US May Open Network of Bases in Iraq

By John Lee.

The United States is considering opening a network of new bases in Iraq, to help in the war against the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL).

General Martin E Dempsey (pictured), chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, outlined the plan just a day after the White House announced that up to 450 additional U.S. personnel would be deployed to Iraq to expand the U.S. advise-and-assist mission at Taqaddam Air Base.

There is no timetable for any offensive in the province, Dempsey said, but the base at Taqaddam [Taqaddum] and the support to the tribes will be an enabler for the counterattack to reclaim Ramadi.

If successful, the base could be a model for further efforts in the country, the general said, likening it to a lily pad in a pond, with the base at the center and the lily pad being the range of security extending out.

Our campaign is built on establishing these ‘lily pads’ that allow us to encourage the Iraqi security forces forward,” the chairman said. “As they go forward, they may exceed the reach of the particular lily pad. We’re looking all the time to see if additional sites might be necessary.”

Dempsey said that although he doesn’t anticipate the need for another base in Anbar, “I could foresee one in the corridor that runs from Baghdad to Tikrit to Kirkuk over into Mosul.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

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