Again- Iraq Announces Plans for Permanent US Bases

Iraq asks US to stay.

Today, Iraq announced that the Mosul Airport will reopen for civilian flights starting on Sunday. (Voices of Iraq & photo by Rocky)

Also, the famous Riverside Park in Baghdad reopened.

And, Iraq and the US announced they will negotiate for long-term military bases in the coming months.
Of course, this only makes sense since the forces could help stabilize in case of emergency and this would give the US a strategic base in the troubled region.
The AP reported:

Iraq’s government, seeking protection against foreign threats and internal coups, will offer the U.S. a long-term troop presence in Iraq in return for U.S. security guarantees as part of a strategic partnership, two Iraqi officials said Monday.

The proposal, described to The Associated Press by two senior Iraqi officials familiar with the issue, is one of the first indications that the United States and Iraq are beginning to explore what their relationship might look like once the U.S. significantly draws down its troop presence…

The Iraqi officials said that under the proposed formula, Iraq would get full responsibility for internal security and U.S. troops would relocate to bases outside the cities. Iraqi officials foresee a long-term presence of about 50,000 U.S. troops, down from the current figure of more than 160,000.

The Iraqi target date for a bilateral agreement on the new relationship would be July, when the U.S. intends to finish withdrawing the five combat brigades sent in 2007 by President Bush as part of the troop buildup that has helped curb sectarian violence.

It will be interesting to see what the democrats will have to say about this latest development.
Surely, they will be disappointed. After all, it suggests that major fighting against terrorists is drawing down, that the insurgency is beat, that the Iraqis are ready to stand alone, that the US will have an important Middle Eastern base and that Bush wins.
It’s a Democratic nightmare.

The White House posted intentions of the American-Iraqi agreement:

The Declaration Sets The U.S. And Iraq On A Path Toward Negotiating Agreements That Are Common Throughout The World

The U.S. has security relationships with over 100 countries around the world, including recent agreements with nations such as Afghanistan and former Soviet bloc countries.

The relationship envisioned will include U.S.-Iraqi cooperation in the political, diplomatic, economic and security arenas. The United States and Iraq intend to negotiate arrangements based upon a range of principles:

Political and Diplomatic: The U.S. and Iraq have committed to strengthening Iraq’s democratic institutions, upholding the Iraqi Constitution, supporting Iraqi national reconciliation, and enhancing Iraq’s position in regional and international organizations, so that it may play a constructive role in the region.

Economic: Both countries have agreed to support the development of Iraqi economic institutions and further integration into international financial institutions, to encourage all parties to abide by their commitments made in the International Compact with Iraq, to assist Iraq in its efforts to recover illegally exported funds and properties and to secure debt relief, and to encourage the flow of foreign investments to Iraq.

Security: To support the Iraqi government in training, equipping, and arming the Iraqi Security Forces so they can provide security and stability to all Iraqis; support the Iraqi government in contributing to the international fight against terrorism by confronting terrorists such as Al-Qaeda, its affiliates, other terrorist groups, as well as all other outlaw groups, such as criminal remnants of the former regime; and to provide security assurances to the Iraqi Government to deter any external aggression and to ensure the integrity of Iraq’s territory.

At the White House press gaggle today, the mainstream media asked General Douglas Lute what everyone (Code-Pink) was thinking:

Question: How can any nation make a deal under occupation and not feel coerced? And anyway, they don’t really have a sort of government there at all.

Sad. That question came from one of those elitist “credentialed journalists” in the gaggle.

Previously:
More Bad News For Murtha… Iraqi Government Wants Permanent US Bases

UPDATE: Amir Taheri takes a balanced look at Iraq at On Point via Instapundit.

UPDATE 2: All Things Conservative reports on the permanent changes in Iraq.

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