Crocker: We Don’t Want Permanent Iraq Bases!
The United States is not seeking permanent military bases in Iraq as it negotiates legal and military agreements with the Iraqi government, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan C. Crocker said here today.
Speaking at the State Department, Crocker called published reports that the United States is trying to set up permanent bases “flatly untrue.”
“There clearly is going to be a need” for a U.S. and coalition military presence in Iraq beyond the end of the year, Crocker said. But the status of forces agreement, when adopted, “is not going to be forever, particularly as it related to the status and authority of coalition forces in Iraq,” he said.
“So I’m very comfortable saying to you – to the Iraqis, to anyone who asks – that no, indeed, we are not seeking permanent bases, either explicitly or implicitly, by just intending to stay there indefinitely,” he said.
So on one side, you’ve got the least credible administration ever. On the other, the Iraqi parliament — backed by such circumstantial evidence as, oh, the administration’s refusal to allow any substantive congressional input at all, and doing this all during its final days in office. How about just, you know, not committing the U.S. to a long-term occupation?