Note the terminology “enduring” bases. That’s Pentagon-speak for long-term encampments - not necessarily permanent, but not just a tent on a wood platform either. It all suggests a planned indefinite stay on Iraqi soil that will cost US taxpayers for years to come.
The actual amount depends on how many troops are stationed there for the long term. If the US decides to reduce its forces there from the 138,000 now to, say, 50,000, and station them in bases, the costs would run between 5 billion to 7 billion a year, estimates Gordon Adams, director of Security Policy Studies at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Nonetheless, several military experts in Washington assume Iraq’s new government will need the support of American troops - and thus “permanent” bases - for years, perhaps decades, to come.
Another fear, however, is that without US bases, the various Iraqi factions - the Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds - would fall into civil war. In turn, this conflict could drag in Iran, Syria, and Turkey, leading to a widespread conflict in the Middle East. Hope of establishing a democracy in an Arab nation would fade.
The US can afford maintaining bases in Iraq, he argues. US defense spending now amounts to a bit more than 4 percent of gross domestic product, the nation’s output of goods and services. It might rise as a result of Iraq bases to 5 percent of GDP, still less than the 6.5 percent of GDP in the cold war or the 10 percent during the Vietnam War.
I have highlighted various areas to show that this is something that we have “known” about and “discussed” all along. Notice the 50K number? I was called on this repeatedly earlier when asked if I knew that the US would stay for the long haul and that there was skepticism that I was not just making up the numbers to account for the greater difficulties in Iraq. Nope. 35K to 50K was the originally envisioned number and lo and behold this article spells out exactly as I did why we would want to keep them there for the long term and let’s face it. We will be there for 60 years just like Japan, Germany and South Korea. It will neither cost us more nor less and it will be something that benefits the people of that nation as well as that region. This is not to say there were never protests many massive against US forces in Germany, Japan and South Korea, but overall, we will win, the world will be better and Iraq will be better. In the meantime, the useless left and various European nations, chiefly France, will belly ache and foment trouble but at the end of the day, what will they contribute? how will they help?