The information below is quoted directly from the Friends Committee on National Legislation website, address given below. One might ask both candidates for president, "What do you plan to do with the large permanent bases that have been built in Iraq by the Bush Administration?" Four of the 106 bases are supersized, with facilities for as many as 16,000 military and staff. They will feature Burger King restaurants and other American franchise strip enterprises. What, no Walmart?
My friends, as John McCain would say, the U.S. has planned a permanent presence in Iraq all along, and the Congress knows it. Of course, it's not about the oil.
"The supplemental funding bill for the war in Iraq signed by President Bush in early May 2005 provides money for the construction of bases for U.S. forces that are described as "in some very limited cases, permanent facilities." Several recent press reports have suggested the U.S. is planning up to 14 permanent bases in Iraq— a country that is only twice the size of the state of Idaho. Why is the U.S. building permanent bases in Iraq?
"In May 2005, United States military forces in Iraq occupied 106 bases, according to a report in the Washington Post.1 Military commanders told that newspaper they eventually planed to consolidate these bases into four large airbases at Tallil, Al Asad, Balad and either Irbil or Qayyarah.
"But other reports suggest the U.S. military has plans for even more bases: In April 2003 report in The New York Times reported that "the U.S. is planning a long-term military relationship with the emerging government of Iraq, one that would grant the Pentagon access to military bases and project American influence into the heart of the unsettled region."2 According to the Chicago Tribune, U.S. engineers are focusing on constructing 14 "enduring bases," to serve as long-term encampments for thousands of American troops.3
"As of mid-2005, the U.S. military had 106 forward operating bases in Iraq, including what the Pentagon calls 14 "enduring" bases (twelve of which are located on the map) – all of which are to be consolidated into four mega-bases."
Go to the site http://www.fcnl/org.iraq/bases.htm to see further detail including the above map, which has peek-ins.
1 Graham, Bradley, "Commander's Plan Eventual Consolidation of U.S. Bases in Iraq," May 22, 2005, p A27
2 Shanker, Thom and Eric Smith. "Pentagon Expects Long-Term Access to Four Key Bases in Iraq." New York Times. April 20, 2003.
3 Spolar, Christine. "14 'Enduring Bases' Set for Iraq." Chicago Tribune. March 23, 2004.
4 Information on Iraq bases is from GlobalSecurity.org. More information is available at: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/iraq-intro.htm. Used with permission.