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29 Jan 2012 11:26


World: The Department of Defense can’t account for a crapload of Iraq War spending

  • $2 billion of DoD’s Iraq War spending unaccounted for (oops) source
  • » Audit time! With the Iraq War’s chapter effectively closed, now’s apparently a good time to look back at all the money we spent there. There’s a problem, however: Of the $3 billion the Iraqi government set aside for the Department of Defense to use for reconstruction between 2004 and 2007, approximately two-thirds of that is unaccounted for. Worse, auditors can’t even find most of the documents: “From July 2004 through December 2007, DoD should have provided 42 monthly reports,” an audit says. “However, it can locate only the first four reports.” Ever lose track of like $2 billion bucks? It’s fun, right?

12 Dec 2011 14:36


U.S.: Obama holds press event with Nouri al-Maliki to mark end of Iraq war

  • A war is ending. A new day is upon us. And let us never forget those who gave us this chance: the untold number of Iraqis who’ve given their lives; more than 1 million Americans, military and civilian, who have served in Iraq; nearly 4,500 fallen Americans who gave their last full measure of devotion; tens of thousands of wounded warriors and so many inspiring military families. They are the reason that we can stand here today. And we owe it to every single one of them, we have a moral obligation to all of them to build a future worthy of their sacrifice.
  • President Obama • In remarks to the press pool, joined by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Obama has pledged that U.S. forces will be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of the year, saying in October that “our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the holidays.” The U.S. presence in Iraq is not, however, going away completely — while some 8,000 active duty military personnel are returning home, along with nearly 5,000 private military contractors, the U.S. embassy in Iraq still boasts a personnel staff of 15,000, making it the largest U.S. embassy in the world. Obama has said he intends to cut that number substantially, but that given Iraq’s situation immediately following the war, the embassy’s security staff will by necessity remain higher than most. source

03 Dec 2011 18:14


World: Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki: We’re ready for U.S. troop pullout

  • Nothing has changed with the withdrawal of the American forces from Iraq on the security level because basically it has been in our hands.
  • Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki • Emphasizing that the country can handle the forthcoming departure of U.S. troops, as an eight-year war dies down. Al-Maliki says he has “no concerns whatsoever” about the ability of his troops to maintain security in the region, and says the sectarian violence that broke out immediately in the wake of the downfall of the Saddam Hussein government is a thing of the past. “I assure the world that the Iraqi forces and the general situation in the country hasn’t changed and will not change,” he emphasizes. source

15 Oct 2011 21:55


World: Iraq War: Conflicting reports on forthcoming troop departures

  • claim Both the Associated Press and the New York Times report that, despite prior reports to the contrary, the U.S. will not keep troops in Iraq past 2011 due to significant security concerns.
  • rebuttal However, a Reuters article says that both the White House and Pentagon deny this fact, claiming that no decision has been made. Which major news outlet do you believe on this issue? source

26 Sep 2011 21:19


U.S.: U.S. Army cutting nearly 9 percent of its forces by 2016

  • 50k number of troops the U.S. Army plans to trim from its roster
  • 8.6% the share of the Army being cut over the next five years
  • 22k number of soldiers getting cut in the first round source
  • » Going on a diet: With over half a million soldiers, the U.S. Army isn’t lacking in warm bodies, but those numbers went way up in recent years, in part due to the troop surge in Afghanistan. With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, the Army is ready to move on. “We feel that with the demand going down in Iraq and Afghanistan, and given the time to conduct a reasonable drawdown, we can manage (the force reduction) just as we have managed drawdowns in the past,” noted Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick. Is this nearly enough?

06 Sep 2011 13:53


U.S., World: Report: Iraq War U.S. troop levels may fall to historic lows

  • 3,000 total number of troops in Iraq at end of 2011 source
  • » A steep drop: Currently, between 46,000 and 50,000 troops are in the region as of 2011 (though combat operations ended last year), so this would be a massive drop if the number is accurate. And the decision would be controversial. One Pentagon source puts it as such: “We can’t secure everybody with only 3,000 on the ground nor can we do what we need to with the Iraqis.” Is this the right move, guys?

01 Sep 2011 10:40


World: War casualties: Iraq War hits historic low, Afghan War hits historic high

  • 4,464 number of U.S. troops that have died in the Iraq War since fighting began in mid-2003; combat operations ended last year, but training and support staff remain
  • zero number of U.S. troops that died in the country in August; the shocking part is that this is literally the first month without a casualty since the start of the war source
  • » Afghan War in sharp contrast: Part of the reason for the lack of troop deaths in Iraq is that the war in Afghanistan has picked up. There, it was a record month where 66 Americans died — a total which was much higher than it would’ve been due to the deadly Chinook helicopter crash that killed 30 highly-specialized troops.

30 Aug 2011 22:29


Politics: Ex-Powell staffer: Cheney fears he’ll be tried for war crimes

  • [Dick Cheney]’s developed an angst and almost a protective cover, and now he fears being tried as a war criminal.
  • Colin Powell’s former chief of staff, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson • He also contends that Cheney “was president for all practical purposes for the first term of the Bush administration,” something critics have long-alleged. source

03 Aug 2011 21:44


U.S.: Could Donald Rumsfeld get personally sued for torture?

A military contractor with a particularly fascinating backstory wants to sue the former defense secretary for illegally detaining him. The judge — get this —is gonna allow it. Whoa. source

09 Jul 2011 13:38


U.S.: Freak roller coaster accident kills adversity-fighting Iraq War vet

  • A brave man’s story, cut short: Sgt. James Hackemer, an amputee who lost both his legs (and reportedly died twice on the battlefield, only to be revived) after an IED blew up under his Humvee in Iraq back in 2007, lived his life to the fullest despite his injuries, only to die — tragically — in a freak roller coaster accident yesterday. He fell 208 feet out of the Ride of Steel roller coaster, at the Darien Lake Theme Park Resort in New York, to his death. To lose so much, only to fight back to regain it day by painful day, only to have this happen? Life is messed up sometimes. Above is a clip reflecting on what this guy had to work for. source