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15,000 US Troops to Remain In Iraq, Renamed “Diplomats”

Role will be to occupy military bases and protect oilfields

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Monday, July 18, 2011

15,000 US Troops to Remain In Iraq, Renamed Diplomats 180711feature2

At least 15,000 US troops will stay in Iraq beyond the December 31 deadline which the Obama administration promised would bring a complete withdrawal of American forces. The majority of the troops will receive a “cover designation” and be labeled “diplomats,” but their job will be to protect oilfields and serve four giant military bases that will ensure the occupation remains permanent.

Confirming our earlier reports, the Israeli intelligence news source DebkaFile released a briefing to its subscribers this past weekend entitled, Four Big Air Bases, 15,000 Troops: For Defending Baghdad and Oil, and Facing Iran, which detailed how the occupation would be prolonged under false pretenses, with the Obama administration categorizing active duty US troops as “military trainers, expert advisers and diplomats.”

The report cites military intelligence sources in describing a meeting between US Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, during which it was agreed that “15,000 US troops would be allowed to stay on in Iraq after December 2011.”

“The formation will be distributed as follows: 8,000 servicemen labeled US diplomats would be attached to operations command centers housed in secret, secure quarters at the embassy in Baghdad and in US consulates in Iraqi cities, including missions yet to be opened,” states the report. “Another 7,000 troops were classified as US security officers – 4,000 for protecting “US diplomats” and 3,000 as military instructors.”

Panetta’s recent complaints about the Iraqi government’s failure to make it clear whether it wanted US troops to remain in the country was apparently an act of “theatre” to camouflage the fact that a decision has already been made. Al-Maliki’s failure to appoint a defense minister is also “a device for throwing off US demands to file a formal request for US forces to stay in Iraq,” because the Iraqi government would not be in a position to formally respond to such a request, according to the briefing.

Last month we reported that the occupation of Iraq would be “prolonged indefinitely” and that a substantial number of U.S. troops would remain in the country beyond the December 31 deadline.

Shortly after, the Obama administration announced that it was considering how many troops to keep in Iraq despite promising that all US forces would be withdrawn at the end of the year.

This occurred just weeks after sources within the powerful Bilderberg Group intimated that the US had “no intentions of ever leaving Iraq” and that the country will merely be used as a launch pad for a wider regional war that will “include every nation in the Middle East except for Israel.”

The target of that war is likely to be Iran. Rumors of an Israeli strike against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s regime seem to surface almost every summer and this year is no different. On July 8, we first reported rumblings that an assault was being planned, citing intelligence sources that suggest Israel is preparing a surgical strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities in September as a means of distracting from and ultimately derailing the prospect of Palestinian statehood.

In addition, Veteran CIA agent Robert Baer recently told KPFK Los Angeles that Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu was “likely to ignite a war with Iran in the very near future.”

Indeed, one of the justifications cited by US officials behind maintaining a substantial US presence in Iraq is to defend against Shiite militias armed by Iran. Panetta is keen to ward off any “deepening of Iran’s military penetration of Iraq,” concerns that were heightened after Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki ordered Iraqi troops out of Baghdad and sent them to the Syrian border in aid of Tehran’s ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad.

According to the Debka report, Panetta and Al-Maliki have agreed to maintain US control of four major military bases, in Halabja, Talil, Balad, and another east of Halabja, that will be used as outposts to protect oilfields in addition to defending against Iranian incursions. The fact that US bases will firmly remain staffed is unsurprising given that President Obama renamed such facilities “enduring presence posts” just last year.

Debka notes that “two of the four American air bases, Halabja and Talil, will therefore face Iran,” adding that thousands of extra US troops will be needed to service these bases in addition to the 15,000 that will already remain in Iraq. Like the 15,000, most of whom will be labeled “diplomats,” these extra forces will also be given a “cover-designation” to hide the fact that they are part of a massive remaining US presence.

Barack Obama swept to power on the promise that he would “immediately” withdraw troops from Iraq.

In reality, even before the August 2010 “withdrawal” of U.S. troops, the New York Times reported that, “Mr. Obama plans to leave behind a “residual force” of tens of thousands of troops to continue training Iraqi security forces, hunt down foreign terrorist cells and guard American institutions.”

When the supposed August 2010 “withdrawal” was announced, a senior military officer spelled it out more plainly to the Los Angeles Times, “‘When President Obama said we were going to get out within 16 months, some people heard, ‘get out,’ and everyone’s gone. But that is not going to happen,’ the officer said.”

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Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show.

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