IRAQ UPDATE

Monday April 4, 2005

- Iraqi Security Forces are becoming more independent and more confident in their own capabilities.

- As the forces continue to grow in number and train for more complicated missions, the respect the Iraqi people have in their country's forces is also increasing.

- Cultivating the forces' new leaders remains the biggest challenge.

- Iraqis continue to come forward to Iraqi and Coalition forces with tips on the whereabouts of insurgents and locations of weapons caches.

- Some of these tips have led to large numbers of insurgents being picked up.

- After defying threats of intimidation and voting in national elections on Jan. 30, Iraqis are eager to get their elected government in place.

- Despite continued attacks on the Iraqi Security Forces and the insurgents' campaign of intimidation and assassination, Iraqis are stepping forward to serve in the security forces and going on the offensive to take back their country.

- U.S. forces that were in Iraq to help secure the country for the Jan. 30 elections are continuing their scheduled rotations home.

- After the rotation is complete in the next few weeks, approximately 135,000 to 140,000 U.S. troops will remain in Iraq.

- Gen. George W. Casey Jr., commander of Multi-National Force-Iraq, will make an assessment in June on the state of the insurgency, the upcoming elections, and the capability of Iraqi Security Forces to determine how many U.S. forces are needed. The decision will be condition based.

Source: DoD

NEWS ABOUT THE ARMY

  • Smith's son to accept Medal of Honor (SPT | EB)
  • "A well-deserved honor" - Editorial (OS | EB)
  • Task Force Baghdad helps Iraqis improve quality of life (CENTCOM News)
  • Montana seeking early return of its guard troops (CT | EB)
  • Red Devil troops patrol area, attitudes in Afghanistan (USAREUR News)
  • Army CIO/G-6 realigns to support warfighters (ARNEWS)
  • Soldier facing trial in death of prisoner might not face court-martial (LAT | EB)

WAR ON TERROR NEWS

  • Iraqis elect a Sunni as Assembly Speaker (LAT | EB)
  • Speaker, deputies appointed to Iraqi National Assembly (NYT | EB)
  • More Iraqis informing security forces on insurgent actions (SDUT | EB)
  • U.S. Soldier, Marine killed in Iraq (AFIS)
  • Kirkuk seeing prosperity from oil (WT | EB)
  • Insurgents launch attacks on Abu Ghraib (AFIS)
  • AAFES female employee awarded the Defense of Freedom medal (WP | EB)
  • Enforcement of uniform rules causing some tensions (WP | EB)
  • The Taliban seems to be fading away (Time | EB)
  • Drug trade faltering in Afghanistan (CT | EB)

OF INTEREST

  • Syrians promise to leave Lebanon by month's end (NYT | EB)
  • Ukraine seeks U.S. support to join NATO (WT | EB)
  • Apaches for Israel as part of military aid package (JP/EB)
  • "How dangerous is Iran, North Korea?" - Editorial (WT | EB)
  • Korean workers at U.S. military bases threaten to strike (KH | EB)
  • Intelligence system 'needs fundamental change,' Bush says (AFIS)
  • New safety net helps reduce errors in reservists' pay (FT/EB)
  • Disabled veterans continue quest to end system of pay offsets (WP | EB)
  • Facing the future: Terror war promotes transformation concepts (AFIS)

WORLD VIEW

  • Insurgents and police continue to clash in Saudi Arabia (Aljazeera)
  • Syria sets April 30th to complete withdrawal from Lebanon (Daily Star, Lebanon)
  • U.S. Dept. of Defense blocks mapping system in China (China Daily)

ARMY SPORTS

Army Racing: Joe Nemechek, in the Army 01 car, finished 33 in the Nextel Cup at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Men: Tennis (4/3) Army 5, Colgate 2; Baseball (4/2) Army vs LeHight - postponed by rain
Women: Softball (4/3) Army 3/10, Holy Cross 1/1; Tennis (4/3) Army 7, American 0; (4/2) Army 6, Bucknell 1

Army Rodeo: Next stop on Wrangler ProRodeo Tour: April 10, Clark County Fair and Rodeo in Logandale, NV

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Events

4 April 05 At a White House ceremony today at 3 p.m. EDT, President Bush will present the Medal of Honor to the family of Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith.

4-5 April 05 Army's Eisenhower Series is sponsoring a program entitled Assessing the Role of Stability Police Units with the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI), the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), the Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units (CoESPU) and the National Defense University (NDU).

SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

Since its liberation from an oppressive regime and the successful elections in January, the Iraqi people are now on their way towards a free and democratic society. Significant security challenges remain, but there is no doubt that Iraq is moving in the right direction. (Transcript)

Dr. Francis J. Harvey
Secretary of the Army

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