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U.S. soldiers eat meals from Burger King at al-Asad Air Base, 100 miles west of Baghdad.

Initially, the US established more than a hundred bases of different sizes in Iraq. By the end of 2003, the Pentagon had developed as many as fourteen bases beyond the level of temporary encampment. According to the Iraq Study Group, at the end of 2006 there were still 55 US bases in the country and Pentagon requests for funding in the last year have included money for building giant mess halls – capable of feeding 5000 people – new airfields, and other facilities that suggest the U.S. isn’t planning to leave Iraq anytime soon.

Below are some of the key facilities and mega-bases.

BAGHDAD AREA

1) Green Zone (Baghdad) The Green Zone in Baghdad includes the main palaces of former President Saddam Hussein. The area at one time housed the Coalition Provisional Authority; and now houses the offices of major U.S. consulting companies and the U.S. embassy—by far the largest embassy in world history that approaches the size of the Vatican, or six times the size of the UN compound in New York.

2) Camp Falcon-Al-Sarq (Baghdad)
In late September 2003, the 439th Engineering Battalion delivered over 100,000 tons of gravel and is assisting with building roads, walls, guard towers, and buildings for Camp Falcon. Camp Falcon is planned to house 5,000 soldiers.

3) Camp Victory- Al Nasr (Baghdad Airfield)
Camp Victory is a U.S. Army base situated on airport grounds about 5 kilometers from Baghdad International Airport. The base can house up to 14,000 troops. Al Faw Palace on Camp Victory is surrounded by a man-made lake and serves as an unofficial conference center for the Army.

WEST OF BAGHDAD

4) Camp Anaconda/Balad Airbase
Balad airbase is the second busiest airport in the world, trailing only London’s Heathrow Airport. Camp Anaconda is the largest U.S. logistical base in Iraq. The camp is spread over 15 square miles and is being constructed to accommodate 20,000 soldiers.

There is a 24 hour gym, lighted outdoor basketball courts, Olympic-sized swimming pool, as well as a chandeliered cinema for the troops. “The closest some troops here come to experiencing the Iraq seen on the evening news is the miniature golf course, which mimics a battlefield with its baby sandbags, little Jersey barriers, strands of concertina wire and, down at the end of the course, what appears to be a tiny detainee cage,” wrote Tom Ricks from the Washington Post.

5) Camp Taji (Taji)
Camp Taji, former Iraqi Republican Guard “military city,“ is now a huge U.S. base equipped with a Subway, Burger King and Pizza Hut on the premises.

6) Taqaddum Airbase
Al Taqaddum Airbase is located in central Iraq approximately 74 kilometers west of Baghdad. The airfield is served by 2 runways—13,000 and 12,000 feet long.

7) Camp Fallujuh
The exact whereabouts and name of this base is unknown. Analysts believe that the U.S. is building an “enduring base” in Fallujah, a large town forty miles west of Baghdad. Fallujah has proved to be the most violence prone area in Iraq. Between early April 2004, when Marines halted their first offensive against the city, and November 2004, when the city was “re-taken” from insurgents, Fallujuh was a no-go area with numerous murders and bombings.

8) Al Asad Air Base
About 120 miles west of Baghdad, near the Euphrates town of Khan al-Baghdadi, Al Asad Air Base hosts 17,000 troops, a Burger King, a Pizza Hut and a car dealership, and an internal bus system. The Bush administration requested $39 million the FY 08 budget for new airfield lighting, air-traffic-control systems and upgrades allowing al-Asad to plug into the Iraqi electricity grid — a typical sign of a long-term base.

TIKRIT AREA

8) Camp Speicher (Tikrit)
Camp Speicher is located near Tikrit in northern Iraq, approximately 170 kilometers north of Baghdad. It houses several thousand troops, and a Burger King.

MOSUL AREA

9) al-Qayyara (about 50 miles southeast of Mosul)

10) Camp Marez (Mosul Airfield)

KIRKUK AREA

11) Camp Renegade (Kirkuk)
Strategically located near the Kirkuk oil fields and the Kirkuk refinery and petrochemical plant, Camp Renegade has a dormitory that houses up to 1,664 airmen in 13 buildings with six to eight people to a room.

12) Unknown name (between Irbil and Kirkuk)

NASIRIYAH

13) al-Talil Air Base (14 miles SE of Nasiriyah)

In 2006, $22 million was authorized by Congress to build a second dining facility was being built to seat 6,000, a double perimeter security fence with high-tech gate controls, guard towers, and a moat.

IRAN BORDER

14) Patrol Base Shocker- (Badraj)

Four miles from the Iranian border near the Iraqi town of Badrah. Home to 240 soldiers and contractors including 55 US troops, and a contingent of soldiers from the Republic of Georgia, the base became operational in mid-November 2007. Also has military and civilian analysts monitoring the extent of Iranian influence in Iraq.


Sources:
- A. Baker III and Lee H. Hamilton et al. “The Iraq Study Group Report” Vintage Books, New York (December 2006).
- Global Policy Forum, ed. War and Occupation in Iraq. (June 2007).
- GlobalSecurity.org, Iraq Facilities. http://www.globalsecurity.org/milit....
- Hanley, Charles. “Huge bases raise question: Is U.S. in Iraq to stay?” Arizona Daily Star (March 21, 2007)
- Jamail, Dahr. “Iraq: Permanent US Colony.” Truthout (March 14, 2006)
- Ricks, Tom. “http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy... ” Washington Post (February 4, 2008)
- Sly, Liz. “In Iraq, U.S. base eyes Iran border” Chicago Tribune (December 10, 2007).

Source: GlobalSecurity.org