The Guardian March 31, 2004


Iraq is for keeps:
US builds bases in Iraq

Any thought that the US intends to quietly get out of Iraq 
after "democracy" has been restored is blown away by the fact 
that the US is already building a number of "enduring bases" in 
Iraq. It is appropriate to recall that the US has occupied South 
Korea ever since the early 1950s and shows no signs of pulling 
out. Its many other bases in the over 130 countries are also 
there to stay as the US imposes its global empire.

Christine Spolar, of the Chicago Tribune writes:

"US military engineers are overseeing the building of an enhanced 
system of American bases designed to last for years. US engineers 
are focusing on constructing 14 "enduring bases," long-term 
encampments for the thousands of American troops expected to 
serve in Iraq for at least two years.

"As the US scales back its military presence in Saudi Arabia, 
Iraq provides an option for an administration eager to maintain a 
robust military presence in the Middle East and intent on a 
muscular approach to seeding democracy in the region. The number 
of US military personnel in Iraq, between 105,000 and 110,000, is 
expected to remain unchanged through 2006, according to military 
planners.

"The US plans to operate from former Iraqi bases in Baghdad, 
Mosul, Taji, Balad, Kirkuk and in areas near Nasiriyah, near 
Tikrit, near Fallujah and between Irbil and Kirkuk. 

"There also are plans to renovate and enhance airfields in 
Baghdad and Mosul, and rebuild 70 miles of road on the main route 
for US troops headed north".

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