Archive: 2009

March 25, 2009

'T-walls' come down in Samarra

FOB BRASSFIELD-MORA (March 26, 2009) — Scores of Samarra citizens joined provincial and community leaders March 23 as concrete barriers were removed during a ceremony reminiscent of the opening of the Berlin wall nearly 20 years ago. The concrete barriers, commonly known as T-walls, surround several government and military buildings throughout Samarra to provide a layer of protection against insurgent attacks. While T-walls have become a familiar site in Iraq, they are a sign of more dangerous times, and most citizens agree it’s time for them to go.

March 24, 2009

President: Terrorist threat 'not going away'

WASHINGTON, March 24, 2009 – The threat of terrorist attacks from al-Qaida and their affiliates “is not a threat that’s going away,” President Barack Obama said today at the White House. “We have to take it seriously.”

March 23, 2009

Iraq drawdown will reduce stress on forces

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2009 – The force drawdown in Iraq, even in light of increased troop strength in Afghanistan, will enable the military to build more dwell time into deployment cycles, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday.

March 23, 2009

President: Afghan mission critical to U.S. security

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2009 — President Barack Obama called his decision to send an additional 17,000 troops to Afghanistan the toughest so far in his presidency, but said last night the mission there is critical to protecting the United States and its interests.

March 22, 2009

Incoming troops likely to see initial rise in violence in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (March 20, 2009) – The number of attacks in Afghanistan is likely to rise with the influx of additional U.S. forces there, an International Security Assistance Force commander said Friday.

March 19, 2009

Six years into Operation Iraqi Freedom, future looking bright

WASHINGTON (March 19, 2009) – Prospects for the Iraqi people “get better every day,” with the Iraqis now solving their problems “politically, and not with guns,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said yesterday as Operation Iraqi Freedom marks its sixth anniversary.

March 18, 2009

Tarmiyah detainee release offers fresh start

TARMIYAH, Iraq (March 18, 2009) — A big, blue bus rolled to a stop here, and Shaman Abdul Hadi stepped off with 15 other men. Hadi, who hadn’t been to Tarmiyah or seen his family for 17 months, was ready for a fresh start. The group returned home thanks to a detainee release facilitated by the 1st Battalion, 111th Infantry Regiment, 56th Stryker “Independence” Brigade Combat Team. As Coalition forces implement the Security Agreement, Hadi and many others are getting another chance to rejoin their communities.

March 18, 2009

General: War in Afghanistan 'absolutely winnable'

WASHINGTON (March 18, 2009) – The operation in Afghanistan “is absolutely winnable and will be won,” the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan said yesterday on PBS’s “Jim Lehrer Newshour.” But winning, Army Gen. David D. McKiernan stressed, will take more than military might.

March 12, 2009

Afghan women celebrate culture, achievements

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (March 12, 2009) – More than 100 Afghan women and girls celebrated their accomplishments and culture during an International Women’s Day celebration March 8 in the Bazarak district of Afghanistan’s Panjshir province.

March 10, 2009

Gates: U.S. won't allow Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2009 – As the United States reviews its strategy in Afghanistan, one thing is certain: The United States won’t let the Taliban threaten the Afghan government and re-establish safe havens there, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said on National Public Radio yesterday.