The permanent role of the U.S. military in Iraq is NOT to serve as sitting ducks
for an Iraqi insurgency. Maintenance of large numbers of American ground forces
in Iraq till now has been necessary to stabilize the installation of a government
in Iraq suitable to U.S. interests and to protect that government until it could
begin to defend itself by the recruitment of large numbers of armed men (ostensibly
an Iraqi "army" and "police force"). This is literally the
ONLY jobs program in Iraq for large numbers of able-bodied young men. In Iraq
in 2005, if you want to work and provide an income for your family, you have to
join the U.S. trained police or Iraqi military and defend the U.S.-vetted administration
of your country. The U.S. goal is ultimately to recruit enough Iraqis to fight
the insurgency on a daily basis that the bulk of American ground forces will be
able to withdraw from Iraq.
Does this mean the end of the U.S. military presence or U.S. military role
in Iraq? Hardly! The U.S. military will remain in Iraq for the long-term, but
on permanent bases well protected from the Iraqi people. American soldiers on
permanent bases will not have to travel Iraqi roads and streets in large numbers
to patrol or to search for insurgents.
So, what will the permanent role of the American military in Iraq be? It will
be at least two-fold, and will not doubt still require a permanent force of
thousands of soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen, just like we have in Korea
and other places of the world where conflict is possible. The U.S. military
will largely consist of aviation units and airborne infantry to guard oil infrastructure
from the air and to act as a strategic support of the Iraqi military in guarding
the U.S. vetted government of Iraq. Attack helicopters and jet fighters and
bombers will be present in Iraq for the long-term to guard the oil wells and
pipelines by relentless patrolling. They will guard the Green Zone. They will
be able to bomb insurgents who threaten American bases or Iraqi puppets. They
are being able to punish Iraqis for fighting the illegitimate government, such
as by more bombing of Fallujah. American forces will be available in the future
to patrol Iraq's borders and to launch attacks into neighboring Arab countries
from within Iraq.
To accomplish these varying roles, the permanent basing of American forces
in Iraq will be substantial. There will be many thousands of American military
in Iraq for many years to come. But the American troops will not be patrolling
dangerous streets in Iraq, where they can be exposed to asymmetrical violence.
The idea is to allow the Iraqi soldiers to die to protect the Americans, so
the Americans can protect their own interests; first and foremost the oil infrastructure
for the purpose of American control of Iraqi oil. The American military will
be there to ensure that the Iraqi government facilitates massive wealth transfer
back to America in repayment of American expenses by the sale of Iraq's oil
in the future. It is extortion, pure and simple. If Iraq's government fails
to pay its oil dues to the U.S., who knows when a missile or a bomb may hit
the Green Zone until the dues are paid.
George W. Bush and Dick Cheney did not invade Iraq to lose money on the deal.
It is taking longer to accomplish their mission than expected, primarily because
Rumsfeld would not believe his senior military advisors on the amount of military
effort and manpower required to secure the country of Iraq. Rumsfeld fired competent
military leadership and collected a bunch of Yes-men who were willing to follow
his program in exchange for promotions to leadership roles in the military.
In so doing Rumsfeld has nearly destroyed the U.S. military. But if he can withdraw
a substantial number of ground troops in Iraq and put the remainder in relative
safety on permanent, secure U.S. bases in Iraq, he may be able to stabilize
the situation through a new, contrived emergency and the institution of a military
draft to quickly rebuild America's military. Cost will be no object as Iraqi
oil comes online to help pay for new hardware to replace the billions of dollars
of hardware destroyed or prematurely worn out from Iraq operations.
One thing is for certain -- Iraq will never be a truly sovereign nation as
long as there is substantial oil under its sands. The U.S. military will remain
in Iraq in permanent bases until the Age of Oil is over.