Every war leaves its footprint. As Tom Engelhardt wrote back in 2007, this footprint is big business for defense contractors, keen to keep on building, expanding, and maintaining U.S. bases in Iraq. The ‘South Korean’ model is referenced as an example of an enduring American presence. At present there are 37,000 American troops still there, and Iraq/Afghanistan looks to be no less.
From 2003 to the present, the work building, maintaining, and continually upgrading these bases (and their equivalents in Afghanistan) has never ended. Though the huge base-building contracts were given out long ago, consider just a couple of modest contracts of recent vintage. In March 2006, Dataline, Inc, of Norfolk, Virginia was awarded a $5 million contract for “technical control facility upgrades and cable installation,” mainly at “Camp Fallujah, Iraq (25 percent), Camp Al Asad, Iraq (25 percent), [and] Camp Taqaddum, Iraq (25 percent).” In December 2006, Watkinson L.L.C. of Houston was awarded a $13 million “firm-fixed-price contract for design and construction of a heavy aircraft parking apron and open cargo storage yard” for al-Asad Airbase, “to be completed by Sept. 17, 2007.” In March 2007, Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems was awarded a $73 million contract to “provide recurring requirements such as operations and maintenance support for base local area network, commercial satellite communication, technical control facility, and circuit actions, telephone, land mobile radio and both inside and outside cable plant installations…. at 13 bases in Iraq, Afghanistan and six other nations which fall in the United States Central Command Area of Responsibility.