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US Has No Warrant to Build New Bases in Iraq and Syria

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July ,17 \NewNewss

Last thing post-ISIL Iraq and Syria need is seeing the White House issue a statement calling on Congress to grant President Trump unilateral legal authority to open new military bases in the Levant, as well as to renovate existing facilities.

The volatile region of the Middle East has had enough of US wars, illegal invasions and troublesome military bases.

The political class in Washington is taking us for fools claiming the bases would be purely temporary in nature. For the US Empire of Bases and Chaos nothing is temporary. They have waged an endless war on terror and they keep telling us it’s permanent. They need bases from which to attack these imaginary terrorists which renders them permanent too.

Here, what “temporary” actually means is clear, particularly in Iraq where the Pentagon regime has been very public about the idea that they intend to keep US ground troops in Iraq more or less forever. Those bases, then, are going to be open-ended facilities for an open-ended mission. That includes Syria as well.

The establishment of bases, particularly in Syria, is illegal, since the US doesn’t have any permission from the Syrian government to be there in the first place, and the appearance of the Pentagon laying down roots, however temporary they claim them to do, could be very provocative to Syria, and its allies Iran and Russia.

Any new military bases and facilities will be integral to preparations for war, and as such undermine international peace and security. Without the bases in Turkey, Germany, Diego Garcia, Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf States, the Iraq invasion or regime-change campaigns in Syria and Yemen could not have been possible. The bases serve to proliferate weapons, increase violence and undermine international instability.

America’s bases will also cause, security, social and environmental problems at a local and regional level. Communities living around the bases will experience high levels of rapes committed by US soldiers, violent crimes and terrorism, loss of land or livelihood, and pollution and health hazards caused by the testing of conventional or non-conventional weapons. In many countries the agreement that permitted the base stipulates that foreign soldiers who perpetrate crimes cannot be held accountable, since they are granted immunity.

The new bases will become platforms for military maneuvers: military facilities in Iraq and the Persian Gulf are used as coordination centres for ‘behind the lines’ intelligence missions into Iran and Syria. Bases are often forward storage facilities for all sorts of weaponry including nuclear arms. Some bases will also become test-ranges for new weaponry, including nuclear testing; others training grounds for US soldiers, or joint training locations.

Other facilities will serve as intelligence operations, or be used for the extra-judiciary transport, imprisonment and torture of people. Guantanamo Bay is the best known example, but many other facilities in Diego Garcia, the Middle East and Europe are implicated.

In summation, new US military bases in Iraq and Syria are a bad idea. They are a threat to the national security of Iraq and Syria and any country not siding with the US or NATO. Iran, Russia, China and many other countries therefore feel obliged to respond to this new threat which will contribute to the continuing arms race and conflicts.

It is time to create space in international forums and at the UN for a critical debate both on the legality and necessity of new US bases as a method of military domination in post-ISIL Iraq and Syria. For this, the member states should actively engage with other international civil society networks and with intergovernmental forums, such as the NPT 2010 Review Process. The Empire of Bases and Chaos cannot be allowed to occupy, militarize and terrorize Iraq and Syria forever, much less threaten their neighbours.

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