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If the U.S. is ultimately leaving Iraq, why is the military building ‘permanent’ bases?

Friends Committee on National Legislation
A Quaker Lobby in the Public Interest

The supplemental funding bill for the war in Iraq signed by President Bush in early May 2005 provides money for the construction of bases for U.S. forces that are described as “in some very limited cases, permanent facilities.” Several recent press reports have suggested the U.S. is planning up to 14 permanent bases in Iraq˜ a country that is only twice the size of the state of Idaho. Why is the U.S. building permanent bases in Iraq?

In May 2005, United States military forces in Iraq occupied 106 bases, according to a report in the Washington

1 Military commanders told that newspaper they eventually planed to consolidate these bases into four large airbases at Tallil, Al Asad, Balad and either Irbil or Qayyarah.

But other reports suggest the U.S. military has plans for even more bases: In April 2003 report in The New York Times reported that “the U.S. is planning a long-term military relationship with the emerging government of Iraq, one that would grant the Pentagon access to military bases and project American influence into the heart of the unsettled region.”

2 According to the Chicago Tribune, U.S. engineers are focusing on constructing 14 “enduring bases,” to serve as long-term encampments for thousands of American


1) Green Zone (Baghdad)

The Green Zone in central Baghdad includes the main palaces of former President Saddam Hussein. The area at one time housed the Coalition Provisional Authority; it still houses the offices of major U.S. consulting companies and the temporary U.S. embassy facilities.

2) Camp Anaconda (Balad Airbase)

Camp Anaconda is a large U.S. logistical base near Balad. The camp is spread over 15 square miles and is being constructed to accommodate 20,000 soldiers.

3) Camp Taji (Taji)

Camp Taji, former Iraqi Republican Guard “military city,” is now a huge U.S. base equipped with a Subway, Burger King and Pizza Hut on the premises.

4) Camp Falcon-Al-Sarq (Baghdad)

In late September 2003, the 439th Engineering Battalion delivered over 100,000 tons of gravel and is assisting with building roads, walls, guard towers, and buildings for Camp Falcon. Camp Falcon is planned to house 5,000 soldiers.

5) Post Freedom (Mosul)

Saddam Hussein’s former palace in Mosul is currently home to the 101st Airborne Division.

6) Camp Victory- Al Nasr (Baghdad Airfield)

Camp Victory is a U.S. Army base situated on airport grounds about 5 kilometers from Baghdad International Airport. The base can house up to 14,000 troops. Al Faw Palace on Camp Victory is surrounded by a man-made lake and serves as an unofficial conference center for the Army.

7) Camp Marez (Mosul Airfield)

Located at an airfield southwest of Mosul, Camp Marez has a tent dining capacity for 500. In December 2004, a suicide bomber killed himself and 13 U.S. soldiers at the base‚s dining tent.

8) Camp Renegade (Kirkuk)

Strategically located near the Kirkuk oil fields and the Kirkuk refinery and petrochemical plant, Camp Renegade has a dormitory that houses up to 1,664 airmen in 13 buildings with six to eight people to a room.

9) Camp Speicher (Tikrit)

Named after F/A-18 pilot Michael “Scott” Speicher who was shot down during the first Gulf War in 1991, Camp Speicher is located near Tikrit in northern Iraq, approximately 170 kilometers north of Baghdad.

10) Camp Fallujuh (Rail Station?)

The exact whereabouts and name of this base is unknown. Analysts believe that the U.S. is building an “enduring base‰ in Fallujah, a large town forty miles west of Baghdad. Fallujah has proved to be the most violence prone area in Iraq. Between early April 2004, when Marines halted their first offensive against the city, and November 2004, when the city was “re-taken‰ from insurgents, Fallujuh was a no-go area with numerous murders and bombings.

11) Unknown name (Nasiriyah)

The exact whereabouts and name of this base is unknown. Analysts believe that the U.S. is building an “enduring base‰ near Nasiriyah, a provincial capital of South-East Iraq on the Euphrates River.

12) Unknown name (between Irbil and Kirkuk)

13) Unknown

14) Unknown
1 Graham, Bradley, “Commander’s Plan Eventual Consolidation of U.S. Bases in Iraq,” May 22, 2005, p A27
2 Shanker, Thom and Eric Smith. “Pentagon Expects Long-Term Access to Four Key Bases in Iraq.” New York Times. April 20, 2003.
3 Spolar, Christine. “14 ‘Enduring Bases’ Set for Iraq.” Chicago Tribune. March 23, 2004.
4 Information on Iraq bases is from More information is available at: Used with permission.

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