Permanent US Iraq and Afghanistan Occupations Planned - by Stephen Lendman
Nothing reveals Washington's imperial agenda better than its global empire of bases. Sixty-six years post-WW II, America maintains dozens in Germany, Japan, Italy, and South Korea alone.
In total, known Pentagon bases way exceed 1,000, as well as perhaps hundreds of other shared and secret ones in about 150 countries on every continent despite no enemies anywhere justifying them.
In his 2006 book, "Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic," Chalmers Johnson discussed the known numbers at the time by size and branch of service. He also highlighted the fallout, including oppressive noise, pollution, environmental destruction, expropriation of valuable public and private land, and drunken, disorderly, abusive soldiers committing rape, murder, and other crimes, often unpunished under provisions of US-imposed Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs).
Currently, Pentagon bases infest Middle East/North African/Central Asian countries. In fact, at least 88 dot Iraq alone, including:
-- permanent, city-sized Main Operating Bases (MOBs); for example, Balad Air Base in northern Iraq covers 16 square miles plus another 12-mile security perimeter; these are large and permanent, have extensive infrastructure, command and control headquarters, accommodations for families in combat-free areas, hospitals, schools, recreational facilities, and nearly everything found in US cities; similar MOBs include Camp Adder in southern Iraq, Al-Asad Air Base in the west, and Victory Base Complex, compromising nine bases, including Camp Victory around Baghdad's International Airport;
-- Forward Operating Sites (FOSs), also major but smaller than MOBs; and
-- Cooperative Security Locations (CLSs) - smaller facilities to preposition weapons, munitions, and modest troop numbers.
These type bases span Afghanistan, besides ongoing expansion and construction of major facilities for permanent occupation.
Known major sites include Bagram, Kandahar, and Mazar-e-Sharif air bases. Frontline airfields include Herat, Jalalabad, and a dozen or more others, besides hundreds of large and smaller Pentagon facilities according to Tomdispatch.com writer Nick Turse in his February 10, 2010 article titled, "Totally Occupied: 700 Military Bases Spread Across Afghanistan."
Citing "official sources," he said a "base-building boom" began in 2009 for US and Afghan forces. It's ongoing for permanent occupation, including a new Camp Leatherneck and Camp Bastion 11,500 foot all-weather concrete/asphalt runway and air traffic control tower, as well as a Shindand Air Field 9,000 foot runway completed last December. Moreover, spare parts and other supplies have been stockpiled for permanency, not departure, Obama's withdrawal duplicity notwithstanding. More about it below.
Washington, in fact, came to Iraq and Afghanistan to stay. Doing so confirms a hostile presence occupied populations detest, including angry South Koreans and Japanese against continued US occupation. In less developed countries, social movements want America pushed back or expelled altogether to regain their sovereign independence, free from US imperial wars, injustice, fallout, and shame when their own nations participate.
Last February, puppet president Karzai confirmed Washington's demand for permanent bases, claiming they're in Afghanistan's interest. In fact, US and other NATO leaders agreed on a "transition strategy" last year in Lisbon to hand over control to Afghan forces by 2014. At the time, vice president Biden called it a "drop dead date." He lied. So did Obama like he did earlier, saying withdrawing US forces would begin in July 2011.
In December 2009, Obama announced 30,000 more troops for Afghanistan to enable withdrawals beginning in 18 months, insisting at the time America has no permanent occupation plans. He lied again like he's repeatedly done throughout his tenure, knowing America came to Iraq and Afghanistan to stay.
Moreover, when he took office in January 2009, 34,000 troops were in Afghanistan. By December, he tripled the number to 100,000. Cutting back incrementally by a third if, in fact, done, will still leave double the force in place from when his tenure began.
Nonetheless, on June 22, he addressed the nation, saying: