Entries Tagged as 'Iraq'

Ten years after Iraq invasion, US troops ask: ‘Was it worth it?’

NBCNews.com (blog)
By Jim Maceda

Derek Coy hails from Baytown, Texas, and could be a poster child for American veterans of the war in Iraq as they look back and ask: “Was it all worth it?”

A former U.S. Marine sergeant based in the volatile Anbar province at the height of the conflict, Coy is proud of his service and believes the “invaluable tools” he gained as a Marine will ultimately help him succeed in life.

But seven years since he left Iraq, he’s fighting a different battle — against anxiety, depression and emotional numbness — the effects of post-traumatic stress.

“I still struggle, both mentally and physically, with the toll it took on me and countless others do as well,” he said.

Tuesday [March 19, 2013] will mark 10 years since the “shock and awe” invasion and more than a year since the last company of U.S. troops left Iraq. But only about 4 in 10 Americans who fought there — according to a Pew Research Center poll — believe the reasons for going to war justified the loss in blood and treasure.

Almost 4,500 U.S. troops were killed and more than 32,000 wounded, including thousands with critical brain and spinal injuries. Estimates of the number of Iraqi civilian fatalities are staggering, ranging from 100,000 to 600,000. …

Read on: http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/18/17326297-ten-years-after-iraq-invasion-us-troops-ask-was-it-worth-it

Man whose WMD lies led to 100,000 deaths confesses all

Citizens for Legitimate Government (CLG)
By legitgov
April 1, 2012

Man whose WMD lies led to over 100,000 deaths confesses all. A man [Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi] whose lies helped to make the case for invading Iraq – starting a nine-year war costing more than 100,000 1,000,000 lives and hundreds of billions of pounds – will come clean in his first British television interview tomorrow. “Curveball”, the Iraqi defector who fabricated claims about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, smiles as he confirms how he made the whole thing up… When it is put to him “we went to war in Iraq on a lie. And that lie was your lie”, he simply replies: “Yes.” US officials “sexed up” Mr Janabi’s drawings of mobile biological weapons labs to make them more presentable, admits Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, General Powell’s former chief of staff. “I brought the White House team in to do the graphics,” he says, adding how “intelligence was being worked to fit around the policy“.

From: www.legitgov.org/Man-whose-WMD-lies-led-over-100000-deaths-confesses-all

U.S. Army Suicides Rising Sharply, Study Finds

MSN Health & Fitness
By Steven Reinberg
March 7, 2012

Service in Iraq and Afghanistan appears to be the cause of increasing mental-health problems

Suicides among U.S. soldiers rose 80 percent from 2004 to 2008, an Army study found.

As many as 40 percent of these suicides may have been linked to combat experience in Iraq, yet nearly a third of the soldiers who committed suicide saw no combat at all, said the researchers, from the U.S. Army Public Health Command.

“Our study confirmed earlier studies by other military researchers that found increased risk of suicide among those who experience mental-health diagnoses associated with the stresses of war,” said lead researcher Michelle Canham-Chervak, a senior epidemiologist with the command.

“This study suggests that an army engaged in prolonged combat operations is a population under stress, and that mental-health conditions and suicide can be expected to increase under these circumstances,” Canham-Chervak said. “By establishing that soldiers who are diagnosed with a mental-health disorder or substance abuse are at greater risk of suicide, we then have a place to target our prevention strategies.”

The report was published in the March 7 online edition of the journal Injury Prevention.

The findings are based on analysis of data from the U.S. Army Behavioral Health Integrated Data Environment, a registry containing information — including consultations, diagnoses and treatment — on suicides from many military sources.

This analysis found that the rates of suicide among Army personnel from 1977 to 2003 were mostly in keeping with trends in the general population, and were actually slightly lower than expected in that 27-year period, the researchers said.

In 2004, however, suicides started to increase. By 2008 they had risen by more than 80 percent, to a rate higher than in the civilian population. …

Read on: http://health.msn.com/health-topics/anxiety/us-army-suicides-rising-sharply-study-finds

As US leaves, Iraqi forces still under construction

By Jim Loney
Decemeber 11, 2011

Nearly nine years after the United States threw out Saddam Hussein and dissolved his feared security machine, Iraq’s rebuilt military is a long way from matching up with regional powers like Saudi Arabia, Iran and Israel.

With little air defense, marginal control of its borders and a tenuous grip on Sunni insurgents and Shi’ite militias, Iraq may depend on American military help for years to come, even as most U.S. troops leave Iraqi soil by mid-December.

But current external threats are few amid Arab Spring turmoil and the Iran nuclear confrontation, analysts say, which may buy time for Iraq’s nascent forces to rebuild and re-arm.

A regional power under Saddam with 700,000 troops and an air force of 40,000 aviators flying French Mirage and Soviet MiG combat jets, the Iraqi military was devastated and then disbanded by U.S. occupation forces in 2003.

The ongoing internal battle against a stubborn insurgency and external defense now falls to a security force the government numbers at about 900,000 largely trained by Americans but not yet fully equipped for the task.

“We are ready. But we need help,” said General Hamid al-Maliki, head of the Army Aviation Command, echoing the sentiments of many Iraqi leaders. “Very, very big help.” …

Read on: www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/11/us-iraq-withdrawal-security-idUSTRE7BA0GN20111211

Birth defects, rubble scar Iraq’s Falluja

Independent Online
December 11 2011

As US forces pull out of Iraq, residents and officials in Falluja say they leave behind bullet-riddled homes, destroyed infrastructure and a worrying increase in birth defects and maladies in a city polluted by weapons and war chemicals.

Amir Hussain and Awfa Abdullah got married in Falluja in 2004 but their lives were turned upside by the birth of their two babies.

Their first child, a baby boy born in 2006, had brain damage and died last year. The second, a baby girl who was born in 2007, suffers from severe skin rashes and has one leg longer than the other.

“We’ve decided to stop having babies. We don’t want any more, because it means new suffering and a new battle against new diseases,” Hussain said. “It is our bad luck. Maybe because we got married in the wrong time and in the wrong place.”

Falluja, in the desert province of Anbar, served as a base for Iraqi fighters after the 2003 US-led invasion, and witnessed two major conflicts in 2004. US troops used overwhelming force, tanks, fighter jets and helicopter gunships to crush insurgents there. …

Read on: www.iol.co.za/dailynews/news/birth-defects-rubble-scar-iraq-s-falluja-1.1194726

US hands massive base over to Iraqi control

France 24 (AFP)
December 2, 2011

The United States on Friday handed over to Iraqi control the sprawling Victory Base Complex near Baghdad, the main base from which the US war in Iraq was run, a US military spokesman said.

“The Victory Base Complex (VBC) was officially signed over to the receivership of the Iraqi government this morning. The base is no longer under US control and is now under the full authority of the government of Iraq,” said Colonel Barry Johnson, a spokesman for United States Forces – Iraq (USF-I).

“There was no ceremony, just a signing of paperwork akin to the closing of a home sale,” Johnson said in a statement emailed to AFP.

Lieutenant Colonel Angela Funaro, a spokeswoman for USF-I, said that US troops had pulled out in advance and that just five US bases in Iraq now remain to be handed over.

“All US troops departed as of last night,” she said. “The air base which adjoined VBC has transferred to the control of the State Department, but has some troops there.”

At its peak, the Victory base housed more than 100,000 people — some 42,000 military personnel and more than 65,000 contractors…

Read on: http://www.france24.com/en/20111202-us-hands-massive-base-over-iraqi-control

Vice President Joe Biden in Iraq for talks as US military presence winds down

VP Biden: US troop departure marks new beginning with Iraq, Sadrists protest his presence

The Washington Post
November 29, 2011

Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that his trip to Baghdad ahead of the U.S. military pullout marks a new beginning between Iraq and the United States, but protests in Iraq against his visit demonstrated the difficulties the relationship will face.

Biden arrived Tuesday in a surprise visit to Iraq at a pivotal time as the last of the American troops withdraw, and the U.S. must establish a new relationship with a country that is home to billions of barrels of oil and more closely aligned with neighboring Iran than the U.S. would like.

In comments surrounding his meetings with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Biden stressed that the U.S. and Iraq will continue to have a relationship long after the American troops have left the country.

“Our troops are leaving Iraq, and we are working on a new path together, a new face of this partnership,” he added. “This is marking a new beginning of the relationship that will not only benefit the United States of America and Iraq. I believe it will benefit the region and will benefit the world.”

Biden said that people in both countries have had to overcome misperceptions about the relationship. He said people in the U.S. still ask whether it is worth it to spend so much energy and money in Iraq, a country where 4,485 American military personnel have died and tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed. …

Read on: www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle-east/vice-president-joe-biden-arrives-in-iraq-for-talks-as-us-military-presence-winds-down/2011/11/29/gIQAtRar8N_story.html

U.S. vice president visits Iraq as troops depart

Agence France-Presse
November 29, 2011

US Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Baghdad on a surprise visit on Tuesday, during which he is due to meet top Iraqi officials, as American troops depart Iraq ahead of a year-end deadline. …

Biden’s visit comes after a bloody seven days for Iraq, during which at least 61 people were killed in a wave of attacks.

The White House said that while in Iraq, “the vice president will co-chair a meeting of the US-Iraq Higher Coordinating Committee. He will also meet with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, President Jalal Talabani, (and) Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi.”

“We are deepening our cooperation on politics and diplomacy; trade and finance; energy; services, technology, the environment, and transportation; law enforcement and the judiciary; and defence and security,” the White House said in a statement. …

Obama on October 21 announced that US troops would leave Iraq by the end of 2011, bringing to a close an almost nine-year war that has left thousands of US soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis dead, and cost hundreds of billions of dollars.

About 13,800 US soldiers are still in the country, and seven US bases remain to be handed over, according to USF-I spokesman Major General Jeffrey Buchanan.

In full: www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/11/29/u-s-vice-president-visits-iraq-as-troops-depart/

US military bases in Iraq down to 15

Press TV
October 27, 2011

An American general says there are only 15 US military bases left in Iraq, which were once up to 505, as the foreign forces prepare to leave the Arab country by the end of the year.

“US Forces-Iraq (USF-I) now resides on 15 bases — nine of those are US, and six are partnered (with Iraqi forces),” said Brigadier General Rock Donahue, head of USF-I’s engineering directorate, AFP reported.

All of the remaining bases must be handed over to Iraqi forces and US troops must leave Iraq by the end of the year, under the terms of the 2008 bilateral security accord, known as the Status of Forces Agreement.

However, the US looks unwilling to leave the Middle Eastern country and its officials are searching new pretexts to prolong their stay in Iraq.

Twelve US lawmakers on Wednesday wrote to the chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services that the complete withdrawal of American troops from Iraq will be seen as a “strategic victory by our enemies in the Middle East.”

The letter was signed by top Republican Senator John McCain, Independent Joe Lieberman and 10 other Republican senators.

There are currently about 39,000 US soldiers in Iraq, according to the US military.

US President Barack Obama announced on October 21 that all US troops will leave Iraq by the end of 2011. …

Read on: www.presstv.ir/detail/206848.html

US military deaths in Iraq war at 4,481

Washington Post
By Associated Press
October 25, 2011

US military deaths in Iraq war at 4,481 Tuesday, according to Associated Press count

As of Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011, at least 4,481 members of the U.S. military had died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

The figure includes nine military civilians killed in action.

At least 3,525 military personnel died as a result of hostile action, according to the military’s numbers.

The AP count is three fewer than the Defense Department’s tally, last updated Tuesday at 10 a.m. EDT.

Since the start of U.S. military operations in Iraq, 32,219 U.S. service members have been wounded in hostile action, according to the Defense Department’s weekly tally.