Sunday, June 15, 2008
58 bases =
The U.S. wants 58 bases in Iraq
. Fred Hiatt likes
Iraq's land area is 167,372 sq mi. Divide that by 58 and you get one base for every 2885 sq mi (a square 54 miles on a side), which is the size of 1½ Delawares.
The contiguous 48 United States land area is 2,959,213 sq mi. If the United States had one base for every 2885 sq mi, it would have 1,025 bases.
Iraq's population is 29,267,000. Divide that by 58 and you get one base for every 504,603 people, or one base for every Albuquerque-sized city.
The United States population is 304,350,000. If the United States had one base for every 504,603 people, it would have 603 bases.
Tha high basing density appears to be designed for occupation more than strategic defense.
There are 440 active duty military bases in the US now. There are 80 or 90 reserve and air national guard bases (there is some overlap there with active duty bases). I don't know how many army guard and reserve bases there are, but the 2005 base closure list included about 150 facilities that weren't accounting or recruiting stations.
I'm not sure that 58 is that big a number in this case...
Not that I'm for it. I think we should GTFO of Iraq, I'm just saying that if we're down to 440 bases after a couple decades of closing them...
Those 58 bases represent a large investment by the U.S. military and Bush isn't about to just give them away. He will find a way to continue occupying those bases... They were likely the real reason we invaded in the first place.
j goodwin: thanks for that information about US active duty bases. I was wondering what the number was, but didn't know where to look it up. While 58 bases might not be that big a number (or density) for a country's own military, it sure seems like a lot for a foreign presence (i.e. US in Iraq).
Didn't PNAC want 14 land based bases in the middle east? Guess that was before they decided not to greet us as liberators.
"Foreign presence" meaning the guys who run your puppet government, operate your oil fields, train your police and soldiers, settle your domestic civil disputes, investigate your domestic bombings and murders, build your schools, determine your educational curriculum, etc etc etc.
At this point, the US Federal Government has more influence in Iraq than they do in Miami, and most of it isn't even just pulling strings, it's completely overt.
Again, I think we should GTFO because I'm against it, but there is no Iraqi military to speak of. Their "bases" don't count because they basically don't exist, assuming there are any at all (which I have my doubts about, this is a region that historically has large(ish) militaries that all go home at night. They're the equivalent of the reserves or national guard.
They don't have an air force, they don't have cavalry, they have no heavy artillery, what do they need bases for?
The high density of bases is intended to replace our presence in Saudi Arabia, which we have mostly removed our bases from.