February 24, 2006

No Permanent US Bases In Iraq?

Well, someone has finally said it, at least sort of...
Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, deputy director of plans and strategy for US Central Command, told reporters it 'would be a fundamental error' to keep a large number of ground troops 'garrisoned' in the region.

'After Iraq and Afghanistan are stabilized, we need ... a fraction' of the 200,000 US troops now stationed in the region, Kimmitt said in Washington.

A continuing US military presence in the region would only continue to serve as a provocation for al-Qaeda terrorist propaganda, he said.
So what is a "fraction"? Kimmitt is not saying:
He said the US would only consider keeping a permanent base in Iraq if asked to do so by the government.

'Iraq has not approached us about keeping permanent bases,' Kimmitt said.
And remember, he is only talking about "after Iraq and Afghanistan are stabilized". That could be about a thousand years, at this rate. No wonder Kimmitt is calling it "the long war".

The article is worth a read for its description of changing US attitudes on how to fight terror. There seems to be a realisation - at last - that sheer military brutality alone will not do the job. Gee, who woulda guessed, eh?

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