MOSUL, Iraq (Army News Service, Feb. 3, 2005) — An estimated $25 million is being spent to construct 100 new border forts along the northern borders of Iraq, as well as rehabilitate and enhance numerous points of entry.
In several northern provinces, 34 forts are currently under construction and 66 others are planned to start in the coming months.
â€œRenovations will take approximately two to three months and new forts will take about six,â€ explained Capt. Dave Bouffard, battalion civil engineer for the 133 ECB(H). â€œThe forts are being constructed using a concrete masonry process that maximizes the use of locally available materials. All construction is being done by local Iraqis. No Coalition Forces are participating in the actual construction.â€
â€œThe forts function as the Iraqi border patrolâ€™s command outpost from which they run 24-7 operations,â€ explained Bouffard. â€œAll forts include living quarters and office space, as well as independent life support sources for water, fuel, power generation and sewer.â€
â€œWe know how important it is to prevent foreigners from coming into Iraq,â€ said Wilson Myers, Project and Contracting Office representative for Iraqâ€™s northern governorates â€“ Dahok, Irbil and Ninewa. PCO is the contracting agency for distribution of the construction funds. â€œWe are focused on properly equipping and manning the force in order to protect freedom for a sovereign Iraq.â€
Wikipedia shows that these “northern governorates” are Kurdish provinces bordering Turkey. Adding this to earlier news of forts on the Saudi, Jordanian, and Turkish borders, it is further proof of our committment to free movement of people between Iraq and Iran.
(Parenthetically, to answer the question of the anti-immigration right, “When do we get our border forts [with Mexico]?,” the answer is never. Just as we are building a Shia sphere in the Greater Middle East, we are continuing the work of President Madison in united a North American Sphere at home.)
Clearly one purpose for connecting Iraq to Iran is to put pressure on the Shia Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. But why are forts going up on the Iraqi Kurdistan – Turkish Kurdistan border? One possibility is that the pressure is coming from the Kurds, showing Turkey that 1990s-styles interventions in Iraq will not be tolerated. Alternatively, pressure for the forts could be coming from Baghdaders trying to enforce an artificial border in the Kuridsh homeland.
I believe it is the former. The Kurds are too strong militarily for an anti-Kurd system of forts to appear on the border. “All construction is being done by local Iraqis” means that Kurds are in charge of these forts in their construction, and they are doubtless manning them now. And if they are truly self-supporting, the Kurds will be manning them until they are united with their Turkish brothers.