Thursday, April 27, 2006

Voices on Permanent U.S. Bases in Iraq

“That, of course, is an objective, and that will be decided by future Presidents and future governments of Iraq,” stated President Bush when asked if a day will come when there will be no more American forces in Iraq - March 21, 2006

“At the moment, there are no plans for long-term bases in the country.” Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld - April 3, 2006

"I don't know yet how many bases. We're looking at reducing the number of bases. We have 18 we are flying airplanes off of right now. I see that number coming down. But I don't see the air and space component leaving soon." Gen. T. Michael Moseley, Air Force chief of staff - April 12, 2006

"Some of our top leaders never intend to withdraw military forces from Iraq and they are looking for [staying] ten, 20, 50 years." "I have never heard our leaders say that …ten years from now there will be no military bases of the United States in Iraq." President Jimmy Carter - April 19, 2006

The U.S. has "no goal of establishing permanent bases in Iraq." Zalmay Khalilzad, Ambassador to Iraq - March 24, 2006

“The current plan is to reduce the coalition footprint into six consolidation bases – four of which are US. As we move in that direction, some other bases will have to grow to facilitate the closure (or) transfer of smaller bases.” Maj. Gen. Joseph Breasseale, senior spokesman for the coalition forces headquarters in Iraq - April 2, 2006

"We're building permanent bases in Iraq for Iraqis." Army Lt. Col. Barry Venable, Pentagon spokesman - March 24, 2006

“Intense opposition to U.S. plans to establish long-term military bases in Iraq is one of the most passionate motivations behind the insurgency. …Neutralizing this anti-imperial passion — by clearly stating that we do not intend to remain in Iraq indefinitely — is essential to winding down the insurgency.” Larry Diamond, Senior Adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, January to April 2004 - August 15, 2005

“Nothing could be worse than trying to maintain bases in a country with Iraq’s past and where the people do not want them. “Nothing could be worse than trying to maintain bases in a country with Iraq’s past and where the people do not want them.” Anthony H. Cordesman, Center for Strategic and International Studies - July 18, 2005

A January poll by the Program on International Policy (PIPA) asked Iraqis whether “the US government plans to have permanent military bases in Iraq or to remove all its military forces once Iraq is stabilized,” 80% overall assume that the U.S. plans to remain permanently.

“We must continue to show that we will not become a permanent force of occupation... because we need to operate in that region in an environment of consent," Brigadier Gen. Mark Kimmitt - March 30, 2006

“The United States may want to keep a long-term military presence in Iraq to bolster moderates against extremists in the region and protect the flow of oil.” Gen. John P. Abizaid, commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East and Central Asia - March 15, 2006

"I don't think that anybody believes that we really want to be there longer than we have to.... I would think that people would tell you, we're not seeking permanent bases really pretty much anywhere in the world these days. We are, in fact, in the process of removing base structure from a lot of places.'' Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice - April 4, 2006

"Iraqis and their neighbors would be reassured to hear from the United States that its ultimate goal is complete withdrawal, and to hear that the United States has no intention of using Iraq as a launch point for other interventions or a base from which to destabilize other regimes.” James Dobbins, Rand Corporation's International Security and Defense Policy Center - June 27, 2005

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