Thomas R. Eddlem
The first U.S. soldier in Iraq has been killed since the withdrawal of the last “combat” brigade from the country on August 18, according to the Manchester (UK) Guardian. The death demonstrates that Americans will continue to fight and die in Iraq even though President Obama publicly announced “combat operations” have officially ended. The soldier was reportedly killed in a mortar attack on a U.S. air base in Basra, and the Pentagon has not yet released the name of the deceased. The Pentagon estimates that 52,000 U.S. Army soldiers and Marines remain in Iraq.
President Barack Obama announced “America’s combat mission in Iraq would end” in an August 2 address to the Disabled American Veterans, but the details of the announcement have revealed that American soldiers will continue to fight and die in Iraq for at least another 18 months, if not longer.
Federal officials charged the alleged source for the April Wikileaks video that exposed U.S. helicopter gunners committing war crimes in Baghdad in 2007, Pfc. Bradley Manning, with a variety of charges July 5. The New York Times reported that Manning has also been “charged with downloading more than 150,000 highly classified diplomatic cables that could, if made public, reveal the inner workings of American embassies around the world, the military here announced on Tuesday.”
President Obama renewed his call for a “Civilian Expeditionary Workforce” to supplement the efforts of soldiers in U.S. war-zones in Iraq and Afghanistan in a June 30, 2010 town meeting in Racine, Wisconsin. “So the military goes in there, they clear out everything, they’re making everything secure — and now the question is, all right, can we get the civilians to come in to work with the local governments to improve the situation. And a lot of times, that civilian side of it has been under-resourced.”
The Washington Times reported June 24 that dozens of U.S. citizen may be targets for assassination by the Obama administration. “There are, in my mind, dozens of U.S. persons who are in different parts of the world, and they are very concerning to us," John O. Brennan, Deputy White House National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, told the Washington Times June 24.
President Obama announced June 23 that he had “accepted the resignation” of Afghanistan theater commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal and will replace him with Gen. David Petraeus, who commanded the Bush-era “surge” in Iraq. The resignation was forced, essentially Washington-speak for “firing,” and a direct result of an interview McChrystal and his staff gave to Rolling Stone magazine. In that interview, McCrystal criticized President Obama as “unprepared” for their first meeting, said that U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry had “betrayed” him, and generally ridiculed Vice President Joe Biden.
Physicians for Human Rights filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) against the Central Intelligence Agency on June 9, claiming that the CIA violated federal law on "Human Subject Research and Experimentation."
The U.S. military suffered its 1,000th death of the Afghan war according to an Associated Press count May 27, when NATO reported a service member was killed by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan. The New York Times reported the 1,000th death back on May 19, as the Associated Press relied upon official government statistics that typically delay the certification of casualties.
U.S. torture tactics have endangered relations with Great Britain in the wake of a decision by a British court to release a summary of the torture of British citizen Binyam Muhamad. “Diplomats and security officials said Wednesday,” Reuters wire service reported February 11, that “intelligence ties between London and Washington have been jeopardized by a British court's disclosure that a terrorism suspect was beaten and shackled in U.S. custody.”
President Obama announced December 1 he would immediately begin deploying an additional 30,000 U.S. soldiers to Afghanistan, an escalation that would be complete by mid-2010 and begin a draw-down 18 months later.