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Wednesday, August 3, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

U.S. report: Iraq 'less safe than 12 months ago'

WASHINGTON — The United States has deemed Iraq increasingly dangerous over the last year.


A government report determined that the security situation in Iraq was declining amid a wave of assassinations and Iranian-backed militia attacks. The report by the special inspector for Iraq reconstruction warned that up to 1,000 Al Qaida fighters remained in the country.

The special inspector-general asserted that the U.S. embassy in Baghdad refused to provide information for the latest report. This included figures on how many embassy staffers were involved in reconstruction projects in Iraq.

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"It [embassy] took an extremely circumscribed view," the report said.

"Iraq remains an extraordinarily dangerous place to work," Stuart Bowen, the special inspector-general, said. "It is less safe, in my judgment, than 12 months ago."

In a quarterly report for Congress released on July 30, Bowen said the U.S. military in Iraq was coming under Iranian-sponsored rocket strikes, particularly in Baghdad. The report said Al Qaida and other militias were targeting Iraq's energy infrastructure, Middle East Newsline reported.

"Notwithstanding these long-term trends, a series of mass-casualty attacks this quarter underscored the tenuous nature of the overall security situation," the report said.

The U.S. military has agreed with much of the data in the latest report. In June, 14 U.S. soldiers were killed in attack in Iraq, the bloodiest month since April 2009. Another five American troops died in July.

"Although much of the remaining violence continues to be the work of terrorist groups attempting to disrupt the GOI [government in Iraq], DoD [Department of Defense] reported that violent crimes — such as armed robberies, assassinations, and kidnappings — are exacerbated by easy access to arms and ammunition, noting that these violent activities are not always related to terrorism," the report said.

The report said insurgency groups were targeting Baghdad in 2011. Baghdad has absorbed more than three times the violence reported in Kirkuk and Mosul, the latter of which underwent a slight improvement in security.

"Whether they are trends or aberrations, these events remain cause for concern as the United States prepares to withdraw all military forces by December 31, 2011," the report said.


I don't care if the situation is worse than 12 months ago. Sorry, but not my problem. Our tax dollars do not need to fund a civil war while many families at home are starving.

Aleksander      3:44 a.m. / Thursday, August 4, 2011

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