006.
- Sarah Meyer, "Iraq's US/UK Permanent Bases: Intentional Obfuscation," Global Research (Canada), April 11, 2006.
- Kevin Zeese, "They're Staying in Iraq. Unless the Iraqis Force the United States Out, The Evidence Shows the U.S. Isn't Leaving," DemocracyRising.us, April 21, 2006, and AntiWar.com, April 22, 2006.
- "Balad Air Base in Iraq Evidence That U.S. Planning to Stay For a Long Time; 15-Square-Mile Mini-City One of Four 'Superbases' Where The Pentagon Will Consolidate U.S. Forces. New $592 Million 'Massive' U.S. Embassy Being Built in Baghdad," Newsweek (GlobalSecurity.org), April 23, 2006.
- "U.S. Prepares 'Super Base' in Iraq," NewsMax, April 23, 2006.
- Bill Van Auken, "Deal on US bases sought. Rumsfeld, Rice fly to Baghdad to back new prime minister," WSWS, April 27, 2006.
- Michael Hirsh, "Stuck in the Hot Zone. Don't dream about full exits. The military is in Iraq for the long haul," Newsweek, May 1, 2006.
- David Sarasohn, "Green Zone Construction Boom," CorpWatch/WarProfiteers.com, May 3, 2006: "In Baghdad, the United States is now building a monument to rank with Grand Coulee Dam, the Pentagon, Disney World and the Mall of America. It has elements of all four, plus a 15-foot stone wall and surface-to-air missiles."
- Faiz Shakir, "Senate Speaks: No Permanent Bases In Iraq," Think Progress, May 4, 2006.
- Jim Krane, "U.S. may shift to Persian Gulf air bases," Associated Press (Boston Globe), May 13, 2006.
- Jim Krane, "Peck: No plans for permanent Iraq, Afghanistan bases," Associated Press (Air Force Times), May 15, 2006.
- Solomon Moore and Peter Spiegel, "U.S. forces take two tacks in Iraq. Marines patrolling hot spots in the northwest use small base camps. But Army units elsewhere are in 'superbases' outside cities," Los Angeles Times (StarTribune.com (Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN)), May 21, 2006.
- Michael Hirsh, "Washington's New Watchword: Containment. As Iraq’s weak new government takes shape, the Bush administration’s best hope is for a non-bloodbath," Newsweek, May 22, 2006.
- David Swanson, "No Permanent Bases: Passed Both Houses, Removed in Conference Committee," After Downing Street, June 9, 2006.
- "Biden Amendment on Prohibiting Permanent Military Bases in Iraq Passes Senate," Office of Sen. Joseph Biden, June 22, 2006.
- "Biden Initiative Passes Senate: No Permanent Bases in Iraq," Office of Sen. Joseph Biden, August 3, 2006.
- "Rothman Continues to Fight Construction of Permanent Bases in Iraq," Office of Rep. Steve Rothman, September 26, 2006.
- Oliver Poole, "Football and pizza point to US staying for long haul," The Telegraph (UK), November 2, 2006.
- Tom Engelhardt, "The Uncovered War: Permanent Bases in Iraq," The Nation, November 17, 2006.
- David Swanson, "We Must Prevent Permanent Bases in Iraq," davidswanson.org (AlterNet), December 8, 2006.
- Karen Nakamura, "Why 'Permanent Bases' In Iraq?" Coastal Post Online, January 2007.
- Brian Russell, "Edwards and Permanent Military bases in Iraq," Yesh.com, January 14, 2007. re John Edwards
- Chad Groening, "U.S. spending billions on 'enduring bases' in Iraq," American Family News Network (OneNewsNow.com), April 5, 2007.
- "Permanent Bases Project," Century of the Common Iowan Blogspot, April 20, 2007. re Hillary Clinton: U.S. presidential election, 2008
- Mike Caulfield, "Dodd: No Permanent Bases in Iraq," Blue Hampshire, April 22, 2007.
- Matt Browner Hamlin, "Dodd Opposes Permanent US Bases In Iraq," The Huffington Post, April 23, 2007.
- Scarecrow, "What We're Building in Iraq," Firedoglake, May 19, 2007.
- Mary MacElveen, "The $592 million dollar Baghdad embassy built with Washington’s approval," marymacelveen.com Blog, May 20, 2007.
- Ed Pilkington, "One building that's been built on time and on budget in Iraq: America's fortress embassy. Vatican-sized bomb-proof structure to cost £300m. Builders in Green Zone already insurgent targets," The Guardian (UK), May 21, 2007.
- Satyam Khanna,"Pentagon Making Preparations To Keep Tens Of Thousands Of Troops In Iraq For ‘Decades’," Think Progress, May 21, 2007: "This so-called 'lily-pad' strategy entails keeping a 'series of military installations around Iraq,' with tens of thousands of U.S. troops remaining in the country for as long as a few decades."
- Edward Epstein, "House votes to bar bases in Iraq. Dems use 7th such action to press GOP to end war support," San Francisco Chronicle, July 26, 2007.