Posted tagged ‘Iraq War’

Soldiers Who Get Pregnant Could Face Court Martial

December 21, 2009

A new order from the general in charge of northern Iraq makes getting pregnant or impregnating a fellow soldier an offense punishable by court-martial.

The order applies to all military and civilians serving under General Anthony Cucolo in an area that encompasses Balad, Kirkuk, Tikrit, Mosul and Samarra.

I guess this is another way not to get yourself kicked out of the army!

From CNN:

The directive, part of a larger order restricting the behavior of the 22,000 soldiers under Gen. Anthony Cucolo’s command, is meant to prevent losing soldiers at a time when troop strength is stretched thin, Cucolo explained in a statement sent to the troops under his command and provided to CNN.

“I need every soldier I’ve got, especially since we are facing a draw down of forces during our mission,” Cucolo wrote. “Anyone who leaves this fight earlier than the expected 12-month deployment creates a burden on their teammates. Anyone who leaves this fight early because they made a personal choice that changed their medical status — or contributes to doing that to another — is not in keeping with a key element of our ethos.”

The rule, enacted November 4, was first reported by Stars and Stripes, a military-focused publication. It prohibits “becoming nondeployable for reasons within the control of the soldier,” which include “becoming pregnant, or impregnating a soldier … resulting in the redeployment of the pregnant soldier.”

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30,000 More Troops Heading to Afghanistan

December 1, 2009

President Obama will be sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan and is ordering military officials to have reinforcements there within six months.

From CNN:

The president, whom Republicans had accused of “dithering” over the decision, came to the conclusion that the deployment needs to be accelerated to knock back the Taliban, the officials said.

The push for a speedy deployment surprised some observers, because White House officials who defended Obama’s slow pace of coming to a decision had said the Pentagon wouldn’t be able to get new troops to Afghanistan that quickly anyway.

Asked to explain that seeming contradiction, a White House official told CNN: “The president is saying this has to happen, so the military will make it happen.”

The president will travel to the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, Tuesday night for a speech to the nation on his strategy for Afghanistan.

Hillary Clinton Makes Surprise Visit to Afghanistan

November 18, 2009

Hillary Clinton made a surprise visit to Afghanistan today as she landed in Kabul at 4:46 p.m. local time.

She met with embassy staff before going into a meeting with U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry and General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

From Reuters:

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Afghanistan on Wednesday for her first visit as America’s top diplomat, on the eve of President Hamid Karzai’s inauguration after a fraud-tainted election.

Clinton’s visit comes at a time when President Barack Obama‘s administration is in the final stages of deciding whether to send tens of thousands of extra troops, and election fraud has battered the veteran leader Karzai’s reputation in the West.

From CNN:

Her first visit to Afghanistan as secretary of state comes as President Obama is deciding whether to send up to 40,000 more troops to the nation, as requested by McChrystal.

Clinton will attend Karzai’s Thursday inauguration to a second term, showing U.S. support for his government, after an election that was tainted by fraudulent balloting.

Karzai is under intense international pressure to clean up corruption within his government, and Clinton is expected to deliver a tough message on the need to show results.

A major factor in Obama’s decision on how many troops to send to Afghanistan centers on the Afghan government’s ability to partner with the United States to fight the Taliban.

Bombs Rock Afghanistan

October 27, 2009

A series of powerful bombs killed eight American soldiers and an interpreter in southern Afghanistan early this morning.

From the Washington Post:

The attacks, which came one day after 14 Americans died in two helicopter crashes here, made October the deadliest month for the U.S. military of the eight-year war.

At least 53 U.S. troops have died this month, with four days left before Nov. 1 and the Taliban insurgency continuing to expand its reach and lethal tactics. The previous monthly high was 51 fatalities, in August of this year.

The U.S. military said in a statement that “multiple complex” roadside bomb attacks killed the soldiers and wounded several others. Military officials said at least one of those bombs struck U.S. Army armored vehicles, known as Strykers, in the Argandab area of Kandahar province.

From CNN:

The U.S. military suffered another day of heavy losses in Afghanistan on Tuesday as roadside bombs killed eight U.S. service members, the U.S. military said.

An Afghan civilian working with NATO troops also was killed in the attacks in southern Afghanistan, the military said.

The military gave no further details about the bombings, which it said also wounded several other service members.

The attacks happened a day after 14 Americans were killed in a pair of helicopter crashes in Afghanistan. It was the largest number of Americans killed in Afghanistan in a single day in more than four years.

With the deaths of two troops on Sunday, a total of 24 Americans — most of them military — have been killed in a 48-hour period. That makes October 2009, with 58 fatalities, the deadliest month for the U.S. military since the Afghanistan war began in October 2001.

Bombs in Baghdad Kill at Least 155

October 26, 2009

Iraqi security forces blocked streets around the capital today and conducted intense searches at checkpoints as authorities investigated the massive security failure that allowed two truck bombs to strike and kill at least 155 people.

From the Associated Press:

The country’s worst attacks in more than two years on Sunday targeted the Justice Ministry and Baghdad Provincial Administration in the heart of the capital, calling into question Iraq’s ability to protect itself as it prepares for January elections and the U.S. military withdrawal.

Fear of more deadly attacks, especially in the run-up to crucial January elections, turned into anger over the government’s failure to keep the country secure.

“Today, we came to work despite the fear inside us,” said Siham Abdul-Karim, 49, an employee of the Culture Ministry located near the site of the bombings and surrounded by police checkpoints on Monday. “We all wonder how could car bombs could reach these institutions.”

There have been no claims of responsibility, but massive car bombs have been the hallmark of Sunni insurgents seeking to overthrow the country’s Shiite-dominated government. It was the second deadly bombing targeting government offices in the area since August, when coordinated blasts against two ministries killed more than 100 people.

The death toll rose to 155 on Monday as Baghdad residents buried the dead. About 500 people were injured, authorities said.

Sixteen Americans Dead as Helicopters Crash in Afghanistan

October 26, 2009

Helicopter crashes killed 14 Americans today in the deadliest day for the U.S. mission in Afghanistan in more than four years.

From the Associated Press:

In the first crash, a helicopter went down in the west of the country after leaving the scene of a firefight with insurgents, killing 10 Americans — seven troops and three civilians working for the government. Eleven American troops, one U.S. civilian and 14 Afghans were also injured.

In a separate incident, two U.S. Marine helicopters — one UH-1 and an AH-1 Cobra — collided in flight before sunrise over the southern province of Helmand, killing four American troops and wounding two more, Marine spokesman Capt. Bill Pelletier said.

It was the heaviest single-day loss of life since June 28, 2005, when 16 U.S. troops on a special forces helicopter died when their MH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down by insurgents.

U.S. authorities have ruled out hostile fire in the collision but have not given a cause for the other fatal crash in the west. Taliban spokesman Qari Yusuf Ahmedi claimed Taliban fighters shot down a helicopter in northwest Badghis province’s Darabam district. It was impossible to verify the claim and unclear if he was referring to the same incident.

From CNN:

Fourteen Americans died in two separate helicopter crashes in Afghanistan on Monday, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said — 10 in one incident and four in the other.

It was the largest number of Americans killed in Afghanistan in a single day in at least four years, according to CNN records.

ISAF ruled out enemy fire in the crash that killed four Americans, and said enemy action was not thought to be the cause of the other.

In the deadlier crash, a helicopter went down in the country’s west.

“Seven U.S. service members and three U.S. civilians were killed,” an ISAF statement said. “Those injured include 14 Afghan service members, 11 U.S. service members and one U.S. civilian.”

Pope Benedict XVI Condemns Denial of the Holocaust

May 11, 2009

I find it amazing that there are still those who believe that this horrible occurrence in history never happened.

I have to ask the question that if you are in denial, why? Why do you believe that the Holocaust never happened? Just curious.

From the BBC:

“May the names of these victims never perish. May their suffering never be denied, belittled or forgotten,” he said in the midst of survivors.

The pontiff began his trip to the Holy Land by saying in Tel Aviv that anti-Semitism was totally unacceptable.

He also voiced support for the Palestinians’ right to a homeland.

The Pope’s immediate, forceful and unequivocal condemnation of anti-Semitism in any form and in any part of the world will have pleased his Israeli hosts, the BBC’s David Willey reports from Jerusalem.