According to an NPR article, the U.S. military is discussing "various scenarios," including keeping a military presence in Iraq for decades. From the article:
Now with the energy crisis in full swing, the U.S. government seems more determined than ever to maintain a long-term military presence in Iraq, to assure that oil will keep flowing from the Middle East. I've mentioned the pro-Iraq-occupation demonstrations before, and they haven't stopped, but they still represent a minority of the population. General public opinion in the U.S. favors a withdrawal from Iraq within 6 months.
" . . . the Pentagon is considering maintaining a core group of forces in Iraq, possibly for decades.
[. . . ]
A series of military installations could be maintained around Iraq, with a total of total of 30,000 to 40,000 U.S. troops, for a long period of time — maybe a few decades. There are currently about 160,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.
The bases would be located in various strategic locations, ones that served by air landing strips, for instance. The bases would be sealed and U.S. forces wouldn't be on patrols as they are now.
But maintaining a troop presence in Iraq would allow the U.S. military to continue training Iraqi forces. It would also help discourage other countries, like Iran and Turkey, from entering Iraq." -- NPR.org, May 21, 2007
I think some people would rather have the National Guard keeping the peace here in the troubled parts of the U.S. than over in Iraq.
[Note: this is a World Without Oil post. The quoted news article is real, but the rest is a work of fiction.]