by Seumas Milne
A confidential draft agreement covering the future of US forces in Iraq,
passed to the Guardian, shows that provision is being made for an open-ended
military presence in the country.
The draft strategic framework agreement between the US and Iraqi
governments, dated March 7 and marked "secret" and "sensitive", is intended
to replace the existing UN mandate and authorises the US to "conduct
military operations in Iraq and to detain individuals when necessary for
imperative reasons of security" without time limit.
The authorisation is described as "temporary" and the agreement says the US
"does not desire permanent bases or a permanent military presence in Iraq".
But the absence of a time limit or restrictions on the US and other
coalition forces - including the British - in the country means it is likely
to be strongly opposed in Iraq and the US.
Iraqi critics point out that the agreement contains no limits on numbers of
US forces, the weapons they are able to deploy, their legal status or powers
over Iraqi citizens, going far beyond long-term US security agreements with
other countries. The agreement is intended to govern the status of the US
military and other members of the multinational force. . . .
Ian Traymor, "The Privatization of War,"
Guardian, December 3, 2003
Robert Fisk, "The Hell-Disaster of Iraq,"
counterpunch.com, March 19, 2008
John Gray, "Control Oil and Water, Control the
World," Observer, March 30, 2008
Iraq contract renewed," BBC News, April 5, 2008
[The more likely explanation for the U.S. invasion of Iraq is the
neoconservative Bush regime's commitment to the defense of Israeli
territorial expansion. There is no such thing as a neoconservative who is
not allied with Israel. Israel hopes to steal all of the West Bank and
southern Lebanon for its territorial expansion. An American colonial regime
in Iraq not only buttresses Israel from attack, but also can pressure Syria
and Iran not to support the Palestinians and Lebanese. The Iraqi war is a
war for Israeli territorial expansion. Americans are dying and bleeding to
death financially for Israel. Bush's "war on terror" is a hoax that serves
to cover U.S. intervention in the Middle East on behalf of "greater Israel."
--Paul Craig Roberts, "What the Iraq War
Is About," antiwar.com, April 23, 2008]
[The Iraq Special Operations Forces (ISOF) is probably the largest special
forces outfit ever built by the United States, . . .
According to Congressional records, the ISOF has grown into nine battalions,
which extend to four regional "commando bases" across Iraq. By December,
each will be complete with its own "intelligence infusion cell," which will
operate independently of Iraq's other intelligence networks. The ISOF is at
least 4,564 operatives strong, making it approximately the size of the US
Army's own Special Forces in Iraq.--Shane Bauer, "Iraq's New Death
Squad," thenation.com, June 3, 2009
[Right now there are 250
thousand contractors fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's about
50 percent of the total US fighting force. Which is very similar to what it
was under Bush. In Iraq, President Obama has 130 thousand contractors. And
we just saw a 23 percent increase in the number of armed contractors in
Iraq. In Afghanistan there's been a 29 percent increase in armed
contractors. So the radical privatization of war continues unabated under
Moyers Journal, Jeremy Scahill," pbs.org, June 5, 2009]