This is another NY Times video and shows women in combat even though they are not supposed to be in a combat unit. Listen and watch their stories in this video:
CLICK ON LINK TO PLAY. YOU MAY HAVE TO REFRESH TO START VIDEO
Monday, December 28, 2009
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 10:41 PM
This video is a frank and candid view through the eyes of a couple of female soldiers of what they have to go through when they join a combat unit in Iraq or Afghanistan.
TURN UP YOUR SOUND
WATCH VIDEO HERE:
CLICK ON LINK TO PLAY THIS VIDEO. YOU MAY HAVE TO REFRESH TO START VIDEO
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 10:33 PM
Women at Arms
G.I. Jane Breaks the Combat Barrier
By LIZETTE ALVAREZ
THE NEW YORK TIMES
As the convoy rumbled up the road in Iraq, Specialist Veronica Alfaro was struck by the beauty of fireflies dancing in the night. Then she heard the unmistakable pinging of tracer rounds and, in a Baghdad moment, realized the insects were illuminated bullets.
She jumped from behind the wheel of her gun truck, grabbed her medical bag and sprinted 50 yards to a stalled civilian truck. On the way, bullets kicked up dust near her feet. She pulled the badly wounded driver to the ground and got to work.
Despite her best efforts, the driver died, but her heroism that January night last year earned Specialist Alfaro a Bronze Star for valor. She had already received a combat action badge for fending off insurgents as a machine gunner.
“I did everything there,” Ms. Alfaro, 25, said of her time in Iraq. “I gunned. I drove. I ran as a truck commander. And underneath it all, I was a medic.”
Before 2001, America’s military women had rarely seen ground combat. Their jobs kept them mostly away from enemy lines, as military policy dictates.
But the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, often fought in marketplaces and alleyways, have changed that. In both countries, women have repeatedly proved their mettle in combat. The number of high-ranking women and women who command all-male units has climbed considerably along with their status in the military.
“Iraq has advanced the cause of full integration for women in the Army by leaps and bounds,” said Peter R. Mansoor, a retired Army colonel who served as executive officer to Gen. David H. Petraeus while he was the top American commander in Iraq. “They have earned the confidence and respect of male colleagues.”
Their success, widely known in the military, remains largely hidden from public view. In part, this is because their most challenging work is often the result of a quiet circumvention of military policy.
Women are barred from joining combat branches like the infantry, armor, Special Forces and most field artillery units and from doing support jobs while living with those smaller units.
Women can lead some male troops into combat as officers, but they cannot serve with them in battle.
READ THE FULL STORY WITH PICS AND VIDEO HERE
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 9:58 PM
Women at Arms
Living and Fighting Alongside Men, and Fitting In
By STEVEN LEE MYERS
THE NEW YORK TIMES
Be sure to click on this link and then watch the video of two young females from the U.S. Army describe how they deal with the men in their combat unit in Iraq.
FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARHORSE, Iraq — There is no mistaking that this dusty, gravel-strewn camp northeast of Baghdad is anything other than a combat outpost in a still-hostile land. And there is no mistaking that women in uniform have had a transformative effect on it.
They have their own quarters, boxy trailers called CHUs (the military’s acronym for containerized housing units, pronounced “chews”).
There are women’s bathrooms and showers, alongside the men’s. Married couples live together.
The base’s clinic treats gynecological problems and has, alongside the equipment needed to treat the trauma of modern warfare, an ultrasound machine.
Opponents of integrating women in combat zones long feared that sex would mean the end of American military prowess. But now birth control is available — the PX at Warhorse even sold out of condoms one day recently — reflecting a widely accepted reality that soldiers have sex at outposts across Iraq.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are the first in which tens of thousands of American military women have lived, worked and fought with men for prolonged periods. Wars without front lines, they have done more than just muddle the rules meant to keep women out of direct enemy contact.
They have changed the way the United States military goes to war. They have reshaped life on bases across Iraq and Afghanistan. They have cultivated a new generation of women with a warrior’s ethos — and combat experience — that for millennia was almost exclusively the preserve of men.
And they have done so without the disruption of discipline and unit cohesion that some feared would unfold at places like Warhorse.
“There was a lot of debate over where women should be,” said Brig. Gen. Heidi V. Brown, one of the two highest ranking women in Iraq today, recalling the start of the war. “Here we are six years later, and you don’t hear about it. You shouldn’t hear about it.”
Read full story here and watch video of two females from the U.S. Army describe how they deal with the men in their combat unit: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/17/us/17women.html
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 9:35 PM
The New York Times has posted the comments to the article I posted about the rape of Capt. Margaret H. White by a fellow GI while deployed to Iraq. The NY Times stopped taking comments after it reached 299 which shows how much interest there is in this story.
Here is the link to the FULL list of NY Times comments: http://community.nytimes.com/comments/www.nytimes.com/2009/12/28/us/28women.html?sort=oldest
You can read the full story by going to my blog http://corksphere.blogspot.com/2009/12/new-york-times-another-peril-in-war.html and reading the article and viewing a video of Capt. Margaret H. White.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 8:21 PM
December 28, 2009
Women at Arms
Another Peril in War Zones: Sexual Abuse by Fellow G.I.’s
By STEVEN LEE MYERS
THE NEW YORK TIMES
BAGHDAD — Capt. Margaret H. White began a relationship with a warrant officer while both were training to be deployed to Iraq. By the time they arrived this year at Camp Taji, north of here, she felt what she called “creepy vibes” and tried to break it off.
In the claustrophobic confines of a combat post, it was not easy to do. He left notes on the door to her quarters, alternately pleading and menacing. He forced her to have sex, she said. He asked her to marry him, though he was already married. He waited for her outside the women’s latrines or her quarters, once for three hours.
“It got to the point that I felt safer outside the wire,” Captain White said, referring to operations that take soldiers off their heavily fortified bases, “than I did taking a shower.”
Her ordeal ended with the military equivalent of a restraining order and charges of stalking against the officer. It is one case that highlights the new and often messy reality the military has had to face as men and women serve side by side in combat zones more than ever before.
Sexual harassment and sexual assault, which the military now defines broadly to include not only rape but also crimes like groping and stalking, continue to afflict the ranks, and by some measures are rising. While tens of thousands of women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, often in combat, often with distinction, the integration of men and women in places like Camp Taji has forced to the surface issues that commanders rarely, if ever confronted before.
The military — belatedly, critics say — has radically changed the way it handles sexual abuse in particular, expanding access to treatment and toughening rules for prosecution. In the hardships of war, though, the effects of the changes remain unclear.
The strains of combat, close quarters in remote locations, tension and even boredom can create the conditions for abuse, even as they hinder medical care for victims and legal proceedings against those who attack them.
Captain White said she had feared coming forward, despite having become increasingly despondent and suffered panic attacks, because she was wary of she-said-he-said recriminations that would reverberate through the tightknit military world and disrupt the mission. Despite the military’s stated “zero tolerance” for abuse or harassment, she had no confidence her case would be taken seriously and so tried to cope on her own, Captain White said.
A Pentagon-appointed task force, in a report released this month, pointedly criticized the military’s efforts to prevent sexual abuse, citing the “unique stresses” of deployments in places like Camp Taji. “Some military personnel indicated that predators may believe they will not be held accountable for their misconduct during deployment because commanders’ focus on the mission overshadows other concerns,” the report said.
Read full story here and watch video of CAPT. MARGARET H. WHITE who was raped by a fellow soldier during her deployment to IRAQ: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/28/us/28women.html?hp
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 8:01 AM
President Obama recently signed orders sending 4,000 US Marines to Afghanistan and this raw video shows the Marines going out on a patrol in search of the elusive Taliban in Helmand Afghanistan which is located in southern Afghanistan.
TURN YOUR SOUND WAY UP BECAUSE SOUND IS LOW
WATCH VIDEO HERE:
CLICK ON LINK ABOVE AND THEN DIAMOND-SHAPED ARROW TO PLAY VIDEO
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 5:24 AM
'Time running out' in fight against Taliban
by Lynne O'Donnell Mon Dec 28, 12:27 am ET
KABUL (AFP) – Time is running out in the fight to eradicate the Taliban from Afghanistan as the extremists evolve, recruit and spread their influence across the country, according to Western military intelligence.
The insurgency is organised, increasingly effective and growing more cohesive, said a senior intelligence officer with NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
"The insurgent strength is enabled by the weakness of the Afghan government," the officer told reporters on condition of anonymity.
The Taliban is funding its operations, which he estimated to cost between 100 million to 200 million dollars a year, through "Al-Qaeda, drugs and taxing the people."
Its ideology is based on "establishing Al-Qaeda as a global entity", ridding the region of foreign forces and establishing a caliphate, or Islamic state, and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan work together to those ends.
The United States and its allies "took our eye off the ball" for a number of years, allowing the movement to grow and strengthen, the officer said.
Read full story here: http://tiny.cc/M4xcn
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 4:31 AM