Thursday, April 06, 2006

CONDI RICE ON WHETHER THE U.S. is planning to keep permanent military bases in Iraq: No. Well, maybe.

"The presence in Iraq is for a very clear purpose, and that's to enable Iraqis to be able to govern themselves and to create security forces that can help them do that," Rice told the House Appropriations Committee's foreign operations panel.

"I don't think that anybody believes that we really want to be there longer than we have to," the chief U.S. diplomat added.

However, Rice did not say when all U.S. forces would return home and did not directly answer Rep. Steven Rothman, ... D-N.J., when he asked, "Will the bases be permanent or not?"

"I would think that people would tell you, we're not seeking permanent bases really pretty much anywhere in the world these days. We are, in fact, in the process of removing base structure from a lot of places," Rice replied.

"I can't foresee the future of whether or not there will be some need for American forces for some period of time," she added. "But I can tell you that our discussions with the Iraqis are about getting them capable to defend, not just against their internal insurgency and internal enemies, but also to be able to be a responsible and defensible state within the region."

The truth, as usual, can be found at the end of the path marked "Follow the money."


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