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The Wednesday Report Iraq, September 2004
Canada's Aerospace and Defence Weekly Last Week ~ Next Week

Volume 18, Number 40, Sept 29, 2004

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Historians will note that in many nations, the advance of markets and free enterprise helped to create a middle class that was confident enough to demand their own rights. They will point to the role of technology in frustrating censorship and central control -- and marvel at the power of instant communications to spread the truth, the news, and courage across borders. - November 2003, U.S. President George Bush

Comment:

Iraq Experiment First Strategic Weapon In Global War on Terrorism

What one single thing would annihilate al Qaeda's recruitment campaign? Prosperity.

In the early 1990s, this author and many others including strategic thinkers and threat-scenario planners within the West's many national defence departments, warned in white papers of this day when festering hatred among the poor and disenchanted of the Third World would erupt in entropy, the inevitable and steady deterioration of a whole system or society.

Call it religious fundamentalism all you want, the war of terror against the 'West' is more about the differences between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots' on planet earth. Most Canadians and Americans are far too rich to see that.

When the month-end pile of bills remains high after the bank-balance heads south of zero, don't talk to me about Donald Trump's wealth. That's when I hate him. I don't even know him, but when he smugly flaunts easy-come riches I will never have, all over my face, at a time when I can barely make ends meet, I nearly 'hate the bastard'. Imagine how a hard-working, frustrated, starving bloke in Saudi Arabia feels about "The Donald". Many of them want to blow him up and did so symbolically when they hit the World Trade Centre in 2001.

Just by selling one of his cars you could likely feed six families in Afghanistan for eight years. Damn his egomania; feed more poor people.

Can you blame the under-privileged of this world for hating him and all that he represents?

Can you blame the starving and desperate for loathing a people who waste more than they could ever earn?

Are you beginning to see the picture?

What is happening in Iraq is an experiment. Theoretically it should work if you give it enough time.

People who benefit fully from their own endeavours in a strong and secure nation with minimal government intervention and wide open free enterprise, focus on doing just that; benefiting from their own achievements. They tend to work hard and play hard and above all, they are for the most part prosperous and content.

These same people who elect their own government will tell themselves, "We get what we elected..."; are less likely to start an insurrection and instead look forward to the next election when they can 'oust those bastards'.

This is not to say that if you introduce free enterprise, democracy and free spirit -- "freedom" in other words -- that you will end terrorism. There seems to be an even larger proclivity toward psychopathy among cultures that berate their women (Read carefully TWR19v18 - The Psychoanalytic Roots of Islamic Terrorism if you don't 'get it'.) so human rights stack high on the list of must-haves for a better functioning society. 

The better society functions, the fewer mother-hating psychpaths there are and the war on terrorism has another notch in its strategic gun.

So, the experiment in Iraq -- introduce to the Mid-East some democracy, free enterprise, "freedom", governments responsive to the will of the people, and enforceable human rights -- is the first strategic weapon ever used in the global war on terrorism. 

 

Micheal O'Brien, Editor

Progress In Iraq: Training Iraqi Forces 

By Gerry J. Gilmore

Although insurgents are making things difficult, the task of training, equipping and deploying new Iraqi security forces is progressing, a senior U.S. military official noted in a Sept. 26 commentary published in the Washington Post.

Army Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus acknowledged "there will be more tough times" in Iraq in the months leading up to the country's general elections in January - and beyond. However, while he predicted that insurgent attacks would likely increase, he also pointed out that the situation isn't out of control and that Iraqi security forces are "developing steadily and they are in the fight."

Petraeus, commander of the Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq, is charged with overseeing efforts to prepare Iraqis to assume security of their country. In the past few months, he noted, 7,500 Iraqis signed up for the new Iraqi Army, while 3,500 new Iraqi police recruits recently reported for training.

Despite insurgent attacks, Petraeus observed, "there is no shortage of qualified recruits volunteering to join Iraqi security forces."

Noting that he regularly meets with Iraqi security force leaders, Petraeus praised their "determination and their desire to assume the full burden of security tasks for Iraq."

Petraeus compared the task of training Iraqi security forces in the midst of insurgent violence to "repairing an aircraft while in flight - and while being shot at." Yet despite terrorist attacks, Petraeus pointed out, "there has been progress in the effort to enable Iraqis to shoulder more of the load for their own security, something they are keen to do."

Today, about 164,000 Iraqi police and soldiers - including 100,000 who've been trained and equipped - and another 74,000 Iraqi facility protection forces are performing myriad security missions across the country, Petraeus wrote.

"Training is on track and increasing in capacity," the general wrote, while also noting that necessary command and control structures and institutions are being stood up.

Some Iraqis have paid for their freedom with their lives, Petraeus pointed out, noting that more than 700 Iraqi security force members have been killed since Jan. 1. And hundreds of Iraqis who had sought to join the new Army and police forces, he noted, also have died through insurgent violence.

But despite insurgent efforts to destabilize the Iraqi government, Petraeus wrote, six battalions of the new Iraqi Army and members of the Iraqi Intervention Force are now conducting anti-insurgent operations across the country. In fact, he pointed out, the existence of Iraqi security forces was a key factor in recent successful operations in Najaf.

Within the next two months, Petraeus wrote, six more regular Iraqi Army and six more Iraqi Intervention Force battalions will come on line.

And "nine more regular Army battalions will complete training in January, in time to help with security missions during the Iraqi elections at the end of that month," he indicated.

In the months ahead, the Iraqi border force is expected to expand from 16,000 members today to 32,000, the general noted. These forces, he observed, will be equipped with vehicle X-ray machines, explosive-detection gear and ground sensors.

Petraeus also pointed out that needed equipment "has begun flowing" to Iraqi security forces. Since July 1, he noted, Iraqi security forces received more than 39,000 weapons and 22 million rounds of ammunition, in addition to 42,000 sets of body armour, 4,400 vehicles, 16,000 radios and more than 235,000 uniforms.

Iraqi security forces have been gaining momentum in recent months, Petraeus observed. And, he wrote, with "strong Iraqi leaders out front and with continued coalition - and now NATO - support, this trend will continue."

 

More Iraqi Officers Graduate in Amman, Jordan

Iraq graduated its first class of cadets from the Department of Border Enforcement training course in Amman, Jordan on Sept. 27.

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus, who heads Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq, attended the graduation event along with Col. Alaa al Ubaydi from Iraq's DBE, and the director of the border enforcement training facility in Jordan, Kathy Friebald.

In his remarks Petraeus challenged graduating cadets to take what they have learned back to Iraq with them and use it to set the example for others. They represent, he added, the beginning of a plan to secure Iraq's borders.

"In recent months, we've determined that more attention and resources must be given to the DBE," Petraeus said. "We have worked with your leadership as it came up with a comprehensive plan - including a training program, an expansion of manpower, refurbishment of DBE infrastructure, and better equipment. This class is one of the elements of the larger strategy."

With more than 2,200 miles of border to cover, Petraeus said the task of training and equipping enough personnel is essential to ensure the security or Iraq.

"The Ministry of Interior and our team recently completed a manpower analysis that concluded that the Department of Border Enforcement is significantly under strength for the formidable task of securing Iraq's 3,600 kilometres of borders and its ports of entry," Petraeus said. "Over the next year, Iraq will double the size of the border enforcement - first expanding to 24,000 and then to 32,000 members. Iraq needs the right 32,000 people for this important job. Your loyalty must be to protecting the new Iraq - above any loyalties to tribe, ethnic group, religious sect or easy profit."

Instructors from Jordan and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security trained 451 Iraqi students in a variety of classes: Border Police Classes 1 and 2 - a basic training course for border guards; the Border Police Supervisors Class; the Customs Police Class; the Customs Supervisors Class; Immigration Classes 1 and 2; and General Instructors Classes 1 and 2.

The students who went through the four-week course varied in age and ethnicity, representing many tribes and regions across Iraq. The class was composed of near-equal percentages of Shiia and Sunni Arabs, and smaller percentages of Kurds. Also, there was one Christian student and a few from other ethno-religious backgrounds. About 50 percent of the cadets had military experience, 46 percent had prior academy experience, and 74 percent had prior police experience.

Petraeus said much effort has gone into determining where to set up the DBE posts. "In partnership with your leadership, we have gone from province to province, determining where each of the over 300 border forts needs to be located. Some 41 are complete, and over 75 are under construction," he said.

The goal is to have more than 180 border forts completed by the end of the year, and Petraeus said the rebuilding of infrastructure would continue, but that was not the only thing that needs to be done for the DBE to succeed.

"While forts are necessary, they are not sufficient," Petraeus said. "You also need the right technology and equipment to do your job."

Petraeus said new equipment is already flowing in - from radios for communication, to backscatter X-ray machines to assist in inspecting vehicles, to ground sensors that will detect movement along the border. The technology, along with manpower, would be the key, he added.

"It will take a joint effort to make this strategy and all of these initiatives a success," Petraeus said. "First and foremost, you must work with each other. Secondly, you need to work with the other Iraqi security forces. The Iraqi police, the Iraqi National Guard, the Iraqi highway patrol will assist you - and you will need to assist them.

"Third, we are working on initiatives with border countries to improve communication and coordination with them," he continued. "Lastly, we will work with you for as long as you need us - but not a day longer."

One cadet from Baghdad said the training will help Iraq help itself build the future of the country. "For us to come here and get the help from the American and Jordanian instructors is the first step," said Abdas, whose full name was withheld for security reasons. "We are very proud to be with the first to stand by our new Iraq, the Iraq of freedom. This makes us very proud of our instructors and all the work they have done to teach us. We will now have the training to protect our country and our borders."

The training compound was built recently to support DBE and police training and has the capacity for about 3,500 police and DBE students at once. It contains a defensive driving course, classrooms, a helipad and firing ranges. It is one of the largest police training facilities in the world.

Petraeus emphasized the task ahead for the cadets. "You are setting the standard for the new Iraq," he told the graduates. "I applaud you for your patriotism and willingness to assume the responsibility of keeping your country safe and secure. You are tasked to secure the border, and to prevent any more foreign fighters or their weapons from entering the country and aiding the insurgency.

"The task before you is far from simple," he continued. "There will be setbacks along the way. But we must all remain determined, courageous and persistent. You're going to work long, hard hours in the harshest parts of Iraq. It won't be easy, but then few things worthwhile ever are. . Today is a banner day, for Iraq has taken another step on the road to building a safe and free Iraq."

Biography Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus

Aerospace Industry (Boeing) Helps With Hurricane Relief

The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has contributed a total of $210,444 in both employee and company donations to assist disaster relief efforts throughout the south-eastern United States in the aftermath of Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne, the company announced today.

According to Toni Bailey, vice president of Boeing's Community and Education Relations group, employees all over the company responded soon after word of the first hurricane hit the news. "The people of Boeing have a long and generous tradition of helping others in need," Ms. Bailey said. "Our thoughts are with everyone who was affected by the hurricanes, and we hope our contributions will help with a safe and fast recovery."

To date, employees have donated just over $35,000 in voluntary personal contributions, which the company matched dollar-for-dollar. The Employees Community Fund of The Boeing Company (ECF) has granted an additional $65,000. ECF is the world's largest employee-directed charitable organization of its kind, investing nearly $33 million per year in communities around the globe where Boeing employees live and work. Employees manage the funds locally at more than 60 Boeing sites and choose the community organizations that receive help.

Efforts to assist with disaster relief in the south-eastern United States align with Boeing's ongoing commitment to health and human services issues, including those related to emergencies and basic needs, in communities where the company has a presence. Boeing employs more than 6,500 people in Alabama and Florida, two states hardest hit by the recent hurricanes. In fact, several Boeing facilities in Florida were damaged as were employee homes.

In addition to matching individual employee gifts, Boeing is contributing an additional $75,000 to aid relief efforts. The majority of company, ECF and individual contributions will be directed to disaster areas in south-eastern United States through the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. "This is a good example of the company and employees working together in partnership," noted Bailey.

Along with health and human services, The Boeing Company supports communities in these main areas: education, specifically early learning through 12th grade and higher education; arts and culture; and civic and environment. In addition to corporate charitable and in-kind investments, employees give to their local communities by participating in volunteer programs, gift matching programs, and ECF.

Resourceful Troops Bring Normalcy To Iraq: 'Gone Fishing'

The large man-made lake between Camp al-Tahreer and Camp al-Nasr here was once stocked with fish as part of Saddam Hussein's private hunting reservation, and has since become one of the largest overseas American military bases built since the Vietnam War.

Though the lake is no longer stocked, the 1st Cavalry Division soldiers stationed here have found that fishing season is still open. The division's fishing fanatics and amateurs who fish this lake received a boost recently when an Alabama sporting goods company collected hundreds of rod and reel combos and thousands of fishing accessories for donation to the soldiers here.

The gear started arriving last June when the parents of 1st Lt. Kevin Black, executive officer for 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters Company, contacted Simmons Sporting Goods Co. of their hometown of Birmingham. When company officials heard soldiers in Iraq had a place to fish, they immediately donated about 20 rod and reel combos along with around 200 lures from their shop, according to Black.

Simmons then went on to contact equipment distributors and other fishing supply companies, which, in turn, donated more than 200 more rod and reel combos, and more than 1,000 lures, along with hooks, line, tackle boxes and other fishing equipment. The store also designed a custom 'Fishing Iraq' T-shirt and donated 450 of them for the soldiers here.

All told, more than 500 pounds of fishing equipment and paraphernalia valued at several thousand dollars was shipped from Birmingham to 1st Cavalry Division soldiers. "It really shows that the folks back home really support what we're doing over here," Black said.

Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Sanders, a 1st Cavalry Division headquarters platoon sergeant, fished the lake every day when he first arrived to al-Tahreer. He said the fishing equipment donation is a tremendous morale booster for the troops stationed here.

"I was highly impressed that they sent so much. They didn't send just 10 fishing poles -- they sent 200 fishing poles, thousands of hooks and lures. It was awesome," Sanders said. "You know their not sending all those supplies for publicity. You know they're actually doing it for dedication and support of the troops."

Black and other soldiers from Headquarters Company devised a system where soldiers can borrow the fishing gear by signing it out from the company's supply room. The soldiers plan to expand the equipment sign-out system to the nearby Morale, Welfare and Recreation tent, and may sponsor a fishing tournament where participants can receive a 'Fishing Iraq' T-shirt.

"(The donation) gives all the soldiers the opportunity to fish on their time off," Sanders said. "You can't go find hooks and lures at the (post exchange). They don't have the supplies that you need to go fishing. Being right beside the nicest lake, probably, in Iraq, it's hard to know the fish are there and not be able to fish. It makes your mouth water."

Black said he encourages soldiers to try their hand at the Iraqi lake, even if they've never fished before. "We had a sergeant in here today who had never gone," Black said. "He went out there and caught a crab. He just had a few minutes after he got off shift last night. There's no telling what you'll catch out of that lake."

Black himself caught an impressive 38-inch long fish of unknown species a few months ago. He stressed that soldiers should not eat fish from the lake.

Specialist. Andy Miller, USA (U.S. Army Specialist Andy Miller is assigned to the 122nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.)


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Micheal J. O'Brien

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