Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Troops in Anbar Prepare for Iraqi Election

"As U.S. troops in western Iraq help to prepare for national elections in January, an American commander in the former insurgent hotbed of Anbar province said any potential uptick in violence is unlikely to derail the balloting.

For the past two weeks, some of the 5,000 troops of the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade, under the command of Army Col. Mark Stammer, have been working alongside Iraqi counterparts in Anbar to secure positions and checkpoints for the election."

“Iraqi security forces are well under way for their preparations,” Stammer told Pentagon reporters. “We don't anticipate any real spikes in violence that could derail the elections in Anbar province at this time.”Referring to a recent spate of terrorist attacks in the province, including the slaying this week of a Sunni politician and 12 other men in what appears to be a strike by al-Qaida in Iraq, Stammer attributed the violence to separate groups sharing a desire to disrupt the election process.“These [are] disparate groups coming together for short-term common interests to achieve some measure of success in derailing the elections,” he said. “They have not been able to accomplish this to date, nor do I anticipate them being able to accomplish that.”

more... US Dept of Defense - Troops in Anbar Prepare for Iraqi Election:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The uneasy ride of Canada's tankers in Afghanistan

"The dust, the dirt, the attacks, the roadside bombs just part of a day's work for Edmontonbased Lord Strathcona's Horse as they go about their duties"
By Ryan Cormier, Edmonton JournalNovember 8, 2009

In the land of guns that is Afghanistan, members of the Edmonton-based Lord Strathcona's Horse have the biggest ones around.
For six sweltering months, the 82 Edmontonbased soldiers of C Squadron operated the only tanks in southern Afghanistan. On bomb-littered roads absent of any traffic rules, the Strathcona's drove their 70-tonne machines on nearly 250 missions.
Their tanks were damaged with hidden bombs numerous times, with three major incidents, severely injuring two soldiers, but they suffered no casualties during the entire tour."

more... The uneasy ride of Canada's tankers in Afghanistan: