Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bases in Iraq

The negotiations regarding a security pact between the United States and Iraq deserve more attention than they're getting in the American media. Juan Cole reports:
"Leila Fadel reports that Shiite lawmakers in Iraq told her that the US has requested 58 bases from the Iraqi government as part of the security agreement now being negotiated. The US also is said to want the authority to decide when Iraq has been attacked, and when and how to respond. The lawmakers are afraid that Washington will use that provision to drag them into the middle of a war between the US and Iran.

"On being informed by McClatchy of some of these details, the campaign of Senator Barack Obama demanded that any such stipulation of 58 bases be submitted to the US Congress for approval, and that the Iraqis be told that the US does not seek permanent bases in that country. The McCain campaign had no comment."

When the British pulled out of the Gulf in 1968, the United States decided to rely on a proxy to maintain influence in the region. The choice fell upon Iran until the revolution, after which our main military ally became Iraq. When Iraq invaded Kuwait, President Bush implemented the Carter Doctrine and used American forces to confront Iraq. The fact Saudi Arabia was considered an unstable place for such forces to be stationed was an important reason certain foreign policy hands looked to a new Iraqi regime to serve as the pillar of American influence, including at that stage a permanent military presence as part of a post-Cold War military posture.

(Crossposted to American Footprints)



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