News Release

No “Permanent” Bases — Just “Enduring” Bases

AP is reporting this morning: “Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Baghdad … said a long-term agreement the U.S. is now negotiating with Iraq will give a needed legal framework for the continued presence of U.S. troops. Many in Congress have raised alarm about the agreement, and Democrats have accused the White House of trying to set troop levels or other elements of the Bush policy in stone ahead of the U.S. presidential election.”

Crocker said today: “The agreement will not establish permanent bases in Iraq, and we anticipate that it will expressly foreswear them. The agreement will not specify troop levels, and it will not tie the hands of the next administration.”

CATHERINE LUTZ
Professor of anthropology at Brown University and the Watson Institute for International Studies, Lutz is editor of the forthcoming book The Bases of Empire: The Global Struggle against U.S. Military Posts.

She said today: “To have Amb. Crocker or Gen. Petraeus say there will not be ‘permanent bases’ is entirely misleading. The U.S. government has taken to calling bases it intends to build and hold for the indefinite future ‘enduring bases’ or ‘cooperative security locations’ or other such euphemisms. The Bush administration is attempting to circumvent congressional Defense bills’ provisions by characterizing any Iraq bases as ‘temporary’ or ‘enduring’ rather than ‘permanent.’ The administration appears determined to evade both the intent of the bill barring permanent bases as well as the democratic authority of Congress and the Iraqi Parliament — not its Cabinet — to approve what is de facto a basing treaty. Maintaining bases in Iraq is also a veiled way to prevent the withdrawal of U.S. forces against the wishes of large and growing majorities in both the United States and Iraq.

“The U.S. has over 700 official bases around the world, including, more than half a century after the end of World War II and the Korean War, 302 bases in Germany, 111 in Japan, and 106 in South Korea.”

See the Transnational Institute’s mapping of hundreds of foreign bases using Google Earth.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167