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U.S. Casualties in Operation Iraqi Freedom
|U.S. Casualties in Operation Iraqi Freedom|
|01||Sgt. Thomas E. Vandling Jr.||26||01 January 2007|
|02||Staff Sgt. Charles D. Allen||28||04 January 2007|
|03||Maj. Michael L. Mundell||47||05 January 2007|
|04||U/I pending notification of next-of-kin||05 January 2007|
|05||Cpl. Jeremiah J. Johnson||23||06 January 2007|
|06||Spc. Raymond N. Mitchell, III||21||06 January 2007|
|07||Tech. Sgt. Timothy R. Weiner||35||07 January 2007|
|08||Senior Airman Elizabeth A. Loncki||23||07 January 2007|
|09||Senior Airman Daniel B. Miller Jr.||24||07 January 2007|
|10||Spc. Eric T. Caldwell||22||07 January 2007|
|11||Cpl. Stephen J. Raderstorf||21||07 January 2007|
|12||Pfc. Ryan R. Berg||19||09 January 2007|
|13||Pfc. Ming Sun||20||09 January 2007|
|14||U/I pending notification of next-of-kin||09 January 2007|
|15||Sgt. James M. Wosika Jr.||24||09 January 2007|
|16||Sgt. Gregroy A. Wright||28||13 January 2007|
|17||Spc. James D. Riekena||22||14 January 2007|
|18||Sgt. Paul T. Sanchez||32||14 January 2007|
|19||2nd Lt. Mark J. Daily||23||15 January 2007|
|20||Sgt. Ian C. Anderson||22||15 January 2007|
|21||Sgt. John E. Cooper||29||15 January 2007|
|22||Spc. Matthew T. Grimm||21||15 January 2007|
|23||Spc. Jason J. Corbett||23||15 January 2007|
|24||Spc. Collin R. Schockmel||19||16 January 2007|
|25||Petty Officer 1st Class Jennifer A. Valdivia||27||16 January 2007|
|26||U/I pending notification of next-of-kin||17 January 2007|
|27||Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph D. Alomar||22||17 January 2007|
|28||Spc. William J. Rechenmacher||24||18 January 2007|
|29||Sgt. 1st Class Russell P. Borea||38||19 January 2007|
|30||Cpl. Jacob H. Neal||23||19 January 2007|
|31||Lance Cpl. Luis J. Castillo||20||20 January 2007|
|32||Pfc. Allen B. Jaynes||21||20 January 2007|
|33||Col. Brian D. Allgood||46||20 January 2007|
|34||Staff Sgt. Darryl D. Booker||37||20 January 2007|
|35||Sgt. 1st Class John G. Brown||43||20 January 2007|
|36||Lt. Col. David C. Canegata||50||20 January 2007|
|37||Command Sgt. Maj. Marilyn L. Gabbard||46||20 January 2007|
|38||Command Sgt. Roger W. Haller||49||20 January 2007|
|39||Col. Paul M. Kelly||45||20 January 2007|
|40||Staff Sgt. Floyd E. Lake||43||20 January 2007|
|41||Cpl. Victor M. Langarica||29||20 January 2007|
|42||Capt. Sean E. Lyerly||31||20 January 2007|
|43||Maj. Michael V. Taylor||40||20 January 2007|
|44||1st Sgt. William T. Warren||48||20 January 2007|
|45||Sgt. Jonathan P. C. Kingman||21||20 January 2007|
|46||U/I pending notification of next-of-kin||20 January 2007|
|47||Sgt. Sean P. Fennerty||25||20 January 2007|
|48||Sgt. Phillip D. McNeill||22||20 January 2007|
|49||Spc. Jeffrey D. Bisson||22||20 January 2007|
|50||Spc. Toby R. Olsen||28||20 January 2007|
|51||U/I pending notification of next-of-kin||20 January 2007|
|52||Pfc. Ryan J. Hill||20||20 January 2007|
|53||U/I pending notification of next-of-kin||20 January 2007|
|54||Capt. Brian S. Freeman||31||20 January 2007|
|55||1st Lt. Jacob N. Fritz||25||20 January 2007|
|56||Spc. Johnathan B. Chism||22||20 January 2007|
|57||Pfc. Shawn P. Falter||25||20 January 2007|
|58||Pvt. Johnathon M. Millican||20||20 January 2007|
|59||Lance Cpl. Emilian D. Sanchez||20||21 January 2007|
|60||Lance Cpl. Andrew G. Matus||19||21 January 2007|
|61||U/I pending notification of next-of-kin||21 January 2007|
|62||U/I pending notification of next-of-kin||21 January 2007|
|63||Spc. Brandon L. Stout||23||22 January 2007|
|64||Staff Sgt. Jamie D. Wilson||34||22 January 2007|
|65||Spc. Nicholas P. Brown||24||22 January 2007|
|66||Sgt. Michael M. Kashkoush||24||23 January 2007|
|67||Sgt. Gary S. Johnston||21||23 January 2007|
|68||Staff Sgt. Michael J. Wiggins||26||23 January 2007|
|69||Staff Sgt. Hector Leija||27||24 January 2007|
|70||Sgt. 1st Class Keith A. Callahan||31||24 January 2007|
|71||Pfc. Darrell W. Shipp||25||25 January 2007|
|72||Cpl. Mark D. Kidd||26||25 January 2007|
|73||Sgt. Alexander H. Fuller||21||25 January 2007|
|74||Pfc. Michael C. Balsley||23||25 January 2007|
|75||U/I pending notification of next-of-kin||26 January 2007|
|76||Pfc. Nathan P. Fairlie||21||26 January 2007|
|77||Maj. Alan R. Johnson||44||26 January 2007|
|78||Lance Cpl. Anthony C. Melia||20||27 January 2007|
|79||Sgt. Mickel D. Garrigus||24||27 January 2007|
|80||Cpl. Timothy A. Swanson||21||27 January 2007|
|81||Pfc. Jon B. St. John II||25||27 January 2007|
|82||Pfc. David T. Toomalatai||19||27 January 2007|
|83||U/I pending notification of next-of-kin||27 January 2007|
|84||Capt. Mark T. Resh||28||28 January 2007|
|85||Chief Warrant Officer Cornell C. Chao||36||28 January 2007|
|86||Spc. Carla J. Stewart||37||28 January 2007|
|87||Lance Cpl. Adam Q. Emul||19||29 January 2007|
|88||Sgt. Corey J. Aultz||31||30 January 2007|
|89||Sgt. Milton A. Gist Jr.||27||30 January 2007|
|90||Sgt. Alejandro Carrillo||22||30 January 2007|
|91||Sgt. William M. Sigua||21||31 January 2007|
|92||Cpl. Stephen D. Shannon||21||31 January 2007|
Trauma-related infections in battlefield casualties from Iraq
Objective: To describe risks for, and microbiology and antimicrobial resistance patterns of, war trauma associated infections from Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Background: : The invasion of Iraq resulted in casualties from high-velocity gunshot, shrapnel, and blunt trauma injuries as well as burns. Infectious complications of these unique war trauma injuries have not been described since the 1970s.
Methods: Retrospective record review of all trauma casualties 5 to 65 years of age evacuated from the Iraqi theatre to U.S. Navy hospital ship, USNS Comfort, March to May 2003.War trauma-associated infection was defined by positive culture from a wound or sterile body fluid (ie, blood, cerebrospinal fluid) and at least two of the following infection-associated signs/symptoms: fever, dehiscence, foul smell, peri-wound erythema, hypotension, and leukocytosis. A comparison of mechanisms of injury, demographics, and clinical variables was done using multivariate analysis.
Results: Of 211 patients, 56 met criteria for infection. Infections were more common in blast injuries, soft tissue injuries, >3 wound sites, loss of limb, abdominal trauma, and higher Injury Severity Score (ISS). Wound infections accounted for 84% of cases, followed by bloodstream infections (38%). Infected were more likely to have had fever prior to arrival, and had higher probability of ICU admission and more surgical procedures. Acinetobacter species (36%) were the predominant organisms followed by Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas species (14% each).
Conclusions: Similar to the Vietnam War experience, gram-negative rods, particularly Acinetobacter species, accounted for the majority of wound infections cared for on USNS Comfort during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Multidrug resistance was common, with the exception of the carbapenem class, limiting antibiotic therapy options.
The phrases "New Way Forward",   "The New Way Forward" and "A new way forward in Iraq"  were widely used by White House Press Secretary Tony Snow  and the news media prior to the President's speech on January 10, 2007 announcing the policy change. The US press also refers to the increase as a "surge" or "Iraq troop surge". Following the speech, some Democrats began using the term "escalation" rather than "surge,"  though others in the party use the terms interchangeably. 
2006 election Edit
Polls showed that after the 2006 general election, "A substantial majority of Americans expect Democrats to reduce or end American military involvement in Iraq if they [won] control of Congress".  This view of the election as a referendum on the war was endorsed by Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi who in the final days of the campaign said, "This election is about Iraq. If indeed it turns out the way that people expect it to turn out, the American people will have spoken, and they will have rejected the course of action the president is on."  The news media viewed the Democratic victory in both houses of the US Congress as "punishing President George W. Bush and his Republicans over ethics scandals in Washington and a failing war in Iraq." 
Democratic position Edit
After her party's victory then House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (who would a month later make clear her disdain for the "surge proposal"  ) wrote an article entitled "Bringing the War to an End is my Highest Priority as Speaker". The article explained that after visiting wounded Iraq War veterans at the Bethesda Naval Medical Center, "I left there more committed than ever to bringing the war to an end. I told my colleagues yesterday that the biggest ethical issue facing our country for the past three and a half years is the war in Iraq. . When the House reconvenes on January 4, 2007, Democrats will take power and I will take the gavel knowing the responsibility we have to you and to the country. The new Democratic Congress will live up to the highest ethical standard. [we] are prepared to lead and ready to govern. We will honor the trust of the American people we will not disappoint." 
Republican position Edit
Following the 2006 United States midterm elections where the Republicans lost control of the House and Senate, a Heritage Foundation conference was chaired by Republican whip Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) under the title "The New Way Forward: Refocusing the Conservative Agenda" on November 9, 2006 to analyze "setbacks" from the election results. Blunt bemoaned the fact Republicans had "become the defenders rather than the challengers of business as usual." 
Blunt opened his speech listing the oft voiced explanations of his party's defeat which included that the results were in part "a referendum on the war in Iraq". He dismissed the notion that any one single reason explained the loss, saying "Different candidates lost for different reasons." He saw a bright side in events saying "The good news is that even with these shortcomings, low presidential approval numbers, and uncertainty about Iraq, our candidates saw, even with all those things happening, their ideas taking hold in the final days of their campaigns. A shift of 78,000 votes in the entire country would have changed the outcome. Our ideas didn't get beat in fact, we did." He applauded the Constitutional system saying the defeat proves "that no one party has a permanent claim to power. . This means any viable political movement, such as ours, can never afford to become stagnant or complacent. We must constantly refresh our ideas, assess our performance, and make corrections when necessary. This is a great moment to do all three of those things. For a generation Reagan conservatives have consistently demonstrated an ability to do just that. Nowhere has this been more evident than in our response to the threats of Islamic totalitarianism and the fight with our terrorist enemies." He said "While the threats of Islamic totalitarianism at times require different tactics, we are approaching those challenges with the same resolve that allowed us to defeat communism. I am convinced that in this fight we will also prevail because the American people understand the need to win. We must continue to lead the fight against Islamic totalitarianism and sustain the will to win the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. . [On the war and on domestic issues] Our plan must avoid the mistakes of the past several years. . I am confident that we will successfully move forward." 
Development of the strategy Edit
Senturion Forecasts Edit
In January 2005, the National Defense University applied its "Senturion" predictive analysis software to the Iraqi elections in order to determine which factions would support the elections, which would oppose them, and which would remain neutral. Senturion's forecasts were largely borne out by the actual course of events. Among other things, Senturion predicted that "increased coalition military strength in Iraq would have improved the attitudes of Iraqi stake holders toward the election by making them feel more secure." The simulations indicated that a 50% increase in troop strength was optimal, though a 25% increase would have been sufficient to capture the support of "neutral Iraqis". It also determined that due to Iraqi perceptions, the use of United Nations peacekeepers in place of US or coalition forces could achieve the same results with a smaller troop increase. These analyses were "performed and briefed to senior government decisionmakers well in advance of events." 
Iraq Study Group Report Edit
On December 6, 2006 the Iraq Study Group presented their report, which recommended both external and internal approaches for achieving positive progress in Iraq. Among other approaches, the report suggested that the "United States should significantly increase the number of U.S. military personnel, including combat troops, imbedded in and supporting Iraqi Army units."  However, this language is not specifically included in any of the report's 79 recommendations. The ISG report mentioned a possible 10,000-20,000 troop increase for training but only until early 2008. Co-chairman James Baker said that since "events in Iraq could overtake what we recommend. [members] believe that decisions should be made by our national leaders with some urgency."  Upon receiving the report Bush told the group "we will take every proposal seriously, and we will act in a timely fashion." 
Later in the day White House spokesman Tony Snow told CNN's Larry King that Bush was comparing recommendations "by the Iraq Study Group with pending studies by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and National Security Council."  Once the review was finished, Snow believed that the President would be able to "announce a new way forward" in Iraq by the end of the year. 
State Department Edit
On December 11, 2006 Bush met with Senior State Department advisers (including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice) "on how to shape U.S. policy in Iraq as part of Bush's mission to come up with a new strategy."  He reiterated his intent to communicate that strategy to the nation before Christmas 2006, and said "There is no question we've got to make sure that the State Department and the Defense Department – the efforts and their recommendations are closely coordinated, so that when I do speak to the American people, they will know that I've listened to all aspects of government and that the way forward is the way forward to achieve our objective: to succeed in Iraq." 
Later on December 11, 2006 Bush met "with a group of Iraqi experts, including historians and former generals, in the Oval Office."  The Washington Post reported that among the panel of experts were retired four-star generals Barry McCaffrey, Wayne A. Downing, and John Keane along with academics Stephen Biddle and Eliot Cohen, who panned the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group.  The Post went on to say "The group disagreed on the key issue of whether to send more troops to Iraq, with retired Gen. John M. Keane arguing that several thousand additional soldiers could be used to improve security in Baghdad, and others expressing doubt about that proposal."  The group also suggested Bush change personnel in his national security team. One panel member reported that "All of us said they have failed, that you need a new team."  The President thanked the panel and told reporters "I appreciate the advice I got from those folks in the field. And that advice is . an important component of putting together a new way forward in Iraq." 
The CIA's top counterinsurgency experts conducted an assessment that found the presence of US forces was key to stability. Brett H. McGurk added that "when we have a presence we are able to help resolve local disputes before they get out of control, police illegal conduct by Iraqi forces, and ultimately help the Iraqis develop their own patterns of interaction." 
Joint Chiefs Edit
On December 13, 2006 Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney met with the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for "more than an hour," discussing different military options for Iraq. While "no dramatic proposals" were put forward, "a pragmatic assessment of what can and cannot be done by the military" was offered. 
They did "not favor adding significant numbers of troops to Iraq" but saw "strengthening the Iraqi army as pivotal to achieving some degree of stability." They pressed for "greater U.S. effort on economic reconstruction and political reconciliation." They stressed the need for "employment programs, reconstruction and political reconciliation . [as] key to pulling young men from the burgeoning militias." They said there was "no purely military solution for Iraq" and "without major progress on the political and economic fronts, the U.S. intervention is simply buying time." They also urged "that any new strategy be sensitive to regional context, particularly the impact of political or military decisions." They fear that throwing too much support to the Shiite majority may lead Sunni nations in the region to step up support of Sunni insurgents, and that a crackdown on Iraq's largest Shiite militia, the Mahdi army, may instigate more interference by Iran. 
Chiarelli plan Edit
General George William Casey Jr., the top US commander in Iraq, was reported to be "reviewing a plan to redefine the American military mission there: U.S. troops would be pulled out of Iraqi cities and consolidated at a handful of U.S. bases while day-to-day combat duty would be turned over to the Iraqi army." It was said that he was "still considering whether to request more troops, possibly as part of an expanded training mission to help strengthen the Iraqi army." These options were laid out by the outgoing US ground commander, Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli. Under the Chiarelli plan "the military would shift about half of its 15 combat brigades away from battling insurgents and sectarian violence and into training Iraqi security forces as soon as the spring of 2007. . About 4,000 U.S. troops are now serving on 11-person military training teams embedded with Iraqi forces. The new plan would add 30 troops to each team, allowing them to provide supervision and mentoring down to the level of Iraqi army companies. . the remaining seven to eight brigades of U.S. combat forces would focus on three core missions: striking al-Qaeda, strengthening security along Iraq's borders, and protecting major highways and other routes to ensure U.S. forces freedom of movement in Iraq. . The plan would not allow for any major reduction in U.S. troops in Iraq over the next year – nor would it call for any surge in troops". Military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said that "In northern and western Iraq, U.S. commanders are already moving troops out of combat missions to place them as advisers with lower-level Iraqi army units." 
The Chiefs expressed "concern about the erosion of the U.S. military's ability to deal with other crises around the world because of the heavy commitment in Iraq and the stress on troops and equipment". They told Bush that there was "significantly increased risk to readiness in the event of a new emergency". 
Speaking to reporters afterward Bush said "Our military cannot do this job alone. Our military needs a political strategy that is effective." He also stressed his ongoing commitment to securing Iraq, saying "If we lose our nerve, if we're not steadfast in our determination to help the Iraqi government succeed, we will be handing Iraq over to an enemy that would do us harm." When pressed for when he would announce his new way forward, he said he would not be "rushed" into a decision and was still reviewing his options. 
December 14 comments Edit
On December 14, 2006, when pressed by reporters for more information on his thinking on the matter Bush said "I am listening to a lot of advice to develop a strategy to help you succeed, a lot of consultations. I will be delivering my plans after a long deliberation, after steady deliberation. I'm not going to be rushed into making a decision." He stated that he had heard some "interesting" ideas. He also said he heard some "ideas that would lead to defeat . [and] I reject those ideas. Ideas such as leaving before the job is done. Ideas such as not helping this (Iraqi) government take the necessary and hard steps to be able to do its job." He said he wanted the incoming Defense Secretary Robert Gates "to have time to evaluate the situation" and come up with his own suggestions. That same day Iraqi President Jalal Talabani issued a written statement saying that he had received Bush's assurances that "he would make no decisions on his new Iraq strategy that would be 'against your interests' . [and his pledge] to work with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on his efforts to implement a Baghdad security plan". CNN reported that "Administration officials say Bush is 'not satisfied' with some of the information he has been getting and 'is asking people to get him more' information on various options in Iraq." 
Though originally scheduled for late 2006, the announcement on "the new way forward" was delayed to give the President "more time" to gather information. Press secretary Tony Snow said the administration was hoping for the president to deliver the speech before Christmas, although he said the timing was not nailed down. [ citation needed ]
American Enterprise Institute Edit
This American Enterprise Institute surge study referenced is listed as having been posted December 14, and was called the "real Iraq Study Group report" by its author.  The draft was presented on December 14 by Frederick Kagan, AEI, General Jack Keane, and Kenneth Pollack. AEI released its final report to the press on January 5, 2007, under the title "Iraq: A Turning Point (With Reports from Iraq from Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman)".  The event description stated the following:
The study calls for a large and sustained surge of U.S. forces to secure and protect critical areas of Baghdad. Mr. Kagan directed the report in consultation with military and regional experts, including General Keane, former Afghanistan coalition commander Lieutenant General David Barno, and other officers involved with the successful operations of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Tal Afar. An interim version of the report was released on December 14, 2006. At this event, Mr. Kagan and General Keane will present their final report, which outlines how the United States can win in Iraq and why victory is the only acceptable outcome.
Andrew Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle   also connects Bush's strategy to this American Enterprise Institute report, saying "In addition to the changing of the military guard and moving ahead with the 'surge' option, President Bush's Iraq strategy involves more money for reconstruction, job creation, and for 'moderate Iraqi political parties as a means of building a centrist political coalition to support Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki,' according to the Wall Street Journal. This more holistic approach – reportedly entitled 'The New Way Forward' – echoes in many ways a paper from the American Enterprise Institute, authored by Frederick Kagan, better known as the prime mover of the 'surge option.'"
Pre-speech expectations Edit
Bush was expected to announce a "surge" in forces that some sources say could be up to 20,000 troops. According to Reuters, "While Bush is to announce a complete overhaul of his Iraq policy, including economic and political components, the possibility of a troop increase has gained the most attention. Despite a divide on the issue, Bush in recent days has hinted toward a preference for increasing troop strength by saying he wanted to help Iraqis gain control of the security situation there. "One thing is for certain, I will want to make sure that the mission is clear and specific and can be accomplished," Bush said on Thursday when asked about a troop increase."  In fact, Bush's proposed increase was 21,000 US troops, 4000 of which would be Marine Corps focused on Al Anbar Governorate while the others would be embedded into Iraqi units to provide security to Baghdad.
Just before the 110th Congress convened on January 4 some Democrats said they planned to call Defense Secretary Robert Gates before the Senate Armed Services Committee "to explain, if not try to defend, the president's plan" 
Prior to the speech, US Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), a member of the Armed Services Committee, held a press conference with former NATO Supreme Allied Commander General Wesley Clark and Jon Soltz, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and together called on Bush "to listen to the advice of his generals and the American people and offer a new plan to change course in Iraq." 
Plan announcement Edit
In a nationally televised address on January 10, Bush stated "America will change our strategy to help the Iraqis carry out their campaign to put down sectarian violence and bring security to the people of Baghdad. This will require increasing American force levels. So I've committed more than 20,000 additional American troops to Iraq. The vast majority of them– five brigades– will be deployed to Baghdad". 
On the same day of the speech, ABC News announced that ninety advance troops from the 82nd Airborne Division had already arrived in Baghdad.
2007 State of the Union address Edit
In advance of the State of the Union address, Bush gave several promotional speeches to Belo television and Sinclair television, suggesting that the surge "should be given a chance" and challenged critical lawmakers to offer an alternative. 
On the night of Tuesday, January 23, the president had this to say on the troop increase in Iraq, outlining its purpose in supporting the Iraqi government's maintenance of control:
In order to make progress toward this goal, the Iraqi government must stop the sectarian violence in its capital. But the Iraqis are not yet ready to do this on their own. So we're deploying reinforcements of more than 20,000 additional soldiers and Marines to Iraq. The vast majority will go to Baghdad, where they will help Iraqi forces to clear and secure neighborhoods, and serve as advisers embedded in Iraqi Army units. With Iraqis in the lead, our forces will help secure the city by chasing down the terrorists, insurgents, and the roaming death squads. And in Anbar Province, where al Qaeda terrorists have gathered and local forces have begun showing a willingness to fight them, we're sending an additional 4,000 United States Marines, with orders to find the terrorists and clear them out. (Applause.) We didn't drive al Qaeda out of their safe haven in Afghanistan only to let them set up a new safe haven in a free Iraq.
The substance of the debate that followed the speech reflected "widespread disagreement with the Bush administration over its proposed solution, and growing skepticism that the United States made the right decision in going to war in the first place".  Some issues of contention were divisions over the advisability of committing more troops versus complete withdrawal, the 'winnability' of the Iraq War regardless of a surge, and framing of the issue. 
The New York Times reported that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani backed Bush on the troop increase.  McCain did the same, saying on January 12 that "The presence of additional coalition forces would allow the Iraqi government to do what it cannot accomplish today on its own: impose its rule throughout the country." 
Immediately following Bush's January 10 speech announcing the plan, Democratic politicians, including Ted Kennedy, Harry Reid and Dennis Kucinich,  called on Congress to reject the surge.  Senator Dick Durbin issued the Democratic response which called upon Iraqis to "disband the militias and death squads." On January 18, Xinhua News Agency reported that "whitehouse hopefuls" Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., Barack Obama, D-Ill., Chris Dodd, D-Conn., Joe Biden, D-Del, and Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, all voiced their discontent January 13 with the course of events in Iraq 
On January 17, Moveon.org released an ad that identified the surge strategy as "McCain's idea".  The New York Times reported that presidential candidate John Edwards had "taken to referring to the administration proposal as 'the McCain Doctrine.'" 
On January 18, the Los Angeles Times released a Bloomberg poll that said 60 percent of those polled opposed the troop surge, 51 percent wanted Congress to try to block Bush from sending more soldiers, and 65 percent disapproved of the president's handling of the war. Meanwhile, a Fox News Poll reported that 59 percent to 36 percent, Americans opposed sending more US troops to Iraq. 
On January 16, Republican Chuck Hagel, Delaware Democrat Joe Biden (Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair), and Michigan Democrat Carl Levin (Armed Services Committee chair) co-sponsored a non-binding resolution that said it was "not in the national interest of the United States to deepen its military involvement in Iraq." 
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats in her chamber would back a non-binding resolution "declaring that President Bush's decision to send additional troops to Iraq is 'not in the national interest of the United States.'" The Washington Times reported Pelosi "has made clear her disdain for the 'surge' proposal" since before Bush unveiled it last week, but her latest remarks "were her first indication of the language that she will want the House to approve." 
After three days of debate, on February 16, 2007 the House of Representatives passed House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 63 on a vote of 246 to 182.  The resolution stated:
- Congress and the American people will continue to support and protect the members of the United States Armed Forces who are serving or who have served bravely and honorably in Iraq and
- Congress disapproves of the decision of President George W. Bush announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq. 
Following passage in the House, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) convened an unusual Saturday session of the Senate on February 17, 2007, to consider an identically-worded resolution. However, the measure was tabled when a cloture motion failed on a 56–34 vote (four votes short of the 60 votes needed to end debate).  
Pelosi announced that despite opposition to the surge, she would not push for blocking congressional funding for additional troops. 
Although then-Senator Hillary Clinton opposed the surge, she later allegedly said in private that her opposition to the surge had been for domestic political reasons. 
Personnel changes Edit
In conjunction with the surge, the Bush administration implemented several personnel changes, as follows: 
- US National Intelligence Director– John Negroponte resigned and became Deputy Secretary of State.  Retired Admiral John M. McConnell took his place.
- CENTCOM commander– Navy AdmiralWilliam J. Fallon replaced General John Abizaid as CENTCOM commander
- Commander of Multinational Force Iraq – counter-insurgency expert GeneralDavid Petraeus replaced General George Casey as Commander of Multinational Force Iraq. 
- US Ambassador to Iraq and ambassador to the United Nations – Bush announced the appointment of US diplomat Ryan C. Crocker as the new ambassador to Iraq. Zalmay Khalilzad, then US ambassador to Iraq, was nominated to replace Alejandro Daniel Wolff as the US Ambassador to the United Nations. Khalilzad was confirmed by the Senate, he was the first Muslim to serve in the position, and he was the highest serving Muslim-American official in the US government. 
- White House Counsel– Harriet Miers stepped down.  She was replaced by Fred Fielding.
Units deployed Edit
The six US Army brigades committed to Iraq as part of the surge were
- (Infantry): 3,447 troops. Deployed to Baghdad, January 2007 (Infantry): 3,447 troops. Deployed to Baghdad, February 2007 (Heavy): 3,784 troops. Deployed to southern Baghdad Belts, March 2007 (Stryker): 3,921 troops. Deployed to Diyala Governorate, April 2007 (Heavy): 3,784 troops. Deployed to the southeast of Baghdad, May 2007
- 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (Light), September 2007 Deployed to Kirkuk
This brought the number of US brigades in Iraq from 15 to 20. Additionally, 4,000 Marines in Al Anbar had their 7-month tour extended. These included Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, the 2nd Battalion 4th Marines, the 1st Battalion 6th Marines and the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines. Most of the 150,000 Army personnel had their 12-month tours extended as well. By July, 2007, the percentage of the mobilized Army deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan was almost 30% the percentage of the mobilized Marine Corps deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan was 13.5%. 
The plan began with a major operation to secure Baghdad, codenamed Operation Fardh al-Qanoon (Operation Imposing Law), which was launched in February 2007. However, only in mid-June 2007, with the full deployment of the 28,000 additional US troops, could major counter-insurgency efforts get fully under way. Operation Phantom Thunder was launched throughout Iraq on June 16, with a number of subordinate operations targeting insurgents in Diyala and Al Anbar Governorates and the southern Baghdad Belts.   The additional surge troops also participated in Operation Phantom Strike and Operation Phantom Phoenix, named after the III "Phantom" Corps which was the major US unit in Iraq throughout 2007.
Counterinsurgency strategy Edit
Counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq changed significantly under the command of General Petraeus since the 2007 troop surge began.  The newer approach attempted to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people through building relationships, preventing civilian casualties and compromising with and even hiring some former enemies.  The new strategy was population-centric in that it focused in protecting the population rather than killing insurgents.  In implementing this strategy, Petraeus used experience gained while commanding the 101st Airborne Division in Mosul in 2003. He also explained these ideas extensively in Field Manual 3-24: Counterinsurgency,  which he assisted in the writing of while serving as the Commanding General of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the US Army Combined Arms Center (CAC) located there.
Instead of seeing every Iraqi as a potential enemy, COIN strategy focused on building relationships and getting cooperation from the Iraqis against Al Qaeda and minimizing the number of enemies for US forces. The belief was that maintaining a long-term presence of troops in a community improves security and allows for relationships and trust to develop between the locals and the US military. Civilian casualties are minimized by carefully measured use of force. This means less bombing and overwhelming fire-power, and more soldiers using restraint and even sometimes taking more risk in the process. 
Another method of gaining cooperation is by paying locals, including former insurgents, to work as local security forces. Former Sunni insurgents have been hired by the US military to stop cooperating with Al Qaeda and to start fighting against them. 
To implement this strategy, troops were concentrated in the Baghdad area (at the time, Baghdad accounted for 50% of all the violence in Iraq).  Whereas in the past, Coalition forces isolated themselves from Iraqis by living in large forward operating bases far from population centers,  troops during the surge lived among the Iraqis, operating from joint security stations (JSSs) located within Baghdad itself and shared with Iraqi security forces.  Coalition units were permanently assigned to a given area so that they could build long-term relationships with the local Iraqi population and security forces. 
However, opponents to occupation such as US Army Col. David H. Hackworth (Ret.), when asked whether he thought that British soldiers are better at nation-building than the Americans, said "They were very good at lining up local folks to do the job like operating the sewers and turning on the electricity. Far better than us – we are heavy-handed, and in Iraq we don't understand the people and the culture. Thus we did not immediately employ locals in police and military activities to get them to build and stabilize their nation."
CNN war correspondent Michael Ware, who has reported from Iraq since before the US invasion in 2003 had a similar dim view of occupation saying, "there will be very much mixed reaction in Iraq" to a long-term troop presence, but he added, "what's the point and will it be worth it?" Mr. Ware contended that occupation could, "ferment further resentment [towards the U.S]."
Security situation Edit
For the first few months of the surge, violence increased.    However, by the fall of 2007, the security situation had improved significantly.  U.S. military deaths fell from a peak of 126 in May 2007 to 23 in December, and during the period after the surge (June 2008 to June 2011), the monthly average was less than 11. In May 2007, over 1,700 Iraqi civilians were killed, compared to approximately 500 in December. The average from June 2008 to June 2011 was approximately 200. 
On September 10, 2007, David Petraeus delivered his part of the Report to Congress on the Situation in Iraq. He concluded that "the military objectives of the surge are, in large measure, being met." He cited recent consistent declines in security incidents, which he attributed to recent blows dealt against Al-Qaeda in Iraq during the surge. He added that "we have also disrupted Shia militia extremists, capturing the head and numerous other leaders of the Iranian-supported Special Groups, along with a senior Lebanese Hezbollah operative supporting Iran's activities in Iraq." He argued that Coalition and Iraqi operations had drastically reduced ethno-sectarian violence in the country, though he stated that the gains were not entirely even. He recommended a gradual drawdown of US forces in Iraq with a goal of reaching pre-surge troop levels by July 2008 and stated that further withdraws would be "premature". 
While Petraeus credited the surge for the decrease in violence, the decrease also closely corresponded with a cease-fire order given by Iraqi political leader Muqtada al-Sadr on August 29, 2007. Al-Sadr's order, to stand down for six months, was distributed to his loyalists following the deaths of more than 50 Shia Muslim pilgrims during fighting in Karbala the day earlier. 
Michael E. O'Hanlon and Jason H. Campbell of the Brookings Institution stated on December 22, 2007 that Iraq's security environment had reached its best levels since early 2004 and credited Petraeus' strategy for the improvement.  CNN stated that month that the monthly death rate for US troops in Iraq had hit its second lowest point during the entire course of the war. Military representatives attributed the successful reduction of violence and casualties directly to the troop surge. At the same time, the Iraqi Ministry of Interior reported similar reductions for civilian deaths. 
However, on September 6, 2007, a report by an independent military commission headed by General James Jones found that the decrease in violence may have been due to areas being overrun by either Shias or Sunnis.  In addition, in August 2007, the International Organization for Migration and the Iraqi Red Crescent Organization indicated that more Iraqis had fled since the troop increase. 
On February 16, 2008, Iraqi Defense Minister Abdel Qader Jassim Mohammed told reporters that the surge was "working very well" and that Iraq has a "pressing" need for troops to stay to secure Iraqi borders.  He stated that "Results for 2007 prove that – Baghdad is good now". 
In June 2008, the US Department of Defense reported that "the security, political and economic trends in Iraq continue to be positive however, they remain fragile, reversible and uneven." 
In the month of July, 2008, US forces lost only 13 soldiers, the lowest number of casualties sustained by US troops in one month since the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Also, a report by the US embassy in Baghdad, given to Congress in May 2008, and published July 1, stated that the Iraqi government had met 15 of the 18 political benchmarks set out for them. 
The Surge allowed troops to have more control over urban areas previously held by insurgents allowing for an overall slowdown of the fighting.
Political system and economy Edit
The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported on September 2, 2007 that the Iraqi government had only met three of the eighteen benchmarks created by the US Congress in June 2006.  Two other government reports measuring progress in Iraq, a National Intelligence Estimate and an independent commission assessment by retired general James L. Jones, were published for Congress in fall 2007.  USA Today compared the findings.  The New York Times also did so.  Another GAO report stated that the Iraqi Government did not meet 11 of the 18 benchmark measures as of August 30, 2007.  On September 14, a White House survey reported "satisfactory" progress on 9 of the 18 benchmarks. 
Lionel Beehner of the nonpartisan Council of Foreign Relations has called the benchmarks "vague because the metrics to measure them are imprecise."  The New York Times stated on May 13 that "Nobody in Washington seems to agree on what progress actually means – or how, precisely, it might be measured."  General David Petraeus, commander of the Multinational force in Iraq, has stated that his recommendations on troop strength are not dependent on the Iraqi government's ability to meet the benchmarks. 
On December 2, 2007, the Sunni Arab Iraqi Accord Front called for the end to their boycott of the Iraq Parliament.  On January 20, 2008, Iraq's parliament passed a law to let members of the Ba'ath party return to public life, a major US congressional benchmark for the success of Iraqi government.  That month, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated that Iraq's economy would expand significantly from the previous year's lows. Mohsin Khan, the IMF's director for the Middle East, said Iraqi oil production was forecast to climb by 200,000 barrels per day (32,000 m 3 /d) to 2.2 million barrels per day (350,000 m 3 /d) in 2008. Also reported by the IMF was that Iraq's gross domestic product growth is expected to jump significantly up to over 7 percent, in 2008 and 2009, from just 1.3 percent in 2007 
On December 22, 2007, Michael E. O'Hanlon and Jason H. Campbell of the Brookings Institution called Iraq's economy and political system to be "only marginally better than a year ago".  The envoy to Iraq reported on the dialogue between the Sunni and Shia communities and praised the government's work in late 2007. The envoy, Staffan de Mistura, said he would present a positive picture of progress in Iraq in a report to the UN Security Council despite earlier serious misgivings. He said, "At the beginning of . we were genuinely concerned by the lack of progress on national dialogue, today that has substantially changed. It has changed our mind from being worried or from being pessimistic." The UN report would, he said, "compliment" Iraq's government on its work at fostering reconciliation. 
In January 2008, Council of Foreign Relations fellow Michael E. O'Hanlon stated that "Overall, Iraq's political system probably merits a grade of roughly C for its performance over the last 12 months."  He also stated that "the pace of progress is finally picking up." 
On February 13, 2008, the Iraqi parliament passed three pieces of legislation that were considered contentious. The three measures were an amnesty law, a law that defines the scope of provincial powers, and the budget for 2008. The amnesty law was one of the benchmarks set by Bush. The provincial powers law includes a provision for provincial elections, another key benchmark. And the budget should pave the way for the creation of up to 700,000 new jobs for Iraqis. 
USA Today stated on February 17, 2008 that US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker "may be hard-pressed to argue that Iraqis have met political benchmarks Congress sought" and contrasted the political progress with the recent military progress. 
Interpretation of results Edit
Whether the surge led to the improvement in Iraqi security, or other factors caused it, is disputed by some. Council of Foreign Relations fellow Noah Feldman has remarked that:
These questions can be stated with some precision. They begin with the issue of how to interpret the comparative reduction in violence since the surge of United States troops began nearly a year ago. Does the decrease show that more troops on the ground were necessary to impose effective control over territory and persuade insurgents to back down? Or is the reduced violence a sign instead that the prospect of imminent United States withdrawal has made Iraqis more hesitant to foment a civil war from which the United States will not save them? Whatever the answer, the practical consequences are huge: either we keep troop levels relatively stable, drawing down slowly while we consolidate increasing stability, or we accelerate withdrawal to underscore our seriousness about leaving. 
Both critics of the surge and independent news services have stated that the conventional wisdom in the United States media is that the surge 'worked'.     Many Democratic political leaders have acknowledged the same. 
In June 2008, correspondents on Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer stated that "few would argue about the success of the so-called surge in Iraq".  Time has stated that "the surge is a fragile and limited success, an operation that has helped stabilize the capital and its surroundings."  The New York Times has stated that "The surge, clearly, has worked, at least for now. . The result, now visible in the streets, is a calm unlike any the country has seen since the American invasion". 
Peter Mansoor, General Petraeus's executive officer and author of the Baghdad at Sunrise: A Brigade Commander's War in Iraq, stated in an August 2008 The Washington Post op-ed that "The Iraq war is not over, but our war effort is on a firmer foundation. The surge has created the space and time for the competition for power and resources in Iraq to play out in the political realm, with words instead of bombs."  Blogger and independent reporter Michael Yon, who has been embedded with the troops in Iraq for years, had suggested the surge strategy before it was formalized. In his book, Moment of Truth in Iraq, Yon argued that Petraeus had turned defeat into victory in Iraq and that the surge had succeeded. In July 2008, Yon stated in a New York Daily News editorial that "'The war in Iraq is over . the Iraqi people won." 
Historian Larry Schweikart argued in his book America's Victories: Why the U.S. Wins Wars, that the surge's success, in part, came from the incredible casualties the US military inflicted on al-Qaeda in Iraq and on the "insurgents" from 2003 to 2006---some 40,000 killed, about 200,000 wounded, 20,000 captured, and nearly 10,000 deserted. He has stated that those levels of attrition on an enemy the estimated size of al-Qaeda were substantial and deeply damaging, not only to the terrorists' efforts in Iraq, but had the effect of depleting them worldwide. Moreover, Schweikart argued, virtually all estimates of enemy casualties were severely under-counted (as are all numbers of guerilla casualties) given the inability to identify bodies which were completely annihilated by explosives or to count carcasses dragged away, as well as how many would die later after attempted medical treatment by other Al Queda sympathizers.
Senator John McCain argued on air September 11, 2014 at CNN @THISHOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA that the surge was a victory and reached its goal of providing substantial security and stability in resolving government agendas between various groups within Iraq. That it was more less an aftermath of pulling troops out after the "surge" that resulted in increase terrorist operations and the presence of ISIS currently in Iraq. "We had it won, thanks to the surge. It was won. The victory was there. All we needed was a force behind to provide support, not to engage in combat, but to supply support, logistics, intelligence. And, by the way, the Korean war we left troops behind Bosnia, we left troops behind, not to fight, but be for a stabilizing force." 
Journalist Patrick Cockburn has stated that the reduction in violence was a direct result of ethnic cleansing by the Shia-led Iraqi government and Shia militias against Sunnis.  He has stated that "the battle for Baghdad in 2006-07 was won by the Shia, who now control three-quarters of the capital. These demographic changes appear permanent Sunnis who try to get their houses back face assassination."  UCLA professor of geography John Agnew released a study in mid-September 2008 stating that violence has declined in Baghdad "because of intercommunal violence that reached a climax as the surge was beginning," said that "By the launch of the surge, many of the targets of conflict had either been killed or fled the country, and they turned off the lights when they left." 
Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward has interviewed US government sources according to whom the US "surge" was not the primary reason for the drop in violence in 2007–2008. Instead, according to his view, the reduction of violence was due to new covert techniques by US military and intelligence officials to find, target and kill insurgents. 
Some, such as then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, have credited the Iranian government for all or part of the reduction in violence. Pelosi stated in May 2008 that "some of the success of the surge is that the goodwill of the Iranians-they decided in Basra when the fighting would end, they negotiated that cessation of hostilities-the Iranians."  Cockburn has also stated that the Iranians played the major role. 
Other commentators have pointed to the Sunni Awakening (which started in 2005) as the most important reason for the decline in Iraqi violence. David Kilcullen, General Petraeus's counterinsurgency and troop surge adviser, believes that "the tribal revolt was arguably the most significant change in the Iraqi operating environment in several years." 
One article mentions that "Currently, the dominant U.S presence in Iraq allows the rest of the world to avoid responsibility for stability in and around Iraq even as everyone realizes the stakes involved".  In addition "A plan to draw down U.S forces would therefore contribute to the success of a larger diplomatic strategy, prompting Middle Eastern states, European governments, and the UN to be more constructive and proactive in working to salvage stability in the Persian Gulf" 
On April 20, 2007, four months after the surge went into effect, Senator Harry Reid made a statement on the floor of the US Senate that the US had already lost the war in Iraq and that the surge would accomplish nothing, stating "I believe myself that the secretary of state, secretary of defense and – you have to make your own decisions as to what the president knows – (know) this war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday." 
Congressional Democrats believed military progress has been made in Iraq but that the political progress that President Bush gave as the primary reason for the surge has not occurred.  They continued to call for a withdrawal of American troops.  In February 2008, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told reporters that "God knows, anytime our military men and women go into a military exercise, we want them to succeed, and they did. The politics did not follow. So they can paint whatever picture they want on it the goal has not been accomplished. The tragedies, the casualties continue. We are going in the wrong direction in Iraq."  Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, having already voted to support Petraeus, now stated on Fox News Sunday that month that "the so-called surge was designed to give the Iraqi government the space and time to make the tough decisions that only the Iraqis can make for themselves. . And I think that putting forward a very clear objective of beginning to withdraw our troops is the best way to get the Iraqis to take responsibility." 
Public opinion Edit
An early February 2008 Gallup Poll found that 43% of Americans thought the troop increase is "making the situation there better".  A CNN poll conducted during the same period found that 52% think that US forces are "making progress in improving conditions in Iraq and bringing an end to the violence in that country" while 45% disagree.  A poll released by the Pew Research Center on the same day found that 48% of those polled believed the war to be going well, up from 30% a year earlier, with a similar number supporting keeping troops in Iraq "until the situation has stabilized". A majority still believed the war to be a wrong decision in the first place.  A commentary on the poll by National Public Radio called some of its results a "sign that the troop surge is being seen as successful."  Nonetheless, an Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted in June 2008 found that 68% of Americans were opposed to the war in Iraq and that 64% of Americans want to see the next President remove most troops from Iraq within a few months of taking office.  A Summer 2008 CBS News poll found that 46% think it improved the situation in Iraq while 11% think it made it worse and 32% think it had no impact. 
A March 2008 poll of Iraq found that 42% of Iraqis call attacks on US forces acceptable and that only 4% of Iraqis believe that US forces are responsible for the drop in violence.  The poll also found that 61% believed that the presence of US troops in Iraq was actually worsening the security situation.  In July 2008, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki and Iraqi National security advisor Muwaffaq Al-Rubaie both sought a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops. 
Operation Iraqi Freedom in retrospect
Courtesy Photo | Capt. James Simpson, is the deputy commander of the Rear-Detachment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. Success in Iraq leads to the inevitable reduction in U.S. troop levels. How much of a reduction and how soon is for the National Command Authority to decide. Cynics among us dare not speak the word "success" when referring to Iraq, said Simpson. But years from now, if freedom and democracy spread throughout the region, and tyrannical governments begin to fall, one may look back and recognize the monumental achievements of the past few years. see less | View Image Page
FORT HOOD, TX, UNITED STATES
1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs
By Capt. James Simpson
1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
FORT HOOD, Texas — There is no shortage of critics when it comes to our efforts in Iraq. U.S. publications are replete with negative stories about our government, our allies, military units and sometimes individual service members.
One must look hard to find any stories of success in the last few years however, as we've recently turned a corner in Operation Iraqi Freedom, it's appropriate to reflect on the accomplishments that got us here.
The invasion began in March 2003 with more than 200,000 coalition forces troops. By mid-April of that year, the Saddam regime was completely defeated and commanders immediately turned their attention to control over looting and other civil concerns. By May, a coalition forces provisional authority was established to pave the way for democracy in Iraq. At the same time, strategic commanders were faced with a growing insurgent threat.
Initially, many of the targets for the U.S. and British armies were Ba'ath party officials. Two of these were Saddam's sons, Qusay and Uday Hussein. Uday in particular had a reputation as a completely malicious thug. In July 2003, a task force cornered and killed the two brothers after a lengthy firefight. Dozens of other former regime members were also captured during this time. In December of the same year, a task force, with assistance from the 4th Infantry Division, captured Saddam Hussein in Operation Red Dawn.
In March 2004, the Iraqi Governing Council took office and signed a temporary constitution. By June, control over Iraq was handed over to the Iraqi government. While the Americans and their Allies continued counter insurgency operations, they also began to train and expand Iraqi security forces including the Iraqi army and the Iraqi national police. In early 2005, the Iraqi people held free elections for the Iraqi national assembly. The new assembly promptly chose Ibrahim al Jaafari as the new Iraqi prime minister.
The Government of Iraq was successful in drafting and approving a constitution by October 2005. The approval of the Iraqi constitution required significant negotiation and cooperation between Shia, Sunni and Kurd representatives. In December, elections were held and more than 12 million voters participated. After lengthy negotiations, the new government was seated and Nouri al Maliki became the new Iraqi prime minister. This again demonstrated successful political cooperation among various factions. The newly elected Iraqi government faced an immediate challenge in reducing the influence of militias.
Two primary threats to coalition forces, including Iraqi forces, were continual resistance from militias and attacks by al-Qaida in Iraq. Al Zarqawi posed a threat not only to U.S. Soldiers, but to democracy in Iraq. He strongly opposed moderate government of Muslim states and made numerous attacks to undermine cooperation between the Sunni and Shia. In June of 2006, al Zarqawi was killed by a coalition air strike north of Baghdad. Although scores of other anti-Iraqi forces were killed or captured during 2006, the insurgency remained a viable threat to the U.S. military and the future of Iraq.
In December 2006, Saddam Hussein was executed for crimes against humanity. He was tried in Iraqi court and given justice under Iraqi law. A chapter in Iraq's history that included oppression and tyranny had come to a close. But the Iraqi people still had much to achieve in the way of peace and prosperity. While coalition troops struggled to achieve complete success over the insurgency, they maintained a vast effort to improve Iraqi infrastructure. Tens of billions of dollars were spent since the invasion fro projects to improve water, sewage and electricity across Iraq. Further, local commanders helped communities improve everything from schools to soccer fields.
- The U.S. offensive action in Iraq was officially named on March 21, 2003: "The U.S. offensive against Iraq, born early yesterday morning, now has a name: Operation Iraqi Freedom. . Until now, the protracted U.S. military buildup in the Persian Gulf had no handle of its own. Instead, the Pentagon referred to it as simply an extension of 'Operation Enduring Freedom,' the name of America's war against terror in Afghanistan and elsewhere." 
- "Operation Iraqi Freedom began on 20 March 2003. President Bush declared an end to major combat operations in Iraq on 01 May 2003. The single worst day of Major Combat Operations was 23 March 2003, on which 30 American soldiers died. A total of 116 service members were killed in action during major combat operations, and another 25 died due to non-hostile causes such as accidents." 
Note: The March 20, 2003, date is based on U.S. time, not Iraqi time.
There are anecdotal accounts of Filipino American sailors serving as early as the Revolutionary War.  However, the first official recorded history of Asian Americans fighting on behalf of the U.S. occurred in 1815 during the War of 1812.  General Andrew Jackson recorded that "Manilamen" had fought under his general command in defense of New Orleans, under the direct command of Jean Baptiste Lafitte.  Following the war, at least one Filipino American, Augustin Feliciano, continued to serve in the U.S. Navy.  After this Asian Americans were not recorded in the annals of U.S. military history until the American Civil War when, in 1861, a Chinese American by the name of John Tomney joined the New York Infantry,  eventually dying of wounds received at the Battle of Gettysburg.  
Joseph Pierce (his chosen name) was brought to the U.S. from China by his adoptive father, Connecticut ship Captain Amos Peck. Pierce enlisted on 26 July 1862 and was mustered into the Fourteenth Regiment, Company F of the Connecticut Volunteer Infantry that became part of the Second Brigade of the Third Division, Second Army Corps of the Army of the Potomac.  From 1862 to 1865, Pierce fought in pivotal battles of the war, fighting in major campaigns from Antietam  to Gettysburg to Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House.  Pierce achieved the highest rank of any Chinese American to serve in the Union Army, reaching the rank of corporal.  Pierce's picture hangs in the Gettysburg Museum.  In 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution honoring the actions of Pierce and other Asian-Pacific Islander soldiers of the Civil War. 
William Ah Hang, a Chinese American, became one of the first Asian Americans to enlist in the U.S. Navy in 1863.  In total more than 50 Chinese Americans fought, on both sides, in the Civil War.  Of those who served, only a handful received recognition of their service in the form of pension, benefits, or citizenship. An exception was Ching Lee, who took the alias Thomas Sylvanus and served in the 81st Pennsylvania Regiment. 
There are accounts of Filipino Americans serving in Louisiana for the Confederacy during the Civil War  one served aboard the C.S.S. Alabama,  and some served in the Louisiana Zouaves.  Another Filipino American, Felix Cornelius Balderry, served in the Union's Michigan 11th Infantry. 
Christopher Wren Bunker and Stephen Bunker, the eldest sons of Chang and Eng Bunker, the original "Siamese Twins", joined and fought for the Confederacy. 
Another lull in recordings of Asian American service followed the end of the Civil War until the Spanish American War. When the U.S.S. Maine sank in Havana Harbor, seven of the casualties were Japanese Americans and one was a Chinese American.   Later in the war it was recorded that Japanese Americans served aboard U.S. warships in the Battle of Manila Bay  the Philippine–American War, previously known as the Philippine Insurrection,  followed.
In 1901 the Philippine Constabulary  and Philippine Scouts  were initially founded to assist the U.S. against the forces of the First Philippine Republic and the insurgency that followed after its collapse. That same year President William McKinley signed an executive order to allow 500 Filipinos to enlist in the U.S. Navy.  From these routes of enlistment came the first Asian American recipients of the Medal of Honor. Private Jose Nisperos, a Philippine Scout, protected his party from Moros for this action, he received the Medal of Honor in 1911.  In 1915, Fireman Second Class Telesforo Trinidad, along with Ensign Robert Webster Cary, was awarded the Medal of Honor for saving fellow crewmembers when the boiler of the U.S.S. San Diego exploded.  As of 2011, Trinidad has been the only Asian American recipient of the naval version of the Medal of Honor. 
Early Asian American military academy graduates
In the late 1860s Asians were accepted into the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. Matsumura Junzo was the first to graduate, doing so as part of the class 1873.   Matsumura was a foreign national, though, and like the other Asian graduates who attended around this time who went on to serve their own nations' militaries, upon graduation he served in the Imperial Japanese Navy, eventually reaching the rank of captain.  Nearly forty years passed before the first Asian American U.S. nationals followed in the footsteps of these foreign nationals and were accepted into the various U.S. military academies. Vicente Lim, was one of the first to graduate. A U.S. national from the Philippines, Lim graduated from West Point in the class of 1914 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Philippine Scouts.   He was the first of a handful of Filipinos accepted into West Point under a quota system that required one Filipino to be appointed in each class,  with no more than four being enrolled at any one time.  Beginning in 1916, Filipinos Americans were also accepted into Annapolis the first batch would enroll in 1919.  These graduates lost their status as U.S. nationals in 1935, and many went on to serve in the fledgling Armed Forces of the Philippines. 
In the early 20th century, while the rest of the world was engulfed in the depths of World War I,  the U.S. was looking to its south. Mexico had been embroiled in a civil war since 1910, and in 1916 the violence spilt north over the border when Pancho Villa raided Columbus, New Mexico, killing 16 Americans.  This culminated with a U.S. response, officially known as the Mexican Expedition, led by Major General John Pershing.  A large number Chinese Mexicans assisted U.S. forces in Mexico during the expedition and upon its completion in early 1917, they were threatened with hanging by Villa. Despite the provisions of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Pershing sought permission for these people to be allowed to resettle in the U.S. A total of 527 eventually entered the country, settling mostly in San Antonio, and they later became known as "Pershing's Chinese". 
World War I
In April 1917, the U.S. entered World War I on the side of the Allies.  The Philippine Islands created its own national guard units to join the effort, but did not see combat.  The units were demobilized at Camp Thomas Claudio in 1918.  Within the United States, a draft was started, and alongside Hispanic and Native Americans, Asian Americans were drafted as "non-whites" filling out the "white quota" in the National Army. Although, the majority of these did not see combat,  several did, including: Private Tomas Mateo Claudio, who had studied at the University of Nevada and became the first, and only, Filipino American to die during the war, being killed at Château-Thierry in 1918  Private Henry Chinn who was killed in action in the Argonne Forest while serving in the "Lost Battalion"  Sergeant Sing Kee, another member of the Lost Battalion, who was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross  and Sergeant Major Tokutaro Nishimura Slocum who served in the 328th Infantry Regiment, 82d Infantry Division.  In the Navy, the number of enlisted Filipinos peaked at more than 5,700 by the end of the war.  Several thousand Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Filipinos eventually served in the U.S. military during World War I  they were later allowed to become naturalized citizens,  overcoming numerous legal obstacles.  
During the interwar period U.S. forces were involved in several minor actions, including the Russian Civil War and multiple events in the Caribbean that have since become known as the Banana Wars also, the Yangtze Patrol was directly and indirectly affected by the Second Sino-Japanese War and other events. Between 1918 and 1933, at least 3,900 Filipino Americans served in the U.S. Navy at any given time as mess stewards, having largely replaced African Americans in that rating.  Up to World War I, Filipino sailors were able to serve in a range of occupations however, after World War I, a rule restricted Filipinos to the ratings of officer's steward and mess attendant. 
In 1934, Gordon Pai'ea Chung-Hoon became the first Asian American U.S. citizen to graduate from the Naval Academy,  and the first Asian American West Point graduate, Wing Fook Jung, graduated in 1940.  In 1940, Japanese Americans were the largest ethnicity of Asian Americans, followed by (in order of population) Chinese Americans, Filipino Americans, Hindu Americans, and Korean Americans. 
In 1937, the Second Sino-Japanese War began. A Chinese American, Arthur Chin, had gone to China in 1934 and joined the Republic of China Air Force, and flew as a fighter pilot. During the war Chin becoming the first American flying ace of World War II, with eight victories. He was later awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Air Medal. 
In September 1939, war broke out in Europe following the German invasion of Poland.  The U.S. officially remained neutral, but Americans became involved in combat while serving in other countries' militaries in units such as the Flying Tigers in China and the Eagle Squadrons that served with the Royal Air Force shortly after the Battle of Britain  U.S. forces also provided logistic support through the cash and carry program, and by undertaking convoy escort duties in the Atlantic.  Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the U.S. officially declared war,  and from that point on Asian Americans were on the front lines as U.S. civilians. Asian Americans from Oahu, including Japanese Americans, assisted with aid efforts following the attack.  On the other side of the Pacific Ocean, Philippine Commonwealth forces, under U.S. command since July 1941, prepared for an attack that would come nine hours later. 
World War II
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese Americans in the Hawaii National Guard activated and began to guard the beaches, clear rubble, donate blood and aid the wounded but three days later, they were disarmed because of their ancestry. The next day, however, they were authorized to rearm, but an uneasy tension lasted until 5 June 1942.  At the same time, Japanese Americans who had been undertaking the ROTC program at the University of Hawaii,  and who had been activated in the Hawaii Territorial Guard,  were discharged on 19 January 1942.  Many of these discharged soldiers formed a Corps of Engineers auxiliary, known as the "Varsity Victory Volunteers", in February 1942.  On 5 June 1942, 1,400 Nisei of the Hawaii National Guard shipped out from Hawaii bound for Oakland and on 12 June, after docking, they were formed into the 100th Infantry Battalion.  Afterwards, all Japanese American men, not already in the military, were classified as enemy aliens this policy was reversed in 1943. 
Eight months later the decision was made to raise an all-Nisei regiment, known as the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Progress was slow at first, and another four months passed before the 442nd began training two months after that, though, the 100th shipped out to Europe.  Initially, the notion of employing Japanese American soldiers was rejected by General Dwight D. Eisenhower's staff at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, but they were eventually accepted by Lieutenant General Mark Clark's Fifth Army.  While the 442nd was training in the U.S., the 100th sustained heavy losses, eventually earning the title the "Purple Heart Battalion."  On 26 June 1944, two weeks after the 442nd arrived in Europe, the two Nisei units combined to form one single unit, but those who had been a part of the 100th wanted to keep their numerical designation, so they replaced the regiment's 1st Battalion. Keeping with the policy at the time, the unit was segregated,  and large number of the other members of the 442nd RCT were previously interned Japanese Americans from the continental United States, commanded by mostly white officers.  The combat chronicle of the regiment became a highly storied one, resulting in it becoming one of the most decorated units in the European Theater,  taking part in numerous actions in Italy, France and Germany, including the liberation of Dachau concentration camp. 
Additionally, Japanese Americans also contributed to the war effort in the Pacific Front serving in the Military Intelligence Service, helping with the decoding of Japanese intelligence and the rebuilding of occupied Japan  the first Asian American women to enter the U.S. military served within this unit through the Women's Army Corps.  More than a dozen volunteers from the 442nd were selected to join the Office of Strategic Services and were selected for service in India and Burma, where they conducted covert operations, translation, interrogation, and signal intelligence.  Over 33,000 Japanese Americans served in the military during World War II.  Upon returning home, Japanese American service members found old prejudices remained. 
In 1946, one of the 442nd's soldiers, PFC Sadao Munemori, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the regiment's service in Italy. His award was one of two made to Asian Americans during, or in the immediate aftermath of, the war, and the only one made to a Japanese American.  However, in 2000, after a review of other medals awarded to the 442nd, 21 were elevated to Medals of Honor.  One of those 21 was presented to Hawai ʻ i Senator, and former Captain, Daniel K. Inouye.  On 5 October 2010, Congress created the Congressional Gold Medal recognizing the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the 100th Infantry Battalion, as well as the 6,000 Japanese Americans who served in the Military Intelligence Service during the war. 
It has been estimated that between 12,000  and 20,000  Chinese American men, representing up to 22 percent of the men in their portion of the U.S. population, served during World War II.  Of those serving about 40 percent were not citizens,  and unlike Japanese and Filipino Americans, 75 percent served in non-segregated units.  Chinese Americans distinguished themselves from Japanese Americans, and suffered less discrimination.  A quarter of those would serve in the U.S. Army Air Forces, some of were sent to the Chinese-Burma-India theater for service with the 14th Air Service Group  and the Chinese-American Composite Wing.  Another 70 percent would go on to serve in the U.S. Army in various units, including the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 32nd and 77th Infantry Divisions.  Prior to the war, the U.S. Navy had recruited Chinese Americans but they had been restricted to serve only as stewards  this continued until May 1942, when restrictions ceased and they were allowed to serve in other ratings.  In 1943, Chinese American women were accepted into the Women's Army Corps in the Military Intelligence Service.  They were also recruited for service in the Army Air Force, with a few later becoming civilian Women Airforce Service Pilots. 
Captain Francis Wai of the 34th Infantry was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for actions on the island of Leyte in late 1944 this awarding was later elevated to a Medal of Honor in the 2000 review.  Wilbur Carl Sze became the first Chinese American officer commissioned in the Marine Corps. 
From the beginning, the Philippines was on the front lines of the new war, as it was attacked shortly after Pearl Harbor. Under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, initially plans were made to defend all of the islands,  but following the Japanese landings on Luzon, the US reinstated War Plan Orange and a hasty withdrawal to the Bataan Peninsula followed,  denying Japan the use of Manila Bay.  In March 1942, under orders from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, MacArthur departed the Philippines.  In April 1942, Major General Edward P. King surrendered his force as they could no longer keep up a sustainable defense.  Of the 75,000 that surrendered, about 63,000 were Filipinos,  and a thousand were Chinese Filipinos.  Forced to march to San Fernando, Pampanga, in what later came to be called the Bataan Death March, between 5,000 and 10,000 Filipinos died along the way.  A smaller force held out at Fort Mills however, after an assault, Lieutenant General Jonathan Wainwright surrendered the USAFFE forces that remained in the Philippines in May 1942.  Of those who surrendered, 23 were Filipino officers who had graduated from West Point Japanese forces executed six of these Filipino prisoners of war, including Vicente Lim, who had by then reached the rank of brigadier general. 
In the U.S., Filipinos were initially blocked from enlisting, until the laws were revised a day before Japan had begun its invasion back in the Philippines.  Of the Filipinos who lived in California, two-fifths, or sixteen thousand Filipinos, attempted to enlist into the U.S. Army.  Some would serve in non-segregated units,  yet a segregated infantry battalion was established, which continued to grow and at its peak was split into two units known as the 1st and 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiments.  These soldiers were subjected to discrimination during their time training at Camp Beale and Fort Ord, sometimes being mistaken for Japanese Americans when off base.  Nevertheless, these units would serve with distinction similar to that of the 442d Infantry Regiment, although their deeds were not as well documented or widely known.   By the end of the war, a total of 50,000 decorations, awards, medals, ribbons, certificates, commendations and citations had been awarded to personnel assigned to these two regiments for their service in the New Guinea and Philippines campaigns. 
Back in the Philippines, some individual service members and units refused to heed orders to surrender. They began a guerilla campaign to resist the Japanese occupation and were later joined by paroled Filipino USAFFE soldiers, as well as Filipino civilians, and other Allied forces that had been inserted into the islands.  Allied forces returned to the Philippines in significant numbers during the Battle of Leyte. These included the Filipino infantry units which had been reduced in size from their peak.  Later that year the Philippine Division was reconstituted,  and in 1945 those members who elected to remain in the Philippines at the end of the war were transferred to the PCAUS.  In all approximately 142,000 Filipinos served during World War II.   When recognized guerrillas are taken into account,  the number of Filipinos who served increases to over 250,000,  and possibly up to over 400,000.  This number though is smaller than that recognized for serving in World War II by the Philippines. 
Sergeant Jose Calugas became the third Asian American ever and first Asian American during World War II, to receive the Medal of Honor  he would not receive the medal until after the occupation had ended.  Later, in the 2000 review of medals awarded to Asian Americans, First Lieutenant Rudolph Davila's Distinguished Service Cross was elevated to a Medal of Honor.  While in New Guinea, Lieutenant Colonel Leon Punsalang became the first Asian American to command white troops in combat.   For their actions in aiding Allied prisoners of war during the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines, Josefina Guerrero and Florence Finch were both awarded the Medal of Freedom  Finch later enlisted in the Coast Guard Women's Reserve after being liberated from the Philippines and taken to New York. 
After a treaty was signed in 1882, Koreans had begun migrating to the U.S.  This came to an end when Japan annexed Korea in 1910.  When the war began, Korean Americans were treated as enemy aliens,  although this changed in 1943, when they were exempted from enemy alien status.  About 100 enlisted in the U.S. Army over the course of the war,  some of whom served as translators.  Over a hundred joined the California National Guard in Los Angeles alone and formed a unit that became known as the "Tiger Brigade".  Young-Oak Kim, who had initially been rejected by the Army before being drafted, served as an enlisted soldier in the engineers until he was selected for commissioning in 1943. He went on to serve in the mainly Japanese American 442nd Infantry Regiment,  and he was subsequently awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions at the Battle of Anzio.  The only Korean American to be awarded that medal during the war,  he also received a Silver Star and Purple Heart for actions earlier in the campaign.  Fred Ohr, who initially enlisted as a trooper in the 116th Cavalry in 1938, became the only Korean American fighter ace of World War II,  shooting down a total of six enemy aircraft and eventually rising to command the 52nd Fighter Group's 2d Fighter Squadron in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations.  As of 8 March 2012, he is the only Korean American to achieve the status of ace,  and for his actions, Ohr received several medals including the Silver Star with one bronze oak leaf cluster. 
Post World War II
After the surrender of Japan, World War II came to an end, and the U.S. military began to demobilize. Millions of service-members were transported home, including the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. In 1946, the regiment was reviewed by President Truman who awarded them their seventh Distinguished Unit Citation. They were subsequently deactivated, but they were reorganized a year later as part of the U.S. Army Reserve.  That same year, Truman signed the Rescission Act of 1946, which denied Filipinos who served during World War II in the Commonwealth military and guerrillas, benefits that were afforded to other veterans.  With the consent of the Philippine government, 50,000 Philippine Scouts were authorized by Congress, retained, and recruited.  As part of the Philippine Division, this force undertook occupation duty on Okinawa until 1947,  when the Philippine Scouts were disbanded by presidential order after Truman came to view them as a mercenary organization.  In 1947, the signing of the U.S.-Philippine Military Bases Agreement formalized Filipino enlistment in the U.S. Navy without immigrant credentials.  In 1948, Truman ordered the desegregation of the U.S. military. 
Following Truman's order for the integration of the U.S. military, the majority of segregated Asian American units were disbanded by 1951. Many individuals continued to serve in integrated units following desegregation, although the exact number of Asian Americans who served during the Korean War has not been determined.  Despite the official acceptance of the desegregation policy, some units, including the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment, and the 5th Regimental Combat Team, retained strong racial ties, with a predominant number of Asian Americans serving in these units.   Of the 36,572 who died during the Korean War, 241 were Asian Americans. 
One Asian American received the Medal of Honor for actions during the Korean War. This went to Japanese American Corporal Hiroshi Miyamura of the 7th Infantry Regiment  the awarding of the medal was initially made in secret, as at the time Miyamura was being held by North Koreans as a prisoner of war.  Three brothers, Kurt Chew-Een Lee (the first Chinese American Marine officer), Chew-Mon Lee (an army infantry officer), and Chew-Fan Lee (an army medical service officer), all served in different units during the conflict and were awarded the Navy Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, and Bronze Star Medal respectively.  Young-Oak Kim, having reenlisted and promoted to major, became the first ethnic minority to command a regular combat battalion, the 1st of the 31st Infantry.  Walter Tsukamoto, who was first commissioned in 1927 and entered active duty in 1943, was sent from occupation duty in Japan to Korea in 1950 and was promoted to lieutenant colonel, the first Asian American to achieve that rank in the Army Judge Advocate General's Corps, served as the senior ranking judge advocate for X Corps and was awarded two Bronze Star Medals for his service in Korea. 
During the Vietnam War 35,000 Asian Americans served as part of the more than eight million U.S. service personnel that were deployed to South Vietnam,  in fully integrated units.  Three of them were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, including Corporal Terry Kawamura who was, as of March 2014, the last Asian American to receive that medal. During the conflict, in addition to the Asian American personnel that served in conventional units, the Army also formed a special forces team of Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, and Native American Rangers called Team Hawaii, as they could pass for Vietnamese and conduct long range reconnaissance.  Discrimination and racism continued to be experience by Asian Americans who served during the conflict. Their loyalty was questioned,  and during basic training they were sometimes described as being similar to the Viet Cong.  In country, some were fired upon when mistaken for the Viet Cong,  and some had medical care delayed after being mistaken for North Vietnamese.  Additionally, the Viet Cong especially targeted Asian American service members, sometimes putting a price on their heads.  Proportionally, Asian Americans suffered less casualties compared to other ethnic groups in Vietnam,  with a total of 139 Asian American servicemen dying during the conflict.  
Many other then-future Asian Americans serve the military out of its normal ranks during the conflict. These included groups such as the Hmong and Laotians who fought alongside American service members in the Laotian Civil War, Vietnamese Americans who fought as members of the South Vietnam's armed forces, and Montagnard (also known as Degar) who assisted American forces. 
Throughout the war, Filipino American sailors remained restricted to the rating of steward, with 80% of the almost seventeen thousand Filipino American sailors being stewards.  In 1970, there were more Filipinos serving in the U.S. Navy than there were in the Philippine Navy.  The restriction ended in 1973, after the U.S. Senate investigated civil rights issues in the U.S. Navy and opened all ratings to Filipino Americans.  In the White House, Filipinos Navy stewards, continued to serve as valets after the restriction was lifted,  as late as into the 1990s.  By 1989, Asian Americans made up approximately 2.3 percent of the total armed services, slightly greater than their proportion of the total U.S. population at that time (1.6 percent). 
During the Gulf War many Asian Americans served in the U.S. military, with some filling senior officer positions,  including Major General John Fugh who was promoted to the position of Army Judge Advocate General during the conflict.  One Asian American service member died during the conflict. 
In 1992, the U.S. Navy stopped recruiting Filipino nationals due to the end of the 1947 Military Bases Agreement. 
Recent trends show that Asian Americans, particularly those from California, are enlisting at rates greater than their proportion of population they are more likely to take up non-combat jobs.  In 2009, the Army had Asian Americans serving as 4.4 percent of its commissioned officers, and 3.5 percent of its enlisted personnel.  In 2010, Asian Americans made up 3.7 percent of active duty service members, mostly in the Army and Navy, and 3.9 percent of the officers.  In 2012, there were about 65,000 immigrants serving in the U.S. armed forces of those, about 23 percent were from the Philippines. 
War on Terrorism
As of 24 January [update] , out of the 2,165 deaths that have occurred in Operation Enduring Freedom, 58 have been Asian Americans (44 Soldiers, 8 Marines, and 6 Sailors).  An additional 352 Asian American service-members have been wounded (274 Soldiers, 56 Marines, 17 Sailors, and 5 Airmen). 
Asian American Marines were part of the first conventional units to enter into Afghanistan in late 2001  including Pakistani American marine Lieutenant Colonel Asad A. Khan.  Khan would return to Afghanistan in command of 1st Battalion 6th Marines in 2004   only to be later relieved of command.   During Operation Red Wings in 2005, Petty Officer 2nd Class James Suh, a Navy SEAL, was killed in action when the MH-47 he was on crashed after being hit by a rocket propelled grenade.  In 2011, Private Danny Chen and Lance Corporal Harry Lew both committed suicide in Afghanistan following hazing  prosecution of several of their unit members followed.  Also in 2011, Petty Officer, third class Jonathan Kong, as a corpsman risked his life to save Corporal Michael Dawers who had been shot in a battle near the village of Kotozay in 2014, Kong was awarded a Silver Star for his actions in 2011 
Hundreds of Asian Americans have deployed to Iraq out of the 59,000 plus that are serving in active duty as of May 2009,  with one study stating that 2.6 percent have been Asian American.  The 100th Infantry Battalion (USAR) was activated in 2004 for its first deployment in Iraq,  their first activation since the Vietnam War.  At the end of that deployment the unit was authorized to wear the 442nd's shoulder sleeve insignia as a combat patch, the first time this had occurred since World War II.  The 100th Infantry Battalion was activated, and deployed to Iraq, for second time from 2008 to 2009.  With Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn having ended, 78 Asian American service members died during the conflict. 
Trends in traumatic limb amputation in Allied Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan
Background: Limb amputation has been a common injury occurring in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Compared to other injuries, less attention has been given to this serious, disabling wound.
Purpose: The article describes the Allied military experience of traumatic limb amputation in Iraq and Afghanistan. It intends to inform health care personnel involved in the care of serving military personnel and veterans about the scale of these casualties.
Methods: A literature search of both civilian and military academic databases was conducted.
Results: Both the US and UK have incurred very significant numbers of casualties involving traumatic limb amputation, many of whom have suffered multiple limb loss. The rate of blast injuries causing traumatic limb amputation among US forces has increased since the surge of troops in Afghanistan. Dismounted Complex Blast Injury (DCBI) consisting of multiple limb amputations with pelvic, abdominal or genito-urinary injuries has been reported as increasing in frequency among US troops in Afghanistan since 2010. Australian Defence Force casualties suffering traumatic limb amputation remain low.
Conclusions: Significant casualties involving traumatic limb amputation are likely to continue among Allied troops while current counter-insurgency tactics are continued. Planned troop withdrawals should eventually result in fewer casualties, including reduced numbers of traumatic limb amputation.
Traumatic limb amputation is a highly visible wound that causes enormous personal distress and disability as well as incurring considerable national cost in physical and vocational rehabilitation. Recently, this injury appears to be increasing in frequency in the war in Afghanistan1. A pattern of multiple lower limb amputations, with associated severe abdominal, pelvic or genito-urinary injuries, has been dubbed the ‘new signature wound of the war’1, a term previously often used in relation to mild traumatic brain injury2.
The purpose of this article is to describe the Allied military experience of traumatic limb amputation in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and inform health care personnel involved in the care of serving military personnel and veterans about the scale of these particular casualties. Based on a review of the literature, it examines the numbers and causes of traumatic limb amputations in Allied military personnel in the current conflicts.
In doing so, it should be noted that military casualty statistics can be complex3,) and politically sensitive, with reports on traumatic limb amputations being especially so. Some countries (e.g. Canada and The Netherlands) have chosen not to disclose figures on these injuries. Furthermore, official figures casualties 13. Explosive devices were the mechanism of injury associated with most (87.9%) amputations14.
A prospective longitudinal study of wound patterns on a large US Army unit during ‘The Surge’ in Iraq in 2007 found the distribution of wounds was approximately 50% to the extremities13. A British study of injuries requiring surgery found a similar distribution of injuries to extremities (50%)15. This burden of extremity injuries is similar to the US experience in previous conflicts from World War II to the First Gulf War 1990-9116.
The parts of a soldier’s body that may be injured in combat are strongly affected by the personal protective equipment (PPE) – with PPE also significantly increasing the chances of survival in the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan8,17. Body armour has been improved with blast resistant ballistic goggles or glasses worn with improved Kevlar Advanced Combat Helmets. However, this equipment still leaves a soldier’s face, hemicranium and extremities vulnerable18,19, particularly when blast forces are directed upward through the floor of a vehicle(20). For dismounted troops, the lower extremities are particularly vulnerable to blast injury, as most IEDs are detonated from ground level. Commercially available ‘Ballistic Boxers’ or Kevlar underpants, are being studied to assess their ability to provide some protection from genito-urinary and femoral artery injury 21.
Counterinsurgency doctrine implemented through the Surge of US Forces in Iraq from 200722 and in Afghanistan from 2009, calls for securing the local population by building a local presence within threatened communities23. Such local engagement requires troops to live in small outposts and to conduct frequent foot patrols24, exposing them to greater risk from IEDs than if they were in armoured vehicles.
Allied military personnel are issued tourniquets capable of being applied with one hand, as individual first-aid for wounds sustained under fire. Notwithstanding some controversy over their benefit 25,26, several studies have found tourniquets to be effective in controlling severe haemorrhage, especially in upper limbs27-29. Numerous confronting accounts exist of US and UK military personnel routinely wearing their tourniquets on their legs, ready to be tightened in preparation for IED strikes30-33.
By theatre of operations to September 2010, 1,158 US military personnel suffered major or partial limb amputations as a result of the conflict in Iraq, 249 in Afghanistan, and 214 in ‘unaffiliated conflicts’34 in Yemen, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
From mid-2008, the rate of blast injuries resulting in traumatic limb amputation in US Forces in Afghanistan began to consistently exceed those occurring in Iraq. By 2010, blast injuries to US Forces in Iraq declined to near zero (from a peak prevalence of 3.3 per 10,000) whereas by mid to late 2010, a significant increase in blast injuries to US personnel in Afghanistan emerged (with a prevalence of 5.2 per 10,000)35. For the whole of 2010, a total of 196 US military personnel suffered the loss of at least one limb, increasing to 240 in 201136. Even though amputations increased, US combat deaths actually declined for the same period, from 437 to 368, further confirming improvements in wound survivability 37.
Most were attributed to ground-placed IEDs or land-mines, with 88% of survivors being on foot. An emerging pattern of high, multiple extremity amputations with pelvic, abdominal or genito-urinary injuries was described as Dismounted Complex Blast Injury35. Rates of genito-urinary injury among all casualty admissions from Afghanistan in 2010 were two to three times higher than historical averages. Furthermore, in 2010-11, nearly half a sample of US combat fatalities suffered bilateral lower limb extremity amputations, with almost a third losing three limbs35.
Prior to April 2006, the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (MOD) resisted calls to publish data on British military personnel who had undergone traumatic or surgical limb amputation in Iraq (Operation Telic) and Afghanistan (Operation Herrick)38. Since then, quarterly amputation statistics have been released. However, the MOD ‘suppresses’ results when fewer than five persons experiencing amputations have been recorded in a particular reporting period for reasons of operational security and patient confidentiality39. This meant that a recent decision to publish historical figures from both conflicts between 2001-2006 failed to shed light on the exact number of these particular casualties40.
Between April 2006 and December 2011, at least 20 British military personnel suffered traumatic limb amputations in Iraq, and 237 in Afghanistan. UK limb amputation casualties in Afghanistan have significantly increased since 2009 with 55 sustained in 2009, 79 in 2010, and 53 in 201139, 40. Multiple amputee casualties were also the worst to date with 32 in FY2009/10 and 36 in 2010/1139, 40.
At least three Australian soldiers have suffered traumatic limb amputations41, among the 32 killed and 218 wounded in Afghanistan from 2002 to 14 January 201242. The Australian Department of Veterans’ Affairs reported one veteran of the Iraq War in 2003 and one veteran of the conflict in Afghanistan with accepted disabilities for limb amputation43.
Both the US and UK have incurred very significant numbers of casualties involving traumatic limb amputation, many of whom have suffered multiple limb loss. Numbers of US limb amputation casualties peaked following the surges in troop numbers in Iraq in 2007 and Afghanistan in 2009. During counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan since late 2010, the use of dismounted troops as foot patrols has been associated with the emergence of what has been termed Dismounted Complex Blast Injury, involving multiple limb amputations. Australian casualties involving limb amputations in Afghanistan to date have fortunately remained low.
Significant rates of traumatic limb amputation among allied military personnel in Afghanistan are likely to persist while current counter-insurgency tactics continue. The withdrawal of US forces, which commenced in July 2011 and which will increase in 2012, should be accompanied by a fall in overall casualties, including traumatic limb amputation, particularly as their role is anticipated to change from combat to more mentoring of Afghan security forces.
Even when all allied troops are eventually withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan, it must be recognized that a major, enduring burden has been imposed on personnel who have suffered traumatic limb amputations, and on their families. US and UK veterans’ health care and rehabilitation services face an expensive commitment of years of work ahead to assist veterans in their adjustment to these disfiguring and life-changing wounds of war.
★ 339th Transportation Company (Direct Support)
140th Transportation Detachment tions, resupply, rescue and other direct combat support missions, the pilots and crews 339th Transportation Company. 339th Transportation Company DS 14th Transportation Battalion. El Dorado County Veterans Alliance Veterans Service and Support Award he trained as a cook and was assigned to the 339th Transportation Unit in felt a higher calling to help veterans and to direct his skills and time that no Inc., a family owned local media company that proudly publishes the Daily. 119 DHC 3 Archive. 339th Field Artillery Battalion 88th Infantry Division The organizations Medical Clearing Company received some support from the 11th Fld Hosp in Mar 44. The 11th Field then went into direct support of the clearing stations of the 310th the 34th and 36th Divisions following as closely as their transportation permitted. Go6703.pdf. The 369th Transportation Battalion with five heavy truck companies moved VII both direct support to designated divisions and area support to nearby units. AC 259th TC Detachment, Movement Control LD, AC 339th TC Detachment,.
DAV Magazine July August 2014 Page 35.
A Two CH 37 aircraft assigned to. 339th Transportation Company DS were flight delivered to Vung Tau 31 March 19o6 for subsequent return to COMUS. WW2 Army Air Corps Air Force Unit Records Research WW2. Pictorial Branch, USARAL Support Command, Ft. Rich, Alaska view looking across ice chunks to 339th Finance Disbursing Section, 1946 1948 52d Transportation Stevedore Co, Negro, 1946 1950. 120th Trans Augm 24th Ord Co Direct Support Aug 24th Ord Co DS Aug 71 0024, 1953 1960. History of the 339th Regiment of Infantry, 1917 1926 with whos. Nance, supply, medical, transport, and other service or support organizations. combat. One company of the 2d Aero Squadron was organized in Assigned directly to AAF in Jun. 1942 Redesignated 339th Fighter Bomber. Group in Aug.
Unit Data Jun 25.
It was formed from the Avionics assets of the 143rd Signal Detachment, the 339th Transportation Company DS, the 335th Transportation Company DS and. Full text of DTIC ADA288224: United States Army Reserve in. History of the 339th Transportation Company Direct Support in Vietnam. Looking for information on this and other units that served or supported the Air War in. ROTC Hall of Fame Inductees John Carroll University. Project Coordinator at Harley Davidson Motor Company Provide direct support to the 181st Multi functional Training Brigade WI, the 103rd Chaplin Detachment a the same, and the 371st Transportation Detachment at Ft. Sheridan, IL. Lieutenant Colonel, 3rd Battalion, 339th Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 95th Division IET.
History of Company C, 158th Aviation Battalion Phoenix.
COMPANY E, 325TH BRIGADE SUPPORT BATTALION, 3 1175TH TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, TULLAHOMA, TN. 37388. KU. KU. KUWAIT 9, 1ST BN, 339TH REGT, 84TH INF. 267TH ORD CO DS, 1776 NORTH 10TH STREET. The Project Gutenberg EBook of The History of the American. Co AM GS in Qui Nhon assumed the 4th Infantry Div support mission. AM&S DS. 339th Trans Co. 339th Transportation Company Direct Suport in the Vietnam War. Company, Part of Battalion, Affiliation, HQ Location, Detachment Location s, Years active 339th, Direct Support. VIETNAM WAR PATCH, US 45th TRANSPORTATION Co. FLYING. The primary mission of the armored troop carrier ATC was to transport Army We were secondary troops called in for support, Feb? 1969. Co. A, 5 12 339th Transportation Company DS, Always in good handsImage may be NSFW. the DAO Compounds last means of direct communication with the outside world.
Transportation City of Sultan.
Get the latest business insights from Dun & Bradstreet. 45350 339TH Ave SE Msh Trucking LLC is located in Fosston, MN, United States and is part of the. 118 S 339th Cir, Federal Way, WA 98003 MLS 837495 Redfin. These force was organised in company groups attached to various regiments of company was joined by the 339th Transportation Company Direct Support. Air Force Combat Units of WWII. Veteran had active military service from November 1964 to September 1966. a Yearly Supplement of the 339th Transportation Company Direct Support,. List of transportation units of the United States Army wand. Wings are the level of command directly under the NAF. A wing has a special mission, and is composed of an essential support group and a main mission group. 313th Medical Battalion HISTORY - An 88th Infantry. Company: 339th TR Type: Aircraft Direct Support Previous Station: Fort Riley Vietnam Service: 7 Feb. 62 1 July 68. Location: Nha Trang Authorized Strength:.
2nd Infantry Division Korean War Project.
[email protected] 339TH TRANSPORTATION COMPANY DS VIETNAM Oct. 23–27, 2014, San Antonio, TX, Contact: Ralph Frank, Ph: 352 527 9319, Email:. USARV Transportation Elements Ralph Grambo. Moore served as a company commander in the regiment during its service in Russia, and Supply trains, munition dumps, and transport units were established. was reinforced by Company L, and directed to form one of the columns of the.
Frederick Post Newspaper Archives, Feb 8, 1962, p. 1.
196th Transportation Company answered the call for Haiti earthquake relief and moved nearly 300.000 in positions that directly support the Army Reserve. GO 14 March 1963.pdf media Commons. We use technical, analytical and marketing cookies to help you with things like logging in and picking up your search where you left off. Accept Cookies No Thanks. Topics Battle Credits Assault Landings Korean War Educator. The 339th Infantry with Companies L and M of the 338th attached moved up first The artillery remained under Division control and received direct support of The Division as a whole was hard put to it to find transportation to evacuate. History 610th Transportation Company. The mission of the Battalion in CONUS, be it training or support, will be accomplished in the 339th Trans Company supervision for three to seven transport aviation companies. During November and December 1970, the 14th CAB was in direct and general support on a daily basis with operations.
List of transportation units of the United States Army pedia.
Company 17th Ordnance Company Direct Support 18th Transportation Company 339th Transportation Corps Harborcraft Marine Maintenance Company. Category:Transportation companies of the United States Army. 339th Trans, Direct Support, 62 68 The 79th Transportation company ADS at Qui Nhon provide maintenance and technical supply One direct support company of the battalion is located at Cu Chi, while the battalion headquarters and.
Air Force Units: Find Fellow Airmen, Reserve Units & More.
201 07c 728th Transportation Company Lighterage Maintenance DS Direct 201 07c 339th Engineer Battalion Construction Annual Supplement, 1968. 76. U.S. Military Casualties Operation Iraqi Freedom OIF Names of. 339th Transportation Company arrived with the 18th AVN CO to provide aviation and direct support for a Republic of Vietnam military ground operation in. Rare Early Vietnamese Made Bevo Pocket Patch for US Army 339th. President Truman directed US air and sea forces to assist South Korea, and Gen. James W. Little, commander, 339th FAWS, fired the first shot. July 12: Four Military Air Transport Service airplanes arrived in Japan from the United Airborne Regimental Combat Team and two Ranger companies more than 3.400 men. Logistical support of south vietnam Air Assault Division. HHD 787th Corps Support Battalion 21st Transportation Co Cargo Transfer 297th 30th Military History Detachment DS 75th XTF 35th Military History Airport 339th Movement Control Team Cargo Regulating 399th Movement Control. Msh Trucking LLC Company Profile Fosston, MN Competitors. Viding truck transportation support for the U.S. forces and the Vietnamese II. Corps personnel in 339TH TRANSPORTATION COMPANY DIRECT SUPPORT.
Citation NR: 9716970 Decision Date: 05 16 97 Archive Date: 05 29.
:20 During February the company was joined by the 339th Transportation Company Direct Support. In September 1962, the CH 21s left and were replaced by. 14th Transportation Battalion AVN Vietnam Veterans Community. Transportation also has direct relationship with the quality of the natural transportation improvements, both in facilities and in policy, to help Sultan business community, provide for increased safety and retain the community character residents 339th. Cost share with WSDOT. Roundabout in lieu of signal is an. Military – CherriesWriter – Vietnam War website Page 9, Chan. The 339th Transportation Company DS, stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas, was alerted for movement to Vietnam on 31 December 1961. The unit deployed. Army Aviation 240th & UP Lee Jackson Militaria. 335th Transportation Company DS 811%,f, 339th Transportation Company 00., h 787% J., 604th Transportation Company DS Sh1% 14th. Walter Blue Collection, B1991.003 Anchorage Museum. Throughout 1964, the 339th Transportation Company DS, located at. Nha Trang the 339th directly to the Aviation Support Battalion, just forming at the.
Army Avel Far North, 58th Transportation Battalion Army Veteran.
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U.S. Casualties in Operation Iraqi Freedom January 2007 - History
For Immediate Release
April 1, 2003
Centcom Operation Iraqi Freedom Briefing
Presenter: Brigadier General Vince Brooks, CENTCOM Deputy Director of Operations - April 1, 2003
BRIG. GEN. VINCENT BROOKS: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. (Inaudible) -- marks the 12th day since coalition forces entered Iraq to remove the regime. The plan remains sound and effective.
We remain committed to the objectives of the campaign while remembering those who have lost their lives in pursuing those objectives.
The coalition attacked regime targets over the last 24 hours in Baghdad and areas throughout the country. Precision attacks against surface-to-surface missiles and Republican Guard forces also continued. The coalition remains focused on every aspect of the regime.
Here are some before and after examples of how we attack the regime directly.
This is a regime command and control facility near al-Kut. In this case, only one building of the complex needed to be attacked. This is the after-shot, post-strike, and a comparison of the two.
The next image is a regime command and control facility in Tikrit. In this case, there are two target impact points, one on the lower right and one in the top center. The post-strike image, and the comparison, a split.
The next videos that I am about to show you will show attacks against the regime and the forces that support the regime. We'll start with Iraqi tanks at Al-Amarah.
The next clip is a tank at Al-Assad.
As I mentioned yesterday, we also attack the logistics targets to prevent the Iraqi forces from sustaining themselves. The first image is of an ammunition storage facility near Baghdad. The next is a fuel truck near al Kut.
Our coalition special operations forces remain very effective in targeting regime concentrations with the aid of local populations. In An Nasiriyah, special operations forces controlled aircraft destroyed numerous buildings, numerous vehicles, and five regime buildings, including the director of general security headquarters. In the western desert, two suspected Iraqi intelligence service agents were captured at a special operations checkpoint.
The land component conducted operations throughout the zone of action that runs from Basra in the south, to al Kut in the east, and Karbala in the west. And you can see that outlined on this map. Basra in the south, al Kut in the east, and Karbala in the west.
There were several successful delivered raids against regime death squad locations in Ba'ath Party headquarters. These also, like with the special operations forces, were assisted by local populations, who are increasingly willing to provide information against the regime. And examples include the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force conducting attacks near Ad Diwaniyah and As Shatra (sp), which is just north of An Nasiriyah. Approximately 100 tribal men joined with coalition forces in these attacks and resulted in the captures of enemy prisoners of war, weapons, the destruction of bunkers, and the removal of explosives from a bridge -- and there were no friendly casualties.
Additional examples are U.K. operations in the Basra area resulting in the destruction of a considerable amount of Iraqi tanks and armored personnel carriers along Highway 6, north of the city. Operations there also resulted in the recovery of two Kenyan men who had been held hostage near Al Zubair, west of Basra.
Finally, 5th Corps actions included simultaneous, limited objective attacks near Al Hilla, Karbala, and As Samawa. And these attacks were intended to create vulnerabilities in the Republican Guard defenses, and also to isolate the remaining pockets of resistance for destruction at a time of our choosing. The attacks were very effective, and resulted in the capture of an Iraqi general with very valuable information, an airfield, and a training camp for regime death squads.
The maritime component continues its work and is completing the clearance of the old port of Umm Qasr, the old portion of the port, and they're extending their efforts to clear the newer part of the port to the north.
And the coalition continues to push information to the Iraqi population at various levels. Radio and TV broadcasts continue across Iraq. And recent captures of enemy prisoners of war say that the broadcasts are readily accessible and they are also very popular. The coalition remains focused on efforts to begin the future of Iraq in the Iraqi people.
I have a short video to show you that demonstrates a free Iraqi force member with a coalition civil affairs officer interviewing a man for employment in the port of Umm Qasr. I mentioned a few days ago that we invited people who had previously worked in the port to come back and begin work again. I'd also add that the port manager himself, and Iraqi officer who was captured by coalition forces in the early days of the war, has asked to resume running the port, and we're giving that serious consideration.
Now, you've seen the results of our work in civil affairs throughout the south. We've shown that over the last several days. But I would say also that it's ongoing in every other area we secure. I have an image to show you of a team in the Third Infantry Division area, much further forward, doing the same kind of work. So, this is a civil affairs team with the free Iraqi force member encountering the civil population, forward as well as in the south.
And I also have a video clip I want to show you. This is a clip of civil affairs operations in the vicinity of the Ranger attack I showed you a few days ago. If you recall, there was a night attack to eliminate a commando outpost and command center in the west. This clip will show you what came in the wake. (Video is shown.) Civil affairs member instructed the population on the rations -- passed out boxes of water. But they were also escorted to buildings in the town.
SOLDIER: RPG, water -- they've got a little of everything in here, don't they. Instructions --
BRIG. GEN. BROOKS: Chemical mask instructions.
BRIG. GEN. BROOKS: Ammunition carried outside, and then ultimately destroyed. What I would highlight from this is first the equipment you saw was inside of a building that had been used as a hospital inside of this town, forcibly taken over by regime forces at a preceding time. The coalition was assisted by the local population, told what was in these buildings, escorted to the buildings, and the actual population assisted in carrying the ammunition and weapons out and in the destruction. The facility has now been returned to the villagers.
With that, I'll answer your questions.
Q (Inaudible) -- speak generally about the rules of engagement, specifically for troops who are manning vehicle checkpoints, and have they changed in light of recent events? Thank you.
GEN. BROOKS: Well Rob, I will start off by saying at first, in all cases whether at checkpoints or otherwise we always maintain the right, inherent right of self-defense. And that's the start point for any of our rules of engagement.
Without getting too specific about rules of engagement, what I would say is that at checkpoints, obviously as I described yesterday, we are trying to get some separation between a potential threat and the force that's being protected, or the area that's being protected. Our checkpoints have to remain alert and vigilant to any type of threat that would approach that which is being protected and secured.
We have not had a change in rules of engagement in recent days. There is increased vigilance because of the tactics that we've seen used throughout the battlefield by the regime and the death squads that are out there, examples of multiple vehicles rapidly approaching -- that's happened in a few places. One of the vehicle usually has non-combatants in it, and we're aware of that. There will be occasions where civilians will be put into harm's way. We make every effort to warn, to try to cause a halt to the potential danger before it escalates beyond a point at which it can be controlled. And we've had some incidents in recent days that relate to that. We believe that we are still following our procedures well, and in any case when there is a loss of potential non-combatants, investigations begin, so we have investigations that are ongoing.
Please. In the fourth row, back here.
Q Yes. Iraqi information minister -- (inaudible) -- says coalition forces have targeted an Iraqi bus with American human shields on it. Can you confirm that?
GEN. BROOKS: I am not aware of any reports of human shields. I've heard about these broadcasts that have come out of the north, and I cannot confirm that, and don't have any information on it at all.
Q (Inaudible) -- with ABC News. Don't you think it will be hard to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqis when every civilian and every car must be treated with suspicion? In Israel, they certainly found this be nearly impossible. And also, a second question if I may. You now have found lots of munitions and gas masks and things that you've shown us, many of these things with markings of country of origin. Can you tell us what some of these countries are? And more importantly, are there any dates of when these munitions and things came to Iraq? Thank you.
GEN. BROOKS: Our efforts to remove the regime, and we believe that when the regime is removed the people will be very satisfied with the conditions that follow. That's what we're after. As we approach the population of Iraq, we are very sensitive to the potential of damage to the civilian population, leaving long-lasting impacts that are undesirable. And so our efforts are designed to try to prevent those wherever possible. We think we're doing very well at that, and being very consistent with it.
We know that the regime would like to see as much difficulty placed between our efforts and their eventual departure and demise as can be made. And if they can put the Iraqi population between themselves and us, we've seen repeated occasions that they're willing to do that -- in fact, this regime has shown that it will go to just about any extent to protect themselves -- that's what we believe we're seeing out there.
The reality is, though, as the regime is removed, as the boot is removed from the neck of the people, they are very satisfied. Some of the films we've shown you demonstrate that. The recent examples of military operations, supported by tribals and people in Iraq, demonstrates that. So, we're very comfortable that we're headed in the right direction in that regard. We always regret the loss of life of any civilians on the battlefield, but that unfortunately is something that still has not been eliminated from war.
The second part of your question, as to countries of origin, there are a variety of countries that over years have provided military equipment or other things to the Iraqi regime. We're quite aware of that. There are not surprises in that regard. I don't want to list them out at this point -- I don't think it would be valuable -- but there aren't any surprises as to what we're finding out there in different places in the battlefield.
Q Yes sir, Tom Mintier with CNN. We saw pictures of the psychological operations in Basra where in the middle of the night loudspeakers were being played into the city. I've also heard that new leaflets may be soon prepared to deal with the checkpoint problem. How can you get the word out to the Iraqi population to try to prevent them from being used in front of forces that are combative?
GEN. BROOKS: First, we again have a variety of methods in place to try to communicate with the Iraqi population. I mentioned that we have five different radio frequencies that are ongoing 24 hours a day. We cover all of Iraq. We have one television station that's ongoing. The U.K. has begun broadcasting on a new radio station from southern Iraq. We have leaflets that we drop. Everything we can do to inform the population of what they should do to protect themselves we're trying to do. As we see a need to make adjustment, we'll adjust messages to make that as clear as we can as well. The most important message, though, is that the regime will continue to put them at risk on a daily basis, and they should do what they can to protect themselves from the regime and those risks that come on a daily basis. And we'll do what we can to protect them also.
Let me come to the left side, please.
Q Hi General. Jeff Schaeffer (sp), Associated Press Television News. I have two questions for you. The first question is a follow-up on that question. I'd like to know, with all of the psych-ops that you've been doing since the war started, before -- leaflets, e-mails -- why do you -- why have there not been more high-level defections from the regime? That's one question. The second question I have is every day we hear from this podium that the command and control sites have been eroded, have been degraded. Can you just, in laymen's terms, spell out a bit what are the tangible consequences of this?
GEN. BROOKS: Okay. Let me start with the second question first. When we say we are eroding the command and control, in general terms what that means is if we are aware of a particular system that is used to communicate, that joins telephone with other transmissions, a network that moves information to the Iraqi regime forces, to different areas, to different Ba'ath Party headquarters, and we have awareness of that, we may seek to sever those links. And we have a variety of methods to do that. When we know that there is a facility that houses those who make decisions, those who would issue instructions, we may target that. When we know that there is something that generates power information, we may attack only a portion of that, the amount necessary to turn the power off so that it can't produce something. So, it's a very deliberate process, without getting too much more specific, that we go through to analyze what will have the intended effect on the regime.
Now, this -- this regime is very effective at building redundancies, but redundant means are not as good as primary means, and so where we can cause a loss of a primary means, the beginning of a redundant mean, the loss of another redundant means, into secondary, tertiary, quaternary means, the regime loses its effectiveness. That's what we mean by that description.
Now, let's go back to the first question. If you could just reiterate a portion of it for me.
Q Yes. I would like to know, with all of the e-mails, all of the psych-ops, leaflets, why do you feel there hasn't been more high-level Iraqi defections from the regime?
GEN. BROOKS: Because the regime won't let them. I mean, the regime is still present in many areas, and it is the regime and the brutality of the regime that keeps many people from taking the steps that they would like to take. As they have pressures brought against the regime, they're more willing to take those steps. You have to understand that this is a very high-risk proposition for military leaders who would decide they're not going to fight for the regime, or civilians that would rise up against the regime. There is tremendous danger in that, and they know that. There is also tremendous success occurring, and they know that as well.
So, the boldness is increasing in military leaders, and we do have a number of military leaders that are in our possession either by way of capture or by way of surrender, and we also now know many things from the population that we're encountering.
So, we think that the work is ongoing and effective. We don't overestimate our ability to have the population just walk out towards us without any danger. We recognize the danger they're under and we're deliberate and patient about how we're going to get the job done.
Q Adi Rival (ph), ABC News. The report on the ground today in reference to the checkpoint incident said that U.S. officials offered financial compensation to some of the relatives and family members of the victims. Is that now official government policy and military policy, to offer financial compensation to family members and victims of possible accidental attacks or something along the lines that happened yesterday, or it up to the discretion of the commanding officer? Thank you.
GEN. BROOKS: Really, a variety of options that are available out there. In some cases, we can make, when we believe it's appropriate, down to the lowest levels, there's immediate compensations that can be made to families. That can happen. And we do that all over the world, not just here where we're in combat operations. And that's at the commander's discretion, to decide whether there is some immediate compensation that just says we're sorry, that we can do.
Beyond that, there are policy and legal considerations that are undertaken, and those are really not appropriate for this command to be able to discuss. I'd refer that back to Washington.
Q Peter Graff (sp) from Reuters. In today's New York Times, there's two divisional commanders from the first Gulf War -- General McCaffrey and General Griffith -- who both say that if they were planning this war, they would have wanted to bring two to three more armored divisions and more artillery. And here's General McCaffrey. He says, "Their assumptions were wrong. They went into battle with a plan that put a huge air and sea force into action with an unbalanced ground combat force." Now, you guys keep saying that the plan, as it stands now, is sound and effective, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be better.
Wouldn't it be easier for you guys if you had two or three more divisions in Kuwait who were already ready to roll instead of where we stand now, waiting for them, with the weather getting hotter and the guys at the front line under the pressures of combat without that reassurance of a couple of divisions at their back?
GEN. BROOKS: Well, I think General Franks has been very clear that we're comfortable with the forces that were made available. The timing to start the operation was something under his consideration and his control. He's liked with his boss as to what the conditions should have been before we started operations. We have the forces that we need to do the work that's been designed in this operation to date and the operation that's ahead, and we remain comfortable in that regard. And I know that there are variety of opinions out there -- those are fair -- but only this command is prosecuting the war at this time.
Q James Forlong (sp) from Sky News. Do you accept, given the footage that we saw today of the hearts and minds operations going on, the immense damage to that that incurs when incidents such as this checkpoint shooting take place? And do you also accept that a contributory factor to that may be that U.S. forces on the ground simply don't have enough experience of this sort of policing operation within an area like this?
GEN. BROOKS: Well, I don't accept the second part. I think we have considerable experience on that, and throughout the coalition there is experience. Many of the forces that are out there have conducted operations throughout the Balkans and other areas over the last several years, so we're not at all unfamiliar with the types of threats that would come in what seems to be a benign environment but really is not. In this case, we know it's not a benign environment. We know it's a very threatening environment. And we also know that we're dealing with a regime that will push civilians out in front, that will push babies out in front, that will shoot women in the back on bridges. We know that we're dealing with that. And so I think that there's an awareness of it.
There is certainly a challenge when one looks at those types of events in isolation compared to a single point of successful winning hearts and minds, as you described. That's not the whole scope of the picture, and we should always consider that there's much more work happening throughout a variety of areas than these isolated incidents that occur out there that are under investigation. And that's the best way for us to determine it.
The first part of your question -- would you please repeat that?
Q You've answered the first -- that was the immense, the sort of damage this does in a general sense to the operation intended to persuade people that this is a force of liberation rather than an occupying army.
GEN. BROOKS: Okay. It indeed is a force that will liberate, and our efforts may result in the loss of lives, civilian, and they clearly will result in the loss of Iraqi military lives, and that's no -- there's no doubt about that. While we regret the loss of any civilian lives, at this point they remain unavoidable, as they have been throughout history.
Q Danelle Balfour , CTV News, Canada. You were saying about this information that you're getting from the locals, help from the local you to Ba'ath Party interests, that you've got senior military from the Republican Guard. Is any of that information coming in leading you to sites of weapons of mass destruction or even indicating that weapons of mass destruction exist in Iraq?
GEN. BROOKS: Information comes in and we use it in a variety of ways. There have been some cases where we've captured leaders that had information about a particular ammunition storage depot. We have entered those depots and looked inside of them.
In some cases we did not find weapons of mass destruction. We found thousands of rounds of artillery, some of which were very old. We found a variety of other things as well, like some of the examples of what's been found in hospitals, the N-B-C protective equipment.
Where we find information at the tactical level, we seek opportunities. Where the opportunities take us, there may be new information. And that's how the picture begins to unfold. At this point we have not found any weapons of mass destruction, but we continue to find evidence that it is available, that there is a will to use it. And we certainly have seen that historically.
But we haven't found the actual items themselves. We'll continue looking for it very patiently. That's one of the objectives of this operation, to begin the disarmament and ultimately lead to the final disarmament of Iraq. And that work will take time and will take a patient effort as we go along.
Let me go to the front row again, please.
Q (Inaudible) -- Al Jazeera. Regarding the situation in Najaf and Karbala, did you give any special -- (inaudible) -- to coalition forces not to destroy mosques and Islamic buildings and Islamic historic buildings?
And second question: Media -- (inaudible) -- expressed deep concern about the way many reporters are being treated by coalition forces. What's your comment, General?
GEN. BROOKS: We are very aware of the religious sites in a number of areas, but certainly in Karbala and Najaf very aware of that indeed. And our forces seek to reduce, minimize or avoid damage to religious sites, cultural sites.
We've seen the regime be far less willing to protect those, as I've shown you on a number of occasions, positioning military equipment in some cases beside mosques, deliberately doing so, and putting those at risk. At this point we find ourselves far more sensitive to those concerns than the regime is, and we will remain that way as we conduct our operations.
The second part, referencing Doctors Without Borders and the reported treatment of reporters, we have not gotten negative reports about the treatment of reporters, especially those that are embedded with our organizations. It's working very well, probably better than we expected, and perhaps better than even the media organizations themselves expected. So I certainly don't support any comment about negative treatment in this case.
Q (Inaudible.) Can you be more specific about the Republican Guard and how coalition air strikes have damaged their capabilities? And what percentage of the Republican Guard would have to be taken out before U.S.-coalition forces are willing to go into Baghdad?
GEN. BROOKS: Well, I'll answer the question a little bit differently than the way you asked it, because that would be a bit too specific if I answered it directly. But let me say this. Republican Guard forces, we know, are the primary conventional structure of the Iraqi regime. We expect them to fight. And in some cases they've already fought.
We also know that they're reinforced in some cases by regime death squads, by Ba'athist loyalists who are ensuring that they fought.
In any military operation, we seek to create conditions of advantage, and that comes by way of making a vulnerable spot inside of an organization, reducing its strength, seeking a position of advantage. All these things are part of the military art form.
The Republican Guard forces that we're aware of, we are doing a number of things to. And that includes reducing their strength, preventing their ability to command and control their forces, seeking positions of advantage. That's the way we approach our operations.
I won't describe how far we've taken them or at what point we believe they would be at the greatest disadvantage. But our operations will continue until we're satisfied with that, and we'll attack at a time and place of our choosing.
Q Are you seeing any moves on the part of the Republican Guard forces that would indicate they have any practical communications with their command and control or that they have any good intelligence about where the U.S. forces are positioning themselves?
GEN. BROOKS: We are seeing some movements of Republican Guard forces, mostly either repositioning for survivability within defensive areas or, in some cases, reinforcement by other units from different areas. That may well be coming as a result of the damage that we've inflicted upon those forces, or they may be choosing a different tactical set.
We have a good awareness at this point in time of what is being done physically on the ground. I don't know that the Republican Guard forces command has the same awareness of what we're doing. They certainly are aware of the contact that they've had, and they're aware of the pressures that are being brought to bear on them. But what their picture is, I don't know.
We certainly try to, as much as possible, including in even these sessions, preserve the operational security of future operations. We don't discuss them, and we also don't reveal them to our opponent in any way that we can try to avoid that.
We're comfortable with the position we're in at this point in time with regard to the Republican Guard forces command. And we believe that when the fight is joined, we'll be in good condition for the operation.
Q Hello, General. Kelly O'Donnell from NBC News. Could you speak to the effectiveness of the suicide bomb attacks? Four soldiers, four Marines, were killed on Saturday. In just a couple of days, more than twice the number of innocent civilians, unarmed civilians, died.
Can you speak to how that is affecting U.S. troops from the concern of their own potential to be harmed and their concern to potentially harm civilians? One of the people who was reported on the ground in one of these incidents said, "I thought it was a suicide bomber." Can you speak to that?
GEN. BROOKS: Well, I can say that first, as I mentioned yesterday, in isolation, any one of these events does not have tactical significance. It may have an impact at that particular place where the detonation occurs, as in the case that resulted in the loss of life. But tactically it doesn't change the battlefield.
Psychologically there can be impacts, and the impacts would generally be an increased awareness. Because we know the regime is using a specific set of tactics, we take those tactics into account. And whether that's how they're using their artillery, whether they're flying airplanes or not, or whether they're pushing human shields out in front of their formations, these are tactical decisions that are being made by the regime.
I can't speak for the view of people up on the line. I suspect that from my own experience they would have a heightened awareness to it and anticipate that everything that approaches could potentially be a threat. If things before had not been considered so, now it's very clear the regime will do about anything. And so there should be no surprises on the battlefield.
Our forces that are out there are disciplined. They're well-trained. They're experienced. And they will react at the right place and time, based on what they know on the ground when the circumstances occur. And we have to rely on that first.
I don't accept that there's an increasing number. I accept that there may be some increasing reports, but I don't know that it's an increasing number. We certainly know that there's an increasing willingness on the part of the regime to use more and more civilians. And these are not civilian men. I think those have already been pressed into service somewhere else. We talked about that before. These are women and children. And they're on the battlefield we know that.
Q May I just follow up quickly? Are you suggesting -- (inaudible) -- were, in fact, human shields and not simply mistaken or unaware that they needed to stop? Are you saying they were specifically used as human shields?
GEN. BROOKS: In this case, I don't know enough to be able to say that. I can't make that judgment. I know that we've seen those types of circumstances in other parts of the battlefield. The investigation has to reveal what the real circumstances were in this case.
Q John Broder (sp) with the New York Times. You mentioned in your opening remarks that you had captured an Iraqi general. Can you tell us who, when, where, and what he's told you so far?
GEN. BROOKS: No, I can't tell you all that. What I can tell you is he's an Iraqi general that had some information about tactical dispositions. We're using that information, and advantage will come to us as a result of that. When is within the last 48 hours I'll put it in that general set. Where I will not describe.
Q (Inaudible.) Back to the tragic incident in Najaf, we're hearing reports from (the ground?) that the soldier manning the checkpoint was late in firing the warning shot. Can you comment on that, please?
And secondly, we are also hearing reports that in the north the U.S. has been arming some of the militia, the Kurdish militia. Are we going to see in the north a front similar to (what happened?) in Afghanistan? Thank you.
GEN. BROOKS: Let me start with the second part of the question, if I may. We have coalition Special Operations forces throughout Iraq at this point in time. And it should come as no surprise that some of those coalition Special Operations forces are working closely with Kurdish groups in the north.
At this point there have been no unilateral Kurdish actions, and we don't anticipate that there will be. In fact, we have a fairly high degree of stability that's occurring in the north as a result, we believe, of our presence and the close cooperation that's ongoing.
We have moved coalition forces into spaces that have been evacuated by parts of the Iraqi regime in some of their defensive positions, simply to maintain contact so we can continue to attack them. That is ongoing.
The first part of your question, if you would go back there, please.
Q (Inaudible) -- soldier manning the checkpoint was late in firing the warning shot and may have led the civilian -- (inaudible) -- the checkpoint.
GEN. BROOKS: Again, I don't know enough about the specific circumstances and wouldn't want to predispose anything that actually happened on that checkpoint. There are rules of engagement. There are tactical decisions that are made on the ground. We have to investigate those thoroughly to find out exactly what the contributing circumstances were.
Q (Inaudible.) Again on the checkpoint killings, how can you explain the discrepancy between what CENTCOM said about seven people dying and what eyewitnesses said about 10 people dying?
GEN. BROOKS: I think it's probably easily accounted for as just the fog of war. We've seen reports throughout this war and every other war in human history, and even things less violent and confusing than war, that initial reports are often wrong and it requires subsequent investigation, examination and review before you can come up with a final answer. And that's the way we approach these things.
I would not try to square the two of them. We'll find the ultimate truth when it's at the end of the course of examination, not at the beginning.
Q (Inaudible) -- Time Magazine. You mentioned in your opening statement that 100 local men helped with the U.S. attack, 100 tribal men. Can you tell us how that came about, how long it took to have them come on your side and help you? And did you arm them?
GEN. BROOKS: We've operated in a variety of areas, including in close contact with tribal leaders and tribal members. This alludes to a bit of our approach. And I don't want to get too specific about the tactics we use or when we make contact or how that would occur, since people go into harm's way to make that happen.
What I would say is where we can find an access point or find someone who is interested in contacting us, we'll pursue that. And when we have the opportunity to take a greater advantage, that becomes the next step.
In this case, I don't know whether they were armed or not. I honestly don't know the answer to that question. The key is, their will contributed to the successes last night. And we think we're going to see a whole lot more of those in the coming days. It's beginning to show up in a variety of areas.
As I mentioned before, as the regime is pushed back, peeled back or destroyed, people are seeking freedom for themselves. And we're going to assist that as it goes along.
Q (Inaudible) -- from the Los Angeles Times. Two questions. You mentioned at the beginning -- I think you said Fifth Corps captured a death-squad training camp. What does that mean, death-squad training camp? Who was using this training camp?
And second, you've mentioned a couple of times your informational radio broadcasts being heard across Iraq. Does that include Baghdad? And the same for your television broadcasts.
GEN. BROOKS: The training area is one we suspected had been used by these outfits we're calling regime death squads, where they receive some military training. It was captured by one of the Fifth Corps divisions as it moved through that area. It was in the vicinity of An Najaf.
They were successful in taking that area and bringing it under control. There was a small battle that occurred there. We don't know if it was with those death-squad forces or others who were still operating in the area.
GEN. BROOKS: The paramilitaries. We've used a variety of terms to describe them, but that's who we're talking about in this case.
And the second half of your question was?
GEN. BROOKS: You asked whether or not we were reaching Baghdad. Yes, we are reaching Baghdad. And we are able to cover all of Iraq with our broadcasts at this point, particular radio broadcasts. We've also extended the range of our television broadcasts that come in on Iraqi channel number 3. That's ongoing right now. And so we do have very good coverage to try to get as much information out as we can to the Iraqi population.
We also remain in a position to talk to the Iraqi military forces. And as I mentioned, some of the enemy prisoners of war have said that it (was accessible?) and is very popular.
Okay, right behind her, please.
Q Thank you, sir. (Inaudible.) When you show us these impressive satellite footage and video clips, you probably want us to believe that, A, your bombs are accurate B, you do not target civilians. If that is really the case, I'm just wondering, how can you explain the death of between 500 to 700 civilian Iraqis and injuring many more thousands? And how do you find this consistent with Geneva Convention?
And when you use those villagers to carry out weapons and munition outside the house in order to destroy it, how (moral?) you find this?
GEN. BROOKS: Well, first, again, our approach has been and will continue to be one that tries to minimize the impact on civilian populations and other structures that we don't intend to affect. We are very satisfied with the precision of the work that has been undertaken thus far.
The numbers that you've provided, I cannot account for. I don't know the source of those numbers and I don't know what the veracity of those numbers would be. There are clearly deaths that have occurred on the battlefield.
That will continue to occur, unfortunately, because it's a result of combat action. It's also a result of decisions being made by the Iraqi regime to use civilians as shields. This is a certainty. We've seen it in too many places to think of it as circumstantial.
Because that's the case, there are probably some numbers of deaths on the battlefield, but our view is the blood is on the hands of the regime for their decisions and their willingness to use their population this way.
As to the morality of having people carry weapons and ammunition outside of a hospital inside their town, I think I would have to go back to the original circumstances that brought them in there in the first place. If there's a question of morality, it really should go back to the regime, not those who seek to rid the regime from their towns and villages.
Q (Inaudible) -- National Public Radio. I believe the BBC was quoting a number between 500 to 700 civilian casualties. I'd like to actually come off of that question and ask, given that there have been under 100 casualties amongst American and allied troops, that provides a ratio of about five to one.
And if, as CENTCOM officials have been saying, allied troops are prepared to pay a heavy price in taking Baghdad, what does that say about the total number of civilian casualties we'll be willing to accept in order to win this war? Will it be a high number?
And if I can have a follow-up question, when can we have the results of the investigation into the attack or the bombing on the marketplace, and also the investigation at the checkpoint shooting yesterday? Can we have a date on that?
GEN. BROOKS: Well, I can't give you a date. I mean, it takes as long as it takes. And it ought to be thorough. We're not going to waste time with them, but we are going to be thorough about the work that's being done.
Let me ask you to just restate the first question. I want to make sure I address it the right way.
Q Just a question about the level of civilian casualties that you'd be willing to accept, since it's been about a five-to-one kill ratio if you look at the number of allied casualties to civilians killed, according to -- well, it was on the BBC web site this morning -- what that will mean if we have to expend a lot of troops in taking Baghdad, for instance. Will this five-to-one ratio continue?
GEN. BROOKS: We don't make a ratio like what you've described. I mean, you can join any set of numbers together and create a ratio, but that's certainly not part of the calculus we have in designing the plan.
Our designs are to minimize the casualties to civilians as much as we can. We'd like to see that be zero. That is not something that's ever been achieved in warfare. We believe that our efforts have driven it as low as it has ever been driven in warfare.
I cannot account for the other circumstances of the battlefield, where people have been taken out and shot. We have plenty of reports that indicate that in towns and villages, Ba'athist Party members, regime death squads, paramilitaries, whatever term you want to use, are threatening people. And, if they don't do what they're told to do, they're being shot on the spot. Some of them are being hanged.
You had the story of the woman who was hanged for waving at coalition forces. These are numbers that should be rolled up also. They have nothing to do with coalition action.
I think the number is something we can't get our hands around, but it's a number that the Iraqi regime has a pretty good grip. They're contributing a tremendous portion of this number, whatever it happens to be.
We remain convinced that our efforts are effective. We will remain focused on trying to drive those numbers down wherever we can, when it's in our power to prevent any damage. And that's the approach we're going to take.
As to the whole number and the willingness to shed blood for the objectives, in this case we also try to protect our forces who are doing our work. We want to drive the number of our own casualties down to zero as well. The objective is what we seek, not death.
Q Martha Brant with Newsweek Magazine. A couple of days ago there were reports that POWs have possibly been executed. There were bodies found in a mortuary. A team was going to go investigate it. I wonder if you have a report back from them yet. And along those lines, there were also reports of possible torture of American POWs. Is there anything more you have on that?
GEN. BROOKS: Well, I think you all saw the brutal and unacceptable films that were shown early on after the initial capture apparently occurred. There are, as with many things, reports on the battlefield of remains that have been found. And when we have those reports, we send out a mortuary affairs team.
And if there's a suspicion there may be more to it, we may also send out a mobile exploitation team that has a bit more capability to examine the circumstances at that scene. That has occurred. Their results have not come in yet. We're still looking for those to find what their final assessment is of what they found.
We do know that there is some confusion in the reports, and we have to be patient to find out what that final word is to make a determination who it might be, whether they were U.S. service members or not, and what the circumstances were associated with the remains that were found.
Q (Inaudible) -- USA Today. U.S. troops made an extraordinarily quick journey to Baghdad. The troops moved very quickly, and U.S. troops chose not to secure some cities, such as An Nasiriyah. And now they seem to be in position near Baghdad, but the attack on Baghdad hasn't occurred. So my question would be, what was the rush to move so quickly through the country without securing supply lines and such?
GEN. BROOKS: Well, General Franks has described that we sometimes do operations sequentially. Sometimes we do them simultaneously. In the case of the initial base of the operation, we had a very rapid movement that happened outside of towns to get into a position that began to threaten the Republican Guard forces command and continues to threaten the Republican Guard forces command without being hung up, if you will, in some of the deliberate work that's necessary to clear a town from any threats that are inside of it.
That's deliberate work that requires patience, requires skill, the kind of skill you're seeing exhibited in Basra, in Nasiriyah, in other areas ongoing. It also is best done in this case with the support of the people who are in it.
And so, rather than going sequentially, town by town, and all the things that might come along with such an approach, we moved more quickly to a position where we can threaten the regime, attack the regime in-depth, and deal with the circumstances in those towns under a manner of our choosing, by the plan, by design.
You're seeing that occurring even as we speak. And we believe it remains a very effective plan for how to get the job done, while minimizing losses to our forces and also while minimizing loss of civilians that might be inside of those towns.
Q (Inaudible) -- Irish Times. Sorry.
GEN. BROOKS: You're first.
Q Okay. Just two-part question. Can you give us any idea, subject to your operational considerations, of what are the rules or guidelines for what must be an almost unprecedented situation of young soldiers dealing with cars which may be innocent or may be containing suicide bombers or may be fronting for suicide bombers?
And secondly, since this could be described as a policing operation, perhaps not, have you given any consideration to the use of non-lethal force, since there are a variety of other means available? Stun guns, tear gas, et cetera.
GEN. BROOKS: Well, we give consideration to a lot of things as we design our operations. And I don't know that I would characterize this as a policing action at this point. This is still very clearly conventional combat happening there's unconventional warfare ongoing there are traditional strategic strikes ongoing. The entire spectrum of warfare is engaged as we continue our operations, and we're prepared to deal with those things.
We use a number of means also to try to prevent the rising to lethal force. Some of the options you described are not necessarily in place here, whether you're talking about stun guns or other traditional policing options, but that doesn't force us to go straight to lethal means. So things like a tactical psychological operations team putting out a broadcast and giving instructions to stop is a method of a non-lethal action. Putting out protective wire to increase the distance between where physical contact would occur is a non-lethal means of trying to prevent the opportunity of going to a lethal step.
So those are part and parcel to what we're doing in our operations. Whenever we have the circumstance that requires us to respond with force, we seek to do it in a way that's proportional to the threat that occurs and also that is controlled and disciplined. And that only comes by way of having a force that's well trained, that's well led and that's very capable. And we remain comfortable that we have that force out there on the battlefield right now.
GEN. BROOKS: One more, please.
Q Nicole Enfield (ph) from the Associated Press. Just to follow up on that last bit, are you saying that there have been, since this increased vigilance at checkpoints as a result of the suicide bombing, have there been specific leaflets, broadcasts put out in Iraq saying, "You must stop at checkpoints. Don't go fast." Are there these wires out there? Were they out at Najaf?
And related, if indeed this is a new tactic of the Iraqis to use these human shields to rush the checkpoints, don't you guys also have to maybe recalibrate the way you deal with it, not just increasing your vigilance, but, okay, assuming we're going to get human shields coming at us, maybe we have to not pull the trigger as fast as we might have if it is just a basic suicide bomber. You say you try to avoid targeting human shields when you know that they're surrounding a weapons factory, why can you be -- recalibrate your increased vigilance if you know now that human shields are going to be used at checkpoints?
GEN. BROOKS: Let me start with the second -- second part of the question. The activities that happen out on the ground are results of the dynamics of battle as they occur around the forces that are in contact. There are a number of decisions that are made that only the people on the ground can make, and they're the only ones who can know. I think increased vigilance causes one to go through a process of thinking what do we need to do to make sure we can accomplish our mission, protect the force and do it in a way that's consistent with the approach that we sought out undertaking from the beginning and even to the present. So there are always recalibrations -- to use a term that you described, and that term is fine -- recalibrations of our approach on a daily basis, all tactical aspects.
Now, to go to the first part of the specifics about the checkpoints and those sorts of things, I can't give you -- I don't know. What I would say is those are the approaches that a military organization would take to consider, how do you increase your separation? How do you provide more protection? Those types of things are ongoing.
I think our investigation will determine what the specific circumstances were on each one of these incidents that have occurred.
Q Just to follow up then. So isn't it possible that perhaps these people who might have been fleeing Najaf, where there was a lot of fighting yesterday, might not have been around to listen to the radio to hear that they were supposed to stop at a checkpoint? Might they be afraid and trying to get out quickly, because behind them, there's a lot of fighting? I mean, how effective are these communication efforts in the middle of a war when people are afraid?
GEN. BROOKS: It's a very fair question. I certainly can't presuppose what decisions are being made or what decisions were made by the people in that vehicle. What we do know is that we've been broadcasting now for a good period of time, since about the 17th of February, 24 hours a day on five different frequencies. And consistent throughout that time have been messages that say, "Avoid coalition troops. Avoid the places where combat is going to occur. Don't position equipment near protected sites, things that should be sacred to you culturally, religiously." These types of messages have been consistent throughout. We don't need to change that message. That message still remains. And so it's not something new that's required.
The degree of threat being imposed upon the civilian population here is extraordinary, and I think is not well accounted for. Yes, people are scared. No doubt about it. And people are also bold. And they're becoming bolder by the day, as they see the successes of the coalition, as they see the regime getting pealed back, as they begin to take action on their own.
Were these fleeing? I don't know. I think we can't say, and we may never be able to say. Would there be some trying to flee on the battlefield? Perhaps there will be and perhaps there have been. We've not seen large flows of numbers of displaced persons internally displaced from their homes to other places. They've been very, very small. And we think that has to do at least partially with the message that we've communicated, that it's better to stay, and we'll be there soon, and that hope will come and there will be liberation.
A Guide to U.S. Military Casualty Statistics: Operation Inherent Resolve, Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom
This report presents statistics regarding U.S. military casualties in the active missions Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR, Iraq and Syria) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF, Afghanistan), as well as operations that have ended, Operation New Dawn (OND, Iraq) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF, Iraq). This report includes statistics on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), amputations, evacuations, and the demographics of casualties.
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