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15 December 2003 Military News

Defense Policy / Programs
Defense Industry
Other Conflicts
News Reports

Current Operations

  • OIF/OEF Casualty Update 15 Dec 2003 [PDF]

  • TF "ALL AMERICAN" CONDUCTS OPERATION PANTHER BACKROADS CENTCOM Release 15 Dec 2003-- The 82d Airborne Division and attached units, also known as Task Force "All American," continued security operations to improve safety within the Al Anbar Province.
  • U.S., IRAQI LEADERS GATHER FOR TELECOM SUMMIT CENTCOM Release 15 Dec 2003-- Leaders throughout northern Iraq assembled in Mosul Saturday morning to discuss the progress in telecommunication made between the joint efforts of Coalition Forces and Iraqi citizens, and to develop a regional strategy for the next phase of communications.
  • 'Task Force All American' Continues Security Operations in Anbar AFPS 15 Dec 2003 -- The Army's 82nd Airborne Division and attached units, known collectively as "Task Force All American," is enjoying increased cooperation with the Iraqi people as the task force continues security operations to improve safety within the Anbar Province, according to U.S. Central Command officials.
  • Iraq: Hussein's Capture Not Likely To End Attacks On U.S., Allied Targets RFE/RL 15 Dec 2003 -- Leaders in Iraq and the United States are calling the capture of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein a turning point in their efforts to reestablish security in the country. But at the same time, many stress that Hussein appeared disoriented when caught, the result of being on the run for months. That makes it unclear to what extent Hussein led or inspired guerrillas fighting U.S. forces and to what extent they operate independently of him.
  • NEW TACTICS IN IRAQ VOA 15 Dec 2003 -- Saddam Hussein has been captured and may furnish crucial details on an insurgency that has so far been hard to identify while continuing its attacks on coalition forces and their Iraqi allies. Americans have been stepping up their own attacks with harsher tactics that may weaken the insurgency but at the cost perhaps of alienating Iraqis caught up in the violence a dilemma of occupation.
  • IRAQ/BLASTS VOA 15 Dec 2003 -- Several car bombs have exploded in and near Baghdad, killing at least 10 people and wounding many more. The blasts come as Iraqis are still coming to grips with news of Saddam Hussein's capture, and they indicate that the resistance to the U-S-led occupation is far from over.
  • Iraq: Two Attacks In Iraq Kill At Least 10 People RFE/RL 15 Dec 2003 -- A suicide bombing and a bomb explosion at two separate police stations in and near Baghdad killed today at least 10 people and injured several others.
  • Karzai Calls For Unity Ahead of Afghan Constitution Debate Washington File 15 Dec 2003 -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai opened the Loya Jirga (Grand Assembly) debate on the country's draft constitution December 14, calling upon the assembled delegates to approve the document "in an atmosphere of national unity."
  • Afghanistan: Assembly Continues Talks On Constitution In Kabul RFE/RL 15 Dec 2003 -- Afghanistan's Loya Jirga, or grand assembly, is continuing debate today over a new constitution that will pave the way for democratic elections in June.
  • AFGHANISTAN LOYA JIRGA VOA 15 Dec 2003 -- The head of Afghanistan's constitutional assembly says the country should seek a more moderate form of Islam, rather than the strict interpretation of the country's former Taleban rulers. V-O-A's Michael Kitchen reports from Kabul on the latest developments as Afghans decide on a new form of government.
  • AFGHANISTAN: Historic Loya Jirga meets to debate constitution IRIN 15 Dec 2003 -- Patriotic songs calling for unity by a choir of traditionally dressed Afghan children from the nation's component ethnic groups marked the launch on Sunday of the historic Loya Jirga, or Grand Assembly, bringing together 500 representatives, ranging from conservative, illiterate clerics to Western-educated exiles, to debate a post-conflict constitution.

Defense Policy / Programs

  • Governor Howard Dean, MD : Fulfilling the Promise of America: Meeting The Security Challenges of the New Century -- The Pacific Council, Los Angeles, California, December 15, 2003 --- Let me be clear: My position on the war has not changed. The difficulties and tragedies we have faced in Iraq show that the administration launched the war in the wrong way, at the wrong time, with inadequate planning, insufficient help, and at unbelievable cost. An administration prepared to work with others in true partnership might have been able, if it found no alternative to Saddam's ouster, to then rebuild Iraq with far less cost and risk. The capture of Saddam is a good thing which I hope very much will help keep our soldiers safer. But the capture of Saddam has not made America safer.

  • State Department Briefing, December 15, 2003 Washington File 15 Dec 2003 -- Department, Iraq, North Korea, China, Cyprus, Burma, Canada, Israel/Palestinians, Venezuela

  • USS Eisenhower Refueling and Complex Overhaul Contract Announced 15 Dec 2003 -- The Department of Defense announced today that the Navy and Northrop Grumman Newport News (NGNN) have successfully renegotiated a modification to the refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) contract for the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69).
  • USS Gonzalez Begins Visit to Bar, Serbia and Montenegro Navy Newsstand 15 Dec 2003-- The U.S. guided-missile destroyer USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) arrived here Dec. 15 for a goodwill port visit. Along with the ship, Adm. Gregory Johnson, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, is visiting Podgorica and Bar to meet with several political and military leaders.
  • Marines tackle cold, rain to complete training exercise Marine Corps News 15 Dec 2003-- From the day the Marines stepped out into the field, the rain started and it seemed like it would never stop. Although the cold and rain seemed unbearable, the 180 Marines of T Battery, 5th Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment currently attached to 3/12, 3rd Marine Division on the Unit Deployment Program, pressed on with their training during an Artillery Relocation exercise here.
  • Airmen react to Hussein's capture AFPN 15 Dec 2003-- There was cautious enthusiasm here the afternoon of Dec. 14 when rumors began floating that Saddam Hussein, the Ace of Spades in the "55 Most Wanted" deck of cards, might have been captured.
  • Proceedings delayed for translator AFPN 15 Dec 2003-- The military judge appointed to preside over the court-martial case involving an Air Force translator has been delayed.
  • Airmen rescue shrimp boat crew AFPN 15 Dec 2003-- Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing rescued two crewmembers of a sunken shrimping vessel Dec. 10.

Defense Industry

Other Conflicts

  • Security Council updates measures to protect civilians caught in war UN News Centre 15 Dec 2003 -- Seeking to protect innocents caught and even targeted during armed conflict, the United Nations Security Council today updated a list of steps to shield women, children, refugees and other civilians from the ravages of war.
  • MIDDLE EAST: UN DECISION, GENEVA ACCORD SPARK 'UNILATERAL' OFFER US Dept. of State IIP, Foreign media Reaction 15 Dec 2003
  • PALESTINIAN TALKS VOA 15 Dec 2003 -- Egyptian mediators are attempting to revive talks among Palestinian factions with hopes of securing a possible cease-fire with Israel. Several Palestinian factions are preparing to meet for the second time this month to discuss ending their attacks against Israel
  • ISRAEL/PALESTINIANS VOA 15 Dec 2003 -- Israeli troops shot and killed two unarmed Palestinians as they approached a security fence in the Gaza Strip in an apparent bid to enter into Israel. The continuing violence follows efforts by visiting American envoy David Satterfield to try to revivie stalled peace efforts.
  • ISRAEL / PALESTINIANS / SADDAM VOA 15 Dec 2003 -- Israeli officials have expressed joy and relief over the capture of Saddam Hussein, while for many Palestinians the news was gloomy.
  • MILOSEVIC/CLARK VOA 15 Dec 2003 -- Presidential hopeful Wesley Clark is in The Hague testifying at the war crimes trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. In two days of closed testimony, General Clark is expected to be questioned about the period when he was commander of NATO forces, during the alliance's 1999 bombing campaign against Yugoslavia.
  • Yugoslavia: Former NATO Commander Clark Testifies In Milosevic Trial RFE/RL 15 Dec 2003 -- Retired U.S. General Wesley Clark testified today in the war crimes trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Clark commanded NATO during its war to halt Serbian forces' campaign of ethnic cleansing targeting Kosovar Albanians in 1999. He also negotiated directly with Milosevic in attempting to head off that war. Clark is extraordinarily well-placed to answer a central question in Milosevic's trial: How much command control did Milosevic exert over Serbian forces in Kosovo?

  • Time will be needed for new political dispensation after Turkish Cypriot voting - Annan UN News Centre 15 Dec 2003 -- Reacting to reports of the Turkish Cypriot voting, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said it appeared that it might take some time for a new "political dispensation" to be established.
  • U.S. Statement on Turkish Cypriot Election Results Washington File 15 Dec 2003 -- The Turkish Cypriot election December 14 expressed the people's "desire for a comprehensive Cyprus settlement that will enable them to join the EU next May 1 alongside Greek Cypriots," said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher. "This vote advances the cause of peace on Cyprus."
  • Cyprus: Vote Dashes Hope Of Quick Reunification Deal RFE/RL 15 Dec 2003 -- Hopes of a quick reunification deal in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus were dashed yesterday after elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus ended in a deadlock, with EU-hopeful opposition parties and nationalist pro-government forces gaining an equal number of seats in parliament. Analysts believe the outcome comes as a reprieve to Turkey, where political forces remain divided over the Cyprus issue.
  • CYPRUS/ELECTIONS VOA 15 Dec 2003 -- Veteran Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash says the results of parliamentary elections in Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus shows that his people are in favor of joining the European Union. But Mr. Denktash adds that the outcome of Sunday's ballot also indicated that Turkish Cypriots are not prepared to make peace at any cost with fellow Greek islanders.

  • LIBERIA/DISARMAMENT VOA 15 Dec 2003 -- U-N peacekeepers in Liberia are suspending a disarmament program for one month to better organize the process. Many Liberians are worried about this delay.
  • LIBERIA: UN disarmament programme suspended till late January IRIN 15 Dec 2003 -- The United Nations will suspend its campaign to disarm the warring factions in Liberia until late January, when it hopes to have more peacekeeping troops on the ground, the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) has said.
  • SUDAN: Feature - Displacement in Darfur IRIN 15 Dec 2003 -- Intisar is 12 years old. She has never been to school. She used to live peacefully on a farm with her mother and 14 siblings in rural Kass, southern Darfur, but then nomad militias arrived and started grazing their camels on her family’s land.
  • SUDAN: Darfur MPs urge international intervention IRIN 15 Dec 2003 -- Members of Sudan's National Assembly from Darfur have appealed for international intervention to stop killings and displacement in the region.
  • SUDAN: Progress at peace talks IRIN 15 Dec 2003 -- Sudanese peace talks on Monday moved closer to an agreement to end the country's 20-year civil war, although doubts remained over its viability because of ongoing fighting in the west of the country.
  • Sierra Leone: UN mission steps up border patrols against infiltration from Liberia UN News Centre 15 Dec 2003 -- The United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) has stepped up around-the-clock air, land and river patrols along the West African country's borders with Guinea and Liberia to prevent illegal infiltration resulting from efforts to disarm former combatants in Liberia's civil wars.
  • Ethiopia, Eritrea agree in principle on UN plan to improve handling of border incidents UN News Centre 15 Dec 2003 -- Military officials from Ethiopia and Eritrea have agreed in principle to a United Nations proposal to improve the handling of border incidents, the UN mission in the area said today.
  • BURUNDI/LANDMINES VOA 15 Dec 2003 -- One of Burundi's major rebel groups, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy, says it has renounced the use of landmines.The group says its pledge to support a total ban on anti-personnel mines will take effect a few weeks after the signing of a peace agreement in Dar es Salaam with the Burundian government.
  • Russia: Chechen Separatists Take Hostages In Daghestan RFE/RL 15 Dec 2003 -- The office of the Russian Interior Ministry in the southern republic of Daghestan says a group of armed Chechen separatists appears to have eluded pursuit of military and border-guard units and has taken several hostages.
  • SOMALIA: Leaders reject expanded retreat IRIN 15 Dec 2003 -- Members of the Somali leaders' committee attending peace talks in Kenya say they will reject the expansion of a proposed retreat for Somali leaders, one of the leaders told IRIN on Monday.
  • DRC-RWANDA: 300 refugees return from South Kivu IRIN 15 Dec 2003 -- Some 300 Rwandan refugees, among them nine former combatants, have returned from the from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), state-owned Radio Rwanda reported on Sunday.
  • COTE D'IVOIRE: Military tension eases, but no disarmament yet IRIN 15 Dec 2003 -- The government army and rebel forces occupying the north of Cote d'Ivoire began dismantling some checkpoints at the weekend and withdrawing their heavy artillery from the frontline.
  • ANGOLA: US lifts travel ban on UNITA IRIN 15 Dec 2003 -- UNITA leader Isaias Samakuva on Monday welcomed an official announcement by the United States that lifts a five-year travel ban on members of the former rebel group.

News Reports

  • SHAPE News Morning Update SHAPE 15 Dec 2003 -- Bowing to the U.S., the EU adopts watered-down defence plan / German defence minister says U.S. has long-term plans to close several bases in Germany / Saddam Hussein captured hiding in hole near Tikrit / German minister says U.S. troops in Iraq ill-prepared / President Karzai seeks strong powers at key Afghan assembly / Georgian battalion graduates from U.S. anti-terrorism training
  • SHAPE News Summary & Analysis SHAPE 15 Dec 2003 -- Lord Robertson says Saddam's capture will stabilize Iraq / British envoy backs greater NATO role in Iraq / French defense minister: Hard to find fresh forces for Afghanistan / Hungary to send 16-member contingent to Afghanistan / Missile fired toward peacekeepers' base in Kabul / Negotiations on European Constitution collapse / NATO offers contribution to 2004 Olympics security operation
  • U-S / BURMA TALKS VOA 15 Dec 2003 -- The United States has given a tentative welcome to a reported commitment by Burmese military authorities to allow the party of detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to take part in a national political convention next year. The State Department says reconciliation should begin with the release of Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi and others held by the junta.
  • BURMA / THAILAND TALKS VOA 15 Dec 2003 -- Thailand's foreign minister says the one-day international meeting with Burma has been more successful than expected. Burma's foreign minister outlined plans for a democratic transition in meetings with diplomats from 11 countries and the United Nations.
  • ETHIOPIA: Chinese premier urges greater understanding of Africa IRIN 15 Dec 2003 -- Chinese premier Wen Jiabao on Monday warned of the threat to global order from poverty, diseases like HIV/AIDS and western political dominance.
  • ETHIOPIA: Interview with Chinese ambassador Ai Ping IRIN 15 Dec 2003 -- As a major China-Africa summit aimed at further boosting relations opens in Addis Ababa, the Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia Ai Ping tells IRIN that developing countries must support each other to strengthen their global voice.
  • MAURITANIA: Haidalla trial suspended indefinitely IRIN 15 Dec 2003 -- A Mauritanian judge suspended indefinitely the trial of opposition leader Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla on Monday after the state prosecutor failed to produce key witnesses who were due to testify that Ould Haidalla and 14 of his supporters had plotted to overthrow President Maaouiya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya.
  • Joseph Weiss, General Manager MBT Space Division at IAI: "AMOS 2 Communications Satellite is Additional Proof of IAI's Technological Abilities and to its Well-Respected Place in the Elite Group of Developers and Manufacturers of Satellites Worldwide" Israel Aerospace Industries 15 Dec 2003 -- On the occasion of the upcoming launch of the AMOS 2 communications satellite, manufactured by Israel Aircraft Israel (IAI), a press conference was held today (December 15, 2003) by the owner of the satellite,Spacecom Company.
  • ILS LAUNCH OF UFO F11 DELAYED Lockheed Martin 15 Dec 2003 -- Tonight's launch attempt of an Atlas III rocket with the Navy's UFO F11 satellite was scrubbed because a temperature measurement was below limit on a piece of ground support equipment.
  • CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: New premier forms government, Goumba appointed VP IRIN 15 Dec 2003 -- Newly appointed Central African Republic (CAR) Prime Minister Celestin Le Roi Gaoumbale has formed a new transitional government to replace the one of Abel Goumba who was dismissed on Thursday and has since been appointed Vice-President, the minister for communication and government spokesman, Parfait Mbay, announced on Friday on state-owned Radio Centrafrique.

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