Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Global war on terror news items

How effective are Iraqi troops today?

The AP:
BAGHDAD -- US forces patrolled the streets of the predominantly Shi'ite city of Balad yesterday after five days of sectarian slaughter killed 95 people, violence that surged out of control despite the efforts of Iraq's best-trained soldiers.

The country's Fourth Army took command of the region north of Baghdad a month ago, but had been unable to stem recent attacks in Balad, where the slayings of 17 Shi'ite Muslim workers on Friday set off revenge killings by Shi'ites.
The New York Times:
BAGHDAD, Oct. 17 — The Iraqi government removed the country’s two most senior police commanders from their posts on Tuesday, in the first broad move against the top leadership of Iraq’s unruly special police forces.

The two generals had led Iraq’s special police commandos and its public order brigade, both widely criticized as being heavily infiltrated by Shiite militias. Their removal comes at a crucial time for Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, who has come under intense American pressure to purge Iraq’s security forces of the militias and death squads that operate within their ranks.
The Sudan

A chilling first person account from a member of the Janjawid is in the Times of London.

The war in Afghanistan

The Guardian:
The invasion of Iraq prevented British forces from helping to secure Afghanistan much sooner and has left a dangerous vacuum in the country for four years, the commander who has led the attack against the Taliban made clear yesterday.

Brigadier Ed Butler, commander of 3 Para battlegroup just returned from southern Afghanistan, said the delay in deploying Nato troops after the overthrow of the Taliban in 2002 meant British soldiers faced a much tougher task now.

Asked whether the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath had led to Britain and the US taking their eye off the ball, Brig Butler said the question was "probably best answered by politicians".

But echoing criticisms last week by General Sir Richard Dannatt, the head of the army, he added that Iraq had affected operations in Afghanistan. "We could have carried on in 2002 in the same way we have gone about business now.
The AP:
WASHINGTON — The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan failed to follow through after ousting the Taliban government in 2001, setting the stage for this year's deadly resurgence of violence, the NATO commander in the country said Tuesday.

The mistake was in adopting "a peacetime approach" too early, British Lt. Gen. David Richards told Pentagon reporters. He said the international community has six months to correct the problem before losing Afghan support, reiterating a warning he issued last week.

"The Taliban were defeated…. And it looked all pretty hunky-dory," Richards said of the situation in Afghanistan at the end of 2001. "We thought it was all done," he added, and didn't work to curb the Taliban remnants aggressively enough.


Blogger Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

On another subject: you’ll be happy to learn the Washington Post has officially endorsed Jim Webb.

Hip Hip Hip!


6:10 AM  

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