CNN is reporting the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, says conditions on the ground in Iraq are such it is unlikely more troops can be pulled out of Iraq to help the festering conditions in Afghanistan.
Admiral: Iraq has troops, Afghanistan waits
Adm. Mike Mullen: So many troops in Iraq, Afghanistan needs are unmet
He appears to end hope for significant additional U.S. troop cuts in Iraq
Conditions in Iraq are not likely to free up additional troops, he says
Defense Department: 147,796 U.S. troops in Iraq as of November 2006
From Jamie McIntyreCNN Senior Pentagon Correspondent
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. military has too many troops tied down in Iraq to send needed reinforcements to Afghanistan this year, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs said Wednesday.
"There are force requirements there [in Afghanistan] that we can't currently meet," Adm. Mike Mullen said. "Having forces in Iraq at the level they're at doesn't allow us to fill the need that we have in Afghanistan."
As of November 1, 2006, the U.S. had 147,796 troops in Iraq, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
In making the statement at a Pentagon briefing, Mullen also appeared to dash hopes for any significant additional U.S. troop cuts in Iraq after last year's troop buildup ends this summer.
Conditions in Iraq are not likely to free up additional troops, he said, "and until forces become available with respect to that, I would not expect us to be able to provide additional forces to Afghanistan, which is also a priority."
Mullen also said that after the last of the "surge brigades" leaves in July, it could be as long as four months before decisions are made on additional troop reductions.
"Clearly, we're going to stop at the end of July reducing forces, take a period of time. But I'm just not prepared to say it's 45 days or it's 60 or it's 120," he said.
Mullen also said once decisions are made it could take another month or two to arrange for the logistics for troops to come home.
In Afghanistan, Mullen said, the priority is for about 3,000 troops to train Afghan Security forces, but there is a need for two additional combat brigades.
That need is being partially met by 3,500 U.S. Marines who arrived in Afghanistan in March. But they will be leaving in the fall.
Mullen said he is anxiously awaiting decisions by NATO about whether the alliance will provide additional troops for Afghanistan.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
CNN is reporting the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, says conditions on the ground in Iraq are such it is unlikely more troops can be pulled out of Iraq to help the festering conditions in Afghanistan.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 11:33 PM
Veterans for Common Sense is suing the Department of Veterans Affairs because, the group says, VA is so thoroughly bogged down with a backlog of 600,000 benefits claims that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder are not receiving the care they need.
By Kelly Kennedy - Staff writerPosted : Wednesday Apr 2, 2008 14:06:14 EDT
The trial begins April 21 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
The lawsuit, which names VA Secretary Dr. James Peake as defendant, — is a class action filed by a large group of veterans who allege “a system-wide breakdown” in the way the government treats veterans with PTSD. They say several suicidal veterans have unsuccessfully sought VA mental health care.
Representatives from veterans service organizations, VA and mental health experts are expected to testify.
According to Gordon Erspamer, an attorney representing the veterans pro bono, the lawsuit challenges a backlog in handling claims, “appellate delays of five to 10 years” for disability ratings, waiting lists and the “inadequacy of VA care for PTSD.”
The suit asks for immediate medical help, as well as screening for suicidal thoughts, for troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
At a House Veterans Affairs health subcommittee hearing Tuesday, Ira Katz, VA’s deputy chief patient care services officer for mental health, said 60,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have received a preliminary diagnosis of PTSD.
In the past two and a half years, he said, VA has hired 3,800 new mental health workers. In February, VA announced plans to open 23 new vet centers and establish mental health counseling by phone.
However, several service members have slipped through the cracks, often tragically. In one case, former Marine Lance Cpl. Justin Bailey killed himself while in VA’s residential substance abuse program. His father, Tony Bailey, testified that his son didn’t see a psychiatrist while he was in the program, even though he had been diagnosed with PTSD.
Another veteran, former Marine Lance Cpl. Jonathan Schulze, tried to check himself into mental health care because he said he was suicidal, but VA representatives told him they’d have to put him on a waiting list. He also killed himself.
The waiting lists themselves have gained notoriety. Though Peake has said waiting times have been shortened, he said at a hearing in February that VA still needs to work that issue.
“In April 2006, there were over 250,000 unique patients waiting more than 30 days for their desired appointment date for health-care services; that’s not acceptable,” Peake told the House Veterans' Affairs Committee at a Feb. 7 hearing.
“As of Jan. 1, 2008, we had reduced the waiting list to just over 69,000. Our budget request for 2009 provides the resources necessary ... to virtually eliminate the waiting list by the end of next year.”
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 3:50 PM
In a desperate attempt to defend his new found "buddy,"Republican candidate for President John McCain, former Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) has taken to rewriting the history of wars the United States has been engaged in down through the years.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has recently engaged in a frantic effort to “put the toothpaste back in the tube” regarding his notorious 100 years remark on the Iraq war.
McCain says that since the U.S. has left troops in South Korea, for example, a prolonged presence in Iraq is also justified.
Yesterday on Fox News, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) went even further than McCain, claiming that the U.S. leaves troops behind to “secure the peace” in “every conflict”:
But the fact is we’re going to need, as we have after every conflict we’ve been in — World War II, Korea, etc., we’re going want to leave troops there to secure the peace that our soldiers have won. It’s clear that’s what he meant.
Watch it: Click on this link to see what Lieberman said: http://thinkprogress.org/2008/04/02/lieberman-mccain-troops/
“Anybody who says that John McCain is for a 100 year war in Iraq is either not informed or intentionally trying to mislead the public,” Lieberman added. In reality, it seems Lieberman is the one who is “not informed.”
The U.S. does not maintain a strong contingent of troops in “every conflict,” as history has shown:
– Vietnam: After President Nixon announced a phased withdrawal, the “last U.S. combat troops” withdrew in August 1972. “The last remaining American troops withdrew” by 1973. In April 1975, “the last Americans, ten Marines from the embassy, depart Saigon, concluding the United States presence in Vietnam.”
– Somalia: “All UN and U.S. personnel were finally withdrawn…in March 1995.”
– Haiti: The “last American combat troops in Haiti returned home” in 1996. Final withdrawals were completed in 1999.
McCain claims his remarks are being distorted, but he has repeatedly supported a heavy U.S. presence, for example, even supporting permanent bases in Iraq. Andrew Bacevich of Boston University explains that McCain’s scenario would likely entail a combat-heavy engagement for U.S. troops:
“In Iraq, it’s not even clear there is a nation-state, and there’s little evidence there is an effective Iraqi government,” he said. “That tends to suggest a long-term presence in Iraq will not be a peacekeeping one but one in which we’re engaged in a very, very long, ugly unconventional war.“
Today’s Progress Report asks: when does McCain’s 100 years without casualties start?
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 3:18 PM
The mainstream media has gone back to their round-the-clock coverage of the Presidential race, but there has been an outbreak of violence in Iraq after three relatively calm days.
News Current Time in Baghdad: 8:55:23 PM
04/02/08 Reuters: Gunmen killl 2 women killed in Baghdad
Gunmen killed two female employees from a private company when they opened fire on their car in Baghdad, police said. A man was wounded in the attack.
04/02/08 Reuters: Bomb-making factory found in northern Iraq
The U.S. military said it had discovered 15 weapons caches and a bomb-making factory in northern Iraq on Tuesday.
04/02/08 Reuters: Car bomb wounds 3 policemen in eastern Mosul
A car bomb wounded three policeman in eastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said
04/02/08 Reuters: 3 Policemen wounded by IED in northern Baghdad
A roadside bomb exploded at a police checkpoint in the Qahira neighbourhood in northern Baghdad, wounding three policemen, police said.
04/02/08 Reuters: Gunmen kill 4 people, kidnap 4 others near Dhuluiya
Gunmen killed four people and kidnapped four others at a fake checkpoint near Dhuluiya, 70 km (45 miles) north of Baghdad. Those kidnapped included Sheikh Ali Dhaher, a tribal leader, said Lieutenant-Colonel Muhammad Jasim of the Dhuluiya police.
04/02/08 AP: Baghdad bomb kills three, injures Iraqi cameraman
Three people were killed and another 13 wounded, including a cameraman with Iraq's independent Al-Diyar satellite television, in a roadside bombing in Baghdad on Wednesday, officials said.
04/02/08 AP: Al-Sadr stronghold brims with confidence
Black banners announcing the deaths of Mahdi Army fighters plaster the streets. Scores of Shiite militiamen gather at the funeral of a fallen comrade as a U.S. helicopter gunship hover menacingly above.
04/02/08 AFP: Iraq to spend 590 million dollars on weapons, kit
Iraq is expected to buy more than 590 million dollars in military equipment in 2008, including weapons and ammunition, the US military said on Wednesday.
04/02/08 dpa: Two reporters injured in Iraq attacks
An Iraqi reporter was seriously injured Wednesday in a landmine explosion in east Baghdad, according to the Iraqi Journalistic Freedoms Observatory (JFO), while another was injured by a sniper in the southern city of Basra.
04/02/08 Reuters: Bomb explodes near top Iraq generals in Basra
A roadside bomb exploded near a convoy carrying Iraqi generals in a Shi'ite militia stronghold in the southern city of Basra on Wednesday, but the officials were unhurt, one of the officers said.
04/02/08 Reuters: 8 neighbourhood police killed, three wounded on Tuesday
The U.S. military said eight members of a U.S.-backed neighbourhood police patrol were killed and three wounded on Tuesday while they were moving a bomb they had found in Shirqat town,
04/02/08 Reuters: Gunmen kill teacher in Mahmudiya
Gunmen in a car shot dead a teacher and wounded his son on Tuesday in the town of Mahmudiya, 30 km (20 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.
04/02/08 Reuters: Two bodies found in Baghdad on Tuesday
Iraqi police found two bodies in different areas of Baghdad on Tuesday, police said.
04/02/08 KUNA: MoD paid 3.3 million pounds in Iraq compensation
Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD) has paid out more than three million pounds in compensation to Iraqis killed or injured by British troops since 2003, figures released by the Department showed Wednesday.
04/02/08 guardian: Iraqi forces move into Shia stronghold
Iraqi government forces entered a Shia militant stronghold in the southern city of Basra today, which has been rocked by fierce internecine clashes in recent weeks. The move against the Mahdi army, the militia supporting the Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr...
04/02/08 LATimes: Iraq showdown made Sadr stronger, backers say
In a stucco compound at the center of the Sadr City neighborhood here, a follower of radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr gleefully handed out candies and toffees to visitors Monday.
04/02/08 WaPo: Ballet amid the bullets in Iraq
In an airy studio lined with mirrors, little girls in pink leotards and boys in black shorts and white T-shirts pull themselves up as straight as they can and push their toes out into first position.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 11:59 AM
CHICO — Survivors of traumatic brain injury and their families must be realistic, said Harriet Zeiner, Ph.D. "You will never be the way you were before. But you can be better with training," she said.
Chico Enterprise-RecordArticle Launched: 03/31/2008 12:12:53 AM PDT
Staff writer Mary Nugent
Zeiner visited Chico Wednesday for an afternoon workshop on traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder as current issues for veterans. She is a clinical neuropsychologist with the Veterans Administration Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center in Palo Alto and an expert in the field of therapy with neurologically impaired patients.
About 100 survivors, families, caregivers and professionals listened as Zeiner spent the afternoon discussing brain damage suffered by veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is damage caused by the Improvised Explosive Device, or IED.
She said the problems the victims suffer are very real and affect everyday life. There is fatigue, and organization problems. There is anger, which is really a symptom of overload, she said.
Responses may seem inappropriate. Trust becomes an issue. It's complicated and it's different for every person.
To help a person with a traumatic brain injury, the first step is understanding the obstacles.
"There is fatigue, which affects the mental energy it takes to pay attention, switch attention, keep up with a topic of conversation, organize answers to questions ... organize a day's activities," she said.
Click on link to read the full story.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 11:19 AM
This video shows insurgents making plans to attack a US Army combat patrol, however at the end of the video you see what happened to the insurgents when they took on the US Army. Warning: It is very GRAPHIC.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 10:10 AM
This video captures a US Army combat patrol in action after they have been ambushed by insurgents in Iraq. Warning: the video contains graphic language.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 9:57 AM
This video takes you right inside an Army vehicle on combat patrol in Iraq. Background music is provided by Nine Inch Nails.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 9:49 AM
Army Spc. Patrick Hanley, the son of Virginia's secretary of the commonwealth, Katherine K. Hanley, has been wounded in Iraq. A vehicle he was riding in Saturday struck an improvised explosive device in Baghdad. Hanley lost an arm and suffered head injuries, said Bernard Henderson, deputy secretary of the commonwealth. The initial signs showed no brain damage, Henderson added. Two other soldiers in the vehicle were killed.
Corporal Paul Gennaro, 26, of Aliquippa, was injured in Baghdad on February 8 when the explosive hit his striker vehicle. Three other soldiers were also hurt. Gennaro lost part of one of his heels and the lower part of his body was crushed under the weight of the vehicle. He was wounded in an IED attack in Iraq that killed four of his fellow soldiers had an emotional homecoming at the Pittsburgh Airport.
There has been a spike in the violence in Iraq on Wednesday and the city of Basra, which was the scene of heavy fighting last week, is noticeably quieter today because many Basra residents feel it is only a matter of time until fighting between the Mehadi militia and the Iraqi Army breaks out in the city.
Baghdad:#1: Iraqi police found two bodies in different areas of Baghdad on Tuesday, police said.
#2: A cameraman working for al-Diyar satellite channel was wounded on Wednesday in a bomb explosion in eastern Baghdad, an official source from the channel said. "An improvised explosive device went off in al-Talibiya city in eastern Baghdad targeting Maytham Ibrahim, a cameraman, while heading to his work, cutting off one of his legs," Omar al-Yasseri, the channel's deputy director, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq. "He was rushed to Imam Ali hospital in Sadr City, and he is in a critical condition," he explained.Three people were killed and 13 others wounded, including a cameraman with Iraq's independent Al-Diyar satellite television, in a roadside bombing in Baghdad on Wednesday, officials said. A security official said the bomb exploded in the eastern neighbourhood of Talbiyah and killed three people. Thirteen people, including Al-Diyar cameraman Maytham Ibrahim, were wounded in the attack, the official said. Ibrahim survived but lost a leg, news editor Imed al-Abadi of the station said.A roadside bomb targeting a U.S. convoy also exploded near a restaurant in Baghdad's main Shiite district of Sadr City, killing at least three Iraqi civilians and wounding 13, police said.
#3: Attacks against U.S. troops and Iraqi security forces soared across Baghdad in the last week of March to the highest levels since the deployment of additional U.S. troops here reached full strength last June, according to U.S. military data and analysis. Over the week that began March 25, when the offensive began in Basra, there were 728 attacks against U.S. coalition forces, Iraqi security forces and civilians across Iraq, according to U.S. military data obtained by The Washington Post. Of these, 430 -- or almost 60 percent of the attacks -- occurred in Baghdad. In comparison, the average weekly attack rate in Baghdad last June was 326 attacks, according to U.S. military statistics.
#4: In Baghdad, several armed men fired at a civilian car Wednesday and killed two women working for Iraqna mobile telephone company, a security official said.Their driver was wounded.
#5: A roadside bomb exploded at a police checkpoint in the Qahira neighbourhood in northern Baghdad, wounding three policemen, police said.
Diyala Prv:Muqdadiyah:#1: A police patrol in the town of Muqdadiyah, north-east of Baquba, was hit in a bomb attack, which left eight policemen dead and two injured, police sources told the Voices of Iraq news agency.
#2: Another bomb hit policemen in a civilian car in Wajihiyah near Muqdadiyah, killing two and injuring three, the unnamed sources said.
Mandeli:#1: The three security guards were killed in a roadside bomb attack in the town of Mandeli, east of the provincial capital of Baquba, police Major Mohammed al-Kharki said.
Baquba:#1: The others killed were two policemen and a woman in separate roadside bomb attacks in and around the provincial capital of Baquba, police added.
Khanqeen:#1: Suspected al-Qaeda gunmen blew up a house after booby-trapped it in al-Saadiya district in Khanqeen, northeast of Baaquba, without leaving casualties," the source, who asked anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq
Basra:#1: A roadside bomb exploded near a convoy carrying Iraqi generals in a Shi'ite militia stronghold in the southern city of Basra on Wednesday, but the officials were unhurt, one of the officers said. Major-General Mohammed al-Askari, spokesman for Iraq's Defence Ministry, said he was in a convoy with Basra's security chief, Lieutenant-General Mohan al-Firaiji, when the blast went off in the Hayaniya neighborhood. An Iraqi television correspondent was wounded in the leg, Askari said, adding that he might have been hit by a bullet. One witness said he had earlier heard Iraqi army loudspeakers ordering people to close their shops and to stay at home in Hayaniya. He then heard explosions and gunfire.
#2: There were reports of sporadic clashes in Basra on Wednesday, but Askari denied there had been any fresh fighting.
#3: Gunmen in a car shot dead a teacher and wounded his son on Tuesday in the town of Mahmudiya, 30 km (20 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.
#4: "The streets are less busy today than yesterday, because people fear that the security situation may blow up again," said Yahya Ali, who lives in the Ashar neighborhood. "There are rumors that the government and Mahdi Army are exchanging threats." The situation in Basra, 250 miles to the south, remained tense. Residents said militia members remained on the streets in some neighborhoods and that Iraqi security forces deployed in the city were jumpy and quick to blast bullets into the air when vehicles came near.
#5: New Iraqi security force raids took place in Zubayr, about 18 miles west of Basra. Witnesses said they awoke to the sound of gunfire as security forces raided homes suspected of harboring militiamen.
Shirqat:#1: The U.S. military said eight members of a U.S.-backed neighbourhood police patrol were killed and three wounded on Tuesday while they were moving a bomb they had found in Shirqat town, 300 km (190 miles) north of Baghdad. Police said five members of the patrol were killed. The patrol was taking the bomb away for detonation when it exploded.Dalouiya:#1: Suspected al-Qaeda gunmen set up a fake checkpoint in a region in east of Dalouiya," Colonel Mohammed Jasem told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq. "The gunmen killed four persons and kidnapped four others along with their civilian vehicle," he explained. "The kidnapped, all civilians, including the chief of al-Janabiyeen tribe in al-Darawesh region, east of Dalouiya, and his son," Jasem added.He did not add more details.
Kirkuk:#1: A suicide attacker blew himself up, Tuesday evening, targeting Khalaf Ibrahim, a local Sahwa leader, in Hawija district,” the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq. The source added that Ibrahim’s escorts suspected and fired at the attacker before he could blow up himself, killing a civilian. “The local leader survived the attack unharmed,” he added.
Mosul:#1: A car bomb wounded three policeman in eastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.A woman was killed and four policemen were injured on Wednesday in a car bomb explosion in eastern Mosul, said a police source."A car rigged with explosives went off targeting a police vehicle patrol in al-Quds neighborhood in eastern Mosul, killing a passing woman and injuring four policemen," the source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.
Afghanistan:#1: A suicide bomber hit a police compound in southwestern Afghanistan, killing two officers and wounding five others, an official said. The bomber tried to ram a vehicle packed with explosives Tuesday inside a police chief's compound in the town of Zaranj in Nimroz province, said provincial deputy police chief Asadullah Sherzad. The vehicle exploded at the compound walls, killing two policemen and wounding five others, Sherzad said. The bomber also died.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 8:49 AM
We are posting this video to give our blog readers an idea of what a suicide attack looks and sounds like.
It also should be noted there weren't any suicide bombers in Iraq before the United States invaded and occupied Iraq in 2003.
Graphic video of SUICIDE ATTACKS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54-dtnJeTLs
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 8:27 AM
Women serving in the U.S. military are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq.
The stories are shocking in their simplicity and brutality: A female military recruit is pinned down at knifepoint and raped repeatedly in her own barracks. Her attackers hid their faces but she identified them by their uniforms; they were her fellow soldiers.
By Jane Harman , Los Angeles TimesPosted on April 2, 2008, Printed on April 2, 2008
During a routine gynecological exam, a female soldier is attacked and raped by her military physician. Yet another young soldier, still adapting to life in a war zone, is raped by her commanding officer. Afraid for her standing in her unit, she feels she has nowhere to turn.
These are true stories, and, sadly, not isolated incidents.
The scope of the problem was brought into acute focus for me during a visit to the West Los Angeles VA Healthcare Center, where I met with female veterans and their doctors. My jaw dropped when the doctors told me that 41% of female veterans seen at the clinic say they were victims of sexual assault while in the military, and 29% report being raped during their military service. They spoke of their continued terror, feelings of helplessness and the downward spirals many of their lives have since taken.
Numbers reported by the Department of Defense show a sickening pattern. In 2006, 2,947 sexual assaults were reported -- 73% more than in 2004.
The DOD's newest report, released this month, indicates that 2,688 reports were made in 2007, but a recent shift from calendar-year reporting to fiscal-year reporting makes comparisons with data from previous years much more difficult.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 5:23 AM
This is a VIDEO collection of the top 20 IED attacks in Iraq and contains graphic footage of many soldiers dying.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 2:14 AM
Muqtada al-Sadr has ordered his Mehadi militia to stop fighting, but this hasn't stopped the U.S. military from carrying out combat missions in both Basra and Sadr City.
The most recent US attack in Sadr city killed 12 people, including six Iraqi civilians and wounded two children.
US military attacks in Baghdad's Sadr City have killed twelve people, including six civilians, US military and Iraqi police say. The attacks were launched two days after influential Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr called on his fighters to stand down.
In the first incident, an American helicopter fired a missile at gunmen attacking ground forces in Sadr City on Tuesday, killing six fighters, the US military claimed.
Ground forces called for the airstrike in Sadr City after gunmen fired at a tank and rolled a burning tire in their direction, said a military spokesman in Baghdad. Iraqi police and witnesses said three civilians were killed in the strike.
Later on the day US troops opened fire on civilians in Sadr city, killing three of them and wounding 6 others, including two children, according to Iraqi police.
The US military, however, denied their forces were involved in such an incident. "Despite the great initiative by Moqtada al-Sadr which has pleased Iraqis from north to south, the US troops are still besieging the city.
And the schools and government institutions are still closed," AP quoted a local resident as saying. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Iraqi Red Crescent organization said on Tuesday that they were being prevented by US forces from delivering humanitarian aid to people affected by the fighting.
"The US army don't give me permission to take the food to Sadr city to give them assistance or medical (aid) and water and food to give them to the people living in Sadr city," said Amar Sadiq from the Iraqi Red Crescent.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 1:29 AM
Like generations of soldiers before them, member of the U.S. military carry lucky charms with them into battle in Iraq.
Watch the video here:
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 12:52 AM
Attacks on U.S. Forces Soared at End of MarchGovernment Assault On Shiite Militias Drew Americans In
By Sudarsan RaghavanWashington Post Foreign ServiceWednesday, April 2, 2008; A12
BAGHDAD, April 1 -- Attacks against U.S. troops and Iraqi security forces soared across Baghdad in the last week of March to the highest levels since the deployment of additional U.S. troops here reached full strength last June, according to U.S. military data and analysis.
The sharp spike in attacks, in response to an ill-prepared Iraqi government offensive in the southern city of Basra last week, underscores the fragility of the U.S. military's hard-won security gains in Iraq and how easily those gains can be erased.
"Last week was clearly a bad week and shows the tenuous nature of security, which is something we've been stressing for some time now," Navy Rear Adm. Gregory J. Smith, the U.S. military's chief spokesman, wrote in an e-mail response to questions. "Security in Iraq is not irreversible, and any number of actors can affect the level of violence if and when they choose to."
Over the week that began March 25, when the offensive began in Basra, there were 728 attacks against U.S. coalition forces, Iraqi security forces and civilians across Iraq, according to U.S. military data obtained by The Washington Post. Of these, 430 -- or almost 60 percent of the attacks -- occurred in Baghdad, the major focus of last year's buildup of 30,000 additional U.S. troops.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 12:35 AM
We have a list of four U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq with their hometowns and one unidentifed soldier whose name will be released later.
U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD:
Reported U.S. Deaths Pending DoD Confirmation:
DoD Confirmation List
Latest Coalition Fatality: Mar 31, 2008
04/01/08 DoD Identifies Army Casualties (2 of 2)
Pfc. Patrick J. Miller, 23, of New Port Richey, Fla...died March 29 in Baghdad from wounds suffered when they encountered an IED and small arms fire. They were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry...
04/01/08 DoD Identifies Army Casualties (1 of 2)
Spc. Durrell L. Bennett, 22, of Spanaway, Wash...died March 29 in Baghdad from wounds suffered when they encountered an IED and small arms fire. They were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division...
04/01/08 DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Sgt. Terrell W. Gilmore, 38, of Baton Rouge, La., died March 30 in Baghdad, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. He was assigned to the 769th Engineer Battalion of the Louisiana Army National Guard in Baton Rouge.
04/01/08 DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Cpl. Steven I. Candelo, 20, of Houston, died March 26 in Baghdad, when his vehicle was struck by a rocket propelled grenade. He was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck, Germany.
04/01/08 MNF: MND-C Soldier attacked by IED (Baghdad)
A Multi-National Division – Center Soldier was killed as a result of an improvised explosive device attack south of Baghdad March 23. The Soldier died of his wounds at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany March 29.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 12:05 AM