If you believed that America was permanently removing itself from controlling Iraq, think again:
The State Department plans major increases in its Iraq mission, with hundreds more employees there and a stepped-up diplomatic presence outside Baghdad as the U.S. military prepares to leave later this year.
A new fiscal 2010 supplemental request asks for $2.1 billion for use in Iraq, the bulk going to set up two permanent consulates and three temporary “Provincial Development Teams.” The funding will enable another 129 State Department positions in Iraq, bringing the total to 664 by the end of this fiscal year. One consulate will be in Basra, one in northern Iraq. The PDTs will be along the Arab-Kurb fault line near Kirkuk, Ninewa, and Diyala, and $735 million in the supplemental request is designated for the security needed to protect civilians in the new outposts. The new presence around Iraq is described in the budget request as crucial “to mitigate ethno-sectarian conflict, to minimize the risk of instability, and to seize strategic policy opportunities.”
In other words, the occupation will continue indefinitely.