Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Please Support CounterPunch’s Annual Fund Drive
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We only ask you once a year, but when we ask we mean it. So, please, help as much as you can. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

CIA Warning on Iraq Leaked as 1,000 US Soldier Killed in Action

On a cool, bright morning in central Iraq yesterday, an insurgent opened fire at a US patrol, killing one soldier, the 1,000th American soldier to die in combat in Iraq since the invasion last year.

A brief statement from US Central Command in Florida, said: “One Task Force Baghdad soldier died of wounds received at about 11.30am, Dec 7.” It added that his name was being withheld until his next of kin had been informed.

The death of the 1,000th US soldier in combat, as well as those who died in accidents, suicide or other means, underlines the increasingly precarious security situation as elections approach next month.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, said yesterday that he “cannot imagine” how the elections could take place on time. “Honestly speaking, I cannot imagine how it is possible to organise elections under conditions of total occupation by foreign forces,” Mr Putin said during a meeting at the Kremlin with Iyad Allawi, the interim Iraqi Prime Minister.

The New York Times published a classified memo from the CIA station chief in Baghdad, who said the situation was deteriorating and was likely to get worse, with more violence and sectarian clashes, unless there was a considerable improvement in the efforts of the interim Iraqi government to assert authority and build the economy.

It is not known whether the cable mentioned the actions of the US troops in adding to the violence and chaos, and the mounting civilian death toll. The American ambassador to Iraq, John Negroponte, is believed to have written a dissent to the report, objecting to one finding as being too harsh because the US had made more progress than was described in combating the insurgency.

But it is clear that the battle for Fallujah has failed to break the back of the resistance as some US generals predicted. Since the US invaded on 19 March 2003, it has shown itself effective against regular forces fighting in a conventional manner. Saddam Hussein’s elderly tanks and artillery were no match for US armour and airpower.

But the US military has shown itself vulnerable to guerrilla tactics when the enemy does not stand and fight. It has suffered heavy losses from simple but lethal devices such as the roadside bomb,

The military is also highly dependent on supply columns, with 3,000 vehicles in 250 convoys on the road every day, by one military estimate. These are frequently ambushed and protecting them eats up manpower. The 138,000 US troops in Iraq are to be increased to 150,000 for the election on 30 January.

The shortage of US troops meant Fallujah was never surrounded and many resistance fighters escaped. The US has been trying to train Iraqi government units but the only ones which show a willingness to fight have been Kurdish troops and, in some cases, Shia. This exacerbates sectarian tensions between the Sunni Muslims, who generally support the uprising, and the Kurdish and Shia communities.

Another sign of increasing sectarian tensions came yesterday when two churches in the northern city of Mosul were blown up by militants, injuring three people. In August, seven died in blasts in Baghdad and Mosul churches. Many Christians live in Mosul.

 

 

October 18, 2018
Erik Molvar
The Ten Big Lies of Traditional Western Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Lockheed and Loaded: How the Maker of Junk Fighters Like the F-22 and F-35 Came to Have Full-Spectrum Dominance Over the Defense Industry
Brian Platt – Brynn Roth
Black-Eyed Kids and Other Nightmares From the Suburbs
John W. Whitehead
You Want to Make America Great Again? Start by Making America Free Again
Lawrence Davidson
Israel’s “Psychological Obstacles to Peace”
Zhivko Illeieff
Why Can’t the Democrats Reach the Millennials?
Steve Kelly
Quiet, Please! The Latest Threat to the Big Wild
Manuel García, Jr.
The Inner Dimensions of Socialist Revolution
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ Over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Adam Parsons
A Global People’s Bailout for the Coming Crash
Binoy Kampmark
The Tyranny of Fashion: Shredding Banksy
Dean Baker
How Big is Big? Trump, the NYT and Foreign Aid
Vern Loomis
The Boofing of America
October 17, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
When Saudi Arabia’s Credibility is Damaged, So is America’s
John Steppling
Before the Law
Frank Stricker
Wages Rising? 
James McEnteer
Larry Summers Trips Out
Muhammad Othman
What You Can Do About the Saudi Atrocities in Yemen
Binoy Kampmark
Agents of Chaos: Trump, the Federal Reserve and Andrew Jackson
David N. Smith
George Orwell’s Message in a Bottle
Karen J. Greenberg
Justice Derailed: From Gitmo to Kavanaugh
John Feffer
Why is the Radical Right Still Winning?
Dan Corjescu
Green Tsunami in Bavaria?
Rohullah Naderi
Why Afghan Girls Are Out of School?
George Ochenski
You Have to Give Respect to Get Any, Mr. Trump
Cesar Chelala
Is China Winning the War for Africa?
Mel Gurtov
Getting Away with Murder
W. T. Whitney
Colombian Lawyer Diego Martinez Needs Solidarity Now
Dean Baker
Nothing to Brag About: Scott Walker’s Economic Record in Wisconsin:
October 16, 2018
Gregory Elich
Diplomatic Deadlock: Can U.S.-North Korea Diplomacy Survive Maximum Pressure?
Rob Seimetz
Talking About Death While In Decadence
Kent Paterson
Fifty Years of Mexican October
Robert Fantina
Trump, Iran and Sanctions
Greg Macdougall
Indigenous Suicide in Canada
Kenneth Surin
On Reading the Diaries of Tony Benn, Britain’s Greatest Labour Politician
Andrew Bacevich
Unsolicited Advice for an Undeclared Presidential Candidate: a Letter to Elizabeth Warren
Thomas Knapp
Facebook Meddles in the 2018 Midterm Elections
Muhammad Othman
Khashoggi and Demetracopoulos
Gerry Brown
Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics: How the US Weaponizes Them to Accuse  China of Debt Trap Diplomacy
Christian Ingo Lenz Dunker – Peter Lehman
The Brazilian Presidential Elections and “The Rules of The Game”
Robert Fisk
What a Forgotten Shipwreck in the Irish Sea Can Tell Us About Brexit
Martin Billheimer
Here Cochise Everywhere
David Swanson
Humanitarian Bombs
Dean Baker
The Federal Reserve is Not a Church
October 15, 2018
Rob Urie
Climate Crisis is Upon Us
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail