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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

18 May 2004 - Iraq Special Weapons News

US Policy
United Nations
Reconstruction Issues
Foreign Reactions
News Reports

Current Operations


  • SECDEF Approves Iraq Deployment 18 May 2004 -- The secretary of defense has announced the decision to deploy the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division's approximately 3,600 service members in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The deployment is expected to start later this summer.

US Policy

  • Armitage, Wolfowitz Outline Strategies for Progress in Iraq Washington File 18 May 2004 -- Senators from the Committee on Foreign Relations pressed State Department and Defense Department officials for clarifications about the road ahead in Iraq during a May 18 hearing.
  • Military Court-Martial of U.S. Soldier Begins in Abu Ghraib Case Washington File 18 May 2004 -- The military court-martial of Army Reserve Specialist Jeremy Sivits is scheduled to open May 19 in Baghdad, and other Army Reservists are expected to face hearings in the Iraqi prisoner abuse case at Abu Ghraib prison west of Baghdad, says Army Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt.
  • IRAQ WRAP VOA 18 May 2004 -- Top Bush administration officials faced questions Tuesday from members of Congress who are concerned about the increasing violence in Iraq -- including what will happen once political power is handed back to Iraqis if, as U-S military commanders predict, the unrest only worsens. In Washington, Correspondent Nick Simeone reports more hearings on Iraq were held just as the first American charged with abusing Iraqi prisoners prepares to face a court martial.
  • CONGRESS / IRAQ VOA 18 May 2004 -- Bush administration officials Tuesday offered a U-S Senate panel few details about plans to transfer power from the U-S-led coalition in Iraq to the Iraqi people next month, to the concern and frustration of lawmakers.
  • IRAQ / U-S-CONTRACTORS VOA 18 May 2004 -- The first court-martial in the Iraqi prison abuse scandal is set to open Wednesday. A U-S Army soldier will be tried by a military court in Baghdad. But, as V-O-A correspondent Gary Thomas reports from Washington, the reported role of civilian contractors in the scandal could present the government with difficulties.
  • PENTAGON/CHALABI VOA 18 May 2004 -- The Pentagon has halted its monthly payments to the Iraqi National Congress, the group led by Ahmed Chalabi, the man once viewed by U-S defense officials as a potential post-war Iraqi leader.
  • Iraq Mission 'Must Stay on Course,' Senor Says AFPS 18 May 2004 -- Despite yesterday's killing of a senior Iraqi official, the U.S. remains resolved to see through the establishment of a democratic Iraq, the Coalition Provisional Authority's chief spokesman said in Baghdad today.
  • Armitage, Wolfowitz Discuss Way Ahead in Iraq AFPS 18 May 2004 -- The U.S. government is taking steps to be ready for the transition of sovereignty to Iraq on June 30, government officials told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today.
  • IRAQ / ABU GHRAIB PRISON VOA 18 May 2004 -- On Wednesday, the U-S military in Baghdad will begin the first in a series of military trials, or courts martial, of soldiers who are charged with abusing Iraqi inmates at the Abu Ghraib prison. The military has tightened procedures and improved living conditions for the inmates.

United Nations

Reconstruction Issues

  • Iraq Humanitarian and Reconstruction Assistance Updates USAID 18 May 2004 [PDF]
  • Baghdad Residents Discuss National Elections at Town Hall Meeting Washington File 18 May 2004 -- Baghdad residents gathered at a town hall meeting to learn about the electoral process envisioned for the country's planned national elections, to be held no later than January 2005.
  • Iraq: Governing Council Under Attack As Turnover Date Nears RFE/RL 18 May 2004 -- The assassination of the head of the Iraqi Governing Council has focused new attention on a body that is often said to have limited powers and popularity. How significant is the U.S.-appointed council, and why was it singled out for attack by insurgents now, just weeks before it is due to be dissolved?
  • Iraq: Contours Of Sovereignty Unclear As Handover Looms RFE/RL 18 May 2004 -- U.S. officials say the killing of the Iraqi Governing Council president will not deter plans for handing over sovereignty. But it remains unclear what that sovereignty will amount to, amid questions about control over security forces and development funds. The uncertainty may be cleared up by a new UN Security Council resolution. But for now, the confusion is delaying major commitments by key states to safeguard and support the next stage of Iraq's transition.
  • IRAQ: Briefing paper on health IRIN 18 May 2004

Foreign Reactions

  • Rafsanjani criticizes US one-sided policy towards Iraq IRNA 18 May 2004 -- Chairman of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani here Monday said one-sided policy adopted by Washington regarding Palestinian and Iraqi issues has resulted in lack of confidence of the World of Islam, particularly the Iraqi people, towards the US officials.
  • Kharrazi warns against negative effects of Iraqi crisis on region IRNA 18 May 2004 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi here Monday night, speaking of the current situation in Iraq as "very dangerous," warned of the negative effects it would have on the region.
  • Withdrawal of Decision on Troop Dispatch to Iraq Urged KCNA 18 May 2004 -- Barbarous and nasty manhandling of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. imperialist aggression troops are being disclosed in an unbroken chain these days, creating quite a stir in the international community.
  • RUSSIA / HOSTAGES VOA 18 May 2004 -- Two Russian engineers who spent a week in captivity in Iraq have been released. One is back in Moscow, but the other decided to remain in Baghdad, despite the Russian government's warnings the workers' lives in Iraq were in danger.

News Reports

  • Iraqi Media Monitoring UNAMI 18 May 2004
  • The Sarin-Laced Shell: Major Discovery Or A Curious Relic? RFE/RL 18 May 2004 -- The United States went to war with Iraq because, according to U.S. President George W. Bush, President Saddam Hussein refused to get rid of his weapons of mass destruction. More than 13 months after Hussein's downfall, no large stocks of these weapons have been found. But on 17 May the U.S. military announced that insurgents had used a roadside bomb containing a small amount of the deadly nerve gas sarin.
  • Chaotic conditions continue in holy cites of Karbala and Najaf IRNA 18 May 2004 -- IRNA reporters in Iraq`s two holiest cites, Karbala, and Najaf, reported the continuation of most chaotic conditions there during the daylight hours of Monday, and long after sunset.

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