"And it created a new front where the United States will have to continue to battle terrorist forces and enlist local allies who reject the idea of an Iraq hijacked by international terrorists. The military will need resources and bases to stanch this self- inflicted wound for the foreseeable future.
The Question of Bases
The United States could strike an agreement with the Kurds to create those bases in northeastern Iraq. Or, the Pentagon could use its bases in countries like Kuwait and Qatar, and its large naval presence in the Persian Gulf, as staging points.
There are arguments for, and against, both options. Leaving troops in Iraq might make it too easy — and too tempting — to get drawn back into the civil war and confirm suspicions that Washington’s real goal was to secure permanent bases in Iraq. Mounting attacks from other countries could endanger those nations’ governments.
The White House should make this choice after consultation with Congress and the other countries in the region, whose opinions the Bush administration has essentially ignored. The bottom line: the Pentagon needs enough force to stage effective raids and airstrikes against terrorist forces in Iraq, but not enough to resume large-scale combat." NY Times
We have now reached a point at which the NY Times’ thoughts and mine are nearly congruent on Iraq. This sounds an awful lot like the argument that I have assembled for future action in the region.
– It will not be possible to operate in Iraq with forces stationed outside Iraq. The distances are too great. Once again, Logistics Rules.
– The Times neglects to tell us if it wishes to continue to train and support the forces and police of the government that we did so much to create. What is the alternative to doing that?
– Activities like those, plus the force protection for; those activities, the SOF people continuing to hunt the jihadis, and the embassy will require the size force which I have written of before. This will be a reinforced division task force operating from a secure base. The idea of putting that base in Kurdish territory northwest of Baghdad is attractive if agreements can be reached with the neighbors.
Once Petraeus "reports" in September, it will be clear that what he wants is more of the same. That will be the time for the Congress to "get serious" about this. pl