1.15.2005

Imperial Aspirations

Months ago The Donald told the U.S. press that there were no plans for a long-term military presence in the New Iraq. Maybe no one told him about the 14 military bases and plans for an enduring communications system to link them?

March 2004: "U.S. engineers are focusing on constructing 14 "enduring bases," long-term encampments for the thousands of American troops expected to serve in Iraq for at least two years. The bases also would be key outposts for Bush administration policy advisers."

January 2005: "As the Bush administration drops hints about withdrawing troops from Iraq as early as this year, the Pentagon is building a permanent military communications system that suggests American soldiers will be in Iraq for the foreseeable future.

The new network, known as Central Iraq Microwave System, will eventually consist of up to 12 communications towers throughout Iraq and fiber-optic cables connecting Camp Victory, located outside of Baghdad, to other coalition bases in the country, according to three sources familiar with the project. The land-based system will replace the tactical communications network the Army and Marines have been using in Iraq. That network relied primarily on satellites and is much easier to dismantle. The contract for the new communications system covering central Iraq, won by Galaxy Scientific Corporation, is worth about $10 million."

As opined by this Hoolie back in November, we're planning on sticking around in that newest hotbed of Jeffersonian democracy. Never mind the talk of a sovereign Iraq. Never mind the murmurings of a pullout. As we near the Iraqi elections, the only questions are (1) Will the election be less legitimate than those of the previous Iraqi administration?; (2) Will U.S. troops continue to be active participants in the battle against insurgents or will they retreat to their permanent bases in anticipation of the next regional military misadventure?

"Mr. Clarridge, who has spent four months in Iraq in the last year and is the former chief of Arab operations for the CIA's clandestine service, added, "People should get realistic and think in terms of our presence being in Iraq for a generation or until democratic stability in the region is reached.""

Well...democratic stability is going to take a long time, don'cha think? Especially with election workers and polling sites already being targeted by an unflagging insurgency / Al Qaeda-in-training. The current administration isn't going to tell us the truth about the plans for the New Iraq, so all we can do is watch their actions. And I don't know if there's enough bloggers in all of blogtopia to do that.