The Cepia Club Blog

The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

US Troops to Stay "Permanently" in Iraq

The independent news source Truthout has reported on a President Bush and Prime Minister Maliki agreement to “permanently” station US troops in Iraq. Find it here at: Here is some analysis:

The "permanent" aspect of US bases in Iraq is easily circumvented. One "deceptive" way to fool the US Congress and the 2008 Defense Appropriation (the supplemental law from Nov.) and the 2008 Defense Authorization (required by the Constitution) acts is to rotate units. For example, V Corps is permanentely based in Europe. One division or an air group from EUCOM, or an increased air-borne & air mobile capacity, could rotate to Iraq every five months, on a scheduled basis for things like "readiness training." With 4 combat brigades now the norm in US force structure for a division, which also has a fifth organic support element, the units could swap personnel o n, using the same equipment, quarterly, so that the units would overlap at the beginning and end of a "4 month deployment." More likely, would be a larger military base US force structure in Kuwait or off-shore, doing effectively "patrols" into Iraq. Nothing permanent. US strategy has emphasized a naval aspect called Sea Base (from the Sea Power 21 US Navy transformation guideline from 2002-2003). As far as "permanent" equipment, the bases, as the article points out, would be owned by the Iraq gov't, manned by contractors, with the heavy gear and vehicles being switched out with pre-positioning ships and stocks elsewhere in the Gulf and/or Indian Ocean (although IO-based maritime pre-positioning needs might require this equipment to be "strategic" for Indian Ocean Area/Central and Pacific Command contingencies.

While the number of US troops estimated in the article is 50,000, I find this an entirely too high a number for permanent stationing. The bulk of the required units and specialties- -the personnel flying in separately from heavy units like tanks, trucks, and logistics, which must travel by ship--would most likely be "based" in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman.

So, to "funge" the law is entirely practical in this case. The agreement would be against the spirit for now, but a conservative Supreme Court would perhaps decide with President Bush or a subsequent Republican administration. But defense policy must be reviewed, lapsed, and renewed every 2-years, per Article I, Sec. 8 of the US Constitution. Pending new elections and a bipartisan change in voting coalitions, the laws found in the Appropriation Act and expected to be approved in the Authorization bill can be changed.

As an aside, does it really matter that Iraq's Governing Council has any say in this at all, or any power to enforce its own constitution. Can we ever again enforce our own?

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