The Logical Conclusion of Crockerâ€™s Claim: Iraqi Army Could Build Military Bases in Des Moines
April 09, 2008
This is from the statement of Ryan Crocker, US Ambassador to Iraq, in front of the Foreign Relations Committee yesterday:
One conclusion I draw from these signs of progress is that the strategy that began with the Surge is working. This does not mean, however, that U.S. support should be open-ended or that the level and nature of our engagement should not diminish over time. It is in this context that we have begun negotiating a bilateral relationship between Iraq and the United States...The heart of this relationship will be a legal framework for the presence of American troops similar to that which exists in nearly 80 countries around the world...
U.S. forces will remain in Iraq beyond December 31, 2008, when the U.N. resolution presently governing their presence expires. Our troops will need basic authorizations and protections to continue operations - and this agreement will provide those authorizations and protections.
The agreement will not establish permanent bases in Iraq, and we anticipate that it will expressly foreswear them. The agreement will not specify troop levels, and it will not tie the hands of the next Administration. Our aim is to ensure that the next President arrives in office with a stable foundation upon which to base policy decisions, and that is precisely what this agreement will do. Congress will remain fully informed as these negotiations proceed in the coming weeks and months.Both the US constitution and the Iraqi constitution require that treaties be approved by their respective legislative branches. Yet Crocker states that Congress will merely be "fully informed" about the US-Iraq agreement.