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18 December 2003 Military News

Operations
Defense Policy / Programs
Defense Industry
Other Conflicts
News Reports

Current Operations

  • OIF/OEF Casualty Update 18 Dec 2003 [PDF]

  • Transcript: Coalition Provisional Authority Briefing 18 Dec 2003 -- Participating was Brig Gen. Mark Kimmitt, Deputy Director for Operations and Daniel Senor, Senior CPA Adviser
  • PENTAGON / WEAPONS HUNT VOA 18 Dec 2003 -- The head of the U-S team hunting for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq may be leaving his position. But military and intelligence officials insist the search for Iraqi chemical and biological weapons, while so far unsuccessful, still remains a top priority.
  • Iraq: With Hussein In Custody, Questions Persist About Who's Behind Insurgency RFE/RL 18 Dec 2003 -- The 13 December capture of deposed President Saddam Hussein does not seem to have resulted in any meaningful cessation of attacks against U.S. troops. The U.S. military says some prominent members of the former government still at large might be organizing the attacks. Forty-two suspects on the U.S. list of the 55 most-wanted Iraqis have been captured or killed, but 13 remain at large. However, analysts doubt that former officials have enough authority or influence to lead a guerrilla war.
  • Screaming Eagles Passing Along Knowledge to Successors AFPS 18 Dec 2003 -- The soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division here are working to give their follow-on unit -- a multinational division -- a head start, division commander Army Maj. Gen. David H. Petraeus said Dec. 17.
  • 1ST ARMORED DIVISION PALADIN BATTALION FIRES QUALIFICATION GUNNERY IN BAGHDAD V Corps Release 18 Dec 2003-- The 4th Battalion, 1st Field Artillery Regiment of Task Force 1st Armored Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team - the U.S.-based brigade of V Corps' 1st Armored Division - is finishing up its semiannual gunnery certification here this week.

  • Afghan Farmers Receive Seeds and Fertilizer for 2004 Harvest Washington File 18 Dec 2003 -- The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has distributed high quality wheat seeds and fertilizer to about 60,000 Afghan families for the 2004 planting season.
  • Myers Touts Afghanistan's Economic, Governmental Progress AFPS 18 Dec 2003 -- Afghanistan is advancing on the security front, but now there is visible proof of advances on the economic and governmental fronts, said Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers during a press conference here today.
  • AFGHANISTAN U-S VOA 18 Dec 2003 -- Top U-S military officer General Richard Myers says if accused terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden is still alive, U-S troops will capture him as they did Iraq's Saddam Hussein.
  • RFE/RL Afghanistan Report, Vol 2, Number 43 18 Dec 2003 -- AFGHANISTAN'S CONSTITUTIONAL LOYA JIRGA CONVENES / CONSTITUTIONAL LOYA JIRGA OPENS... / ...WHILE KARZAI URGES QUICK AGREEMENT ON CONSTITUTION... / ...AND DEFENDS DEMAND FOR PRESIDENTIAL AUTHORITY... / ...AS GENDER DISPUTE THREATENS ASSEMBLY FROM ITS OUTSET... / ...LEAVING FEMALE DELEGATES FEELING DISENFRANCHISED... / ...ONE OF WHOM IS EJECTED AFTER CHARGING THAT EX-MUJAHEDIN ARE 'CRIMINALS'... / ...AND MUJAHEDIN LEADER OBJECTS TO SECULARISM AND PRESIDENTIAL SYSTEM. / CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY OPTS FOR COMMITTEE DEBATE. / KARZAI CONGRATULATES U.S. ON CAPTURE OF HUSSEIN... / ...WHILE HIS SPOKESMAN SAYS IT 'OVERSHADOWED' LANDMARK DAY FOR AFGHANS. / U.S. RENEWS ATTACKS IN SOUTHERN, EASTERN AFGHANISTAN... / ...WHICH IS AIMED AT PROTECTING CONSTITUTIONAL LOYA JIRGA... / ...AND RESULTS IN DEATH OF NINE CHILDREN... / ...AS ANOTHER SIX CHILDREN, TWO ADULTS ARE KILLED IN SEPARATE U.S. AIR STRIKE... / ...PROMPTING UN TO CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION... / ...AND RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT U.S. STRATEGY, INTELLIGENCE. / U.S. REPORTEDLY KILLS SIX AFGHAN FIGHTERS IN GUN BATTLE. / SUSPECTED TERRORISTS ARRESTED. / MILITANTS KILL UN WORKER IN FARAH PROVINCE. / COMMANDER SAYS NEO-TALIBAN KILLED PAKISTANI... / ...AS TWO INDIAN WORKERS ABDUCTED IN ZABUL... / ...AND COMMANDER VOWS TO EXECUTE THEM. / UN REFUGEE AGENCY PUTS OFF RETURN TO BORDER AREA. / WEST SAID TO BE NEGOTIATING WITH WARLORD... / ...WHO REMAINS DEFIANT AND APPEALS FOR HOLY WAR. / BIN LADEN REPORTEDLY CUTS TALIBAN AID. / NORTHERN WARLORD QUESTIONS DISARMAMENT POLICY. / TURKEY TO PROVIDE NATO WITH HELICOPTERS FOR AFGHANISTAN... / ...WHILE LATVIA EXTENDS PEACEKEEPING MISSION. / UN HEAD BACKS PLANS FOR SECOND BONN CONFERENCE ON FUTURE AFGHAN SUPPORT... / 1.5 MILLION GIRLS STILL NOT IN SCHOOL. / AFGHAN, PAKISTANI, TURKMEN OFFICIALS CONTINUE GAS-PIPELINE PLANNING. / TRAIN ROUTE PLANNED. / FIRST PHASE OF KABUL-KANDAHAR HIGHWAY PROJECT DECLARED OVER. / THIS WEEK IN AFGHANISTAN'S HISTORY

Defense Policy / Programs

  • State Department Noon Briefing, December 18, 2003 Washington File 18 Dec 2003 -- Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, Israel/Palestinians, Pakistan, Powell's medical condition

  • Javits: Chemical Weapons Possessors Have Much Destruction Work Ahead Washington File 18 Dec 2003 -- The head of the U.S. delegation to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague says there should be "a continued push" for universal adherence to the 1997 convention banning chemical weapons.
  • Wolfowitz: World Must Act Against Proliferation Trafficking Washington File 18 Dec 2003 -- Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz says the need to interdict the global trade in materials required for weapons of mass destruction (WMD) "has never been greater."

  • Defense Counsel Assigned to Salim Ahmed Hamdan 18 Dec 2003 -- The Department of Defense announced today that Guantanamo detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan of Yemen has been assigned a military defense counsel. Although he has not been charged, Hamdan is one of six detainees President Bush determined to be subject to his military order of November 13, 2001. Military commission rules require that a detailed defense counsel be available to an accused sufficiently in advance of trial to prepare a defense.
  • Navy Announces Ohio Class SSGN Conversion Contract Award 18 Dec 2003 -- General Dynamics Electric Boat Corp. (GD/EB) is being awarded a cost plus incentive fee contract worth $222 million for the conversion of the first Ohio Class Guided Missile Submarine (SSGN), USS Ohio (SSGN 726), and for Long Lead Time Material (LLTM) and Conversion Installation Planning for the Conversion of Ohio Class Ballistic Missile Submarines (SSBNs), the USS Michigan (SSBN 727) and the USS Georgia (SSBN 729), to SSGN 727 and SSGN 729.
  • VIRTUAL REALITY ENHANCES SUBMARINE TRAINING SUBPAC Release 18 Dec 2003-- .--"This is excellent and unique training," said Lt. Cmdr Ed Fernandez, executive officer (XO) of USS Henry M. Jackson (SSBN-730 Blue) about the new Virtual Environment for Submarine Ship Handling Trainer (VESUB) located at Trident Training Facility (TTF) Bangor, Wash. Ship traffic and varying environmental conditions make the waterway and harbor piloting of surfaced submarines extremely demanding, according to Cmdr. Wade Schmidt, TTF combat systems training department director. "This new trainer will improve the quality and realism of crew training in this aspect of submarine operations."
  • JFK Rescue at Sea - With a Twist Navy Newsstand 18 Dec 2003-- A search and rescue swimmer aboard USS John F. Kennedy found out firsthand how it feels to be rescued Dec. 14, when a wave knocked him out of a rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) during a man-overboard drill.
  • 'Ace of Spades; squadron departs Iwakuni Marine Corps News 18 Dec 2003-- On Dec 15, Marine Attack Squadron 231, the Ace of Spades, flew out for the last time from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni. The AV-8B Harrier II Squadron deployed to the Station six months ago and has accumulated a significant amount of experience.
  • Greyhawks reach 40,000 mishap-free flight hours Marine Corps News 18 Dec 2003-- While preparing for a possible redeployment in support of the war in Iraq, Marines of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 161, Grey-hawks, made their mark in squadron history by surpassing the 40,000 mishap-free flight hours mark recently during a training exercise in Indiana Springs, Nev.

Defense Industry

Other Conflicts

  • Combating terrorism, we have no choice People's Daily 18 Dec 2003 -- China's Ministry of Public Security Monday issued a list of the first batch of identified "Eastern Turkistan" terrorist organizations and 11 members of the groups.
  • BUSH MIDEAST VOA 18 Dec 2003 -- The White House says it rejects any unilateral moves by Israel to impose a Middle East peace solution that circumvents the international peace plan known as the road map. The comments followed some tough talk from Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
  • ISRAEL / SHARON VOA 18 Dec 2003 -- Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, warns he will unilaterally cut his country off from the Palestinians if they do not start working towards peace soon. He says he intends to complete the construction of a controversial security barrier in the West Bank to help facilitate a policy of separation.
  • ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS VOA 18 Dec 2003 -- Israeli troops have shot dead four armed Palestinian militants during gun-battles in the northern West Bank. The fighting erupted during an Israeli raid Thursday in search of wanted Palestinians.

  • WAR CRIMES / SENTENCE VOA 18 Dec 2003 -- A Bosnian Serb prison camp commander who admitted to murdering and torturing Muslims under his watch has been sentenced to 23 years in prison by war crimes judges in The Hague. The tribunal found the crimes of Dragon Nikolic, who pleaded guilty earlier this year, worthy of a life sentence. But the judges reduced his punishment because of his confession and remorse.

  • DR of Congo: UN force commander offers upbeat assessment at tour's end UN News Centre 18 Dec 2003 -- The peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the work of the United Nations mission (MONUC) there have made good progress, Force Commander General Mountaga Diallo said today as he wound up his nearly four-year tour of duty.
  • DRC: Belgium offers to assist in drafting of constitution IRIN 18 Dec 2003 -- The Belgian Parliament has offered its assistance to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in its drafting of a future national constitution, Belgian Senate President Armand De Decker told IRIN on Wednesday in Brussels, following a four-day mission to the Congolese capital, Kinshasa.
  • Security Council welcomes Turkish Cypriots' desire for solution to Cyprus problem UN News Centre 18 Dec 2003 -- Security Council members today welcomed the fact that the majority of Turkish Cypriots have expressed their desire for a solution to the Cyprus problem and for accession to the European Union.
  • More international troops and equipment needed in Liberia - UN report UN News Centre 18 Dec 2003 -- Inadequate support for peacekeeping in Liberia could hamper future missions in Africa, Secretary-General Kofi Annan warns in a new report, urging countries to make good on their pledges of soldiers and support units.
  • SOMALIA / PEACE TALKS / REFUGEES VOA 18 Dec 2003 -- The end to Somalia's civil war appears as distant as ever, despite more than a year of talks in neighboring Kenya to find a formula for peace. The one group yearning for peace the most, but excluded from the process altogether, are the nearly 140 thousand Somali refugees living in squalor in Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp. Cathy Majtenyi went there and found plenty of despair and cynicism, but little hope for peace.
  • INDONESIA / ACEH TORTURE VOA 18 Dec 2003 -- A U-S based human rights group has accused Indonesia's security forces of gross abuses in the country's separatist northern province of Aceh (Ah-chay). As Tim Johnston reports from Jakarta, Indonesia has severely restricted access to the province, making it all but impossible to get a clear picture of what is going on.
  • BHUTAN / INDIA VOA 18 Dec 2003 -- Bhutan's military has reportedly killed at least 90 Indian separatists in the three days since launching an offensive to force the militants out of the kingdom. V-O-A's Patricia Nunan reports from New Delhi, where Indian officials are supporting Bhutan's campaign to flush out the militants.
  • IVORY COAST / REBELS VOA 18 Dec 2003 -- The United Nations mission in Ivory Coast has called on rebels to end a three-month boycott of the power-sharing government. The call was made as tensions ease between the military and the rebels, but a peace deal signed in January remains unfulfilled.
  • CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Leaders set up vigilante groups to restore security in the east IRIN 18 Dec 2003 -- Leaders in the Central African Republic (CAR) eastern province of Haute Kotto have set up village vigilante groups in a bid to restore security in the province frequently attacked by highway robbers, cattle rustlers and poachers, state-owned Radio Centrafrique reported on Wednesday.
  • ETHIOPIA: Peacekeepers off to Liberia IRIN 18 Dec 2003 -- Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi saw off 1,800 peacekeepers on Wednesday who are being deployed to war-torn Liberia.
  • ERITREA-ETHIOPIA: Boundary commission scaling down staff IRIN 18 Dec 2003 -- An independent boundary commission set up to rule on the frontier between Ethiopia and Eritrea has begun scaling down staff, the UN said on Thursday.
  • GREAT LAKES: US Labor Dept lends support to combat use of child soldiers IRIN 18 Dec 2003 -- US Labor Secretary Elaine Chao on Wednesday launched a multi-million dollar project in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), to end the recruitment and support the rehabilitation of child soldiers in the Great Lakes region of Africa, the US Department of Labor reported.
  • WEST AFRICA: ECOWAS summit focuses on conflict in West Africa IRIN 18 Dec 2003 -- West African leaders will focus on efforts to resolve a string of conflicts in the region when they meet in the Ghanaian capital Accra for their annual summit on Friday. They are also expected confirm Ghanaian President John Kufuor as chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for a further year.
  • COMOROS: Mbeki to mediate in dispute IRIN 18 Dec 2003 -- South African President Thabo Mbeki is to lead an African Union (AU) delegation to Comoros on Saturday to help break a deadlock between political leaders in the Indian Ocean archipelago.
  • ANGOLA: Six killed in mine blast IRIN 18 Dec 2003 -- Six CARE International workers were killed when a landmine exploded under their vehicle, the development and relief organisation said on Thursday.

News Reports

  • SHAPE News Morning Update SHAPE 18 Dec 2003 -- Czech government to lease 14 JAS-39 Gripen jet fighters / Afghan constitutional council embroiled in controversy, marred by angry sparring / Iraq Governing Council starts work on war crimes tribunal / U.S. and allies to hold six anti-proliferation exercises / U.S. circulates resolution aimed at preventing terrorists from getting weapons of mass destruction / Gulf Arab summit to focus on fighting terror / President Bush takes new step to create military tribunals
  • SHAPE News Summary & Analysis SHAPE 18 Dec 2003 -- Lord Robertson in parting shot over Afghan force / Lord Robertson recommends Iraq deployment / Czech Parliament votes to send military unit to Iraq / Defense Chief: nonalignment cuts Sweden's influence in EU security cooperation Commentary advocates Austrian membership of NATO
  • NASA's Newest Space Observatory Is Renamed Lockheed Martin 18 Dec 2003 -- NASA has renamed the Space Infrared Telescope Facility, its newest space observatory, for the late astronomer Dr. Lyman Spitzer, Jr.. The official name is now the Spitzer Space Telescope. The Spitzer Space Telescope program is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA's Office of Space Science in Washington D.C. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. In concert with the renaming, NASA also released the first scientific images from the Spitzer telescope.
  • ZIMBABWE: Mbeki visits Mugabe IRIN 18 Dec 2003 -- South African President Thabo Mbeki arrived in Zimbabwe on Thursday for talks with his counterpart Robert Mugabe on the country's political and economic crisis.
  • MADAGASCAR: Trial of ex-PM must be fair, Amnesty International IRIN 18 Dec 2003 -- Rights group Amnesty International (AI) has voiced concern over the soon to be held trial of Madagascar's ex-prime minister Tantely Andrianaivo.
  • MAURITANIA: Haidalla trial in confusion, explosives stolen IRIN 18 Dec 2003 -- After a two-day suspension, the treason trial of former Mauritanian president Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla and 14 co-defendants, resumed on Thursday morning in the capital Nouakchott, only to be suspended again in the early afternoon.



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