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Archives: July 2007

July
31st

Tillman transcript

The Department of Defense published a transcript here of Tuesday morning’s news conference at the Pentagon with Secretary of the Army Pete Geren.


The headlines are all about the fallout for retired Lt. Gen. Philip Kensinger, former head of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. But Geren also covered the disciplinary action that followed for Lt. Col. Jeff Bailey, the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment commander at the time of Tillman’s death. (Bailey has since been promoted to colonel and is assigned to the staff at the XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, N.C.)


Geren said the

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July
31st

Fort Lewis and Washington deaths in Iraq by month

The news services are all reporting for tomorrow’s editions that the 74 U.S. deaths in Iraq in July are the lowest monthly total since last November, and a steep dropoff after tough losses in April, May and June. The stories cite figures maintained at the independent iCasualties.org web site.


The chart above covers only service members from Fort Lewis or from elsewhere in Washington, who likewise have experienced a dramatic decline in combat deaths after the worst two months of the war, from a local perspective. These figures are compiled

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July
31st

More from Baqouba




Soldiers from A Company of the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment crash out on the roof of a house in Baqouba in this photo taken Saturday. McClatchy’s Mike Drummond, who was embedded with the company for several days last week, said the soldiers told the occupants of the home to leave for a few days while the troops conducted combat patrols in the neighborhood

Photo: Mike Drummond/Charlotte Observer



McClatchy’s Mike Drummond and Hussein Khalifa have a ground-level report from

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July
31st

Terrorism in the Philippines

The New York Times carried a brief item about a new Human Rights Watch report that says since 2000, more people have been killed and wounded in terrorist attacks in the Philippines than anywhere else in Southeast Asia.


The Times said “the number of dead and wounded exceeded the number of casualties in terrorist attacks in Indonesia, Morocco, Spain, Turkey or Britain in the same period.”


The local connection: the 1st Special Forces Group from Fort Lewis has sent teams there over the years to train the Philippine military in counterinsurgency tactics. A 1st Group

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July
30th

The fleet’s in










USS Bunker Hill at Portland’s Rose Festival USS Rentz, also on the Willamette in Portland

We don’t normally do much about the Navy on this blog but it’s Seafair week up in Seattle and if you’re interested, they’re having public tours of a number of U.S. vessels.


They include the guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill, the guided-missile fast frigate USS Rentz, and the amphibious transport dock

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July
27th

Rodeo A Go-Go

If you didn’t get enough of the Air Mobility Rodeo 2007 this week out at McChord, fear not: The Air Force has put up a ton of stuff about it on the Air Mobility Command web site.


There’s the story about the twin brothers competing on different teams. There’s a story about the McChord airmen working behind the scenes to keep the communications running, and one about the umpires who score the precision landing competition by getting out on the runway and feeling for hotspots where the rubber met the road.


And best of

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July
27th

Matt Green update

Another item that arrived while I was gone: Another installment from Baghdad by Lt. Col. Matt Green, a former Fort Lewis officer who is leading a team of advisers to an Iraqi police brigade.

There’s a sting in the tail of this one.

July 4, 2007

I sat with two other U.S. lieutenant colonels, a major, Staff Sgt. P and a terp along one side of a very long conference table in a cavernous hall on the second floor of the Iraqi Parliament building. Brig. Gen. Bahaa and his staff rounded out our team. On the far side of the table a collection of Iraqi deputy ministers of this-or-that waited patiently for the meeting to begin. About 18 hours prior BG Bahaa had been summoned to meet with one of two deputy prime ministers, Mr Salih Zorbea, on the topic of the Haifa Street project, and to "bring his Americans along with him." Our full colonel brigade commander was home on leave, so our small band was dutifully playing backup to Brig. Gen. Bahaa in an engagement that was significantly above our pay grade.

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July
27th

If someone you care about is in Iraq, root for these guys

Iraq plays next-door rivals Saudi Arabia early Sunday in the final of the Asian Cup, the continent’s premier international soccer competition.


The Iraqis are as crazy about football as people anywhere else on the planet. And it’s hard to imagine any country more in need of a lift.


Iraq has a rich footballing tradition and the team brought joy to the country with an unexpected run of success at the Athens Olympics in 2004, before falling to Italy 1-0 in the Bronze Medal match.


But this is

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