Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Report: Pentagon studies plan that would keep up to 40,000 U.S. troops based in Iraq for decades

The U.S. has been 'upgrading' its major bases in Iraq over time. The 14-square mile Balad Air Base (pictured above) includes an olympic-sized swimming pool, five dining halls and a car dealership. The 19-square mile al-Asad Air Base includes a Burger King, a Pizza Hut and a car dealership. At Tallil, there's a mess hall for 6,000. The bases are tied into Iraq's electrical grid, another sign of permanence. But the U.S. insists that bases for 'long-term access' is a different thing than 'permanent'.

NPR says American forces would stay in Iraq for decades under a proposal that is being studied by the Defense Department...

They say under one plan "military installations could be maintained around Iraq, with a total of total of 30,000 to 40,000 U.S. troops, for a long period of time — maybe a few decades."

Under this plan, NPR says U.S. troops based in these "lily pads" would be cut off from the Iraqi populace and wouldn't conduct routine patrols. They would, however, train the Iraqi military and act as a deterrent to other countries in the region.

Read the rest at USA Today

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