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Pentagon Making Preparations To Keep Tens Of Thousands Of Troops In Iraq For ‘Decades’

In testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee this month, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Peter Pace uttered a “carefully worded” statement revealing that the Pentagon had no plans to fully withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq if legislation passes Congress mandating troop redeployment:

PACE: Sir, we have published no orders directing the planning for the overall withdrawal of forces. We do have ongoing replacements of forces, and we do change the size of the force over time so that that system is available to either plus-up or draw down, but we have published no orders saying come up with a complete plan for total drawdown.

NPR investigated Pace’s statements and found one scenario being considered within the Pentagon would maintain a strong U.S. military presence in Iraq for several decades into the future.

This so-called “lily pad” strategy entails keeping a “series of military installations around Iraq,” with tens of thousands of U.S. troops remaining in the country for as long as a few decades:

hat it essentially envisions is a series of military installations around Iraq, maybe five or six of them, a total of maybe 30-40 thousand U.S. troops in Iraq for a long period of time, lasting, maybe a few decades. And the idea is that these bases will be somewhat hermetically sealed, that U.S. military forces won’t be leaving them, they won’t be conducting presence patrols and the patrols they conduct now. Ground convoys won’t be driving into them.

Airplanes will be essentially landing in to deliver supplies and these sort of lily pads will be in various strategic areas in Iraq … And that will enable the U.S. military to maintain a presence in the country, perhaps…for a few decades.

The Pentagon’s goal with the lily pads is to preserve U.S. interests in Iraq for years to come “in the event that Congress or the administration pushes this forward.” As NPR details, those interests are at least three-fold: 1) Training Iraq forces, 2) Preserving economic interests, as “Iraq obviously on the second largest reserve of oil in the world,” and 3) Providing a U.S. military “presence” to deter Iran and Turkey from “getting involved” after withdrawal.

While 60 percent of Americans are calling for a withdrawal of the U.S. from Iraq, the Pentagon is instead making preparations for an unending occupying presence. (Think Progress)

* * * * * * * *

Do you support the U.S. keeping thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq for decades?

We should stay in Iraq until the last drop of oil is pumped

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Years ago I said at B&W and to my family that we'd be there for decades. I wish I'd be proven wrong.
I wish I'd be proven wrong about a lot of things in the world.. I'm not waiting anymore though, I've decided to give up on people :) Fighting and consuming really are the most important things in the world.. it's glorious isn't it?
by Jyl [+]

Voted : No
One might consider this as proof that an elite group of people who consider themselves to be "Gods among men" have scripted these events to concur with a pre-scripted prophecy that is designed to keep the rest of us as subservient, tax-paying drones.

I wonder if we will ever wake up from this nightmare.

Voted : No
Even my conservative parents think that we tried helping them out, they think that we gave the Iraqis a chance for a new government and they blew it, they should be left on their own now. Of course I think it was a ridiculous idea to begin with.
No way, I'm shocked and appalled if this is true!!!
Voted : No
Bush won't be around for decades. I don't think the risk is real.
Voted : No
although we have contributed to the mess in the Middle East at EVERY opportunity. it's hard to imagine that changing, but one can always hope. it's funny how we idolize the "american revolution" but whenever another nation takes steps towards democracy, and those steps aren't in line with the power-elite of our nation - that democracy is doomed and labeled everything but.

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