War on Terrorism

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- October 30, 2006

Experts defend city E. coli [Escherichia coli] weapons tests

“Defence chiefs have denied ever putting the public at risk following revelations that Southampton was involved in biological weapons tests. They have spoken out after MPs called for more details into the bacterial tests, which were carried out in the city during the 1960s. A spokeswoman for the top secret chemical research centre at Porton Down insisted the 12 tests only involved E.Coli bacteria being exposed to the air, not being released. And they say public health was never put at risk because the bacteria were harmless and that the tests were simply to see how tiny threads of E.coli could withstand exposure to urban environments, to assess their viability for use as biological weapons.”
(thisishampshire.net, 30Oct06, Jon Reeve)
http://www.thisishampshire.net
/misc/print.php?artid=992796

Anthrax vaccine opponents gear up to renew fight

“As the Pentagon prepares to resume mandatory anthrax shots, vaccine opponents — including lawyers, medical experts and veterans — gathered Saturday in Washington to discuss current cases and potential legal avenues for helping those who say they were harmed by the vaccine. The day-long seminar was held in the shadow of the Defense Department’s Oct. 16 announcement of its plan to resume mandatory anthrax vaccinations after a nearly two-year, court-ordered hiatus. But Byron Holcomb, the lawyer who organized the seminar, said the day-long event was not prompted by the Pentagon’s policy change. He said it had been in the works since July with an underlying goal of trying to ‘see what we can do … to get us yoked together to do the right thing.’” (ArmyTimes.com, 29Oct06, Gayle S. Putrich)
http://www.armytimes.com
/story.php?f=1-292925-2318585.php

Many say they’ll take anthrax shot willingly

“Most U.S. troops interviewed said they were OK with the Department of Defense announcement earlier this month that the anthrax inoculation will once again become mandatory for anyone deploying downrange. But some questioned the need for the shots and were less than enthused about getting or giving them. The Pentagon announced that the series of six shots would be given to U.S. troops and emergency-essential DOD civilians and contractors already in or waiting to deploy to the U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility. Several hundred thousand troops are expected to receive the vaccine under the program, which is to resume within 30 to 60 days of the Oct. 16 announcement by William Winkenwerder, the medical doctor who is assistant secretary of defense of health affairs. ‘Anthrax, it’s not a threat,’ said Spc. Vincent Grillo, 25, from Brooklyn, N.Y.” (Stars and Stripes; 29Oct06; Ben Murray, Bryan Mitchell, and Matt Millham)
http://www.estripes.com
/articleprint.asp?section=104&article=41109

Powder found at Bill Clinton’s NY [New York] office non-toxic

“A suspicious white powder delivered by mail to former President Bill Clinton's New York office on Friday was not dangerous, a Secret Service spokesman said. A staffer opened an envelope on Friday afternoon addressed to the former president that contained the white powder, showed it to a colleague and then the
police were notified, said police spokesman Kevin Czartoryski. Field tests on the powder determined it was "an inert substance and non-toxic," said Secret Service spokesman Eric Zahren.”
(Reuters, 27Oct06)
http://today.reuters.com
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type=domesticNews&sto
ryID=2006-10-28T0056
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Aberdeen Chemical Agent Disposal Facility Building Tests Clean and Demolition Begins

“Today, the
Army began demolition of the Aberdeen Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (ABCDF) Process Neutralization Building (PNB) where containers of mustard agent making up the Aberdeen stockpile were drained and their contents neutralized. Workers began demolishing the PNB after decontaminating it, and after it passed a test in which the air handling system was turned off for four hours and the inside of the building was monitored for residual agent vapor. Workers then removed the air handling system, which filtered plant air before it was released to the environment. This step cleared the way for large-scale demolition of the building.” (U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency, 30Oct06)
http://www.cma.army.mil
/docviewerframe.aspx?docid=003676176

Weapons Neutralization Plant

“Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell joined local officials Saturday morning to mark the groundbreaking of a plant that will get rid of chemical weapons stored at an
Army depot in central Kentucky. The deadly weapons are leftovers from the Cold War and have been stored in bunkers at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond for more than six decades.” (WBKO.com, 30Oct06, AP)
http://www.wbko.com
/news/headlines/4511821.html

More delay, cost up in Tulalip chemical weapons site cleanup

“Another delay has been announced in the cleanup of a
World War II-era chemical weapons storage and training site on the Tulalip Indian Reservation, and the estimated cost has doubled. Crews from the Army Corps of Engineers began excavating and removing contaminated soil and toxic material in May at a site by Quil Ceda Village, the tribe's retail center along Interstate 5, but the work was halted in August after three workers noticed an unusual odor. …Federal officials remain unsure what is now present at the site but know that the chemicals once stored there include tear gas, hydrogen cyanide and a liquid form of mustard gas. So far cleanup crews have found a rusted 55-gallon drum, nearly two dozen smaller drums and shattered glass containers, corps officials have told tribal leaders.” (kgw.com, 30Oct06, AP) http://www.kgw.com
/sharedcontent/APStorie
s/stories/D8L30UKO0.html#

Passing battle-damage info focus of [U.S. Air Force] exercise at Kunsan [South Korea]

“The 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan Air Base plans a one-day training exercise Monday to drill airmen in proper methods for passing battle-damage information to their top leaders and for passing on the leaders’ orders about what to do next. The wing, also known as the Wolf Pack, calls the exercise a ‘Wolf War Day.’ Among Monday’s scheduled mock-warfare scenarios are those in which the base is hit by mortar fire, a chemical-weapons attack and assault by ground troops, said Capt. Benjamin Wolf, the wing’s chief of inspections and exercises.” (Stars and Stripes, 29Oct06, Franklin
Fisher)
http://www.estripes.com
/articleprint.asp?section=104&article=41099

Saddam’s Defense Lawyer Walks Out

“Saddam Hussein's chief lawyer walked out of the former leader's trial Monday after a series of defense requests were rejected. The chief judge immediately appointed other attorneys to defend the deposed president. Chief defense attorney Khalil al-Dulaimi had just ended a monthlong boycott of the trial, in which Saddam and six other defendants are charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity for a 1987-88 offensive against Iraq's Kurdish population. The charges against Saddam and one other defendant include genocide. Four Kurdish witnesses testified Monday about atrocities committed under Saddam's regime, involving alleged chemical attacks against their northern communities, before the trial was adjourned until Tuesday.” (CBS News; 30Oct06; Sameer N. Yacoub and Jamal Halaby, AP)

http://www.cbsnews.com
/stories/2006/10/30/ap/world/mainD8L30I401.shtml

German Nuclear Waste to Go Back to Mother Russia by Air

“The state of Saxony has applied for 200 kilos (440 pounds) of nuclear waste enriched by uranium to be flown, instead of transported by train, from the former East Germany back to Russia. Saxony is seeking permission to fly nuclear waste back to Russia for reprocessing before the end of the year, the German environment ministry confirmed on Sunday. The federal office for radiation protection must first approve the transport. Safety experts and environmentalists have expressed concerns about the plans. They said the risks involved in transporting radioactive materials by air instead of by train, the most common means of transportation, could be higher. …Security experts say that air transport is particularly vulnerable to an international
terrorist attack.” (Deutsche Welle, 30Oct06)
http://www.dw-world.de
/dw/article/0,2144,2219040,00.html

New tools for a new world order: Nuclear forensics touted as method to trace bomb materials, deterrent for rogue nations

“Amid all the frightening uncertainties of the decades-long Cold War, one thing was reassuringly clear: If a nuclear bomb ever fell on America, everybody would know where it originated, and retribution would be swift and sure. That guarantee was called ‘mutually assured destruction.’ The promise that a nuclear attack, however devastating, would trigger an equally devastating response was a critical component of Cold War deterrence. …At a time when nuclear devices are increasingly the weapons of choice for weaker nations rather than superpowers, can deterrence still work? Can it restrain emerging nuclear powers such as North Korea and Iran, or even smugglers and thieves and rogue scientists who sell plutonium to the highest bidder? A growing number of respected nuclear scientists want more attention focused on the esoteric field of nuclear forensics as a means of keeping track of fissionable material and -- they hope -- enhance deterrence in an era of international terrorism and defiant nationalism. (San Francisco Chronicle, 29Oct06, Matthew B. Stannard)
http://www.sfgate.com
/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/
2006/10/29/MNG32M27K61.DTL

Nations Meet in Morocco on How To Counter Nuclear
Terror Threat

“Representatives of 12 nations are gathering in Rabat, Morocco, October 30-31 to discuss how to address effectively the ever-present threat to the international community from terrorists determined to detonate a nuclear or radiological device. This will be the first diplomatic meeting to discuss the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear
Terrorism since the United States and Russia proposed it at the G8 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, in July. The United States and Russia discussed the need for partners to counter this dangerous threat for about six months before it was announced.” (U.S. Department of State, 30Oct06, Jacquelyn S. Porth)
http://usinfo.state.gov
/xarchives/display.ht
ml?p=washfile-english
&y=2006&m=October&
x=20061030083445sjht
rop2.418154e-02

WMD team’s funds sliced

“A Denver-based federal counterterrorism team charged with saving lives after nerve gas, nuclear or dirty-bomb attacks is facing its own challenges that threaten its ability to quickly respond. ‘If getting there early is going to save lives, we are not going to save as many lives,’ said Dr. Charles Goldstein, commander of the 90-member unit. The team of doctors, nurses and paramedics - a unique unit in the 107-team National Disaster Medical System - is supposed to be able to mobilize within hours, then fly into chaos and work through the crucial first few days after an attack to contain casualties. But overspending has mired the system in debt, forcing the suspension of funding for such teams while Federal Emergency Management Agency supervisors scramble to sort out irregularities. Team members say the problems threaten to compromise their work in a disaster by impeding maintenance of equipment, limiting paid training and increasing the time it takes to prepare to go. The Denver team now requires eight hours to mobilize, two hours more than the FEMA standard, for lack of a functioning centralized pager-notification system, Goldstein said. He blames poor FEMA oversight.” (Denver Post, 28Oct06, Brice Finley)
http://www.denverpost.com
/portlet/article/html/fragm
ents/print_article.jsp?article
Id=4565402&siteId=36

Twenty-five Nations To Join in Nonproliferation Exercise

“Twenty-five countries will take part in the first Gulf exercise under the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) aimed at preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery systems. The interdiction training exercise, called Leading Edge, will be held October 30 and 31, according to a Department of State statement issued October 27. PSI is a voluntary group of nations working together to halt the trafficking of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems and related materials to and from states and nonstate agents that raise proliferation concerns.” (U.S. Department of State, 28Oct06, Ralph Dannheisser)
http://usinfo.state.gov
/xarchives/display.htm
l?p=washfile-english&y=
2006&m=October&x=20
061028130459emohkcab
hplar0.3623468

Taliban Tactics May Have Led to Civilian Deaths

By Gerry J. Gilmore

Oct. 30, 2006 – The Taliban's habit of using human shields during attacks on coalition forces may have caused the deaths of a number of Afghan civilians during a recent incident in Kandahar province, NATO's supreme allied commander in Europe said in the Afghan capital Oct. 28. "Sadly, in asymmetric warfare, when you're battling an insurgency, typically, the insurgents do not play by the same rules that we would like to play by,"
Marine Corps Gen. James L. Jones, who was visiting the country, told reporters at a Kabul news conference.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force and the Afghan Ministry of Defense are conducting a joint investigation into the Oct. 24 incident in the Panjwayi district of Kandahar province, according to an ISAF news release. A large number of insurgents were engaged by coalition close-air support that day near the Sperwan Ghar security base.

Besides insurgents, a number of Afghan civilians were also killed in the engagement, the release stated, noting it wasn't clear at this point how many civilians were killed as the result of insurgent fire. Insurgents in Afghanistan routinely "attack using civilians as shields," Jones said. "They do everything they can to spread lies about the purpose of the (coalition) soldiers' efforts."

Early investigation of the Sperwan Ghar incident indicates that "sadly, there appears to have been some loss of life and innocent people who were wounded in a legitimate mission," Jones said. The insurgents were apparently using the cover of civilian population in an attempt to discourage coalition counter fire, Jones said, noting that's an often-employed Taliban tactic.

Such a scenario makes it "very difficult for us to get at them," Jones said. Coalition
military commanders in Afghanistan often weigh whether or not to go after enemy targets of opportunity in recent engagements. The incidence of innocent Afghan civilians being killed or wounded in any engagement "is to be regretted and investigated," Jones said, noting he'd personally apologized for the incident to Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

"We take this very seriously," Jones emphasized. "We will look into it. And, we will always do whatever we can to minimize any innocent people from being victimized in any way by
military activities."

Marine Journalist Tackles Work Assignment Before Tackling First Marathon

By David Mays

Before
Marine Staff Sgt. Reina Barnett could begin getting nervous about attempting her first marathon, she had to complete a work assignment. Barnett is a television reporter for the Pentagon Channel, and she had arranged to interview 60-year-old runner Will Brown before Sunday's Marine Corps Marathon here. Brown is a former Marine and one of only a handful people who have completed each of the 31 Marine Corps Marathons since the race's inception in 1976.Barnett is featuring Brown in a series of special reports leading up to the Marine Corps' 231st birthday Nov. 10.

But when Barnett arrived at the VIP starting area, her plans changed a bit. "I saw Mr. Brown warming up and taking off his sweats and getting ready, so I decided not to interrupt him with an interview and just get some 'b-roll' of him starting the race," she said.

Knowing that stories can change in an instant, Barnett had already arranged to travel to Brown's home in Raleigh, N.C., to conduct interviews and get the scoop on his training regimen, which includes runs of up to 100 miles.

Brown went on to finish Sunday's 26.2-mile race in 4:39:58, faster than many runners half his age.

After introducing herself to Brown, Barnett made her way through the record crowd of 32,000 runners to her staging area midway in the pack based on her projected pace. Now the fear could really set in.

Barnett had reason to be nervous. She and her husband, Bobby, also a Marine, had logged only 15 miles on their longest training run over the summer. Most experienced runners run at least 20 miles in preparation for a marathon. Barnett knew she wasn't completely ready. In fact, just days before the event, she considered backing out.

"I wrote down a list of pros and cons, and in the end, the pros outweighed the cons," she said. "I decided I was going to go for it."

Barnett and her fellow runners left the starting line at the
Marine Corps War Memorial at exactly 8:35:02 on the first day of Eastern Standard Time. Crystal-clear blue skies, temperatures in the low 50s and a cool northwest breeze made for perfect marathon running conditions. Their journey would take them along the National Mall and its famous memorials, past the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery, then up a steep hill back at the Marine Memorial to finish in the shadows of the Iwo Jima Memorial.

Mexican Cpl. Ruben Garcia, who at one point in the race was behind the leaders by 2 minutes, pulled ahead at mile 23 to win by more than 3 minutes in 2:21:21. Laura Thompson, from Boise, Idaho, running her first marathon, won the women's division in 3:00:23. The race was marred by the death of a 56-year-old Maryland man who collapsed near mile 17 after suffering an apparent heart attack. He was airlifted to a Washington hospital, but medical personnel were unable to revive him.

Meanwhile, 6,000 miles from the nation's capital, 109 servicemembers took part in a sanctioned "satellite" marathon in Al Asad, Iraq. All who crossed the finish line there will be considered official
Marine Corps Marathon finishers.

Experienced marathon runners are familiar with "the wall" -- the point in the race, usually around mile 20, when the body runs out of carbohydrates and desperately wants to stop. Barnett hit her wall at mile 19, when runners head uphill to cross the Potomac River on the 14th Street Bridge. This stretch of highway is devoid of spectator support.

"Nobody was running; everybody was walking," Barnett said.

But at mile 23, with cheering crowds in abundant supply, Barnett had a huge smile on her face, and she was definitely running. "My legs are hurting so bad," she said as she picked up the pace on a slight downhill. "But I feel so happy. It must be the endorphins."

After passing the final aid station staffed by dozens of
Marines, Barnett took on the final straightaway past the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery.

Then she faced the final test. "That last .2 was probably the toughest hill I've ever climbed," she said.

Iraqi Army Searches for Missing Soldier; Iraqi Police Detain Terrorists

Iraqi army forces conducted a raid today to search for a missing U.S. soldier in Baghdad, and Iraqi police and coalition forces detained five terrorists in operations Oct. 27 and 28, military officials in Iraq reported. Special Iraqi army forces, with coalition advisors, detained three people during an operation in Sadr City, Baghdad, today.

The purpose of the mission was to search for a missing U.S. soldier and to capture the leadership of a kidnapping cell reported to have knowledge of the soldier's location. The soldier has been listed as "duty status-whereabouts unknown" since he was abducted from a relative's house in the Baghdad area Oct. 23.

Elsewhere, Iraqi
police officers and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers detained five suspected terrorists and seized weapons in Saab Al-Bour Oct. 27 and 28.

A combined patrol of Iraqi
police officer and soldiers from the 463rd Military Police Company, attached to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, detained a suspected terrorist Oct. 27. The patrol arrested the individual after finding a PKC machine gun he had loaded into a refrigerator carried on his donkey cart.

Meanwhile, soldiers from 4th Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment, attached to the 1st BCT, detained an Iraqi citizen Oct. 27 after being attacked by small-arms fire and a rocket-propelled grenade. The patrol returned fire and detained the owner of a gas station in the town where suspected terrorists were seen firing from the roof of the building.

In a separate incident, soldiers from 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 1st BCT, were attacked by small-arms fire Oct. 28. The soldiers detained three suspected terrorists in connection with the incident.

America Supports You: Group Offers Support to Survivors

By Samantha L. Quigley

How to pay for a child's college education shouldn't be a consideration for those who lose a loved one in battle, and one troop-support group is working to ensure it isn't. "We provide financial assistance and college grants to the children and spouses of the fallen ... and severely injured servicemembers," Rebecca Campbell, founder of The Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund, said. "It's all for different needs, but (applicants) have to have a financial need."

The Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund is a member of America Supports You, a Defense Department program highlighting ways Americans and the corporate sector support the nation's servicemembers. Formed in 2003, The Gaithersburg, Md.-based nonprofit group started out with an attainable goal. "We wanted to help one child (attend college)," Campbell said. "But we haven't stopped."

Not only is her organization offering children and spouses of the fallen assistance with college tuition at an accredited college or university, it's also helping with home and car repair, utility bills and many other basic needs, Campbell said. Financial assistance applications are reviewed once a quarter unless there's an applicant is in an emergency situation. The college grants are reviewed twice a year with deadlines of Oct. 31 for spring semester and April 30 for the fall semester, she added.

The fund recently announced as recipients of financial assistance grants:

-- Nathan Smith, son of
Navy Chief Warrant Officer Eric A. Smith, killed in central Iraq on April 2, 2003;

-- Jenniece Fraise, wife of
Army Cpl. David M. Fraise, killed in Kandahar, Afghanistan on June 7, 2004;

-- Jeralind Wilridge, wife of
Army Sgt. Kelly S. Morris, killed in Baghdad on March 30, 2005;

-- Dylan Layfield, son of
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Travis J. Layfield, killed in Anbar Province, Iraq on April 6, 2004

-- Jamelah Bush, daughter of
Army Pfc. Charles E. Bush Jr., killed in Balad, Iraq on Dec. 19, 2003.

Bush also was presented with an educational award, Campbell said.

Cornell Gilmore Jr., son of
Army Command Sgt. Maj. Cornell Gilmore, and Cristie Horton, wife of Army Staff Sgt. Jeremy Horton of Erie, Pa., were awarded fall semester college grants.

In 2005, the organization presented its first awards. The college awards totaled $40,500, and financial assistance to families with children under 18 totaled $39,250.

"We're trying to get the information out," Campbell said. "We have funds set aside, and as they hear about us ... they can apply, but we've been waiting for people to apply."

Information on eligibility requirements and applications for both awards is available on The
Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund Web site.

Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Sgt. Luke J. Zimmerman, 24, of Luxemburg, Wis., died Oct. 27 from injuries suffered while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Media with questions about this Marine can call the 2nd Marine Division public affairs office at (910) 451-9033.

Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Pvt. Michael V. Bailey, 20, of Waldorf, Md., died on Oct. 27 in Salerno, Afghanistan, from non-combat related injuries. Bailey was assigned to 4th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, New York.
This incident is under investigation.


For further information related to this release, contact the 10th Mountain Division public affairs office at (315) 772-5461

Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Lance Cpl. Troy D. Nealey, 24, of Eaton Rapids, Mich., died Oct. 29 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to Marine Forces Reserve's 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Lansing, Mich.

For further information related to this release the media may contact the Marine Forces Reserve public affairs office at (504) 678-4177.

Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Staff Sgt. Kyu H. Chay, 34, of Fayetteville, N.C., died on Oct. 28 in the Oruzgan Province, Afghanistan, from injuries suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his combat patrol. Chay was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

For further information related to this release the media may contact the Special Operations Command public affairs office at (910) 432-7585.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Iraqis Taking Responsibility Across Country

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA

Coalition forces are increasingly shifting from a lead role to a supporting role in Iraq as Iraqi forces take responsibility for more territory and security operations throughout the country, a
U.S. military spokesman in Iraq said today. In a news conference from Iraq, Army Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, Multinational Force Iraq spokesman, said that although Iraqis are taking more responsibility, the coalition and Iraqi shared goal remains the same: a free and strong country with a representative government that respects and protects the rights of all its citizens and can be a valued ally in the fight against extremism.

"While we can help create the conditions that are necessary for progress, the achievement of our shared goal is ultimately the responsibility of the Iraqi people and their elected leaders," Caldwell said.

Caldwell noted that Iraqi
army units continue to take the lead in their areas of operations. On Oct. 24 in Ramadi, the 3rd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, assumed responsibility in its area of operations. Now six of 10 Iraqi army divisions, 30 of 36 Iraqi army brigades, and 90 of 112 Iraqi army battalions are in the lead, he said.

"We operate in support of them," he said. "All across Iraq, we continue to see an increasingly capable Iraqi security force continuing to take the lead."

Iraqi-led operations have been successful in rooting out terrorists and finding weapons caches, Caldwell said. From Oct. 14 to 25, Iraqi security forces with coalition support conducted 26 missions against death squads that resulted in the capture of three death squad cell leaders and 68 death squad members, he said. Also, from Oct. 12 to 25, about 70 focused operations against al Qaeda in Iraq resulted in 18 terrorists being killed and 219 suspected
terrorists being detained.

Iraqi forces recently concluded an important operation that disrupted a terrorist operational hub southwest of Baghdad, Caldwell said. During Operation Commando Hunter, which began on Oct. 2, Iraqi forces found more than 130 weapons caches, killed five terrorists, and captured 25 suspected terrorists. They also seized the abandoned Yusufiyah thermal power plant, which was known to be a staging area for terrorist attacks.

Operation Commando Hunter was yet another example of the Iraqi forces rooting out foreign influences and creating their own bases from which to attack terrorists, Caldwell said.

The level of violence in Baghdad has decreased sharply since the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Caldwell said. The violence is lowest in areas that Iraqi and coalition forces have already cleared, he noted.

There have been recent violent incidents around Iraq, Caldwell acknowledged, but in every instance, Iraqi security forces responded quickly, calmed the situation and prevented the violence from spinning out of control.

"What we see in actions taking place all over Iraq is that Iraqis are taking charge of their country, and they're doing it valiantly," he said. "Violence will flare up again in areas that are under Iraqi control. The question will be, 'Can they handle these situations themselves?' In all of these incidents, they did. They responded, and they returned calm to the areas. The Iraqis brought an Iraqi solution to an Iraqi problem, which is precisely the strategy for Iraq."

Progress and violence coexist in Iraq, and the security situation is complex, Caldwell said. However, the Iraqi government is constantly working to find solutions to the difficult challenges it faces, he said.

"We, the coalition forces, are constantly adapting our efforts to enable this government to continue to make the difficult choices and to set the conditions for an Iraq that can govern, defend and sustain itself," he said.

England: Technological Development Critical to Outpacing Terrorists

By Donna Miles

The same globalization that's created vast opportunities for economic growth and information sharing among freedom-loving people has become a favorite tool of
terrorists trying to destroy their way of life, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England told industry representatives here yesterday. Speaking at the Military Communications Conference 2006, England called rapid technological change, and particularly the ways it can be abused, "the fundamental technical and operational challenge of our time."

Terrorists are "technologically very savvy," he said, and see no conflict in using their technological expertise to close doors it's helped opened. "Though they aim to undo centuries' worth of progress, they are not at all reluctant to take full advantage of that progress," he told the group, who he described as "today's rock stars of science and technology."

Terrorists "use the latest technological innovations to communicate, recruit and transfer money," the deputy secretary said. "They keep Web sites, and they update them in real time to share their lessons learned." As latecomers to these cutting-edge technologies, terrorists didn't have to go through the long process of developing or studying them, England noted. Instead, they simply download them from the Internet and use them for their own purposes.

"The very technologies that you develop and the technologies that make globalization possible are used by
terrorists throughout the world against freedom-loving nations," England told the group. Faced with this reality, it's critical that the United States and its coalition partners and allies continually keep a step ahead, he said. He called on the industry leaders to help lead that charge.

England cited the Defense Department's ongoing, long-term transformation effort and the 2006 Defense Quadrennial Review and its focus on, among other topics, "netcentricity."
"Netcentric capabilities are about getting people the information they need, when and where they need it," he said. "Just as it is in business, information has become a strategic asset for the department, and using it effectively is essential to the success of our mission."

DoD is examining its system capabilities on the macro level to identify gaps and seams, eliminate unintentional redundancies and ensure interoperability, England told the group. It's also working to improve its integration with coalition partners and allies, he said. As these efforts move forward, England acknowledged, "antagonists out there who would be delighted to take down our systems (and) are trying, to the tune of thousands of incidents daily." Among them, he said, are recreational hackers who hack into DoD systems for fun, "cyber-vigilantes" out to prove a misguided point, small-interest groups pushing ideological issues, transnational
terrorist networks aiming to destroy the system, and hostile nation-states.

"These efforts to degrade our systems are expected to continue," England said.
England closed by calling on industry leaders to continue protecting the United States and its partners from what he called the greatest long-term threat they face: "falling behind in science and technology."

"Science and
technology are the bedrock of our knowledge-based economy, as well as our military capabilities," he said. England urged audience members to build on that bedrock by taking every opportunity to encourage science education, research and application. "America's future, and the future of our partners, does depend on it," he said.

U.S., Iraqi Forces Continue Search for Missing Servicemember

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA

Coalition and Iraqi forces are continuing operations to search for a U.S. servicemember reported missing Oct. 23, a
U.S. military spokesman in Iraq said today. The servicemember, who is an American of Iraqi descent working as a linguist for a provincial reconstruction team in Baghdad, was last seen Oct. 23 at about 2:30 p.m. in the International Zone, said Army Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. The servicemember reportedly left the International Zone to visit relatives in Baghdad, where masked men in three vehicles reportedly kidnapped him, Caldwell said.

As soon as the servicemember was reported as "duty status whereabouts unknown," Multinational Division Baghdad launched intensive operations, including targeted raids on locations in Baghdad, Caldwell said. Coalition forces and Iraqi security forces used checkpoints to close down roads and bridges in central Baghdad and are searching vehicles in the area. Security forces are continuing to conduct searches through homes and buildings in an effort to locate the missing servicemember, he said.

"We're using all assets in our arsenal to find this American soldier, and the government of Iraq is doing everything it can also at every level," Caldwell said. "Make no mistake, we will not stop looking for our servicemember."

The servicemember is still considered as "duty status whereabouts unknown," but the name of the servicemember is being withheld for the safety of family members who are still in Baghdad, Caldwell said. No group has come forward claiming responsibility for the servicemember's disappearance, he said.

Iraqi Forces Disrupt Kidnapping Cell, Raid Illegal Armed Group

Iraqi police forces captured members of a murder and kidnapping cell and the leadership of an illegal armed group in separate operations yesterday, U.S. military officials reported. Special Iraqi police forces conducted an early-morning raid yesterday in the Hillah area to capture members of a murder and kidnapping cell wanted by the Ministry of the Interior. Iraqi forces, with coalition advisors, arrived at the objective and gained entry to several locations where 11 suspected members of the cell were found and detained.

The cell was targeted for its attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces with improvised explosive devices and mortars and their numerous criminal activities, including extortion, kidnapping, car theft and the murder of Iraqi civilians.

Elsewhere, Iraqi
army forces conducted an early-morning raid yesterday in Khalis in eastern Diyala province to capture the leadership of an illegal armed group responsible for attacks against Iraqi forces. Iraqi forces, with coalition advisors, arrived at the objective and gained entry where they were met with small-arms fire from a member of the illegal armed group. Iraqi forces returned fire and killed the group member. Members of the group were being sought for their connection to IED attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces that have left several soldiers dead.

North Korean 'Bolt From the Blue' Attack Remains a Concern

By Jim Garamone

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26, 2006 – Lost amid all the discussion over North Korea's Oct. 9 nuclear test is an issue that Defense Department officials who specialize in that region have studied for decades and continue to study now: the possibility that, as it has before, North Korea could launch a conventional "bolt from the blue" attack on South Korea. At 4 a.m. June 25, 1950, a tremendous artillery barrage disturbed the pre-dawn air over the 38th Parallel dividing North and South Korea.

Within minutes, 135,000 North Korean soldiers, supported by hundreds of tanks and artillery pieces, poured over the line, quickly killing or knocking aside poorly equipped and poorly trained South Korean forces.

In three days, the North Koreans took the South Korean capital of Seoul. They pushed through the city and attacked further down the peninsula. On June 30, American troops joined the fight. They did not do well. The North Korean army had better equipment, and American soldiers fought with leftover weapons from
World War II.

The South Korean and American troops were soon fighting with their backs against the sea at the Pusan Perimeter in the southernmost section of South Korea.

While U.S. forces prevailed, the Korean War lasted three years, claimed more than 35,000 U.S. lives and visited untold suffering and misery on all of Korea. The war ended where it began: with opposing sides facing each other over the 38th Parallel.

North Korean leader Kim Il Sung, father of the current dictator Kim Jong Il, built the North Korean military. Today, it is still the fourth-largest
military in the world, with 1.21 million soldiers, according to State Department figures. In a country where starving peasants have stripped bark from trees to eat, the military absorbs the lion's share of resources, receiving more than a quarter of the gross domestic product.

Combined Forces Command Korea officials said the North Korean army has more than 8,000 artillery systems including tube-launched and long-range rocket launchers. Most are camouflaged in caverns near the demilitarized zone. "Artillery is still the big threat," Pentagon spokesman
Air Force Maj. Dave Smith said. "The guns can range Seoul."

And the target is much bigger than it was in 1950. The South Korean population is now more than twice that of the North, nearing 50 million people. South Korea has lifted itself from the destruction of the war and now is the 10th largest economic power on Earth. The capital of Seoul -- only 30 miles from the DMZ -- has grown north toward North Korea and has an estimated 20 million people in the megalopolis.

Officials estimate that if the North were to open artillery fire on Seoul, about 250,000 people would die. Officials have not estimated, at least publicly, what a nuclear blast would do to the South Korean capital.

North Korea has a 120,000-man special operations force. The force is capable of attacking targets anywhere on the peninsula, U.S. Forces Korea officials said.

Equipment and sustainment are the main problems with the North Korean
army. Even with receiving an inordinate share of the country's economy, the North Korean army is still cash-starved, driving antiquated equipment and unable to supply itself, Smith said. "They might be able to launch an attack, but they couldn't sustain it," Smith said.

In 1950, North Korea received equipment and logistics from the Soviet Union and China. The regime cannot count on that support now. Soviet pilots manned many of the MiG-17 fighters that defended North Korea in 1950. Today, North Korean pilots fly 1960s-era MiG-21s, MiG-23s and a small number of technologically advanced MiG-29s, but financial woes limit their flying hours.

But now the North has tested a nuclear device. DoD officials said it is too early to tell if North Korea can build a device small enough to place aboard a missile. But even without that, DoD officials say they believe North Korea has "weaponized" Scud missiles -- the North Koreans call them Nodong missiles -- and can hit targets on the peninsula, Japan, China and Russia. The country is testing the Taepodong 2 missile, an intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit the West Coast of the United States.

U.S. and South Korean officials say the North has chemical and biological agents. Some believe North Korea would begin any bolt-from-the-blue attack today with a liberal use of the nerve agent sarin, mustard gas and phosgene. Their special operations forces may try to plant biological agents in the south as a prelude to an attack, officials speculate. American servicemembers assigned to the Republic of Korea receive anthrax vaccinations.

South Korea's
military has 680,000 servicemembers toting state-of-the-art equipment. North Korea fields Soviet-era T-54 and T-55 tanks, some now 50 years old. These are no match for M-1A2 Abrams tanks that the South Koreans deploy, but the North does field almost 4,000 of them.

South Korea clearly outclasses the North in all aspect of the
military arts with the exception of sheer numbers. The South Korean air force flies the latest all-weather, day/night aircraft. They are linked via airborne warning and control aircraft. Pilots drop smart bombs and train constantly.

The communications net in the country may be the best in the world, U.S. Forces Korea officials said. There is full compatibility through the armed forces, and the South Korean military is able to seamlessly coordinate with allies.

And the Republic of Korea has one great advantage over the North: allies. The United States is a treaty ally of the Republic of Korea. American servicemembers have been based in the country since the Korean War. About 28,000 U.S. servicemembers are in South Korea today.

While that number is going down -- it is planned to be roughly 25,000 by the end of 2008 -- it should not be seen as a lack of will, but rather as a reflection of modern capabilities, U.S. and South Korean officials say. The capabilities the United States bring to the fight more than make up for any reduction in the size of the force, DoD officials said. Plus, the United States can quickly reinforce troops on the peninsula in the event of any hostilities.

By treaty, the United States regards any attack on the Republic of Korea as an attack on itself. The U.S. nuclear capability shields South Korea. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld reiterated this point during the U.S.-ROK Security Consultative Meeting at the Pentagon Oct. 20. "The United States reaffirms its firm commitment to the Republic of Korea, including continuation of the extended deterrence offered by the U.S. nuclear umbrella consistent with the Mutual Defense Treaty," Rumsfeld said during a news conference after the meeting.

North Korea has not raised or lowered the readiness status of its armed forces since the nuclear test Oct. 9, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during an Oct. 24 news conference.

Pace said it is tough to come to terms with the nature of the threat North Korea poses. "A threat consists of two things: one, capacity, and the other, intent," he said. "I can certainly, as we all could, go to the books and tell you how many soldiers, how many ships, how many planes, within a decent margin of error, that the North Koreans have, and you can determine how much power they can put on the battlefield.

"What is not knowable is the intent of the
leadership in North Korea to use or not use that power at any given time," he continued. "And applying Western logic to the leadership in Korea is not something that I would personally want to bet my future on."
Pace said that his best
military advice to anyone who might want to challenge the U.S, military is, "Don't."

"We have just over 200,000 U.S. military in the Gulf region right now," he said. "We have 2.4 million Americans -- active, Guard and reserve -- right now defending 300 million of our fellow citizens. My
Marine math tells me that leaves us more than 2 million U.S. servicemembers who are not currently involved in the Gulf war who stand ready to do whatever our nation needs them to do. And that should not be lost on any potential enemies."

Airman Missing in Action from Vietnam War is Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

He is Maj. Charles L. Bifolchi,
U.S. Air Force, of Quincy, Mass. He will be buried on Oct. 27 at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.

On Jan. 8, 1968, Bifolchi and a fellow crewmember were flying an armed reconnaissance mission against enemy targets in Kon Tum Province, South Vietnam, when their RF-4C aircraft disappeared. A
U.S. Army helicopter crew found their aircraft wreckage soon after first light the next day. Search efforts continued for four days; however, enemy activity in the area, combined with the steep terrain and high winds at the crash site, precluded the recovery of the crewmen.

Between 1993 and 2000, U.S. and Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), conducted two surveys of an area that was believed to be Bifolchi's crash site. One team interviewed two Vietnamese citizens who turned over human remains they claimed to have recovered at the site. Another team found wreckage consistent with Bifolchi's aircraft.

Among other
forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA from a known maternal relative in the identification of the remains.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.

Drug-Control Chief Recognizes Navy Counternarcotics Effort

The nation's "drug czar" today recognized U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command for their efforts in counternarcotics operations. John P. Walters, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, presented the Director's Award for Distinguished Service to the sailors of the Mayport, Fla.-based command.

The director presented the award to Rear Adm. James W. Stevenson Jr., the commander of
U.S. Navy Forces Southern Command.

Walters recognized the command in part for their efforts in disrupting the smuggling of 205 metric tons of cocaine in the past two years. "The brave men and women who are working to stem the flow of drugs to the United States deserve our thanks and gratitude," Walters said. "Their work is making American communities safer and protecting our citizens from the misery of drug crime, violence and addiction. They are proving every day that when we push back against the international drug problem, it gets smaller."

"We are honored to receive this award on behalf of all the men and women who have participated in our ongoing counternarcotics operations," Stevenson said. "It is truly a team effort with ships at sea, deployed air detachments, the
U.S. Coast Guard, a variety of other forces and agencies, as well as with our partner nations in Latin America."

Navy aircraft -- mostly P-3 Orion, E-2 Hawkeye and S-3 Viking planes -- have flown 5,750 flight hours since Jan. 1, 2005, in support of the counternarcotics mission.

Just the presence of
Navy ships and planes serves as a deterrent to smugglers. The USS George Washington Carrier Strike Group operated in the Caribbean for more than 50 days in April through May. Officials said this significantly increased the U.S. Navy presence and deterrence factor against narcotics trafficking. The movement of cocaine by air and sea in the Caribbean virtually stopped during that period, Navy officials said.

The USS Gettysburg, an Aegis guided-missile cruiser, was highly successful in combating narcotics smuggling in the eastern Pacific and Caribbean. During a six-month deployment, the ship's crew seized more than 40 traffickers and more than 28 metric tons of cocaine.

The
Navy has been working with the U.S. Coast Guard to train and deploy Coast Guard door gunners to man Navy helicopters. This capability adds warning shots and disabling fire to the helicopter's ability to interdict surface traffickers in speedboats, Navy officials said. Currently, U.S. Navy ships in both the Caribbean and Pacific are operating with this capability.

The command also participated in exercises with other nations that impacted the flow of drugs north. The multinational exercise Panamax has
U.S. Navy ships participating each August for 10 days. The exercise significantly impacts narcotrafficking and results in a dramatic reduction in cocaine flow during that timeframe, Navy officials said.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command's mission is to direct U.S. naval forces operating in the 16 million square miles of seas and oceans encompassing the Caribbean, Atlantic and Pacific. The command interacts with coast guards and navies within Latin America to enhance maritime security.

(
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Holly Boynton, of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command)

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- October 27, 2006

E. coli [Escherichia coli] was tested on UK towns

“E.Coli bacteria was secretly tested as a possible biological weapon in and around two British towns, it is revealed today. The MoD trials suggested the 'excellent quality and reproducibility' of E.coli meant 'highly satisfactory results' could be achieved if it was developed into a biological weapon. A series of trials involving the release of 'micro-threads' covered in the bacteria – which can cause diarrhoea and kidney failure – were carried out near Swindon and Southampton between late 1965 and November 1967.” (Metro.co.uk, 27Oct06)
http://www.metro.co.uk/news
/article.html?in_article_id=22854&in_page_id=34

KU [The University of Kansas] researchers develop bio-
terror vaccine

“An anthrax vaccine developed by three KU researchers is in its second stage of clinical testing. The vaccine is a stabilized liquid form of the current anthrax vaccine, which is difficult to transport and store because its temperature must remain constant. Duane Brandau, Sangeeta Joshi and Laura Peek, KU research professors, developed a stabilized liquid form of the vaccine and sent it to a laboratory that converted their vaccine to a powder form. Then the vaccine went to its first of up to four stages of clinical testing. The powder vaccine doesn’t have such specific conditions for storage, making it easier to transport. It is administered through an inhaler or a nasal spray. The current vaccine is a liquid and administered by injection.” (Kansan.com, 26Oct06, Anna Faltermeier)

http://www.kansan.com/stories
/2006/oct/26/vaccine/?print

Smallpox Law Needs Fix

“Two years after Congress banned the synthesis of the smallpox virus, a federally appointed panel has recommended that the law be dropped from the books. The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), which is helping the U.S. government develop safeguards against the wrongful application of life sciences research, decided at a meeting today that the law--known as the variola amendment-–is too vague to be helpful in the fight against bioterrorism and is instead hurting research. The amendment, which was enacted on 17 December 2004, imposes a penalty of up to 25 years in prison for attempts to engineer or synthesize the smallpox virus.”
(ScienceNOW Daily News, 25Oct06, Yudhijit Bhattacharjee)
http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org
/cgi/content/short/2006/1025/5

Antibacterial wallpaper

“Zinc oxide nanoparticles have been coated onto paper, giving it an antibacterial surface suitable for use as wallpaper in hospitals. Researchers from the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan led by Yong-Chien Ling found a way of coating paper with zinc oxide nanoparticles using ultrasound. The nanoparticle-coated paper has antibacterial activity, tests against~E. coli revealed. The paper could be used on hospital walls, in particular operating theatres, as well as residential complexes, said Ling. The coating approach could also be extended to textiles to generate suits with antibacterial properties to combat bioterrorism, he said.” (Chemical Technology, RSC Publishing; 26Oct06)

http://www.rsc.org/Publishing
/ChemTech/Volume/2006/11/antibacterial_wallpaper.asp

Mock accident is learning exercise for [Kentucky] public and officials

“Several Madison County communities were notified to shelter-in-place Wednesday after a mock accident at the Blue Grass
Army Depot. The exercise is an annual practice of the county’s Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP). Around 9:15 a.m., the EMA was notified that smoke had been detected coming out of a vent on one of the storage igloos. The nerve-agent-filled M55 rockets have been stored in the igloos at the depot since the 1940s and will eventually be destroyed. But, until then, they often are used as the catalyst for this annual exercise.” (Richmond Register, 26Oct06, Ronica
Shannon)
http://www.richmondregister.com
/homepage/local_story_29909043
9.html/resources_printstory

Fourth OPCW [Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] National Authorities Basic Course Held in Paris, France

“A Basic Course for National Authorities implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) was conducted in Paris, France from 16 to 26 October 2006. The Basic Course is a contribution by the Government of France to support of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ (OPCW) Action Plan to enhance national implementation. Three previous courses were held in the French capital in 2005 and 2006. The Centre Français de Formation pour l’Interdiction des Armes Chimiques (CEFFIAC) supported in the organisation in this course. The Basic Course was attended by representatives of the following 23 Member States, ensuring a balanced geographical distribution: Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Azerbaijan, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Equatorial Guinea, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Morocco, Qatar, Sweden and Zambia.” (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, 27Oct06)

http://www.opcw.org/pressreleas
es/2006/PR74_2006.html

Rome Workshop on Chemical Weapons Ban in the Middle East Opens

“The Director-General of the OPCW, Ambassador Rogelio Pfirter, has appealed to the countries in the Middle East to banish the prospect of chemical weapons from the region. He spoke at the Third OPCW Workshop to promote the universality of the Chemical Weapons Convention among States in the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East, and neighboring regions being held in Rome, Italy from 25 to 27 October 2006. The Workshop, organized jointly by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the Government of Italy, received financial support from the European Union.” (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, 26Oct06)

http://www.opcw.org/pressreleases/20
06/PR72_2006.html

New ‘dirty bomb’ detector sought

“The government apparently is tired of cat litter being mistaken for ‘dirty bombs.’ Hoping to improve its detection of radiological materials at the nation's ports of entry, the Department of
Homeland Security announced yesterday contracts totaling $113 million for five companies to develop better devices, including Science Applications International Corp.
in San Diego.” (San Diego Union Tribune, 26Oct06, Joe Cantlupe)
http://www.signonsandiego.com
/news/nation/terror/20061026-9999-1n26saic.html

Terrorism in the Nuclear Age

“Last year, 91 nations signed the U.N. International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear
Terrorism.~ The convention prohibits individuals from possessing radioactive material with the intention of causing death or serious bodily injury.~ But some countries have weak nuclear safeguards. Paul Leventhal, founder of the non-governmental Nuclear Control Institute in Washington, DC says terrorists could exploit such weakness. ‘The states today that we're most worried about in terms of assisting terrorist organizations are Iran and North Korea.~ If they were able to acquire fissile material, not necessarily from the state apparatus itself, but one or two entrepreneurial physicists like A. Q. Khan of Pakistan, and I think you also have to include Pakistan also as a potential supplier of terrorist organizations.’” (Voice of America, 26Oct06, Peter Fedynsky)
http://www.voanews.com/engli
sh/2006-10-26-voa27.cfm

India, Russia seek denial of safe haven to
terrorists

“Russia has joined India in demanding that no country should provide ‘safe haven’ to terrorists as the two countries decided to work together to counter the ‘emerging threat’ to oil and gas installations from
terror. The two countries, at a meeting of Joint Working Group (JWG) on counter terrorism here, sought urgent implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 1642 which prohibits incitement of terrorism and strongly favoured early establishment by the UN of a global legal framework to fight the scourge. They underlined the need for more efficient measures to prevent propagation of terrorism, including in the cyberspace and agreed to enhance cooperation aimed at preventing terrorism through use of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).” (The Hindu, 26Oct06)
http://www.hindu.com
/thehindu/holnus/000200610262001.htm

North Korean ‘Bolt From the Blue’ Attack Remains a Concern

“Lost amid all the discussion over North Korea’s Oct. 9 nuclear test is an issue that Defense Department officials who specialize in that region have studied for decades and continue to study now: the possibility that, as it has before, North Korea could launch a conventional ‘bolt from the blue’ attack on South Korea. …U.S. and South Korean officials say the North has chemical and biological agents. Some believe North Korea would begin any bolt-from-the-blue attack today with a liberal use of the nerve agent sarin, mustard gas and phosgene. Their special operations forces may try to plant biological agents in the south as a prelude to an attack, officials speculate. American servicemembers assigned to the Republic of Korea receive anthrax vaccinations.” (emilitary.org; 27Oct06; Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service)
http://www.emilitary.or
g/article.php?aid=8562

Maliki, Khalilzad Agree to Benchmarks, Timetables

By Jim Garamone

WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2006 – Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has agreed to benchmarks with timetables, according to a joint statement with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad. "The Iraqi government has made clear the issues that must be resolved, with timelines to take positive steps forward on behalf of the Iraqi people," the two men said in the joint statement, issued after they met today.

U.S. officials have said that benchmarks are ways to help push along ideas. Accomplishing the benchmarks is a way of measuring progress and assessing accomplishments, DoD officials said.

Khalilzad and
Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the commander of Multinational Force Iraq, talked about benchmarks negotiated between the Iraqi government and the coalition on Oct. 24. "As they take these steps, we can produce success and bring about Iraqi self-reliance, (but) we must continue to support them," Khalilzad said at the time.

But the next day, Maliki seemed to step back from the idea of benchmarks. During a Baghdad press conference, the prime minister said he had not agreed to a timetable. "I affirm that this government represents the will of the people and no one has the right to impose a timetable on it," he said.

But now, all that seems water over the dam. "We are pleased to meet today to discuss our ongoing efforts to bring peace and security to Iraq and create a better future for all Iraqis," the two men said. "Iraq and the United States are committed to working together to respond to the needs of the people. The United States fully supports their goals and will help make them a success."

The statement recognizes that there are many difficulties in the way of establishing a democratic, free Iraq. "We know that our continued strong partnership will allow us to meet the challenges facing Iraq," the two men said in their statement.

"The United States will continue to stand by the Iraqi government, and the Iraqi government welcomes the support of the United States as it moves forward with plans for national reconciliation and the strengthening of the Iraqi security forces.

"The government of Iraq is committed to work toward a good and strong relationship with the U.S. government, to work together toward a democratic, stable Iraq and to confront the
terrorist challenge in the light of strategic alliances between the two countries."

The statement did not list what the benchmarks are.

Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

1st Lt. Amos C. R. Bock, 24, of New Madrid, Mo., died on Oct. 23 in Baghdad, Iraq, from injuries suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Bock was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

For further information related to this release the media can contact the 101st Airborne Division public affairs office at (270) 798-9966.

Marine Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two Marines who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Pfc. Daniel B. Chaires, 20, of Tallahassee, Fla., died Oct. 25 from wounds received while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.

Media with questions about this Marine can call the Hawaii public affairs office at (808) 257-8870.

Lance Cpl. Jonathan B. Thornsberry, 22, of McDowell, Ky., died Oct. 25 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to Marine Forces Reserve's 3rd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Johnson City, Tenn.

For further information about this release the media can contact the Marine Forces Reserve public affairs office at (504) 678-4287.

Navy Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a sailor who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Charles V. Komppa, 35, of Belgrade, Mont., died Oct. 25 from enemy action while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was serving with the 3rd Naval Construction Regiment, Multi-National Corps - Iraq, and was assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 18, Detachment 0618 in Billings, Mont.

For further information related to this release the media may contact the Navy public affairs office at (703) 697-5342.

Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Pfc. Donald S. Brown, 19, of Succasunna, N.J., died Oct. 25 from wounds received while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.

For further information related to this release the media may contact the Marine Corps Base Hawaii public affairs office at (808) 257-8870

Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Sgt. Thomas M. Gilbert, 24, of Downers Grove, Ill., died Oct. 25 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to Marine Forces Reserve's 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Grand Rapids, Mich.

For further information related to this release the media may contact the Marine Forces Reserve public affairs office at (504) 678-4287

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Sgt. Willsun M. Mock, 23, of Harper, Kan., died Oct. 22 in Baghdad, Iraq, from injuries suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Mock was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Schweinfurt, Germany.

For further information related to this release the media may contact the 1st Armored Division public affairs office at 49-611-705-4862.

Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Maj. David G. Taylor, 37, of North Carolina, died Oct. 22 in Baghdad, Iraq, from injuries suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Taylor is assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Baumholder, Germany.

For further information related to this release the media can contact the 1st Armored Division public affairs office at 49-611-705-4862.

Navy Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a sailor who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Seaman Charles O. Sare, 23, of Hemet, Calif., died Oct. 23 from enemy action while conducting combat operations in the Al Anbar Province, Iraq. Sare, a Hospital Corpsman, was assigned to Naval Ambulatory Care Center, Port Hueneme, Calif. and was currently serving with Multi-National Corps - Iraq.

For further information related to this release the media may contact the Navy public affairs office at (703) 697-5342.

Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Spc. Nicholas K. Rogers, 27, of Deltona, Fla., died Oct. 22 in Baghdad, Iraq, from injuries suffered when his patrol came in contact with enemy forces during combat operations. Rogers was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

For further information related to this release the media may contact the Fort Drum public affairs office at (315) 772-5461.

Marine Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two Marines who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Lance Cpl. Richard A. Buerstetta, 20, of Franklin, Tenn.
Lance Cpl. Tyler R. Overstreet, 22, of Gallatin, Tenn.

Both Marines died Oct. 23 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. They were assigned to Marine Forces Reserve's 3rd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Nashville, Tenn.

For further information related to this release the media can contact the Marine Forces Reserve public affairs office at (504) 678-4287.

Iraqi Army Captures Death Squad Commander, Kidnapping Suspects

BAGHDAD, Oct. 25, 2006 – Special Iraqi army forces, aided by coalition advisors, captured a death squad leader and three people believed to have been involved in the kidnapping of a U.S. soldier in separate raids in the Iraqi capital's Sadr City neighborhood, military officials reported. Officials said Iraqi and coalition forces had credible intelligence on the location of an insurgent leader personally involved in and directing widespread death squad activity for numerous murder cells in eastern Baghdad. The ground assault force also planned to act on credible intelligence indicating that criminals involved in the kidnapping of a U.S. soldier were located in a Sadr City mosque.

Iraqi forces quickly secured the insurgent's home in Sadr City and detained 10 suspected death squad members. The assault force suppressed enemy small-arms fire, and a supporting coalition aircraft neutralized enemy rocket-propelled grenade fire. Ten enemy fighters were killed and two were wounded, officials said.

The ground assault force left the site of the first raid and moved through Sadr City to the mosque where the kidnapping suspects were believed to be located. Iraqi forces secured the mosque, entered it, and detained three suspects for further questioning.

No Iraqi or coalition forces were reported injured. Hostile conditions prevented an assessment of civilian casualties, officials said.

U.S. Contractors Working to Improve Facilities for Iraqi Police

By Elaine Eliah

ERBIL, Iraq, Oct. 25, 2006 –
Law enforcement is one of most urgently needed careers in Iraq, a country rife with insurgent, sectarian and criminal violence. The rush to recruit, train and equip the new Iraqi police forces has gone hand in hand with renovating facilities for offices, headquarters, and training centers, U.S. officials here said.
Since conflict began in Iraq in 2003, fatalities among
police officers, many of these rookies or men still cueing to enlist, have topped 4,000.

One leader in the drive to build an effective Iraqi
police force since 2004 is the Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence. They've been involved with building, renovating, and upgrading Iraqi police recruiting centers, regional training academies, and nearly 200 provincial and local stations of all sizes.

"The 'Year of the
Police' construction was and continues to be a tall order for contractors," explained Derek Martin, Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq's northern representative. "Unlike other construction sites in Iraq, the police station sites are always in confined urban areas, which present a serious security challenge."

Under several different AFCEE task orders, U.S. contractor ECC has completed one recruiting facility, two training bases, and 16
police stations around Iraq. One such task order involved many of the urban security problems Martin sited.

In a 10-day period in the Quayarah area, eight roadside bombs were found or were detonated. Between March 17 and 26, 4 car bombs exploded near the Quayarah police station. The Iraqi
police, aware that the station was being targeted, were able to prevent the car bombers from getting close enough to injure workers or to destroy the facility.

ECC worked with Iraqi-owned Delta Company on a $336,000 renovation of the Erbil Provincial
Police Headquarters. The 5,000-square-meter building had to be completed under extreme time constraints, without interrupting police operations. With different police divisions using different floors of the three-story facility, the building was dividing in half vertically, allowing both units to continue functioning in one half while up to 120 laborers worked on the other side.

"The men earn double to work one and a half shifts, and we pay them daily," explained Nabaz Salah, Delta general manager. Delta is now working on $1.85 million Makhmur military base project with AFCEE and ECC. "We started out with just three engineers in 2003 and had 12 people working on our first $20,000 project."

Salah ah Din Provincial
Police Station in Hawijah, a $440,000 renovation, was one of the most challenging for ECC and subcontractor ITG. The facility was constantly threatened by mortars and rockets, which were most likely intended for a higher value target - a U.S. military base next door. Soldiers stopped work several times after the base came under fire questioning workers at the police station and scrutinizing digital cameras used by quality control engineers.

"When the roads were closed to civilian travel, we paid $400 per day while the trucks waited," ITG General Manager Raad al Shamaa explained. ITG employed 10 security guards in three cars to escort deliveries into the site. "The police helped us out; they let all our staff sleep in the
police station." Despite the difficulties, work finished three weeks ahead of schedule.

"Both MNSTCI/AFCEE and ECCI have developed a very good reputation of 'can do' with the various
police chiefs," explained RL Lopez, AFCEE contracting officer's representative who is responsible for reconstruction of police stations in Iraq. "During my inspections in the northern region, several have stated, 'You are the first that have asked us if there is anything else we can do, and if we provide you with our list of items you will tell us what can be done and they will be done'."

Not all wish lists, however, could be fulfilled. In Balad Ruz, northeast of Baghdad near the Iranian border, local
police refused to allow subcontractors to begin renovation because they were demanding a completely new station be built. Though, more than once, compromises had to be negotiated, security considerations were always given first priority. Controlled entry gates, including vehicle inspection points were installed at many stations. Walls and guard positions were established, either on rooftops or by building guard towers.

Next on the AFCEE renovation priority list were utilities. Sanitation systems were repaired or replaced. Water tanks were critical in areas far from city water supplies. Generators were installed in all of the stations.

"The partnership AFCEE has with our contractors and their use of Iraqi subcontractors has provided a better working environment for Iraqi policemen," Lopez said.

A better working environment helps to make a stressful line of work a little less difficult and a little less life threatening, officials said. "In cooperation with AFCEE and the local military, ECC quickly executed their projects with minimal issues," Martin said. "This resulted in multiple new stations that will help the Iraqi police continue their progression towards law and order.

(Elaine Eliah is a freelance communications consultant who has worked in Iraq for over two years.)

Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died Oct. 22 in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries suffered when their patrol came in contact with enemy forces. Both soldiers were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

Killed were:
Spc. Nathaniel A. Aguirre, 21, of Carrollton, Texas.

Spc. Matthew W. Creed, 23, of Covina, Calif.

For further information related to this release the media may contact the Fort Hood public affairs office at (254) 287-9993

Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Spc. Carl A. Eason, 29, of Lovelady, Texas, died Oct. 23 in Baghdad, Iraq, from injuries suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Eason was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Baumholder, Germany.

For further information related to this release the media can contact the 1st Armored Division public affairs office at 011-49-611-705-4862.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Pvt. Edwardo J. Lopez, 21, of Aurora, Ill., died Oct. 19 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.

Media with questions about this release may contact the Hawaii public affairs office at (808) 257-8870.

Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Staff Sgt. Ronald L. Paulsen, 53, of Vancouver, Wash., died on Oct. 17 in Tarmiya, Iraq, from injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Paulsen was assigned to the Army Reserve's 414th Civil Affairs Battalion, Utica, N.Y.

For further information, please contact U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) at (910) 432-2035

Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Staff Sgt. Ronald L. Paulsen, 53, of Vancouver, Wash., died on Oct. 17 in Tarmiya, Iraq, from injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Paulsen was assigned to the Army Reserve's 414th Civil Affairs Battalion, Utica, N.Y

.For further information related to this release, contact the Army Reserve's 70th Regional Readiness Group at (206) 281-3026.

Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Lance Cpl. Eric W. Herzberg, 20, of Severna Park, Md., died Oct. 21 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

For further information about this release the media can contact the 2nd Marine Division public affairs office at (910) 451-9033.

Marine Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of four Marines who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Lance Cpl. Clifford R. Collinsworth, 20, of Chelsea, Mich.

Lance Cpl. Nathan R. Elrod, 20, of Salisbury, N.C.

Lance Cpl. Nicholas J. Manoukian, 22, of Lathrup Village, Mich.

Cpl. Joshua C. Watkins, 25, of Jacksonville, Fla.

These Marines died Oct. 21 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq.

Collinsworth, Elrod and Manoukian were assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Watkins was assigned to 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

For further information about these Marines, please call the 2nd Marine Division public affairs office at (910) 451-9033.

Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Staff Sgt. Jesus M. Montalvo, 46, of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, died Oct. 18 in Baghdad, Iraq, from injuries suffered from enemy small arms fire during combat operations. Montalvo was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

For further information related to this release, contact the Fort Hood Public affairs office at (254) 287-9993.