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EARLY BIRD October 24_ 2007 - Olmsted Foundation

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									                               CURRENT NEWS

                                EARLY BIRD
                                        October 24, 2007
               Use of these news articles does not reflect official endorsement.
        Reproduction for private use or gain is subject to original copyright restrictions.
                      Story numbers indicate order of appearance only.

GATES TRIP
 1.   Administration Diverges On Missile Defense
      (Washington Post)....Michael Abramowitz and Walter Pincus
      President Bush said yesterday that a missile defense system is urgently needed in Europe to guard against a possible
      attack on U.S. allies by Iran, while Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates suggested that the United States could delay
      activating such a system until there is "definitive proof" of such a threat.

 2.   U.S. May Delay Activating Missile Shield
      (Los Angeles Times)....Peter Spiegel and James Gerstenzang
      In a bid to win Russian support for a controversial U.S. missile defense system in Eastern Europe, the United States
      has proposed delaying its activation until there is concrete intelligence that Iran has long-range missiles, Defense
      Secretary Robert M. Gates said Tuesday.

 3.   U.S. Rethinks Missile System In Europe
      (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)....Robert Burns, Associated Press
      The Bush administration has told Moscow it may delay activation of a proposed U.S. missile defense system in
      Europe until it has "definitive proof" that Iran poses a missile threat, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday.

 4.   Gates Signals US Could Delay E. Europe Missile Shield Plan
      (Boston Globe)....Brian Knowlton, International Herald Tribune
      Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, seeking to mollify Moscow, gave the clearest sign yet yesterday that the United
      States might delay the activation of missile defense sites in Eastern Europe - even as President Bush pleaded with
      Congress to fully finance the plan to fill what he called an urgent need for European missile defense.


WHITE HOUSE
 5.   Bush Stands By Plan For Missile Defenses
      (New York Times)....Steven Lee Myers
      President Bush on Tuesday strongly defended plans to build missile defenses in Europe, arguing that Iran posed an
      urgent threat to some NATO allies. He also chided the Democratic-controlled Congress for cutting spending that he
      called “vital to the security of America.”


DEFENSE DEPARTMENT
 6.   A Tough Tour Of The Home Front
      (Washington Post)....Ann Scott Tyson
      ...On his first domestic trip as the nation's top military officer, Mullen set out on a two-day tour of Army bases to
      "get a baseline" assessment of the strains that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are imposing on U.S. armed forces.

 7.   Feedback For The Chairman Of Joint Chiefs
      (New York Times)....Thom Shanker
                                                                                                                         page 2
       Adm. Mike Mullen invited candor from the Army on Tuesday, and he got it: questions from young captains
       frustrated by what they described as disciplinary problems in the ranks, shoddy health care for their spouses and
       children, and depots emptied of combat gear needed for training.

 8.    Army Captains Grill New Joint Chiefs Chairman On Iraq
       (Boston Globe)....Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press
       Army captains pelted the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff with blunt questions yesterday about the strain of
       long Iraq deployments.


IRAQ -- SECURITY CONTRACTORS
 9.    Security Firms In Iraq Face New Rules
       (Washington Post)....Karen DeYoung
       Private security contractors will continue to protect U.S. diplomats in Iraq but will operate under closer supervision
       by U.S. Embassy officials and with clearer accountability for their actions, according to new rules approved
       yesterday by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

 10.     Use Of Contractors By State Dept. Has Soared
       (New York Times)....John M. Broder and David Rohde
       Over the past four years, the amount of money the State Department pays to private security and law enforcement
       contractors has soared to nearly $4 billion a year from $1 billion, administration officials said Tuesday, but they said
       that the department had added few new officials to oversee the contracts.

 11.     Blackwater Call For Cameras Denied
       (Washington Times)....Nicholas Kralev
       The State Department cited legal concerns in turning down a 2005 request from Blackwater USA to install cameras
       in official U.S. motorcades protected by employees of the security contractor in Iraq, The Washington Times has
       learned.

 12.    Blackwater Says Guards Were Betrayed In '04 Ambush
       (Boston Globe)....Richard Lardner, Associated Press
       Heavier guns and sturdier trucks would not have saved a team of Blackwater USA guards brutally killed in March
       2004 after being lured by corrupt Iraqi forces into a well-planned ambush, the embattled private security contractor
       contends in a report to Congress.

 13.     Rice Orders Training, Oversight For Guards
       (Washington Times)....Matthew Lee, Associated Press
       ...The moves announced yesterday are among those that Miss Rice opted to make on her own, but further changes
       are likely after she meets later this week with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.


IRAQ/TURKEY
 14.     Maliki, Under Turkish Pressure, Vows To Curb Kurdish Rebels
       (Washington Post)....Sudarsan Raghavan
       Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki vowed Tuesday to halt the activities of Kurdish separatists staging strikes into
       Turkey from northern Iraq, marking his government's strongest declaration yet that it would act to forestall a Turkish
       invasion.

 15.     U.S. Officials Upbraid Kurds For Failing To Halt Guerrillas
       (New York Times)....Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Sabrina Tavernise
       In unusual criticism, United States officials on Tuesday upbraided Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq for failing to curb
       the Kurdish guerrillas who operate unchecked in the autonomous region and use it as a safe haven for ambushes
       inside Turkey.

 16.     U.S. Air Strikes On PKK Weighed
       (Chicago Tribune)....Bay Fang
       The Bush administration is considering air strikes against the Kurdish rebel group PKK in northern Iraq in an attempt
       to stave off a Turkish invasion of Iraq to fight the rebels, administration officials said.
                                                                                                                        page 3
 17.    Turkish Kurds Stuck In The Middle
       (Los Angeles Times)....Tracy Wilkinson
       In a town where the pictures of dead Kurdish guerrillas adorn certain walls as tributes to their martyrdom, warnings
       of war along the Turkish-Iraqi border are achingly familiar.


IRAQ
 18.    Helicopter Fire Kills Iraqis, Days After Sadr City Battle
       (New York Times)....Andrew E. Kramer
       Gunfire from an American helicopter killed 11 people, including women and children, after it came under fire north
       of Baghdad on Tuesday, according to a statement by the military. The episode was the second this week in which
       multiple Iraqi deaths resulted from a United States combat action.

 19.    U.S.: Top Iranians Direct Iraq Missions
       (Los Angeles Times)....Paul Richter
       A senior State Department official, toughening the administration's line on Iran, said Tuesday that there was no
       doubt the top leaders in Tehran were directing Iranian forces that the administration is holding responsible for the
       deaths of hundreds of U.S. troops in Iraq.

 20.    Soldier, Civilian Deaths Decline In Iraq
       (Boston Globe)....Steven R. Hurst, Associated Press
       October is on course to record the second consecutive decline in US military and Iraqi civilian deaths and Americans
       commanders say they know why: the US troop increase and an Iraqi groundswell against Al Qaeda and Shi'ite militia
       extremists.

 21.    S. Korea Moves To Stay In Iraq
       (Washington Times)....Andrew Salmon
       President Roh Moo-hyun called yesterday for a one-year extension of South Korean troop deployments in Iraq,
       saying that closer relations with Washington were vital to his nation's security.

 22.    U.S., Iraq, Work To Smooth Foreign Military Sales Process
       (Defense Daily)....Ann Roosevelt
       The United States is working to smooth the path to Foreign Military Sales (FMS) as the government of Iraq works to
       procure weapons for its national forces, according to a top U.S. official.

 23.    Istanbul To Host Conference On Iraq
       (Washington Times)....Unattributed
       Turkey next month will host a global conference on Iraq, which is expected to be attended by the war-torn country's
       neighbors as well as world powers, the foreign ministry said yesterday.


CONGRESS
 24.     Wars May Cost $2.4T
       (USA Today)....Ken Dilanian
       The cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could total $2.4 trillion through the next decade, or nearly $8,000 per
       man, woman and child in the country, according to a Congressional Budget Office estimate scheduled for release
       today.

 25.    Effort To Censure Lawmaker For A Comment Falls Short
       (New York Times)....David Stout
       Representative Pete Stark, Democrat of California, escaped a censure Tuesday for incendiary remarks he made last
       week about President Bush and the war in Iraq.

 26.    Congress Approves Moves To Reduce Veteran Suicides
       (USA Today)....Unattributed
       The House unanimously gave final congressional approval to legislation aimed at reducing the rate of suicides
       among former members of the armed forces. The bill goes to President Bush for his signature.

 27.    Item In War Request Stokes Fears Of Iran Strike
                                                                                                                           page 4
       (CQ Today)....John M. Donnelly
       Some Democrats are worried that President Bush’s funding request to enable B-2 “stealth” bombers to carry a new
       30,000-pound “bunker buster” bomb is a sign of plans for an attack on Iran.


AFGHANISTAN
 28.    Afghanistan: Battle Kills Militants And Civilians, Officials Say
       (New York Times)....Associated Press
       NATO and Afghan troops called in airstrikes during a battle against insurgents on Monday that left 20 suspected
       militants and several civilians dead in Wardak Province, just west of Kabul, officials said. The casualty figures
       varied widely. Afghan officials said 3 to 12 civilians were killed in the fighting. A NATO spokesman, Maj. Charles
       Anthony, said soldiers were investigating.

 29.     Bamiyan Pays The Afghan Peace Penalty
       (Christian Science Monitor)....Mark Sappenfield
       Available data is often conflicting and incomplete, but it does suggest that a disproportionate share of aid money has
       gone to the south. Yet experts see signs of a shift as countries realize that their development dollars can achieve more
       in places of relative peace.


MIDEAST
 30.     Photographs Said To Show Israeli Target Inside Syria
       (Washington Post)....Robin Wright and Joby Warrick
       Independent experts have pinpointed what they believe to be the Euphrates River site in Syria that was bombed by
       Israel last month, and satellite imagery of the area shows buildings under construction roughly similar in design to a
       North Korean reactor capable of producing nuclear material for one bomb a year, the experts say.


DISASTER RELIEF
 31.    Pentagon Sends Fire Aid To California
       (Washingtonpost.com)....Pauline Jelinek, Associated Press
       The Pentagon sent troops, firefighting equipment and humanitarian supplies Tuesday to help California authorities
       overwhelmed by spreading wildfires and hundreds of thousands of people fleeing their homes. (THIS ARTICLE
       APPEARED ONLINE, NOT IN THE ACTUAL NEWSPAPER.)

 32.    Fort Sam Team Goes To Help With Fires
       (San Antonio Express-News)....Scott Huddleston
       A 13-member command assessment team from Fort Sam Houston's U.S. Army North left Tuesday for Southern
       California, where they'll evaluate the situation on the ground amid the raging wildfires and determine what more the
       Department of Defense could do to help.

 33.     Peterson Airmen Fight Fires
       (Colorado Springs Gazette)....Tom Roeder
       From four miles up, the famous night lights of this massive city are missing from the horizon, shrouded by smoke so
       thick that the Colorado Springs airmen sent here to fight wildfires can only make out its location on radar.


NAVY
 34.     Diplomacy That Heals
       (Miami Herald)....Carol Rosenberg
       ...These were the travels of the USNS Comfort, an 894-foot white gleaming hospital ship from which 800 U.S.
       forces, federal civilian workers and charity volunteers set out to stage a sustained, concentrated foreign policy
       incursion in the form of a 12-nation goodwill tour of Latin America and the Caribbean.

 35.     Tricked-Out Sub Stops At Pearl Harbor
       (Honolulu Advertiser)....William Cole
       Its displacement is more than twice that of a Los Angeles-class submarine, and eight times that of the Bowfin
       submarine next to the USS Arizona Memorial visitors center.
                                                                                                                          page 5
AIR FORCE
 36.     Gen. Moseley Pledges To Keep Air Cargo Program On Schedule
       (The Hill)....Roxana Tiron
       The Air Force chief of staff, Gen. Michael Moseley, foresees no changes to the Joint Cargo Aircraft if the Air Force
       is granted sole control of the program.


MILITARY
 37.    Women Push For Memorial In Honor Of Military Families
       (USA Today)....Gregg Zoroya
       Congressional support is building for a monument near the National Mall honoring military families, the brainchild
       of two close friends — one a widow of a sailor killed in Iraq, the other a military wife.


VETERANS
 38.    'They're Throwing Them Away'
       (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)....Philip Dine
       After two combat tours in Iraq on a "quick reaction team" that picked up body parts after suicide bombings, Donald
       Schmidt began suffering from nightmares and paranoia. Then he had a nervous breakdown. The military discharged
       Schmidt last Oct. 31 for problems they said resulted not from post-traumatic stress disorder but rather from a
       personality disorder that pre-dated his military service.


BUSINESS
 39.     Boeing Must Rebid For Helicopter Deal
       (Philadelphia Inquirer)....Henry J. Holcomb
       ...With orders for 144 helicopters at stake, the process is beginning to feel like a hot and ugly political campaign.


OPINION
 40.     Remember Iraq
       (New York Times)....Thomas L. Friedman
       Boy, am I glad we finally got out of Iraq. It was so painful waking up every morning and reading the news from
       there. It’s just such a relief to have it out of mind and behind us Huh? Say what? You say we’re still there? But how
       could that be — nobody in Washington is talking about it anymore?

 41.     Afghan Homecoming
       (Wall Street Journal)....Khaled Hosseini
       ...This past month, I went to Afghanistan with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to visit some of
       the returnees. In the center in Kabul where returnees are registered, I met families who had made the tiring journey
       home from Pakistan the day before. I spoke to them as they descended from the brightly colored trucks loaded with
       women, children, wooden beams and bundles of bags. They were weary from the road, but I found their mood
       positive and hopeful.

 42.     On The Brink Of A Blunder?
       (Philadelphia Inquirer)....Trudy Rubin
       Hold on to your seats, ladies and gentlemen. It sounds like the president and vice president are planning a war with
       Iran.
                                                                                                                                              page 6
Washington Post                      Russian concerns could be                    Yesterday, Bush said the         that will not be tested before
October 24, 2007                     allayed by delaying operation          intelligence            community      2011.       The       European
Pg. 3                                of the Eastern European system         assessed that Iran could do it         interceptor will be a two-stage
1. Administration                    until the Iranian missile threat       "before 2015," but he said             version of a larger missile that
Diverges On Missile                  to Europe materialized. "We            Tehran would need foreign              has been problematic for the
                                     have not fully developed this          assistance.                            Pentagon's Defense Missile
Defense                              proposal," Gates said, "but the              A July report by the             Agency.
Bush Pushes for System in
                                     idea was we would go forward           Congressional             Research
Europe; Gates Urges
                                     with the negotiations, we              Service said that, as of
'Definitive Proof' of Iranian                                                                                      Los Angeles Times
                                     would          complete          the   mid-2007, "Iran has only
Threat                                                                                                             October 24, 2007
                                     negotiations,       we       would     flight-tested one medium-range
By Michael Abramowitz and                                                                                          2. U.S. May Delay
                                     develop the sites, build the           missile,      the      single-stage
Walter Pincus, Washington
Post Staff Writers
                                     sites, but perhaps would delay         Shahab-3, having a range of            Activating Missile
                                     activating them until there was        1,300-2,000 kilometers," or            Shield
      President    Bush      said
                                     concrete proof of the threat           about 1,200 miles. CRS also            In hopes of reversing Russia's
yesterday that a missile defense
                                     from Iran."                            noted that many experts                opposition to the planned
system is urgently needed in
                                          White House officials said        disagree      with      the    U.S.    system in Eastern Europe,
Europe to guard against a
                                     that there was no daylight             assessment          of        Iran's   Defense chief Gates proposes
possible attack on U.S. allies
                                     between Bush and Gates,                capabilities.                          waiting until there is 'concrete
by Iran, while Defense
                                     saying that Gates is committed               "The international security      proof' of an Iranian threat.
Secretary Robert M. Gates
                                     to the system but is looking for       policy and ballistic missile           By Peter Spiegel and James
suggested that the United
                                     ways to address the Russian            proliferation community argue          Gerstenzang, Los Angeles
States could delay activating
                                     objections.      White       House     that evidence of an Iranian            Times Staff Writers
such a system until there is
                                     spokesman Gordon Johndroe              ICBM program is scant and                   WASHINGTON —In a
"definitive proof" of such a
                                     said there is no doubt that "the       unconvincing,"        the      CRS     bid to win Russian support for
threat.
                                     program will go forward."              reported. Russian President            a controversial U.S. missile
      The seemingly contrasting
                                          In his speech yesterday,          Vladimir Putin has also                defense system in Eastern
messages came as the Bush
                                     Bush discussed his efforts to          expressed skepticism, and the          Europe, the United States has
administration grappled with
                                     combat international terrorism         Iranians said they dropped             proposed        delaying       its
continuing Russian protests
                                     and      rogue       states     and    development of an ICBM, the            activation until there is
over Washington's plan to
                                     emphasized missile defense, an         CRS reported.                          concrete intelligence that Iran
deploy elements of a missile
                                     initiative he sees as a major                U.S. lawmakers this year         has      long-range      missiles,
defense system in Eastern
                                     legacy. Since taking office,           voted indirectly to delay the          Defense Secretary Robert M.
Europe. The Kremlin considers
                                     Bush has declared operational          missile       interceptor       site   Gates said Tuesday.
the program a potential threat
                                     a system meant to destroy              deployment in Poland. As                    Gates made the offer
to its own nuclear deterrent and
                                     incoming nuclear warheads              Bush acknowledged yesterday,           directly to senior Russian
has sought to play down any
                                     that has not been completely           about $139 million has been            officials during a visit to
threat from Iran.
                                     tested -- provoking criticism          cut from the fiscal 2008               Moscow last week, but chose
      Both Bush and Gates
                                     from defense and arms control          Pentagon       budget       request,   to publicize it on the same day
affirmed that they want to
                                     experts who question its               money that was to pay for              President Bush highlighted the
proceed with deployment of
                                     cost-effectiveness.                    preliminary preparation of the         threat     of   Iran's    missile
the system, including 10
                                          Bush initially depicted the       Polish site.                           program, which the president
antimissile interceptors in
                                     system as meant to counter a                 "Missile defense is a vital      said may enable Tehran to
Poland and a radar-tracking
                                     missile threat from North              tool for our security, it's a vital    strike the U.S. mainland by
facility in the Czech Republic
                                     Korea       but      lately     has    tool for deterrence and it's a         2015.
projected for completion in
                                     emphasized the threat from             vital            tool            for        The Eastern European
2012. Bush cited Iran's
                                     Iran, which the administration         counterproliferation,"         Bush    system faces strong objections
development       of     ballistic
                                     says is trying to develop a            said. "Despite all these               from Moscow, which fears it
missiles that could strike Israel
                                     nuclear weapon. The White              benefits, the United States            could also be used against
and Turkey, and said Tehran is
                                     House          has         disputed    Congress is cutting funding."          Russia's nuclear missiles, and
also developing missiles that
                                     suggestions that it is trying to             Further obstacles loom in        from      the    Democratic-led
could strike NATO countries.
                                     lay the groundwork for military        Poland, where the liberal Civic        Congress, which has cut
      "The need for missile
                                     strikes, saying that Bush is           Platform party won recent              funding for the program's
defense in Europe is real, and I
                                     focused on diplomatic efforts          elections. It had pledged to           construction. Voters in Poland
believe it's urgent," Bush said
                                     to halt Iran's activities -- which     withdraw Polish troops from            and the Czech Republic, where
in his remarks at the National
                                     Tehran says involve nuclear            Iraq and to renegotiate the deal       the system is to be based, are
Defense University. "Today,"
                                     energy, not weaponry.                  permitting installation of the         also overwhelmingly opposed.
he added, "we have no way to
                                          U.S. officials say the 2012       U.S. missile interceptor field.             Bush said Tuesday that
defend Europe against the
                                     deployment date is meant to            Polls of Polish people have            Iran tested ballistic missiles
emerging Iranian threat, so we
                                     precede       Iran's      projected    regularly found that a majority        just less than a year ago that
must deploy a missile defense
                                     development         of      nuclear    disapprove of the U.S.                 were capable of reaching
system there that can."
                                     weapon and its development of          interceptor base.                      Israel, Turkey and U.S. troops
      At a separate appearance
                                     a long-range ballistic missile               The U.S. system plans to         in the Persian Gulf. Iranian
in Prague, Gates suggested that
                                     capability by 2015.                    use a ground-based interceptor         officials, he added, have said
                                                                                                                                         page 7
they are developing missiles          immediately did everything         Europe until it has "definitive     negotiations, but Gates insisted
with a 1,200-mile range, which        you wanted, you would still        proof" that Iran poses a missile    that won't happen.
would allow Tehran to strike          build it,' " the administration    threat,    Defense      Secretary        "We have not fully
North         Atlantic       Treaty   official said. "And we said:       Robert Gates said Tuesday.          developed this proposal, but
Organization allies in Eastern        'Actually, there are other              A senior Russian official      the idea was we would go
and Southern Europe, and U.S.         threats that may emerge, but       repeated the Kremlin view that      forward with the negotiations,
intelligence           assessments    the urgency and the timeline is    the U.S. misreads Iran's missile    we would complete the
indicate that Iran could deploy       based on our sense of what Iran    potential. And in Washington,       negotiations,       we       would
a longer-range intercontinental       is doing.' "                       President Bush asserted that a      develop the sites, build the
ballistic missile by 2015.                  Gates, traveling Tuesday     U.S.-linked missile defense         sites, but perhaps delay
     "Today we have no way to         in the Czech Republic, said the    system is urgently needed in        activating them until there was
defend Europe against the             plan was still in the conceptual   Europe, illustrating the depth      concrete proof of the threat
emerging Iranian threat, and so       phase and that no details had      of the divide between former        from Iran," the defense chief
we must deploy a missile              been presented to the Russian      Cold War foes.                      said.
defense system there that can,"       government.                             "We need to take it                 By "activating," Gates
Bush said in a speech at the                "The idea was we would       seriously -- now," Bush said of     meant switching on the
National Defense University, a        go forward with the [Polish        the possibility Iran will gain      network of communication
school for senior military            and Czech] negotiations, we        the ability to attack Europe.       links that tie the missile
officers in Washington.               would         complete       the        Bush said intelligence         interceptors together with
     Under       current     plans,   negotiations,      we     would    estimates show Iran could have      radars for tracking and hitting a
construction would begin on           develop the sites, build the       the ability to strike the United    ballistic missile in flight.
the system next year and it           sites, but perhaps would delay     States and many European                 The White House strained
would be activated by 2013,           activating them until there was    allies by 2015. The Americans       to reconcile the tone of Gates'
just ahead of the projected           concrete proof of the threat       say the Russian estimate is         comments with Bush's speech,
completion of the Iranian             from Iran," Gates said in          2015 to 2020.                       although press secretary Dana
program. "The need for missile        Prague, the Czech capital.              Russia has long opposed        Perino said Bush and Gates
defense in Europe is real and I             In     public,    Russian    U.S. missile defenses, which        were essentially "talking about
believe it's urgent," Bush said.      President Vladimir V. Putin        currently are limited to a          the same thing."
     Although the intelligence        has remained implacable, and       fledgling system based mainly            Perino         said        the
estimate that Iran could have         the Bush administration now        in Alaska, California and           administration plans to keep
an ICBM by 2015 has been              faces another hurdle with the      Colorado, on grounds that it        pursuing a diplomatic solution
public for several months, the        weekend victory of the             might undermine the deterrent       to the nuclear standoff with
two messages -- Bush's                opposition Civic Platform          value of its nuclear arsenal.       Iran, suspected of seeking to
warning on the Iranian threat         party in Polish parliamentary      More broadly, Moscow worries        develop atomic weapons. At
and Gates' on the U.S.                elections.                         at     steps     toward    closer   the same time, there will be no
willingness to placate Russian              The Polish and Czech         U.S.-European security ties.        slowdown in plans to get the
fears -- suggested a level of         parliaments must approve the            As for the proposal Gates      missile      defense        system
urgency had entered the               U.S. system, and Civic             described       Tuesday,      the   operating in Europe, in
administration's calculations.        Platform has expressed more        Russians       have     expressed   consultation with U.S. allies,
     U.S. officials familiar with     skepticism about it than the       interest but not agreement.         she said.
the offer to the Russians said it     outgoing Law and Justice                At a news conference after          "We are going to continue
would not give Moscow a veto          Party, arguing during the          meeting with Czech Prime            to lay the ground work," Perino
over the system's deployment          campaign that the government       Minister Mirek Topolanek,           said. "And if we get to the
and that American officials           had not demanded enough            Gates said the U.S. would           point where Iran decides that
would continue negotiations           from the U.S. in return for        proceed with current plans to       they do not want to have a
with Poland and the Czech             allowing it to base 10             build a missile interceptor base    nuclear weapon, where we can
Republic, despite Russia's            interceptor missiles on Polish     in Poland and an associated         verify that, then we might
insistence that those talks           soil.                              radar in the Czech Republic,        decide that it wouldn't be
cease.                                                                   but it might be willing to wait     necessary eventually."
     But according to one                                                before putting them in working
senior U.S. official involved in      Seattle Post-Intelligencer         order.
the talks with the Russians, the      October 24, 2007                        "We would consider tying       Boston Globe
U.S. would "reconsider the            3. U.S. Rethinks Missile           together activation of the sites    October 24, 2007
timeline" for construction if         System In Europe                   in Poland and the Czech             4. Gates Signals US
Iran's schedule falls behind          Russia told activation may be      Republic with definitive proof      Could Delay E. Europe
current intelligence estimates,       delayed until Iran threat          of the threat -- in other words,    Missile Shield Plan
including the possibility of a        proved                             Iranian missile testing and so      But president calls need urgent
delay in switching on the             By Robert Burns, Associated        on," Gates said with Topolanek      By Brian Knowlton,
system until the ICBM threat          Press                              at his side.                        International Herald Tribune
becomes more concrete.                     PRAGUE, Czech Republic             The Bush administration             WASHINGTON - Defense
     "They had said in some of        -- The Bush administration has     has been negotiating with           Secretary Robert M. Gates,
our discussions: 'We know it's        told Moscow it may delay           Prague and Warsaw over terms        seeking to mollify Moscow,
directed against us, because          activation of a proposed U.S.      of basing. The Russians have        gave the clearest sign yet
even       if     the      Iranians   missile defense system in          pressed the U.S. to freeze the
                                                                                                                                          page 8
yesterday that the United States     Vladimir V. Putin offered the                                            complete the negotiations, we
might delay the activation of        United States the use of radar                                           would develop the sites, build
missile defense sites in Eastern     facilities in Azerbaijan to help    New York Times                       the sites, but perhaps delay
Europe - even as President           track Iranian missiles, an idea     October 24, 2007                     activating them until there was
Bush pleaded with Congress to        Bush did not reject.                5. Bush Stands By Plan               concrete proof of the threat
fully finance the plan to fill            This month, Secretary of       For Missile Defenses                 from Iran.”
what he called an urgent need        State Condoleezza Rice visited      By Steven Lee Myers                       At the meetings in
for European missile defense.        Moscow with Gates. They                  WASHINGTON, Oct. 23             Moscow, on Oct. 12 and 13,
     Gates's remarks, which          reportedly presented proposals      — President Bush on Tuesday          the Russians called for the
expanded on recent comments          that included an invitation for     strongly defended plans to           United States to freeze the
by other US officials, were          Russia to join the United States    build missile defenses in            planned deployment of the
made at a news conference in         and NATO in designing and           Europe, arguing that Iran posed      missiles in Poland and a radar
Prague with Prime Minister           operating an antimissile system     an urgent threat to some             station in the Czech Republic.
Mirek Topolanek of the Czech         meant to protect all of Europe,     NATO allies. He also chided          While Mr. Gates and Secretary
Republic. Gates said US              and suggested that Russian and      the       Democratic-controlled      of State Condoleezza Rice
missiles might not be activated      American officers be stationed      Congress for cutting spending        ruled that out, the two
until Iran became a confirmed        at each other's missile defense     that he called “vital to the         countries did agree to share
threat by taking action like         sites.                              security of America.”                information about potential
testing its own missiles.                 The visitors seemed at first        “The need for missile           threats from Iran.
     He also said that the           to meet a frosty reception -        defense in Europe is real, and I          Mr. Bush would like to
United States planned to make        Putin made a snide reference to     believe it is urgent,” Mr. Bush      make missile defense a
any radar site in the Czech          building missile-defense sites      said, speaking at the National       defining     legacy      of     his
Republic and any missile site        "somewhere on the moon" -           Defense University here. “Iran       presidency, though critics say
in Poland more transparent to        but officials said Rice and         is pursuing the technology that      the initial system, with a
Russia, perhaps through an           Gates were greeted more             could be used to produce             limited number of missile
exchange of observers.               warmly behind closed doors.         nuclear weapons and ballistic        interceptors in Alaska and
     Gates's talk of linking US           The officials said the US      missiles of increasing range         California, remains unproven.
missile activation to Iranian        proposal was presented as part      that could deliver them.”            Missile defense has been a core
actions seemed counter to the        of a larger package to include           Mr. Bush’s remarks —            of Republican ideology since
message of urgency Bush              the future status of Kosovo and     part of a broad defense of the       Ronald Reagan proposed what
delivered hours later in a           the question of whether Russia      administration’s          national   came to be known as the “Star
speech at the National Defense       will carry out a threat to          security strategy after the Sept.    Wars” program in 1983, and it
University in Washington.            withdraw          from        the   11, 2001, attacks — came only        remains hugely popular among
"With       continued     foreign    Conventional Forces in Europe       11 days after his secretaries of     the Republican candidates
assistance," Bush said, "Iran        Treaty.                             state and defense went to            vying to succeed Mr. Bush.
could          develop         an         In Prague, Gates said the      Moscow and discussed ways to              “We should move as
intercontinental         ballistic   contacts with Russia continue.      ease Russia’s concerns over the      quickly as we can to build
missile capable of reaching the      "We continue to encourage the       deployment of missile defenses       missile defense,” Rudolph W.
United States and all of Europe      Russians to partner with us in      in Poland and the Czech              Giuliani said during the
before 2015." He said the time       missile defense and continue        Republic.                            Republican candidates’ debate
to act was now.                      our efforts to reassure them             While Mr. Bush invited          on Sunday night in Orlando,
     But linking the two             that these facilities are not       Russian cooperation, he also         Fla. Senator John McCain said
messages were references by          aimed at Russia and could           made it clear that the               that the objections of President
both men to an apparently            benefit Russia."                    administration intended to           Vladimir V. Putin were not an
cooperative new approach with             While saying that he           proceed with building missile        obstacle to deploying a system,
Russia that might clear the way      expected the US negotiations        sites as part of a plan to deploy    but rather a justification of it.
for the project.                     with Poland and the Czech           the interceptor missiles in               “This is a dangerous
     US officials have spent         Republic to be concluded this       several years. His tone              person, and he has to
months trying to assuage bitter      year, Gates also proposed           appeared more hawkish than           understand that there’s a cost
opposition from Moscow,              linking the activation of both      that of Defense Secretary            to some of his actions,” Mr.
which sees the American              sites to "definitive proof of the   Robert M. Gates, who had said        McCain said. “And the first
missile facilities as a threat.      threat, in other words, Iranian     earlier in the day in Prague that    thing I would do is make sure
One Russian official even            missile testing and so on."         while the United States wanted       that we have a missile defense
warned of targeting Europe in             Although he said this          the deployment to move               system in place” in Poland and
response,       and     relations    proposal was not yet "fully         forward, the missiles might not      the Czech Republic.
between the two powers               developed," Gates's comments        be activated immediately after            The              Democratic
seemed headed for a post-Cold        confirmed a report Saturday         being deployed.                      presidential candidates, by
War low.                             that quoted Jaap de Hoop                 “We have not fully              contrast, have rarely discussed
     After concerted US efforts      Scheffer, the NATO secretary        developed this proposal,” Mr.        it and, when they do, usually
to     calm      the   Russians,     general, as saying: "The            Gates said, appearing with the       criticize it for soaking up
Moscow's tone on missiles            Americans have made a               Czech prime minister, Mirek          resources that might be better
began to change this summer.         substantial and fundamental         Topolanek, “but the idea was         spent on more pressing threats
At the Group of Eight summit         offer. I sincerely hope the         we would go forward with the         or domestic needs.
in Germany in June, President        Russians will pick it up."          negotiations,      we       would         Mr. Bush suggested that
                                                                                                                                        page 9
missile defenses would be a               Representative Ellen O.         with dozens of young officers,      other incentives.
deterrent the same way that an       Tauscher of California, a            Mullen received an earful over            One of the most pressing
overwhelming capacity for            Democrat,      dismissed      Mr.    many of the challenges that         problems the captains raised
nuclear retaliation once was         Bush’s criticism. She said there     will define his chairmanship:       with Mullen is the lack of time
with the Soviet Union.               was bipartisan support for           lengthy war-zone rotations,         at home. "We have soldiers
     “A terrorist regime that        defenses focused on more             worn-out equipment, growing         that have spent more time in
can strike America or our allies     immediate         threats       of   discipline     problems,     and    combat than World War II,"
with a ballistic missile is likely   shorter-range missiles that          shortages of medical care for       said a captain in the front row,
to see this power as giving          could strike American allies or      returning veterans. But most        who proposed capping combat
them free rein for acts of           forces in the Middle East and        impassioned were pleas from         time at 30 months. "Is there a
aggression and intimidation in       Europe.                              several     captains     --     a   point where you can say,
their own neighborhoods,” he              “There’s no need for us to      combat-tested swath of officers     'You've served enough'?"
said. “But with missile              rush ahead to deal with an           the Army is seeking to retain             Addressing the captains
defenses in place, the calculus      emerging threat,” she said,          through unprecedented cash          here, at the home of the Army's
of deterrence changes in our         referring to Iran’s possible         bonuses -- for a bit of             artillery school, Mullen, 61,
favor. If this same terrorist        development                     of   normalcy.                           said that he expects the
regime       does    not     have    intercontinental         missiles,        "The most important thing      military to remain heavily
confidence their missile attack      “when we have such gaps now          in my life is my wife's wish to     deployed around the world,
would be successful, it is less      for the current threat.”             go back to college," said a         and does not anticipate
likely to engage in acts of                                               dark-haired captain, speaking       returning to a peacetime
aggression in the first place.”                                           to Mullen from the back row of      schedule of one year abroad
     In speaking at the National     Washington Post                      a meeting room decorated by         and two years at home for
Defense University, Mr. Bush         October 24, 2007                     unit banners dating to World        perhaps another decade.
was returning to the place           Pg. 1                                War I. But the captain was told           Mullen, who encouraged
where he first pledged to build      6. A Tough Tour Of The               that was not a priority for the     the frank talk, made it clear
a national missile defense more      Home Front                           Army, he said, and as a result      that his chief goal is to retain
than six and a half years ago.       New Joint Chiefs Head Hears          he is going to have to tell his     combat veterans. "This is the
But critics questioned the           of Wars' Strains                     wife, "Honey, yeah, I just got      most combat-hardened force
urgency of the threat, and even      By Ann Scott Tyson,                  back, but we're moving."            we've had in our history... .
Mr. Bush said that intelligence      Washington Post Staff Writer              "When it becomes a             How do I hang on to all of that
agencies did not believe that              FORT SILL, Okla., Oct.         burden to my family, sir, that's    combat experience?" he said to
Iran could build a ballistic         23 -- After returning in             repulsive," said the captain,       the captains. "I don't want to
missile capable of striking the      September from a 16-month            who, like his fellow officers,      lose that."
United States before 2015 —          tour with the 10th Mountain          could not be quoted by name               A     Vietnam      veteran,
and then only with foreign           Division in Afghanistan, Capt.       without granting permission.        Mullen vowed to do everything
assistance.                          Michael Vieira was hoping to              Mullen asked the captain       in his power to keep the
     “There are a lot of ifs,        settle down here, where his          for his name and e-mail             all-volunteer      force    from
ands and buts,” Daryl G.             fiancee has a good job.              address. "I'm happy to take it      breaking. "I watched the
Kimball, executive director of             "All I want to do is start a   on," he said, but he added: "I'm    military break in the 1970s," he
the Arms Control Association         family, buy a house, have            not promising relief."              said. "I'm never going to let
in Washington, said of Iran’s        stability," Vieira, 25, explained         And the chairman assured       that happen again."
missile abilities.                   Tuesday to Adm. Michael              Vieira, of St. Johnsbury, Vt.,            Mullen acknowledged that
     The administration hopes        Mullen, in an unusually blunt        that the apparent disregard for     troops in Iraq are tired and
to reach agreements by year’s        encounter between the new            families he described was "not      "ready to come home." He said
end with Poland and the Czech        chairman of the Joint Chiefs of      well received by the Army           his goal is to shift "as rapidly
Republic and to break ground         Staff and about 70 young             leadership"      --     eliciting   as possible" from the current
on the missile sites before Mr.      artillery captains. But the          chuckles from some of the           Army standard -- 15 months in
Bush leaves office.                  Army told him that "family           assembled officers, many with       combat, followed by 12
     Mr. Bush raised the issue       considerations" would have no        one or more combat tours in         months back home -- to equal
again now, aides said, to fend       bearing on his next posting,         Iraq or Afghanistan.                time deployed and at home.
off Congressional efforts to cut     Vieira said.                              The Army officers Mullen             That didn't satisfy some
spending, which he said would              As a result, Vieira said to    met with are among the most         officers. "That's not good
delay the deployments in             Mullen, he is quitting the           experienced in the force and        enough," one captain said,
Europe “for a year or more.”         service. "I'm done," he said.        the ones in greatest demand,        saying he'd like to be home
Mr. Bush, who the day before               On his first domestic trip     but the high pace of war-zone       three years for every year
asked Congress to approve            as the nation's top military         rotations is the main reason        away.
$196 billion for the wars in         officer, Mullen set out on a         they are leaving the service.             "I've got it that it's not
Iraq and Afghanistan and other       two-day tour of Army bases to        The Army faces a shortage of        good enough," Mullen replied.
programs, complained that            "get a baseline" assessment of       more than 6,000 captains and        Still, he said, even lengthening
Congress       was     proposing     the strains that the wars in Iraq    majors needed to boost the          home stays to 15 months
cutting $290 million from the        and Afghanistan are imposing         force by 65,000 soldiers by         would take time. "We can't
$8.9 billion he proposed for         on U.S. armed forces. In a           2010, and it recently began         wave a wand and get there
missile defense in the current       sometimes               emotional    offering          unprecedented     overnight," he said.
fiscal year.                         90-minute meeting Tuesday            bonuses of up to $35,000 and              One      captain    voiced
                                                                                                                                         page 10
concern over the Army's              surprised, and that they             attending a course to help           past deployment to Iraq or
growing practice of granting         validated his own views. "They       prepare them for higher              Afghanistan. At the rank of
waivers to recruits for legal        weren't shy," he said.               command. In response to some         captain, they are rapidly
and health problems, saying                                               questions, he asked for e-mail       approaching a five-year mark
that he spent 80 percent of his                                           addresses so he could follow         that allows them to end their
time dealing with the 13             New York Times                       up with more complete                active-duty service, and the
"problem children" in his            October 24, 2007                     answers,       a    pledge    that   decision forces them to weigh
100-person unit, some of             7. Feedback For The                  surprised, and pleased, his          continued commitment to the
whom went AWOL or had                Chairman Of Joint                    listeners.                           military against commitments
been           methamphetamine       Chiefs                                    Admiral Mullen told them        to marriage and family.
dealers.                             By Thom Shanker                      his      priorities    were     to        “All I want to do is start a
      Mullen also stressed the             FORT SILL, Okla., Oct.         “reconstitute, reset, revitalize”    family, buy a house, have
military must prepare for            23 — Adm. Mike Mullen                a military strained by long          stability,” said one, who
"significant change" as the          invited candor from the Army         deployments to Iraq and              expressed readiness to return to
country elects a new president.      on Tuesday, and he got it:           Afghanistan, and the officers        Iraq so long as he and his wife
"That kind of change at the          questions from young captains        told him repeatedly that their       had assurance that they could
senior level of government is        frustrated by what they              morale remained high.                settle at a single military post
very challenging, no matter          described       as    disciplinary        But they made clear that        and not be transferred to a new
which party takes over," he          problems in the ranks, shoddy        their families wanted some           unit when he returned from
said. "My goal is to be ... sort     health care for their spouses        relief. And the captains             combat.
of a rock during that change"        and children, and depots             themselves wanted assurances              Another officer, an Iraq
and give advice on serious           emptied of combat gear needed        that they would have first-class     veteran, said his wife, now
decisions to come.                   for training.                        troops to lead and enough            pregnant with their second
      He added that it is critical         With the conflict in Iraq      quality equipment to train for       child, complained that the
that the military remain             now nearly a year longer than        success.                             pediatric care she sought from
apolitical and under civilian        American involvement in                   As part of an effort to         their local military hospital was
control. If unable to carry out      World War II, Admiral Mullen,        expand the ground forces and         substandard. As a result, he
orders, officers should "vote        the new chairman of the Joint        fulfill deployments, the Army        said, he is now planning to
with our feet and leave," he         Chiefs of Staff, was also asked      has lowered the bar on some of       separate from the Army within
said.                                whether senior officers had          its standards for new soldiers,      the year.
      Also Tuesday, Mullen           considered putting a limit on        and the officers at Fort Sill told        The admiral called caring
visited students at the Army         how long any one soldier could       Admiral Mullen that the move         for families of deploying
Command and General Staff            be deployed in combat.               had caused a new set of              military personnel a “vital
College at Fort Leavenworth,               “Is there a point where we     problems.                            issue.” But he also noted that
Kan., and met with Army              can say, sir, ‘Enough’?” one              One Iraq veteran said he        military doctors and nurses
recruiters        in      Denver.    captain asked.                       had       witnessed     increased    sent from bases like Fort Sill to
Wednesday, he is to speak with             “I recognize the sacrifice,”   disciplinary problems among          serve in Iraq and Afghanistan
U.S. military teams at Fort          Admiral Mullen responded,            troops, which he attributed to       were themselves “working
Riley, Kan., preparing to train      adding that the current              the enlistment of recruits with      overtime.”
Iraqi and Afghan forces.             American         military      had   lower academic credentials as             One captain told the
      Hardship on spouses and        acquired the most combat             well as some who have been           admiral that because of the
children emerged as a major          experience in the nation’s           granted “moral waivers,” a step      focus      on    Iraq,    combat
complaint for the young              history, “and I don’t want to        that allows those with minor         equipment at home for training
captains, most of them in their      lose that” through a lack of         criminal records to join up.         was “either broken, outdated or
20s or early 30s. One related        re-enlistments. He said the               This captain, whose name        improperly maintained.”
the frustration his pregnant         service chiefs had made it a         was withheld under ground                 Admiral Mullen said he
wife faced obtaining obstetric       priority to balance combat           rules for reporters observing        was pressing for money to
care for herself and medical         deployments with time at             the session, spoke of training       repair or replace combat gear.
treatment for their 8-month-old      home.                                all day and then having to           “It’s going to take some time to
son's ear infection. With many             The visit to the Army’s        spend much of the night on           solve that,” he said.
Army doctors deployed, he            artillery center here on the red     disciplinary action. Of the               Before continuing on his
said, she has often been told        clay flatlands of southwest          roughly 100 soldiers in his          tour, with stops later Tuesday
she can't get an appointment.        Oklahoma         was      Admiral    unit, about a dozen had been         at Fort Leavenworth and on
      "I am currently on track to    Mullen’s first stop on a tour of     caught selling drugs or going        Wednesday at Fort Riley, both
exit the military in one year,"      three Army installations to          absent without leave.                in Kansas, the admiral assured
he said, "not because I'm done       meet       with    troops      and        “Making sure we do not          the young officers that he had
serving ... but because my wife      underscore his attention to the      break our military is a huge         heard them.
has a bad taste in her mouth."       effect of combat deployments         priority for me,” said Admiral            “I        don’t         offer
Mullen again promised to take        on soldiers and marines.             Mullen, who vowed to review          instantaneous solutions,” he
his name and e-mail address.               In a 90-minute session         statistics on discipline so he       said. “But I know what’s on
"I'll get back to you," he said.     filled with give-and-take, he        could gauge any impact of the        your mind.”
      Commenting later on the        spoke with more than 100             current recruiting standards.
captains' frank comments,            officers, most of them captains           Most of the officers wore a
Mullen said that he was not                                               combat patch representing a          Boston Globe
                                                                                                                                             page 11
October 24, 2007                        are limits beyond which you         By Karen DeYoung,                           "She may also want to talk
8. Army Captains Grill                  will not stay."                     Washington Post Staff Writer           it through with him and see if
New Joint Chiefs                             Mullen, a career naval              Private               security    they want to take further steps"
                                        officer, has said he is             contractors will continue to           after    Gates      returns     to
Chairman On Iraq                        concerned about the effects of      protect U.S. diplomats in Iraq         Washington        from      travel
Raise questions about
                                        the wars on the Army. He's          but will operate under closer          overseas, McCormack said.
recruiting, long deployments
                                        visiting three Army bases in        supervision by U.S. Embassy                 The future of Blackwater,
By Lolita C. Baldor,
                                        Oklahoma and Kansas this            officials and with clearer             the security company involved
Associated Press
                                        week and meeting recruiters at      accountability for their actions,      in the Sept. 16 shooting
     FORT SILL, Okla. - Army
                                        a conference in Denver.             according to new rules                 incident, remains unresolved.
captains pelted the new
                                             Soldiers in Oklahoma           approved         yesterday        by   Once the FBI completes an
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
                                        spoke at length about the           Secretary of State Condoleezza         investigation in Iraq, the
Staff with blunt questions
                                        pressures on their families and     Rice.                                  panel's report said, the embassy
yesterday about the strain of
                                        how those can push them out              Neither the U.S. military         should recommend to Rice
long Iraq deployments.
                                        of the service.                     nor the State Department's             whether Blackwater should be
     They also asked about
                                             Officials at Fort Sill         Diplomatic Security Service is         allowed to continue working in
recruiting pressures that could
                                        allowed journalists to listen to    prepared          to        assume     Iraq. The Baghdad government
leave them supervising more
                                        the discussion but asked that       responsibility for guarding            has publicly insisted that the
soldiers      with        discipline
                                        the names of the soldiers not be    diplomats and other official           company be held culpable but
problems.
                                        used on the grounds that could      U.S. civilians, according to a         has made no formal demands,
     At times technical and
                                        inhibit them from speaking          Rice-appointed review panel            an administration official said.
other times very personal, the
                                        openly.                             that recommended the changes.          "But my gut feeling is they
officers' queries reflected the
                                             "When it becomes a             Instead,          communications       have to leave," the official said.
worries of a military struggling
                                        burden to my family, it             among the military, the                     Even if the FBI finds
to fight two wars in Iraq and
                                        becomes repulsive," said one        embassy        and     the     Iraqi   Blackwater at fault in the
Afghanistan                 without
                                        captain, who told Mullen that       government will be improved            shootings and refers the matter
exhausting troops, alienating
                                        he wants a stable assignment        and a joint committee will             to the Justice Department, no
their families, or driving
                                        so his wife can go to school,       investigate and judge all              one has decided whether the
soldiers away.
                                        but he was told "family             contractor incidents "involving        contractors can be prosecuted
     Navy Admiral Michael
                                        considerations don't play a         the use of deadly force."              under any U.S. law. "It's the
Mullen, four weeks into the
                                        role"     in    such   planning          The panel, appointed by           grayest of gray areas," a senior
new job, didn't have all the
                                        decisions.                          Rice after security contractors        U.S. law enforcement official
answers - or the ones they were
                                             Mullen grimaced as the         allegedly shot and killed 17           said.
hoping for, during a 90-minute
                                        officer said he was preparing to    Iraqi civilians last month, said            "We don't see the clarity
forum. But in his first trip to
                                        leave the Army because of the       that      "shortcomings           in   here," agreed Patrick F.
get to know the Army better,
                                        problems.                           coordination and oversight" of         Kennedy, the State Department
Mullen       collected        e-mail
                                             "We can't not take family      the security program risk              official who headed the review.
addresses and promised fuller
                                        considerations into account,"       undermining the U.S. mission           The panel was "unaware of any
responses later.
                                        Mullen said. "That is just not      in Iraq. Although it noted that        basis         for         holding
     The long and repeated
                                        the case in 2007. It can't be the   contractors have been "highly          non-Department of Defense
battlefield deployments were a
                                        case if we're going to have a       effective" in keeping diplomats        contractors accountable under
prime topic.
                                        healthy force."                     safe, it implicitly agreed with        U.S. law" and recommended
     One year at war and one
                                             But Mullen also told           criticisms that the program is         that State "urgently engage"
year back at home "is not good
                                        soldiers that while he would        poorly        conceived         and    with the Justice Department
enough," one officer flatly told
                                        like to be able to predict          supervised.                            "and then with Congress, to
Mullen, setting the tone early
                                        deployments, or what the                 In ordering the new rules,        establish a clear legal basis" for
for the discussion.
                                        state-of-the-world      conflicts   Rice appeared to reject earlier        accountability.
     After explaining that the
                                        will be, he can't.                  suggestions        by      Defense          Blackwater has insisted
Pentagon is hoping to stretch
                                             Echoing Army Chief of          Secretary Robert M. Gates that         that its employees fired in
the time at home to 15 months
                                        Staff General George Casey,         security contractors be placed         self-defense and has accused
for every year deployed, then
                                        Mullen said the United States       under military control. U.S.           the State Department and
go to two years at home and
                                        will probably be involved in        commanders and officers in             House Democrats of making it
then         three,          Mullen
                                        persistent conflicts for some       Iraq have sharply criticized the       a scapegoat. In a report
acknowledged those goals are
                                        years to come.                      contractors,        and      North     submitted to Congress and
years down the road.
                                                                            Carolina-based Blackwater in           reported yesterday by the
     "I got it - that it's not good
                                                                            particular, for behaving like          Associated Press, the company
enough," said Mullen. "I take           Washington Post                     "cowboys" and undermining              said it was also being targeted
your point, that one-to-one is          October 24, 2007                    U.S. objectives for bringing           by Democrats and the families
not good enough."                       Pg. 1                               stability     to     Iraq.    State    of four Blackwater guards slain
     Asked whether overall              9. Security Firms In                Department spokesman Sean              and gruesomely displayed in
time in combat should be
capped, Mullen cautiously
                                        Iraq Face New Rules                 McCormack said that Rice               Fallujah in March 2004 who
                                        Rice Convened Group After           spoke to Gates yesterday               have teamed up for political
replied       that        battlefield
                                        Blackwater's Sept. 16 Gun           before      the      rules    were     gain. A House investigation
experience is crucial and "there
                                        Battle                              announced.                             and a wrongful-death lawsuit
                                                                                                                                         page 12
by the families charges              Diplomatic Security Service          By State Dept. Has                  mission       of   ending       the
Blackwater with insufficiently       agent to ride along as the           Soared                              insurgency and establishing a
arming and protecting the men.       "officer in charge" with every       By John M. Broder and David         democratic government in Iraq.
In its report, Blackwater called     contractor convoy and the            Rohde                                     Ms. Rice approved a
the four guards' deaths "tragic"     installation of video cameras in          WASHINGTON, Oct. 19            number of the review panel’s
but said it could not have been      each contractor vehicle -- were      — Over the past four years, the     recommendations intended to
avoided by better equipment.         announced earlier this month         amount of money the State           strengthen oversight of the
     Rice's actions are unlikely     after an interim assessment.         Department pays to private          security contractors, including
to placate Democrats in                   Other measures announced        security and law enforcement        a revision of the rules for the
Congress, where the House            yesterday included:                  contractors has soared to nearly    use of deadly force to bring
oversight      committee       has        •Establishment of a "go         $4 billion a year from $1           them more in line with the
subpoenaed documents and             team" of embassy security            billion, administration officials   military’s rules of engagement,
held hearings on the security        officials to "proceed as soon as     said Tuesday, but they said that    and creation of review panels
contractors as well as on            possible to the scene of any         the department had added few        to investigate every incident
charges that State has tolerated     weapons discharge to gather          new officials to oversee the        involving the injury or killing
and        concealed         Iraqi   information and material and         contracts.                          of a civilian. The panels could
government            corruption.    provide an analysis of what               It was the first time that     refer possible instances of
Although Rice resisted several       happened and why, and prepare        the administration had outlined     wrongdoing to the Justice
invitations to testify before the    a report." The team will             the ballooning scope of the         Department. The contractors
committee, she has agreed to         coordinate with U.S. military        contracts, and it provided a        would also undergo more
appear tomorrow.                     and Iraqi government officials.      new indication of how the           rigorous training in Iraqi
     In addition to Kennedy,              • Establishment of an           State Department’s efforts to       culture and language.
the review panel included            "incident review board" made         monitor private companies had             The other report was an
retired NATO commander               up of embassy diplomatic and         not kept pace. Auditors and         audit of the State Department’s
Gen. George A. Joulwan,              security officials, a U.S.           outside exerts say the results      oversight of DynCorp, released
retired senior diplomat J.           military officer, and another        have been vast cost overruns,       Tuesday, which found that
Stapleton Roy and senior             U.S. government official "from       poor contract performance and,      records tracking hundreds of
intelligence official Eric J.        an agency other than State or        in some cases, violence that        millions of dollars paid to the
Boswell. During two weeks in         Justice with a law enforcement       has so far gone unpunished.         company were in “disarray.”
Iraq, the team interviewed U.S.      background." The board will               A vast majority of the               Interviews              with
military, embassy and Iraqi          review all incidents involving       money goes to companies like        administration           officials,
officials. They concluded that       contractor use of deadly force,      DynCorp International and           auditors and outside experts
there is no real alternative to      injury, death or serious             Blackwater USA to protect           show that the use of
the use of private contractors to    property        damage        and    diplomats     overseas,     train   contractors has grown far
protect      U.S.      diplomats     recommend to the ambassador          foreign police forces and assist    beyond       what     department
traveling outside the protected      whether force was justified. If      in drug eradication programs.       officials imagined when they
Green Zone in Baghdad. The           justification is not found, the      There are only 17 contract          first      outsourced      critical
military, the report said, "does     incident will be referred to the     compliance officers at the State    security functions in 1994 and
not consider it feasible or          Justice Department.                  Department’s       management       hired private security guards to
desirable ... to take on                  •Establishment       of     a   bureau overseeing spending of       protect American diplomats in
responsibility" for diplomatic       permanent working group              the billions of dollars on these    Haiti, which was thrown into
protection, although the need        made of Diplomatic Security          programs, officials said.           turmoil by civil strife.
for such security will increase      and       the      Multi-National         Two new reports have                 Today, the Bureau of
as U.S. troops begin to draw         Force-Iraq officials to develop      delivered harsh judgments           Diplomatic Security, the small
down.                                "commonly agreed operational         about the State Department’s        State Department office that
     The panel found that the        procedures" and exchange             handling of the contracts,          oversees the private security
embassy       lacks     sufficient   information.                         including     the     protective    contractors in Iraq and
guidelines for the use of deadly          •New        training      for   services contract that employs      elsewhere, is overwhelmed by
force and for investigating          contractors on diplomatic and        Blackwater guards whose             its responsibilities to supervise
incidents resulting from such        military procedures and Iraqi        involvement in a Sept. 16           the contractors, according to
force. Its key finding was that      culture.                             shooting in Baghdad has raised      former employees, members of
"prompt measures should be                •Increased          embassy     questions about their role in       Congress and outside experts.
taken to strengthen the              responsiveness to the families       guarding American diplomats         They say the office has grown
coordination, oversight, and         of "innocent Iraqi civilians         in Iraq.                            too reliant on, and too close to,
accountability aspects of the        killed or seriously injured" and          In a report made public on     the 1,200 private soldiers who
State Department's security          offers       of      "appropriate    Tuesday, a review panel found       now guard American officials
practices in Iraq in order to        condolences                   and    that there were too few             overseas.
reduce the likelihood that           compensation."                       American officials in Iraq to             “They simply didn’t have
future incidents will occur that                                          enforce the rules that apply to     enough eyes and ears watching
adversely affect the overall                                              Blackwater and other security       what was going on,” said Peter
U.S. mission in Iraq."               New York Times                                                           W. Singer, an expert on
                                     October 24, 2007                     contractors. It also found that
     Some       of     its      19                                        the conduct of the contractors      security contactors at the
recommendations         --     the   Pg. 1                                                                    Brookings              Institution.
                                                                          had undermined the broader
assignment of an armed               10. Use Of Contractors                                                   “Secondly, they seemed to
                                                                                                                                     page 13
show no interest in using the      enforcement bureau received         well over all, and won most         officials     said    DynCorp’s
sanctions they had.”               an urgent request. The              contracts through competitive       trainers were costly and in
     Another State Department      department        needed       45   bidding.                            some cases poorly qualified.
office,     the    Bureau     of   American police officers to              The 2003 invasion of Iraq      The trainers are mostly retired
International Narcotics and        help secure the nation.             opened new opportunities in         civilian police officers from the
Law Enforcement Affairs, has            Officials in the small         the burgeoning world of             United States who are paid up
issued more than $2.2 billion in   bureau contacted DynCorp, a         government              security.   to $134,000 in Iraq and
contracts for police training      Texas      aviation      services   Blackwater got a toehold with       $118,000 in Afghanistan for a
and drug eradication in Iraq,      company with a $30 million          a $27 million no-bid contract       year of service.
Afghanistan, Latin America         bureau contract to operate          to guard L. Paul Bremer III, the         State Department and
and elsewhere, according to        counternarcotics flights in         administrator of the American       DynCorp officials said all of
State Department records.          Latin America. Impressed with       occupation in Baghdad. A year       the trainers were carefully
Ninety-four percent of that        its aviation work, a selection      later, the State Department         screened and well qualified.
money has gone to DynCorp.         committee awarded DynCorp a         expanded that contract to $100      Department officials also said
     State Department officials    small contract.                     million.     Blackwater     now     they had added some two
say they have tried to increase         State Department officials     employs 845 of the more than        dozen staffers to oversee
competition,        but     few    viewed it as an interim             1,100       private      security   DynCorp over the past year.
companies are able to operate      measure. DynCorp viewed it as       contractors at work in Iraq and          American military officials
in war zones. “The lack of         an opportunity. “We always          holds a contract worth $1.2         in Iraq and Afghanistan said
competition does concern us a      saw it as a growth area because     billion.                            the quality of trainers was
great deal,” said a senior State   of the conflicts in the world,”          Assistant Secretary of         mixed as well. Jonathan
Department official who spoke      said Steve Cannon, a former         State Richard J. Griffin, who       Shiroma, a captain in the
on the condition of anonymity.     DynCorp executive.                  oversees the Bureau of              California National Guard who
“We want as many companies              Later that year, DynCorp       Diplomatic      Security,    told   worked with DynCorp trainers
as possible.”                      won a contract from the             Congress this month that his        in Iraq from 2005 to 2006, said
     State           Department    diplomatic security office to       office had 36 agents overseeing     some were “outstanding,”
contracting officials complain     guard American diplomats in         the guards.                         while others preferred to
that they do not have nearly       Haiti. Over the next several             Congressional                  remain on base.
enough people to properly          years, the two small State          investigators say the security           DynCorp and Blackwater,
oversee the more than 2,500        Department offices issued           bureau has sought to minimize       meanwhile, continue to win
contractors now under their        more than $250 million in           episodes like the shootings of      contracts.
informal command around the        police training and diplomatic      civilians.                               The State Department has
world. And a proposal to           security contracts to DynCorp            “We are all better off         said it will continue to rely on
charge contractors a fee to pay    for work in Haiti, Bosnia and       getting this case — and any         contractors because, for now at
for additional government          Kosovo.                             similar cases — behind us           least, it has no choice. It cannot
compliance officers has stalled         After the 2001 American        quickly,” one State Department      quickly hire the bodyguards
in the State Department            invasion     of     Afghanistan,    security official in Iraq wrote     and trainers it would need to
bureaucracy.                       contracts       grew       again,   to another, after Blackwater        replace the contractors, and the
     The ballooning budget for     eventually      bringing      the   guards killed a father of six in    military does not have the
outside contracts at the State     company $400 million a year.        Hilla in 2005, according to an      trained personnel to take over
Department is emblematic of a      The law enforcement office          internal State Department           the job.
broader trend, contracting         had DynCorp dispatch dozens,        memo turned over to Congress.            John M. Broder reported
experts say.                       then hundreds, of police            He recommended paying the           from Washington, and David
     The Bush administration       trainers to Afghanistan. The        man’s family $5,000.                Rohde       from     Washington,
has doubled the amount of          diplomatic security office had           The State Department took      Baghdad          and        Kabul,
government money going to all      DynCorp send employees to           no action against Blackwater        Afghanistan.        Paul       von
types of contractors to $400       guard the Afghan president,         for the killing. Blackwater         Zielbauer             contributed
billion, creating a new and        Hamid Karzai.                       declined to comment for this        reporting from Baghdad.
thriving class of post-9/11             Former State Department        article. The company has
corporations     carrying    out   officials and Afghan officials      denied any wrongdoing and
delicate     work     for    the   said the DynCorp guards were        said that its techniques have       Washington Times
government. But the number of      far too aggressive in their         resulted in no diplomats,           October 24, 2007
government employees issuing,      tactics, and their conduct          visiting members of Congress        Pg. 1
managing        and     auditing   alienated Afghan and European       or other American dignitaries       11. Blackwater Call For
contracts has barely grown.        officials, as well as Afghan        being killed or seriously hurt in   Cameras Denied
     “That’s a criticism that’s    citizens. Gregory Lagana, a         thousands of escort missions        2005 request dropped on
true of not just State but of      DynCorp spokesman, said the         since 2005. Twenty-seven            State's legal issues
almost every agency,” said         company agreed there was a          Blackwater employees have           By Nicholas Kralev,
Jody Freeman, an expert on         problem and replaced the            died in Iraq.                       Washington Times
administrative law at Harvard      guards. “The demeanor, the               DynCorp’s work and the              The State Department
Law School.                        swagger, was wrong,” he said.       department’s oversight of the       cited legal concerns in turning
     On the eve of the 1994        “We put a stop to that.”            company have been questioned        down a 2005 request from
American invasion of Haiti, the         State Department officials     also. In interviews in Iraq and     Blackwater USA to install
State      Department’s     law    said DynCorp had performed          Afghanistan,      local    police   cameras in official U.S.
                                                                                                                                            page 14
motorcades       protected    by    proposal and was "not ready to           Miss Rice appointed an expert        stronghold 40 miles west of
employees of the security           incorporate       it    into      the    panel to review the State            Baghdad.
contractor in Iraq, The             contract," according to an               Department's security contracts           In the 10-page report,
Washington Times has learned.       e-mail        message           from     in Iraq.                             obtained by the Associated
     Secretary       of     State   Blackwater to its employees                   The State Department has        Press and delivered yesterday
Condoleezza Rice ordered            that same day.                           been under sharp criticism           to lawmakers, Blackwater said
cameras to be placed in                   Blackwater officials cited         from Democrats in Congress           Democrats and the lawyer for
Blackwater vehicles earlier this    that      exchange          in      a    for      its     oversight    and    the families have teamed up
month, following a Sept. 16         memorandum sent to the State             accountability           practices   against the company for
shooting incident in Baghdad,       Department earlier this month.           involving security contractors       political gain.
in which the firm's agents are            Asked why the department           in Iraq, who until now have               Calling the deaths "a tragic
accused of killing as many as       rejected Blackwater's request,           been subject to neither Iraqi        event," Blackwater said the
17 Iraqi civilians.                 spokesman Tom Casey said on              nor U.S. law.                        killings were unavoidable and
     But Blackwater officials       Thursday: "I have no reason to                Miss Rice's panel, chaired      the guards - former Navy
said the company first asked        believe that actually occurred.          by Patrick F. Kennedy, a career      SEALs and Army Rangers -
the      State      Department's    ... I've never heard that that           diplomat who has been                understood the risks of their
law-enforcement arm, the            idea was ever proposed."                 nominated to be undersecretary       mission and could have refused
Bureau of Diplomatic Security             Later     that      day,      a    of state for management,             to go.
(DS), to take that step on May      Blackwater official said the             recommended yesterday that                "Stronger           weapons,
17, 2005, "in response to a         company had received an                  security contractors be held         armored vehicles, ammunition,
false accusation against one of     indication from DS that Mr.              accountable under U.S. law.          or maps would not have
our teams in Baghdad."              Casey's remark would be                       Doug Brooks, president of       shielded these brave military
     A     State      Department    "corrected." Mr. Casey was               the       International     Peace    veterans from the certain death
spokesman said on successive        given an opportunity to do that          Operations Association, said he      that awaited them on that
days that he was not aware that     on Friday, but said he had               was surprised the State              morning," Blackwater said.
such a request was ever made,       nothing to add to what he said           Department did not authorize         "Even if Blackwater had placed
and DS officials asked for          the day before.                          the installation of cameras in       six men on the mission, the
more time to research the case.           Mr. Nassen no longer               contractor vehicles in Iraq          result would likely have been
     But internal Blackwater        works at DS, and Mr. Brackins,           some time ago.                       the same."
documents from that time            who is now in Washington,                     "That would have ensured             Members of the Iraqi Civil
report that David Brackins, a       refused to speak with a reporter         better       transparency     and    Defense Corps, swayed by
DS agent and deputy regional        unless      he      was      granted     accountability," he said.            sectarian              influences,
security officer at the U.S.        clearance by the bureau's                                                     "intentionally betrayed" the
Embassy in Baghdad, had             public affairs office.                                                        Blackwater guards, the report
agreed that cameras would be              DS officials said they were        Boston Globe                         said - a deception no amount of
useful and had endorsed the         too busy trying to respond to            October 24, 2007                     equipment, training, or skill
request.                            various requests involving               12. Blackwater Says                  could overcome.
     Blackwater        employees    Blackwater from Congress and             Guards Were Betrayed                      "It was ICDC betrayal and
began looking into camera           did not have time to research            In '04 Ambush                        enemy ambush - not contractor
prices and found "a package         what happened in 2005 before             By Richard Lardner,                  incompetence - that led to the
deal for a vehicle video system     The       Times'        publication      Associated Press                     deaths of four Blackwater
called Dash Hound 1," one of        deadline.                                     WASHINGTON - Heavier            personnel on March 31, 2004,"
those involved wrote in a                 "DS        requests         the    guns and sturdier trucks would       the company said.
message to his colleagues.          opportunity to provide you               not have saved a team of                  In a Sept. 27 report on the
Another employee suggested          with a fully researched and              Blackwater       USA      guards     Fallujah        slayings,      the
"video front and back of the        accurate answer, rather than             brutally killed in March 2004        Democratic staff of the House
lead and follow vehicle, based      providing bits and pieces of             after being lured by corrupt         Oversight and Government
on the amount of attacks that       scattered information that may           Iraqi forces into a well-planned     Reform Committee agreed that
are conducted from the rear."       be misleading," a spokesman              ambush, the embattled private        the guards were ambushed by
     The company considered         for     the      bureau,       Brian     security contractor contends in      insurgents but said that there
the possibility that the cameras    Leventhal, wrote in an e-mail            a report to Congress.                was no evidence the civil
could be used to provide            message yesterday.                            This conclusion sharply         defense corps participated.
evidence against its guards in            On Oct. 5, Miss Rice               contradicts the findings of a             Written in response to the
Iraq but determined that, on        ordered cameras and other                congressional investigation led      Democratic staff's findings,
balance, they would work to         recording devices installed in           by House Democrats and a             Blackwater's Fallujah report is
the company's advantage. It         convoy vehicles to "begin                wrongful death lawsuit filed by      the latest rumble in the volatile
also planned to use the footage     archiving electronic tracking of         the families of the four slain       debate over the company's
for training purposes.              movement data." She also said            guards. Blackwater is cast in        performance and its future as
     However, a DS official in      that DS agents "will begin               both as an incompetent,              the protector of US diplomats
Washington, Paul Nassen,            accompanying            Blackwater       penny-pinching outfit that sent      in Iraq.
called the company on May 18        protective details."                     an understaffed and poorly                The Mitsubishi Pajeros
and asked that it "stand down,"           The      FBI       is      still   equipped       detail    through     that Jerry Zovko, Wesley
because the legal department        investigating the Sept. 16               Fallujah, a known insurgent          Batalona, Michael Teague, and
"had some issues" with the          shooting incident, after which                                                Scott Helvenston were driving
                                                                                                                                       page 15
had armor plates behind the          Arabic speakers on hand.                  The new review board for       reporters in London after talks
back seats but were otherwise             Another step Miss Rice          deadly incidents would have         on Tuesday with British Prime
just sport utility vehicles, the     has ordered is the appointment       the power to refer cases to the     Minister Gordon Brown.
staff said.                          of a senior diplomat to oversee      Justice    Department,      Mr.          On Sunday, PKK fighters
     According to Blackwater,        Iraq security operations, State      Kennedy said.                       killed 12 Turkish soldiers and
a     civil    defense      corps    Department officials said. That           The panel made no              said they had captured eight,
representative showed the            job, a temporary assignment          specific       recommendations      whom Turkish authorities have
guards the fastest route through     for now, will be held by Steve       about what should happen to         described as missing. A
Fallujah. The convoy was             Browning, a senior foreign           Blackwater, whose guards            Kurdish Web site posted
stopped briefly at a busy            service officer who is now U.S.      were escorting an official from     photographs Tuesday of men it
intersection by Iraqi police.        ambassador to Uganda.                the U.S. Embassy when the           said were the eight soldiers.
     As the convoy moved out              The moves announced             shooting occurred.                       In Baghdad, following
of the intersection, at least five   yesterday are among those that            The killings have outraged     several hours of crisis talks
assailants opened fire. Two          Miss Rice opted to make on           Iraqis and focused attention on     between the Iraqi and Turkish
attackers held weapons in one        her own, but further changes         the shadowy rules surrounding       foreign     ministers,    Maliki
hand and video cameras in the        are likely after she meets later     heavily armed private guards.       issued a statement promising to
other, the company said.             this week with Defense                    The Iraqi government is        take action against the rebels.
     "The     fact    that     the   Secretary Robert M. Gates.           demanding that Blackwater be             "The PKK is a notorious
assailants were set to record             Some of the review panel's      expelled from the country           terror organization and we
the murders is further proof         recommendations            would     within six months and that its      have decided to shut down its
that there was a preexisting         require joint action with the        employees be subject to Iraqi       offices and not allow them to
plan at work," according to          Pentagon, State Department           law.                                operate on Iraqi soil," Maliki
Blackwater.                          spokesman Sean McCormack                                                 said "We will take all measures
                                     said.                                                                    to restrict its terror activities
                                          Miss Rice was briefed           Washington Post                     that threaten Iraq and threaten
Washington Times                     Monday on the panel's                October 24, 2007                    Turkey as well."
October 24, 2007                     findings, and the State              Pg. 12                                   But it remains to be seen
Pg. 1                                Department       released     the    14. Maliki, Under                   whether Iraq's government can
13. Rice Orders                      document yesterday afternoon.        Turkish Pressure, Vows              effectively crack down on the
Training, Oversight For                   "Prompt measures should         To Curb Kurdish                     PKK rebels. Their mountain
Guards                               be taken to strengthen the           Rebels                              hideouts are difficult to
By Matthew Lee, Associated           coordination, oversight and          By Sudarsan Raghavan,               penetrate and Kurdish regional
Press                                accountability aspects of the        Washington Post Foreign             leaders may be reluctant to
     Secretary      of     State     State Department's security          Service                             hunt down fellow Kurds.
Condoleezza Rice yesterday           practices in Iraq in order to             BAGHDAD, Oct. 23 --                 Kamal Kirkukly, a senior
ordered new measures to              reduce the likelihood that           Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki      Kurdish regional official, said
improve government oversight         future incidents will occur," the    vowed Tuesday to halt the           the offices of the PKK had
of private guards who protect        report said.                         activities of Kurdish separatists   long been closed in the
U.S. diplomats in Iraq,                   Patrick F. Kennedy, a           staging strikes into Turkey         Kurdish region. "We have
including cultural awareness         State Department official who        from northern Iraq, marking         asked the PKK to lean on
training for contractors and a       led the review, told reporters       his government's strongest          peace because the military
board to investigate any future      that the group focused on            declaration yet that it would act   operations would not achieve
killings.                            management and policy, not           to forestall a Turkish invasion.    anything," Kirkukly told Iraq's
     The steps, recommended          possible     wrongdoing        by         But even as international      al-Sharqiya television network.
by an independent review             Blackwater or others.                diplomatic       efforts    were    "Whatever their numbers are,
panel she created after last              The shooting in a Baghdad       underway to stop tensions from      they wouldn't be able to
month's      deadly    Baghdad       square Sept. 16 killed 17 Iraqi      escalating, Turkish Prime           destroy the Turkish state."
shooting involving Blackwater        civilians. Iraqi authorities         Minister       Recep      Tayyip         U.S. officials, increasingly
USA, also would tighten the          claim Blackwater guards fired        Erdogan warned that Turkey          concerned that hostilities could
State Department's rules of          unprovoked, but Blackwater's         "cannot wait forever" for Iraq      upend one of war-riven Iraq's
engagement and bring them            founder has said his employees       to curb the rebels' attacks. He     few areas of stability, have
into line with those of the          were fired on first.                 reminded Iraq's government          stressed that it is Iraq's
military.                                 The incident is being           that Turkey's parliament had        responsibility to contain and
     The State Department will       investigated by Iraqi and U.S.       authorized a military incursion     disarm the PKK. A senior U.S.
set up panels that include           investigators. The report said       against the rebels of the           official on Tuesday aimed his
security officials and others to     when the FBI investigation was       Kurdistan Workers' Party, or        comments at Iraq's Kurdish
look into each shooting or           completed, the U.S. Embassy          PKK, which wants to create a        leaders, who oversee the
other use of deadly force by         must          submit           its   Kurdish state on Turkish soil.      semiautonomous           northern
private guards and organize          recommendations         as      to        "Right now we are in a         region of the country.
rapid response teams to              whether the continued services       waiting stance, but Iraq should          "Action is required here
investigate shooting incidents.      of Blackwater were "consistent       know we can use the mandate         and it has been too long
     The department will also        with the accomplishment of the       for a cross-border operation at     without meaningful action
require contractors to have          overall United States mission        any time," Erdogan told             directed against this terrorist
                                     in Iraq."                                                                group," David Satterfield, the
                                                                                                                                      page 16
U.S. coordinator for Iraq and        our bilateral relations."            opened fire on a group of men       Department’s       senior   Iraq
senior adviser to Secretary of            In Turkey, pressure grew        planting roadside bombs north       adviser, David M. Satterfield,
State Condoleezza Rice, told         for action against the PKK.          of the town of Samarra. The         laid some blame at the door of
reporters.                           Thousands of people turned out       men fled to a nearby house as       Kurdish leaders, who have
      "This is not anything that     in Istanbul and around the           the helicopters continued to        been the staunchest supporters
the Kurdish leadership is not        country for the funerals of the      fire, the military said. The        of the American military
aware of from our own voice,"        12 Turkish soldiers killed           airstrikes killed 11 Iraqis,        occupation of Iraq.
he said. "We are not pleased         Sunday.                              including five women and a               “We are not pleased with
with the lack of action                   "Down with the PKK!"            child, a military statement said,   the lack of action,” Mr.
undertaken against the PKK."         marchers chanted.                    adding that the "circumstances      Satterfield told reporters in
      In    Baghdad,     Turkish          Women,        their   heads     regarding the engagement are        Washington. He did not call on
Foreign Minister Ali Babacan         covered in handkerchiefs,            under review."                      Kurdish leaders to take direct
said Turkey was frustrated by        waved the red and white                   A known member of a cell       military action against the
the lack of progress.                Turkish flag. One mourner            that makes roadside bombs was       guerrilla group, the Kurdistan
      "We have worked with the       held a poster reading, "Take us      among the 11 killed, the            Workers’ Party. But he said
Iraqi        and       American      as soldiers."                        military said. Iraqi police said    they must take responsibility
governments, but we have not              In the western city of          that at least 15 people were        for dealing with the guerrilla
achieved practical results. The      Aydin, crowds burned effigies        killed and 23 injured, and that     threat.
problem has only become              of Iraqi Kurdish political           the men were farmers on their            While the willingness of
bigger," Babacan said at a           leaders.                             way to collect water for their      Kurdish leaders to crack down
news conference.                          Military        conscription    lands.                              on fellow Kurds remained
      He also rejected the PKK's     offices reported an increase in           Correspondent         Ellen    unclear, Iraqi leaders in
willingness to declare a             volunteers,      according      to   Knickmeyer in Cairo and             Baghdad promised to shut
cease-fire, which the rebels         Turkish news media, and              special correspondents Zehra        down the offices of the
announced        Monday.       "A    crowds reportedly attacked the       Ayman in Istanbul and Zaid          guerrilla group, known as the
cease-fire is done between           offices of a pro-Kurdish             Sabah and K.I. Ibrahim in           P.K.K. The Iraqi central
countries, or two armies, but        political party in Ankara and        Baghdad contributed to this         government, however, has little
not with terrorist organizations.    two other cities.                    report.                             power over the affairs of Iraqi
To solve the problem we must              The nation's broadcast                                              Kurdistan.
first know what the problem is.      oversight board banned reports                                                Prime      Minister   Nuri
The case here is one of              on Sunday's deadly ambush in         New York Times                      Kamal al-Maliki condemned
terrorism," Babacan said.            an apparent attempt to cool          October 24, 2007                    the P.K.K. as a “bad terrorist
      He added that there were       public anger. At least two           15. U.S. Officials                  organization” and vowed to do
peaceful ways to stop the            pro-Kurdish        Web      sites,   Upbraid Kurds For                   whatever was necessary to curb
rebels, including economic and       including the Firat news             Failing To Halt                     attacks. “We have made a
cultural steps and diplomacy.        agency, went offline Tuesday.        Guerrillas                          decision to shut down their
"The tools to fight terrorism             A notice on the Firat Web       By Richard A. Oppel Jr. and         offices and not allow them to
are many, and the military           site said it was experiencing        Sabrina Tavernise                   operate in Iraq territory,” he
solution is only one of them,"       unexplained server problems.              BAGHDAD, Oct. 23 — In          said.
Babacan said.                        The news agency, which has           unusual     criticism,    United         That “is a start,” a State
      According to Turkey's          close links to the PKK,              States officials on Tuesday         Department spokesman, Sean
semi-official Anatolian news         published what it said were          upbraided Kurdish leaders in        McCormack,           said     in
agency, Babacan handed Iraqi         photos of the eight captured         northern Iraq for failing to curb   Washington.
officials a list of demands to       Turkish soldiers.                    the Kurdish guerrillas who               At the same time, the Iraqi
avoid a Turkish invasion. The             Another Web site, called        operate unchecked in the            foreign minister, Hoshyar
demands included eradicating         Kurd Show, also released             autonomous region and use it        Zebari, himself a powerful
PKK sanctuaries, stopping            photos of men it said were the       as a safe haven for ambushes        Kurdish politician, promised
support to the rebels, and           soldiers taken hostage in            inside Turkey.                      his Turkish counterpart at a
capturing and extraditing rebel      Sunday's fighting. One photo              Those raids, which the         meeting in Baghdad that Iraqi
leaders.                             showed them walking through          Turkish authorities say have        officials would act to sharply
      Iraqi Foreign Minister         rocky scrub grass along the          killed at least 42 people in the    limit the guerrillas’ movements
Hoshyar Zebari, who is               stone wall of a canyon.              past month, have led the Turks      and their ability to obtain
Kurdish, announced that a                 "This tension has people in     to threaten an invasion into        weapons, food and supplies.
high-level Iraqi delegation          the area nervous," said Aydin        Iraq. Turkish armored vehicles           “The Iraqi government
would travel to Turkey for           Budak, the Kurdish mayor of          continued to rumble into            will actively help Turkey
follow-up discussions.               Cizre in southeastern Turkey.        position on Tuesday along the       overcome this menace,” Mr.
      "I assured the minister that   "If Turkey invades Iraq,             mountainous border.                 Zebari said after meeting with
the Iraqi government will            northern Iraq would be like               Until now, American            the Turkish foreign minister,
actively help Turkey," Zebari        Vietnam. We don't want this          officials have focused their        Ali Babacan.
said. "We agreed that the            operation. We don't want more        public comments on delicately            It was not clear whether
position we should take is a         people, more soldiers, to die."      warning the Turks not to            Mr. Maliki’s pledge to shut
common one to fight terrorism.            Violence continued in Iraq      invade Iraq. But that changed       down the P.K.K. was related to
We will not allow any party,         on Tuesday. The U.S. military        on Tuesday when the State           a list of political demands Mr.
including the PKK, to poison         said American helicopters                                                Babacan gave to the Iraqi
                                                                                                                                        page 17
government to avert Turkish         Babacan said the Iraqi officials     in northern Iraq in an attempt        Turks are at the end of their
military action. According to       should not even get on the           to stave off a Turkish invasion       rope, and our risk calculus is
the state-run Anatolian News        plane unless they were bearing       of Iraq to fight the rebels,          changing."
Agency, Turkey asked Iraq to        “tangible suggestions” for           administration officials said.             An ambush over the
shut down hide-outs of Kurdish      solving the crisis.                        President Bush spoke with       weekend       by    200     PKK
militants, to extradite the               On a visit to London, the      Turkish President Abdullah            guerrillas left 12 Turkish
group’s leaders and to restrict     Turkish prime minister, Recep        Gul by phone Monday in an             soldiers dead and 8 missing.
their movement by preventing        Tayyip Erdogan, renewed              effort to ease the crisis.            The attack's sophistication and
logistical     support      from    warnings that Turkey would           According to an official              scope surprised not only the
reaching them.                      take military action against the     familiar with the conversation,       Turks but also the U.S. and its
     Turkey has made demands        Kurdish guerrilla bases if           Bush assured the Turkish              Iraqi allies.
before, but not in such detail or   diplomatic efforts to restrain       president that the U.S. was                The U.S., with Iraqi help,
as part of a political              the rebels fail.                     looking seriously into options        also could squeeze the flow of
negotiation,     and    Kurdish           “We cannot wait forever”       beyond diplomacy to stop the          supplies and funds for the PKK
leaders have always dismissed       for Iraq’s government to take        attacks        coming         from    coming across the border, or
them as unrealistic. The Iraqi      action, Mr. Erdogan said at a        Kurdish-controlled        northern    through the airport in Irbil, the
president, Jalal Talabani, who      news conference with Britain’s       Iraq.                                 largest city in Iraqi Kurdistan,
is also a Kurd, said Sunday that    prime minister, Gordon Brown.              "It's not 'Kumbaya' time        according to U.S. and Kurdish
the        Kurdish      regional    “We have to make our own             anymore -- just talking about         officials and experts. The Bush
government would not hand           decision.”                           trilateral talks is not going to      administration, which has an
over any Kurd to Turkey —                 In Turkey, tens of             be enough," the official said.        intelligence-sharing operation
“even a Kurdish cat” — and          thousands of people gathered         "Something has to be done."           with Turkey, also could lean on
that Turkey’s demand for            for funerals of the 12 Turkish             While the use of U.S.           the      Kurdistan      Regional
extradition of guerrilla leaders    soldiers killed by P.K.K. forces     soldiers on the ground to root        Government to provide more
was unattainable.                   on Sunday. In the western city       out the PKK would be the last         of its own intelligence to the
     Turkish leaders continued      of Aydin, about 50,000 people        resort, the U.S. would be             Turks, experts said.
to send a double message on         turned out, according to the         willing to launch air strikes on           Rice called Turkish Prime
Tuesday, with Turkish officials     Anatolian       agency.     Eight    PKK targets, the officials said,      Minister       Recep      Tayyip
visiting two countries and          soldiers captured Sunday are         and has discussed the use of          Erdogan on Sunday in an
pressing the threat of military     still being held by the P.K.K.,      cruise missiles. But air strikes      appeal for patience, and
action but promising to first       which released video of them         using manned aircraft may be          administration officials said
exhaust diplomatic efforts.         on Tuesday.                          an easier option because the          Erdogan granted a 72-hour
     Mr. Babacan, the first               Military         operations    U.S. controls the air space over      reprieve on any cross-border
Turkish minister to visit Iraq      continued near the Turkish           Iraq, the officials said.             attack by the Turkish military.
since the fall of Saddam            border with Iraq. One Turkish              Another option would be         The Turkish leadership is
Hussein, was careful after his      newspaper        reported     that   to persuade the Kurdistan             under heavy pressure from its
meeting with Mr. Zebari to          Turkish helicopters fired at         Regional Government, which            public, with thousands of
allow room for a diplomatic         targets near the border, while       runs that part of Iraq, to order      demonstrators           shouting
solution.                           ground troops shelled several        its pesh merga forces to form a       anti-PKK slogans in Istanbul
     The “military option is a      villages in northern Iraq.           cordon        preventing        the   after the weekend ambush.
tool,” he told reporters, adding          Richard A. Oppel Jr.           movement of the PKK beyond                 The U.S.-Turkey alliance
that “one tool is on the table”     reported from Baghdad, and           its mountain camps, said U.S.         is particularly important to the
following       the      Turkish    Sabrina       Tavernise     from     officials and experts. Secretary      Bush administration in its
Parliament’s vote to authorize      Sulaimaniya, Iraq. Reporting         of State Condoleezza Rice             conduct of the Iraq war. About
military action. But he             was contributed by Sebnem            spoke with Kurdistan Regional         70 percent of the American
emphasized that “it doesn’t         Arsu from Istanbul, Alissa J.        Government Prime Minister             military's air cargo headed to
mean on the other hand that we      Rubin and Ahmad Fadam from           Nechirvan Barzani on Sunday           Iraq is shipped through a U.S.
are going to give up the other      Baghdad, and John F. Burns           to request his cooperation in         air base in southern Turkey.
tools.”                             from London.                         dealing with the PKK.                      Analysts say the PKK,
     Arriving back in Ankara,                                                  "In the past, there has been    fighting for Kurdish self-rule
Mr. Babacan said he tried to                                             reluctance to engage in direct        since 1984, would like to incite
make clear in Baghdad that          Chicago Tribune                      U.S. military action against the      Turkey to attack its bases
Turkey would accept only a          October 23, 2007                     PKK, either through air strikes       inside Iraq to help fuel its
solution that resolved the          Pg. 1                                or some kind of Special Forces        movement, which lost political
P.K.K. threat once and for all.     16. U.S. Air Strikes On              action," said the official            ground to the ruling Justice and
     “We emphasized in every        PKK Weighed                          familiar with the Bush-Gul            Development        Party,      in
meeting that our objective was      Bush seeks to keep Turkey out        conversation, who spoke on            Turkey's last general election.
not to kill the mosquito, but to    of Iraq                              condition of anonymity. "But               "The Turks know these are
dry the quicksand,” he said at a    By Bay Fang, Washington              the red line was always, if the       provocations to draw them
news conference at the airport.     Bureau                               Turks were going to come over         across the border, and they're
     While       Mr.      Zebari         WASHINGTON -- The               the border, it could be so            reluctant to charge at that cape,
promised that a senior Iraqi        Bush      administration     is      destabilizing that it might be        because they know a sword is
delegation would quickly be         considering air strikes against      less risky for us to do               behind it," said Mark Parris, a
dispatched to Ankara, Mr.           the Kurdish rebel group PKK          something ourselves. Now the          former U.S. ambassador to
                                                                                                                                        page 18
Turkey now at the Brookings           the U.S. wants us to do                  "Everyone in Turkey             unseen point to the south over
Institution, a Washington think       something, and we don't think       would suffer," Yuksekova             the mountains.
tank. "But Erdogan doesn't            we can do anything. We fought       Mayor Mehmet Salih Yildiz                 In the same area Sunday, a
have any cards left to play."         the PKK in the '90s with the        said in an interview at the          wedding convoy was blown up
     Last      week,      Turkey's    full force of the Turkish           headquarters of his Kurdish          by what Turkish authorities
parliament authorized the             military and couldn't eradicate     political party, which this year     said was a PKK land mine, and
government to send troops             them."                              has representatives in the           a tractor driver narrowly
across the Iraqi border at any             On Monday, the PKK             Turkish national parliament for      avoided injury when another
time in pursuit of the PKK.           issued a statement that it would    the first time.                      mine exploded Monday, the
     The Kurdistan Regional           be ready for a cease-fire "if the        "We have been living with       officer said.
Government warned that any            Turkish army stops attacking        big pressure for years and are            As he spoke, a patrol
air strikes by the U.S. or the        our positions, drops plans for      very used to the situation, but      returned to the base toting land
Turks could inflame nationalist       an incursion and resorts to         Turkey is not," he said.             mine detection equipment.
sentiments among the millions         peace," but most analysts                Two of Yildiz's sons were            About 100 yards away,
of Kurds who live inside              dismissed this announcement         killed as fighters for the           herds of cattle and sheep were
Turkey.                               as meaningless.                     Kurdish rebel force known as         slouching through a field and
     "If the U.S. starts bombing           "The PKK always declares       the Kurdistan Workers Party,         over the army's helicopter
PKK camps in the north,               a cease-fire when winter            or PKK, and a daughter               landing pads. A soldier
Turkey       will      be   ablaze    approaches and it can't operate     remains "in the mountains"           bounded down the hill to try to
tomorrow,"         said     Qubad     anyway," said Soner Cagaptay,       with PKK units taking shelter        shoo the animals away.
Talabany, spokesman for the           director of the Turkish             across the border in Iraqi                At a checkpoint farther
Kurdistan                 Regional    Research Program at the             Kurdistan.                           north, military police ordered
Government in Washington.             Washington Institute for Near            Yuksekova on Tuesday            journalists out of their car and
     He added that the pesh           East Policy. "Then when the         did not have the look of a town      sought information about their
merga has already formed a            snow melts, they start fighting     bracing for war. Life carried on     hour-by-hour         movements,
sort of security belt around the      again."                             more or less routinely.              whom they had interviewed
PKK to keep the fighters from                                             Schoolboys played basketball,        and what the interviewees said.
coming down from the                                                      shoppers         picked       over        The army in this region
mountains into the cities of          Los Angeles Times                   well-stocked vegetable bins.         supplements its numbers with
Iraqi Kurdistan. The only             October 24, 2007                         The       region      around    hundreds of so-called village
long-term solution, the regional      17. Turkish Kurds                   Yuksekova, a land of sparse,         guards, Kurds who are armed
government said, would be for         Stuck In The Middle                 ragged mountains and vast,           and paid by Turkey to patrol
it to be part of a serious            People near the border with         big-sky plateaus, has long been      villages or rural territory.
dialogue among Turkey, the            Iraq are on edge as their           heavily       militarized      and   Many were displaced from
U.S. and Iraq. It complained          government poises to attack the     remained so Tuesday. Dozens          their villages by Turkey more
that it is currently being left out   rebels many identify with.          of helicopter missions had           than a decade ago, but they
of any discussions.                   By Tracy Wilkinson, Los             flown overnight, residents said,     nonetheless fight alongside
     Iraqi      Deputy       Prime    Angeles Times Staff Writer          and more than the usual              government troops.
Minister Barham Saleh, a Kurd              YUKSEKOVA, TURKEY              number of checkpoints were                Four village guards were
who visited the White House           —In a town where the pictures       manned by soldiers or military       squatting in a pasture near
on Monday, said at a                  of dead Kurdish guerrillas          police, with sandbags and            Yuksekova, smoking cigarettes
Brookings appearance, "My             adorn certain walls as tributes     video cameras.                       and settling in for a cold night.
worry is that there are demands       to their martyrdom, warnings             On the road that leads          They said the increase in PKK
of the KRG [Kurdistan                 of war along the Turkish-Iraqi      south from Yuksekova to the          attacks, some of the deadliest
Regional Government] and the          border are achingly familiar.       Iraqi border, an army outpost        in years, and the alleged PKK
Iraqi government to 'fight the             Turkey's threat to invade      about 20 miles from the border       targeting of civilians made
PKK.' That could well be a            northern Iraq has left people in    stopped all traffic and barred       them worry about a return to
recipe for an open-ended              this predominantly Kurdish          journalists     from     traveling   all-out warfare.
conflict in which we will not         region nervous and suspicious,      farther.                                  But invading northern Iraq
win       and     will    basically   recalling the bad years of the           It was on this road that        was not the answer, they said,
destabilize the only stable part      mid-1990s, the period of the        PKK rebels blew up a bridge          because it would spill a lot of
of Iraq."                             largest Turkish incursions and      Sunday and ambushed a                blood but not finish off the
     Rice issued a statement          heavy-handed                        Turkish army patrol, killing 12      PKK.
with British Foreign Secretary        counterinsurgency campaigns.        soldiers and wounding 16                  "It's starting to look like
David Miliband, calling on            Fighting was heavy, death tolls     others.       Eight        remain    the '90s again, and it could get
Baghdad and the Kurdistan             high, and entire villages           unaccounted for; the PKK says        a lot worse," said one of the
Regional Government to "take          cleared out to destroy rebel        it captured them, and on             guards, who did not want to be
immediate steps to halt PKK           support networks.                   Tuesday a pro-Kurdish news           identified because they are not
operations from Iraqi territory."          No one was predicting          agency released photographs          allowed to speak to the media.
     Kurdistan            Regional    Tuesday that Turkey was about       purporting to show some of the       "Many, many people could die.
Government              spokesman     to return to that level of          men.                                 And it's not so easy. The PKK
Talabany said, "Everyone's            authority. But quite a few               "That's the war zone," one      is not just in northern Iraq.
passing the buck. The Turks           people said it would be a bad       of the officers at the               They're here, they're in
want the U.S. to do something,        idea.                               checkpoint said, signaling an        Istanbul, in Europe... ."
                                                                                                                                     page 19
     Back in Yuksekova, a           foreseeable future, conducting           In its statement, the United    United States soldiers identify
number of Kurds said they           airstrikes and quick raids          States military said that “a         remaining       militants.    In
were      worried     that    the   instead. That has people jittery    known member of an I.E.D.            Ramadi, United States patrols
escalating crisis would erode       but not panicked.                   cell was among the 11 killed         have not been targeted in the
recent gains in social and               "People are not expecting      during          the       multiple   city since May, American
political fields. Under pressure    a big operation, so there's not     engagements,”        using     the   commanders said.
from a European Union that          much tension," he said. "But        abbreviation for improvised                The parade was a response
Turkey hopes to join, the           people are worried, and they        explosive device.                    to one held last year in Ramadi
government of Prime Minister        don't want to see hostilities in         The statement said an           by the Mujahedeen Shura
Recep Tayyip Erdogan has            the region."                        additional four “military-age        Council, an insurgent group
allowed limited television                                              males” were among the dead           linked to Al Qaeda in
broadcasts in the Kurdish                                               and said that five women and         Mesopotamia, the homegrown
language and some teaching in       New York Times                      one child were also killed. The      Sunni insurgent group that
Kurdish, and dozens of Kurds        October 24, 2007                    statement said the helicopter        American intelligence officials
now sit in parliament.              18. Helicopter Fire Kills           had been fired at from a house.      say has foreign leadership.
     "Where there is war there      Iraqis, Days After Sadr                  “I lost two of my brothers            The parade on Tuesday
is    no     development,      no   City Battle                         and my sister, who was a             formally commemorated the
progress,"      said     Mehmet     By Andrew E. Kramer                 college student,” Mohanad said       end of the 40-day period of
Yardimci, 47, a member of the            BAGHDAD, Oct. 23 —             in a telephone interview from a      mourning after the death of
mayor's political party. "It does   Gunfire from an American            hospital in Tikrit where the         Sheik Abdul Sattar Buzaigh
not benefit anybody."               helicopter killed 11 people,        wounded were taken.                  al-Rishawi, the leader of the
     The party headquarters         including women and children,            A local police official,        Anbar Awakening Council,
was decorated with yellow           after it came under fire north of   meanwhile, said that 16 people,      who was killed shortly after
mini-banners strung across the      Baghdad         on      Tuesday,    including six women and three        meeting President Bush in
ceiling like streamers. On the      according to a statement by the     children, were killed and that       Anbar in September. His
wall were photographs of six        military. The episode was the       an     additional      14    were    brother, Sheik Ahmed Abu
youthful-looking            PKK     second this week in which           wounded.                             Risha, took over as leader of
militants from Yuksekova who        multiple Iraqi deaths resulted           The shooting took place         the group.
were killed in the last year; a     from a United States combat         two days after American                    Sheik      Abu       Risha
poster saluted them as martyrs.     action.                             soldiers killed 49 people in a       responded Tuesday to an
     Abdulmenaf Duzenci, who             The Iraqi police and           gun battle on Sunday in Sadr         audiotape of the Qaeda leader,
like      many       Kurds     in   witnesses put the toll higher, at   City, the sprawling Shiite           Osama bin Laden, that was
southeastern Turkey makes his       16 dead, and recounted a            neighborhood        in     eastern   broadcast on Al Jazeera on
living by trading consumer          confusing scene in which local      Baghdad. The military said no        Monday. The tape admonished
goods for fuel from Iraqi           people were trying to help a        civilians were killed, while a       Sunni Muslims in Iraq for
Kurdistan, said he did not          wounded man who was                 Shiite citizens’ council and         allowing divisions within their
believe Turkey would turn           apparently an insurgent as an       other Shiite groups said             ranks in the struggle against
back the clock completely on        American helicopter buzzed          innocent bystanders died. On         the United States, according to
Turkish Kurds.                      overhead.                           Monday, Iraqi government and         SITE, a group that monitors
     "It's not really possible to        According to Mohanad           American military officials          extremist Islamic groups.
go back to those old days," said    Hamid Muhsin, a 14-year-old         agreed to form a joint                     “We invite bin Laden to
Duzenci, 44. "People have           who was wounded in the leg,         committee to investigate.            tell us who his people are,” Mr.
changed the way they think.         the insurgent fired a machine            Also Tuesday, Sunni tribal      Abu Risha said. “Let them
Even the simplest person            gun at a helicopter around          sheiks who have allied with the      come out, and we will fight
nowadays knows more about           sunrise in a rural area near the    United States played host to an      them. Here I am. I am willing
what is happening."                 city of Tikrit. The helicopter      improbable military parade,          to lead the fight.”
     But a colleague disagreed.     unleashed a barrage of gunfire      with a band and soldiers in                Ahmad Fadam contributed
     "The reason why Turkey is      in return, hitting the man who      spit-shined boots, down a main       reporting from Baghdad, Qais
escalating this conflict is not     had fired the machine gun, he       street in the city of Ramadi in      Mizher from Ramadi and an
because they want to go into        said.                               Anbar Province, though with          Iraqi employee of The New
Iraq, but because they want to           “The locals went to check      an extensive American military       York Times from Salahuddin.
blackmail the rest of the world     if he was dead and gathered         presence in the area.
so that they can suppress any       around him,” Mohanad said of             The parade, which was led
Kurdish activity here," said the                                        by children waving flowers and       Los Angeles Times
                                    the     insurgent,    “but    the
man, who did not give his                                               Iraqi flags, would have been         October 24, 2007
                                    helicopter opened fire again
name. "They do not really want      and killed some of the locals       unthinkable amid the insurgent       19. U.S.: Top Iranians
to give us our rights."             and wounded others.” When           violence in Ramadi a year ago,       Direct Iraq Missions
     Ercan        Demirci,      a   another group tried to carry the    American commanders who              Forces that the Bush
30-year-old journalist who          wounded and dead to houses to       attended said.                       administration holds
covers this region for the          provide first aid, Mohanad               The sheiks’ movement, the       responsible for the deaths of
Turkish daily Sabah, said the       said, the helicopter shot at four   Anbar Awakening Council, has         troops act on orders of the
consensus seemed to be that         houses, killing and wounding        used tribal ties to draw former      Tehran leadership, an official
Turkey would hold off on a          more people.                        insurgents into the government       says.
major operation for the                                                 police force, while helping          By Paul Richter, Los Angeles
                                                                                                                                            page 20
Times Staff Writer                            Riedel, now with the             that view in public in the          are going to win this
      WASHINGTON                —A      Brookings Institution, said the        ensuing months.                     counterinsurgency project are
senior       State     Department       Defense Department might be                 Army Gen. David H.             the people of Iraq. We've said
official,      toughening         the   more guarded in its comments           Petraeus, in last month's           that all along. And now they're
administration's line on Iran,          because "the Pentagon is well          high-profile assessment of          coming forward in masses,"
said Tuesday that there was no          aware that its forces are              Iraqi security, appeared to be      Lynch said in a recent
doubt the top leaders in Tehran         overstretched and vulnerable.          intentionally vague on the          interview at a US base deep in
were directing Iranian forces           They are well aware of Iran's          point, saying only that Iran was    hostile territory south of
that the administration is              capacity to retaliate."                acting "through the use of the      Baghdad. Outgoing artillery
holding responsible for the                   Though he has strongly           Quds Force." Previously, he         thundered as he spoke.
deaths of hundreds of U.S.              criticized some aspects of the         had specifically declined to             Lynch, who commands the
troops in Iraq.                         administration's            Mideast    link Quds' actions to the           3d Infantry Division and once
      Senior Iraq advisor David         policies, Riedel added that he         Iranian political leadership.       served      as    the    military
Satterfield said "there is no           believed Satterfield was correct            "I do not know of anything     spokesman in Baghdad, is a
question       in     our     minds     in stating that the senior             that specifically identifies how    tireless cheerleader of the
whatsoever"         that     Iranian    Iranian leadership is directing        high it goes beyond the level of    American effort in Iraq - and
Revolutionary Guard troops              the operations in Iraq.                the Quds Force, Cmdr.               the death toll over the past two
"are very much under the                      The issue of Tehran's role       Suleimani," Petraeus said in        months appears to reinforce his
direction and command of the            first spilled into public view at      April, referring to Brig. Gen.      optimism. But will it last?
most senior levels of the               the beginning of the year, when        Qassem Suleimani, the unit's             As of yesterday, the
Iranian government. Full stop."         the      administration       began    commander. "Beyond that, it is      Pentagon reported 28 US
      The administration has            publicizing accusations of             very difficult to tell.             military deaths in October. The
repeatedly charged that Iranian         Iranian        involvement        in        "We know where he is in        toll on US troops hasn't been
troops and agents are shipping          increasingly          sophisticated    the overall chain of command;       this low since March 2006,
sophisticated explosives into           roadside bombings of U.S.              he certainly reports to the very    when 31 soldiers died, an
Iraq, training Iraqi militants          troops.                                top," Petraeus said. "But again,    average of one death a day.
and taking other actions                      At a February briefing           nothing that would absolutely            In September, 65 US
counter to American goals.              with reporters in Baghdad, an          indicate, again, how high the       soldiers died in Iraq.
However,          U.S.      military    intelligence official, speaking        knowledge of this actually               Part of the trend can be
officials have released no              on condition of anonymity,             goes."                              seen in a volatile and violent
conclusive        evidence       that   asserted that the operatives                Times staff writer Peter       band of lush agricultural land
Iranian weapons and training            who        had     provided      the   Spiegel contributed to this         on Baghdad's southern border.
were       supplied       by      top   advanced explosives were               report.                                  The commander of the
authorities in Tehran, and have         being directed by Iran's                                                   battle zone, Lieutenant Colonel
been careful not to say whether         supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali                                              Val Keaveny, 3d Battalion,
they      believe      senior      or   Khamenei.                              Boston Globe                        509th Infantry (Airborne), said
lower-level            government             In the days that followed,       October 24, 2007                    his unit has lost only one
officials are involved.                 however, senior Pentagon               20. Soldier, Civilian               soldier in the past four months
      Iran has denied providing         officials backtracked from that        Deaths Decline In Iraq              despite intensified operations
military aid to combatants in           assertion, saying there was no         Citizen groups working with         against both Shi'ite and Sunni
Iraq.                                   intelligence available that            troops credited                     extremists, including powerful
      Satterfield's comments to         pointed to central government          By Steven R. Hurst, Associated      Al Qaeda in Iraq cells.
reporters at a media breakfast          involvement.                           Press                                    Keaveny attributes the
come as senior administration                 "It is clear that Iranians are        BAGHDAD - October is           startling decline to a decrease
officials have been speaking            involved, and it's clear that          on course to record the second      in attacks by the large number
out      forcefully      on     Iran.   materials from Iran are                consecutive decline in US           of militants who are being
President Bush warned last              involved," Marine Gen. Peter           military and Iraqi civilian         rounded       up     based     on
week that World War III was             Pace, then chairman of the             deaths      and      Americans      information provided by the
possible if Tehran acquired the         Joint Chiefs of Staff, said            commanders say they know            citizen force, which has
capability to build a nuclear           shortly after the Baghdad              why: the US troop increase and      literally doubled the number of
weapon, and Vice President              briefing. "But I would not say         an Iraqi groundswell against Al     eyes and ears available to the
Dick Cheney said Sunday that            by what I know that the Iranian        Qaeda and Shi'ite militia           military.
the United States and its allies        government clearly knows or is         extremists.                              The efforts to recruit local
would not allow Iran to build a         complicit."                                 Major General Rick Lynch       partners began taking shape
bomb.                                         Private experts on the           points to what the military calls   earlier this year in the western
      Bruce Riedel, a former            Quds Force, a special unit of          "concerned citizens" - both         province of Anbar, which had
CIA and White House official,           the      Revolutionary        Guard    Shi'ites and Sunnis who have        become the virtual heartland
said Satterfield's comments             linked by U.S. authorities to          joined the American fight. He       for Sunni insurgents and Al
reflected        "the       growing     the weapons and training, say          says he's signed up 20,000 of       Qaeda bands. The early
frustration the administration is       there          is       widespread     them in the past four months.       successes in Anbar - coming
feeling about this" because             disagreement about the group's              "I've never been more          alongside a boost of 30,000 US
officials believe Tehran has not        ties     to      Khamenei.      The    optimistic than I am right now      soldiers into the Baghdad area
heeded warnings to scale back           administration and military            with the progress we've made        - led to similar alliances in
its alleged activities in Iraq.         officers have largely stood by         in Iraq. The only people who        other parts of Iraq.
                                                                                                                                       page 21
     "People are fed up with        dealing with here are only          common enemy.                            The Korean troops are in
fear, intimidation and being        major acts of violence, the              "They    have      to   be     the                       northern,
brutalized. Once they hit that      number of times people are          convinced that we're not            Kurdish-dominated region of
tipping point, they're fed up,      killed," Cordesman said. "This      leaving. That's the issue. If       the troubled country, which is
they come to realize we truly       is certainly progress ... but it    they were to think we're            largely peaceful.
do provide them better hope         has to be put in perspective."      leaving we'd have also sorts of          They have suffered no
for the future. What we're               Lynch's      mission    also   trouble,"      Lynch       said,    casualties in combat, although
seeing now is the beginning of      shows the slow pace of              clambering over a makeshift         the unit has had one suicide,
a snowball," said Keaveny,          reclaiming        areas     from    earthen bridge across the canal.    the defense ministry said.
whose forces operate out of         militants. His soldiers and their                                            With               increasing
Forward Operating Base Kalsu,       new local allies must work                                              Turkish-Kurdish           tensions,
about 35 miles south of             town by town, village by            Washington Times                    however, there are fears that
Baghdad.                            village.                            October 24, 2007                    the region may not remain
     Although US death figures           Sunni       Sheik     Emad     Pg. 1                               peaceful.
appear to be in sharp decline,      Ghurtani is among those             21. S. Korea Moves To                    South Korea will go ahead
the number of Iraqi civilians       helping.                            Stay In Iraq                        with plans to cut its
and security forces killed               "Honestly, I'm not going       Roh cites need for U.S. ties        deployment in half, to about
shows a less dramatic drop.         to hide this from you,"             By Andrew Salmon,                   600 troops, as other alliance
And any significant attack - by     Ghurtani told Lynch as the two      Washington Times                    members such as Britain as
insurgents or civilians caught      stood talking at a newly                 SEOUL — President Roh          doing.
in the crossfire - could quickly    established tribal check point      Moo-hyun called yesterday for            But Mr. Roh urged the
wipe out the trend.                 near Haswa, a village just north    a one-year extension of South       nation to extend its presence in
     The current pace of            of the Kalsu base.                  Korean troop deployments in         Iraq by one year, through the
civilian deaths would put                "There is some Al Qaeda        Iraq, saying that closer            end of 2008. South Korean
October at fewer than 900. The      here in this area. But, God         relations with Washington           troops had been slated to
figure last month was 1,023         willing, we will get rid of         were vital to his nation's          withdraw completely by the
and for August, 1,956,              them," he said. "The citizens       security.                           end of the year.
according to figures compiled       are coming out. They're not              "Cooperation from the               An extension must be
by the Associated Press.            afraid any more."                   U.S. is essential to the security   ratified by the National
     The AP tally comes from             The guard detail at the        of Northeast Asia and the           Assembly.
hospital, police, and military      checkpoint changed during the       denuclearization of the Korean           With presidential elections
officials, as well as accounts      conversation. Three young men       Peninsula," Mr. Roh said.           upcoming, competing parties
from         reporters        and   barely out of their teens,               "Amid the unpredictability     are already in the trenches.
photographers.          Insurgent   ancient Kalashnikovs in hand,       surrounding the North Korean             Ironically,                 the
deaths are not included. Other      strolled town the dirt road that    nuclear-weapons issue, the          conservative opposition party
counts differ and some have         led back into Ghurtani              importance of a closer South        appears more likely to favor
given higher civilian death         territory. Their US-provided        Korea-U.S. alliance cannot be       Mr. Roh's call for a one-year
tolls.                              uniforms are a vest with a          overemphasized,"         Yonhap     extension           than          do
     Although the decline in        reflective orange band akin to      news agency quoted Mr. Roh          pro-government               liberal
deaths is notable, it is only one   what road crews wear in the         as saying.                          lawmakers, who are in a state
of many measures of potential       United States.                           In a similar vein, South       of political flux after the
progress in Iraq, said Anthony           Ghurtani complained they       Korea's       ambassador       to   dissolution of Mr. Roh's Uri
Cordesman, a former Pentagon        hadn't been paid the $100 a         Washington, Lee Tae-sik, told       Party.
analyst now with the private        month        the       Americans    The Washington Times earlier             The       spokesman          of
Center for Strategic and            promised.                           this month that his government      opposition      candidate       Lee
International      Studies     in        "If I get some of the          wanted the United States to         Myung-bak of the Grand
Washington, D.C.                    money they need I can get           maintain its current troop          National Party supported Mr.
     Cordesman said a more          them shoes, some vests and          strength in South Korea.            Roh's call for an extended
balanced picture needs to           some ammunition. If they can             "We want you to stay until     deployment, according to local
include factors such as             find me cheap weapons, we           we've established a peace           press reports.
wounded civilians and soldiers,     can start getting these men         mechanism, until we reunify              But Chung Dong-young,
and the number of people            ready. God willing, in the next     the country. But even after         the     candidate        of      the
fleeing their homes. The UN         few days," the sheik said.          reunification, the U.S. presence    pro-government United New
refugee agency said yesterday            Most heartening, Lynch         will be needed," Mr. Lee said.      Democratic Party, is expected
that between 1,000 and 2,000        said, was the checkpoint just            Even North Korean leader       to vote against it.
Iraqis still leave their homes      across the road and over an         Kim Jong-il has said he shares           The liberals are thought to
each day for safer havens           irrigation canal. It was run by     that view, the ambassador said.     hold about 141 seats in the
elsewhere in the country or in      Shi'ites.                                With about 1,250 troops in     299-seat National Assembly.
neighboring nations. "It's just          Lynch          said      the   Iraq, South Korea has the                Mr. Roh will depart office
been going up slowly," said         checkpoints on opposite sides       fourth-largest contingent in the    at the end of February, after
UN High Commissioner for            of the road highlighted a kind      alliance after the United States,   elections in December. He is
Refugees spokeswoman Astrid         of reconciliation by necessity:     Britain and Georgia, according      finishing his term with
van Genderen Stort in Geneva.       not fighting each other but         to the South Korean defense         U.S.-Korean relations in better
     "The      numbers      we're   protecting themselves from a        ministry.                           shape than when he took
                                                                                                                                         page 22
office.                                yesterday.                           23. Istanbul To Host               accounts for about 80% of that
     He      was      elected     in        The Defense Department          Conference On Iraq                 total, the Iraq war would cost
December 2002 amid massive             is focused in this area, he said.         ANKARA — Turkey next          $1.9 trillion, including $564
anti-American protests after                The FMS process is fairly       month will host a global           million in interest, said
the deaths of two Korean               new for Iraq, merely a year old,     conference on Iraq, which is       Thomas Kahn, Spratt's staff
schoolgirls in a road accident         he said. Questions come up:          expected to be attended by the     director. The committee holds
and the subsequent acquittal,          "we want trucks, what kind of        war-torn country's neighbors as    a hearing on war costs this
by court-martial, of the U.S.          trucks? Big trucks. What kind        well as world powers, the          morning.
troops involved.                       of big truck? Literally, it's a      foreign ministry said yesterday.        "The number is so big, it
     Relations             initially   generic request that has to               The Nov. 2-3 foreign          boggles the mind," said Rep.
remained strained over the             be...brought down to very            ministers' meeting, to be held     Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill.
Bush administration's hard-line        specifics details."                  in Istanbul, will be the second         Sean       Kevelighan,      a
stance toward North Korea,                  It's been a learning            of its kind since the first        spokesman for the White
including its refusal to hold          experience for the Iraqi side, he    conference in May in the           House budget office, said,
bilateral U.S.-North Korea             said, on "how one takes a very       Egyptian Red Sea Resort of         "Congress should stop playing
talks until recently.                  generic desire for things, and       Sharm El-Sheikh.                   politics with our troops by
     But since last October's          brings them down to specific              It is expected to be          trying to artificially inflate war
North Korean nuclear test,             requests for a thing, in specific    attended by Iraq's neighbors,      funding levels." He declined to
Washington has taken a more            quantify, with a specific set of     the      five     veto-wielding    provide a White House
conciliatory       line     toward     characteristics."                    permanent members of the           estimate.
Pyongyang by negotiating                    It appears to be successful     United      Nations     Security        The      CBO        estimates
directly with North Korean             as the two governments work          Council — Britain, China,          assume that 75,000 troops will
officials.                             through the process. Iraq has        France, Russia and the United      remain in both countries
     Washington's reversal of          become acquainted with what          States — and the Group of          through       2017,      including
policy has helped break a              needs to be done and the speed       Eight countries.                   roughly 50,000 in Iraq. That is
deadlock        in       six-nation    with which they need to do it.                                          a "very speculative" projection,
denuclearization talks, which          The United States can't provide                                         though it's not entirely
also include China, Japan and          equipment unless it knows            USA Today                          unreasonable,       said     Loren
Russia.                                what equipment is being              October 24, 2007                   Thompson, a defense analyst at
     "Now, Roh realizes the            sought and have requests for it.     Pg. 1                              the non-partisan Lexington
reality: At the beginning of this           For the United States, "we      24. Wars May Cost                  Institute.
term, he did not know what             have worked to accelerate the        $2.4T                                   As of Sept. 30, the two
was going on," said Sung               procurement process from the         Estimate covers Iraq,              wars have cost $604 billion,
Deuk-hahm, a professor at              defense base," Satterfield said.     Afghanistan at cost of $8,000      the CBO says. Adjusted for
Korea University. "Five years               "I think we're doing a          per U.S. resident                  inflation, that is higher than the
later, he realizes influence of        much better job on both sides        By Ken Dilanian, USA Today         costs of the Korea and Vietnam
the United States on Korea —           on getting the request in so we            WASHINGTON — The             conflicts, according to the
security      and        economic.     have the ability to process          cost of the wars in Iraq and       Washington-based Center for
Without U.S. cooperation, he           them and in our ability to           Afghanistan could total $2.4       Strategic      and      Budgetary
cannot accomplish anything."           procure and send out," he said.      trillion through the next          Assessments.
                                            In late September, the          decade, or nearly $8,000 per            Defense spending during
                                       Defense Security Cooperation         man, woman and child in the        those two wars accounted for a
Defense Daily                          Agency notified Congress of a                                           far larger share of the
October 24, 2007                                                            country, according to a
                                       potential $2.25 billion FMS to       Congressional Budget Office        American economy.
22. U.S., Iraq, Work To                Iraq of vehicles, small arms                                                 In the months before the
                                                                            estimate scheduled for release
Smooth Foreign                         ammunition, explosives, and          today.                             March 2003 Iraq invasion, the
Military Sales Process                 communications equipment as                A previous CBO estimate      Bush administration estimated
By Ann Roosevelt                       well as associated equipment         put the wars' costs at more than   the Iraq war would cost no
     The United States is              and services.                        $1.6 trillion. This one adds       more than $50 billion.
working to smooth the path to               While published reports         $705 billion in interest, taking        Comparing U.S. wars
Foreign Military Sales (FMS)           earlier this month said Iraq         into account that the conflicts         Cost of wars, adjusted for
as the government of Iraq              could be buying as much as           are     being    funded     with   inflation: (in billions; FY 2008
works to procure weapons for           $100 million in light weapons        borrowed money.                    dollars)
its national forces, according to      from China for its law                     The new estimate also             World War II -- $3,900
a top U.S. official.                   enforcement            personnel,    includes     President    Bush's        Korea -- $456
     "We do very much want to          Satterfield was clear: "We are       request Monday for an                   Vietnam -- $518
see     the     most     efficient     not      concerned      at     the   additional $46 billion in war           Persian Gulf War -- $88
functioning of FMS sales for           procurement position of the          funding, said Rep. John Spratt,         Iraq/Afghanistan -- $604
Iraq possible," Amb. David             Iraqi government."                   D-S.C., budget committee                Sources:      Congressional
Satterfield, senior adviser,                                                chairman, who provided the         Budget Office, Center for
Coordinator        for       Iraq,                                          CBO's new numbers to USA           Strategic      and      Budgetary
                                       Washington Times                                                        Assessments, USA TODAY
Department of State, told the                                               TODAY.
                                       October 24, 2007                                                        research
Defense       Writers'     Group                                                  Assuming      that    Iraq
                                       Pg. 17
                                                                                                                                       page 23
                                    we can return to the issues that   powerful weapon designed to          war policies, said the funding
                                    do divide us but that we can       destroy        targets       deep    request was the latest of many
New York Times                      resolve in a better fashion.”      underground.                         signs that indicated Bush was
October 24, 2007                        Representative         Kevin        A White House summary           contemplating an attack on
25. Effort To Censure               Brady, Republican of Texas,        accompanying                   the   Iran. McDermott said such a
Lawmaker For A                      had called Mr. Stark’s remark      supplemental            spending     scenario was his “biggest fear
Comment Falls Short                 of last week “despicable and       proposal said the request for        between now and the election.”
By David Stout                      beneath contempt.” Other           money to modify -B-2s to                  “We are not authorizing
     WASHINGTON, Oct. 23            Republicans expressed similar      carry the bombs came in              Bush to use a 30,000-pound
— Representative Pete Stark,        shock.                             response to “an urgent               bunker buster,” he said.
Democrat        of    California,                                      operational need from theater        “They’ve been banging the
escaped a censure Tuesday for                                          commanders.” The summary             drums the same way as they
                                    USA Today                          provided no further details.         did in 2002 with Iraq.”
incendiary remarks he made
                                    October 24, 2007                   The White House and the Air               Stealth Delivery
last week about President Bush
                                    Pg. 5                              Force, in response to queries,            The Boeing Co., in
and the war in Iraq.
     By 196 to 173, the House       26. Congress Approves              did not provide additional           conjunction with Elgin Air
voted against adopting a            Moves To Reduce                    clarification.                       Force Base in Florida, has been
resolution to censure Mr. Stark,    Veteran Suicides                        Previous statements by the      developing        the      Massive
who is chairman of the Ways              The House unanimously         Defense Department and the           Ordnance        Penetrator     for
and Means Subcommittee on           gave     final    congressional    program’s contractors, along         several years and first tested
Health, for what he said as the     approval to legislation aimed at   with interviews with military        the bomb in March. The 15-ton
House sustained Mr. Bush’s          reducing the rate of suicides      experts, suggest the weapon is       bomb would be dropped by
veto of a bill to expand a          among former members of the        meant for the kind of hardened       B-52 or B-2 bombers.
children’s health insurance         armed forces. The bill goes to     targets found chiefly in Iran,            In June, the Northrop
program.                            President    Bush      for   his   which Bush suspects of               Grumman Corp., maker of the
     “You don’t have money to       signature.                         developing nuclear weapons           B-2, won a $2.5 million
fund the war or children,” Mr.           The bill would require        capability, and North Korea,         contract from the Air Force to
Stark told Republicans last         mental health training for VA      which already has tested a           retro-fit the bat-winged, stealth
week. “But you’re going to          staff, designate a suicide         nuclear device.                      bombers so they could drop the
spend it to blow up innocent        prevention counselor at each            Bush has said repeatedly        new weapon. The new funding,
people if we can get enough         VA medical facility, screen for    that he prefers to use               if        approved,         would
kids to grow old enough for         suicide risk when veterans are     diplomacy to resolve tensions        significantly      expand     that
you to send to Iraq to get their    in VA care, refer at-risk          with Iran over its nuclear           initiative.
heads blown off for the             patients for counseling and        program. But his request for              The      B-2      made     its
president’s amusement.”             treatment and provide outreach     funding to deliver the new           battlefield debut during the
     The vote was along party       efforts and research into          bunker buster comes amid a           Kosovo War in 1999. It is
lines, with all 196 votes against   suicide prevention.                sharp escalation of tough            optimal for use against
censure        coming       from                                       White House rhetoric about           sophisticated       enemy       air
Democrats. Last week, in the                                           Iran’s nuclear program in            defenses         because        its
immediate fallout from his          CQ Today                           recent days.                         radar-evading        surface     is
remarks, Mr. Stark did not          October 24, 2007                        On Oct. 18, Bush said a         difficult to detect.
exactly apologize. “I have          27. Item In War                    nuclear-armed Iran could lead             In interviews Tuesday,
nothing but respect for our         Request Stokes Fears Of            to “World War III.” Three days       military experts said the new
brave men and women in                                                 later, Vice President Dick           weapon was not designed for
                                    Iran Strike                        Cheney warned of “serious            the kind of counterinsurgency
uniform and wish them the           By John M. Donnelly, CQ
very best,” said Mr. Stark, who                                        consequences”       if    Tehran     campaign being conducted by
                                    Staff                              continued to enrich uranium.         U.S. forces in Iraq and
served in the Air Force from             Some      Democrats    are
1955 to 1957 and will celebrate                                             Against that backdrop, the      Afghanistan. They said the
                                    worried that President Bush’s      proposed funding for bunker          MOP could prove useful
his 76th birthday on Veterans       funding request to enable B-2
Day. “But I respect neither the                                        busters has some in Congress         against other targets, notably
                                    “stealth” bombers to carry a       worried.                             underground Iranian facilities
commander in chief who keeps        new 30,000-pound “bunker
them in harm’s way nor the                                                  James P. Moran, D-Va., a        that are said to be producing
                                    buster” bomb is a sign of plans    senior member of the House           nuclear weapons materials.
chickenhawks in Congress who        for an attack on Iran.
vote to deny children health                                           Appropriations           Defense          “A weapon like this is
                                         Buried in the $196.4          Subcommittee, said he did not        designed      to      deal    with
care.”                              billion    supplemental    war
     But on the House floor on                                         believe the MOP could be used        extremely hard and buried
                                    spending proposal that Bush        in Iraq or Afghanistan and           targets such as you would find
Tuesday, Mr. Stark sounded          submitted to Congress on Oct.
contrite as he apologized for                                          cited Iran as the potential target   in Iran or North Korea,” said
                                    22 is a request for $88 million    for the bomb. He said he would       Loren Thompson, a defense
offending his colleagues, Mr.       to modify B-2 bombers so they
Bush and American troops. “I                                           oppose the funding.                  analyst with the conservative
                                    can drop a Massive Ordnance             “That’s a clear red flag,”      military     think     tank    the
hope that with this apology I       Penetrator,    or     MOP,    a
will become as insignificant as                                        Moran said.                          Lexington Institute, who is also
                                    conventional bomb still in              Jim McDermott, D-Wash.,         a consultant for some defense
I should be,” he said, “and that    development that is the most       an outspoken critic of Bush’s        contractors.
                                                                                                                                     page 24
      “Clearly, in the case of      Anthony, said soldiers were         and ideological. In addition to    population.
North Korea, the likelihood of      investigating.                      the mounting frustration at             Yet in other respects, the
military action is receding as                                          having newly built schools and     unrest in the south has
the Pyongyang government                                                facilities destroyed in the        prevented            development
becomes more tractable,” said       Christian Science Monitor           south, there is also a dwindling   projects from going forward.
Thompson, referring to recent       October 24, 2007                    number of aid workers willing      One        of     the     Afghan
progress in diplomatic efforts      29. Bamiyan Pays The                to go there as security            government's                  key
to persuade North Korea to          Afghan Peace Penalty                deteriorates.                      regional-development schemes,
dismantle its nuclear programs.     The province's residents blame           The result could benefit      the National Solidarity Project
      John Pike, an expert on       their region's relative serenity    areas like Bamiyan, where the      (NSP), has been suspended
defense and intelligence policy     for their lack of aid money and     United States Agency for           because of safety concerns in
with Globalsecurity.org, said       large development projects.         International      Development     about 30 of the country's 396
the MOP could be used against       By Mark Sappenfield, Staff          (USAID) will spend $17             districts, mostly in the south.
Iran’s        main        uranium   writer of The Christian Science     million this year – one-third           "In the areas where there is
enrichment facility at -Natanz.     Monitor                             more than it spent in the          security and access, it is easier
      “It’ll go through it like a        BAMIYAN,                       previous four years combined.      for the aid workers to go," says
hot knife through butter,” Pike     AFGHANISTAN             --   The         Much to the delight of the    Susanne Holste, who monitors
said. He noted that the B-2         situation in Bamiyan is simple      shopkeepers in town, the           the program for the World
would be the best aircraft to       enough for Mohammed Arif            outlay will bring the first feet   Bank. "In the south, the
deliver the bomb “if you want       Arifie to distill it into two       of pavement to the province –      start-up time is much longer."
it to be a surprise party.”         sentences spoken between sips       nearly two miles, actually –            That has benefited the
      It is not clear how quickly   of tea.                             beginning with the market road     north,      she     says,     and
the new weapon could be ready            First, Bamiyan is so safe      that runs through the center of    particularly Bamiyan. NSP
for delivery by a B-2 if the $88    that the New Zealand troops         Bamiyan City.                      spending in Bamiyan has been
million were enacted. A             posted here have not fired a             "Compared to other parts      $29.80 per person, placing it
spokesman         for    Northrop   shot in four years. Second,         of Afghanistan in terms of         fourth among Afghanistan's 34
Grumman declined to provide         there is not a foot of paved        security, we are very good,"       provinces.       On    Bamiyan's
a time frame.                       road anywhere in a province         says Ramazan, a bearded,           market street, however, these
      Not      all     Democratic   the size of Connecticut.            one-named shopkeeper who           smaller-scale projects are not
lawmakers oppose the weapon.             The two points are             leans back in his plastic chair    the highways and power
Non-nuclear bunker busters          connected, says Mr. Arifie,         as shoppers bustle by his store.   stations dearly wanted by
have emerged in recent years        who sits beside the pitted,         "Compared with the other parts     Ramazan and others.
as favorites of Democrats           earthen market road here in a       of Afghanistan in terms of              The result is a perception –
concerned          about     Bush   restaurant made of old United       development, we have zero."        both in the north and south –
administration’s earlier plans      Nations emergency food sacks             Such a perception is          that no one is benefiting from
to conduct research on nuclear      stitched     together.     Money    understandable in a place with     billions      of    dollars     of
models.                             follows the fighting, with          no paved roads and only            international aid. Yet in
      “We need to have this as a    millions being spent in the         sporadic electricity, which        Bamiyan, at least, there are
conventional weapon,” said          restive south while other,          comes       from      a    local   signs that these complaints are
Norm Dicks, D-Wash., a              calmer parts of the country go      diesel-powered generator that      beginning to bear fruit.
member of the House Defense         ignored, he says. "We are           shuts down every afternoon at           In a graphic example of
Appropriations Subcommittee.        punished for our peace."            4 p.m. The reality, however,       democracy in action, Gov.
“It adds to our deterrent.”              Available data is often        appears to be more nuanced.        Habiba Sorabi has taken these
                                    conflicting and incomplete, but          USAID figures suggest         market-street complaints to the
                                    it does suggest that a              that the south has been favored.   media and anyone who would
New York Times                      disproportionate share of aid       Some 35 percent of the $1.3        listen during the past year. Her
October 24, 2007                    money has gone to the south.        billion it has spent on regional   appeals have brought a surge in
28. Afghanistan: Battle             Yet experts see signs of a shift    development since 2002 has         international commitments to
Kills Militants And                 as countries realize that their     been spent in the five             the province from New
Civilians, Officials Say            development        dollars    can   southernmost provinces, where      Zealand, Japan, and the US.
By Associated Press                 achieve more in places of           the insurgency is most active.     "Other provinces get more
     NATO and Afghan troops         relative peace.                     These five provinces account       money and still there is not
called in airstrikes during a            "I can sense an increasing     for 11 percent of the national     stability," she says, noting that
battle against insurgents on        hunger for this," says Rory         population.                        Bamiyan has eliminated poppy
Monday that left 20 suspected       Stewart, a former British                By contrast, USAID has        cultivation virtually on its own.
militants and several civilians     diplomat now working to             spent 15 percent of its regional        She has bemoaned the fact
dead in Wardak Province, just       preserve art and architecture in    budget       on     the     nine   NATO has assigned secure
west of Kabul, officials said.      Afghanistan.       "The      high   northernmost provinces, which      provinces              Provincial
The casualty figures varied         ideological days of 2002 are        are relatively peaceful. Yet       Reconstruction Teams (PRTs)
widely. Afghan officials said 3     ebbing away, and now officials      they account for 29 percent of     from small countries like New
to 12 civilians were killed in      are listening to grass-roots        the population. The south is the   Zealand. Less-secure provinces
the    fighting.   A    NATO        operations that say, 'We can't      only region of the country         have PRTs from America and
spokesman,       Maj.  Charles      work in [the south].' "             where USAID has spent              Britain, who have far more
                                         The shift is both practical    disproportionately more by         money to spend.
                                                                                                                                          page 25
     For instance, the entire      there was a strong and credible       military force rather than            could have been used to
2006 budget for the Lithuanian     possibility that they depict the      diplomatic pressure against a         transport personnel to the site.
PRT in relatively peaceful         remote compound that was              facility that could not have               U.S. and foreign officials
Ghor was less than $400,000.       attacked. Israeli officials and       produced significant nuclear          tracking the incident said that
The British PRT in Helmand,        the White House declined to           material for years. The new           Syria is presently trying to
at the center of Taliban           comment.                              details could fuel debate over        remove remaining structures at
resistance, is building a single        If the facility is confirmed     whether Israel's attack was           the site.
city park for $700,000.            as the site of the attack, the        warranted.                                 The International Atomic
     There might be some truth     photos provide a potential                 Albright acknowledged the        Energy Agency has acquired
in the claims, says Col. Roger     explanation        for     Israel's   difficulties of proving what the      its own aerial photographs but
McIlwaine, commander of            middle-of-the-night bombing           site is, in part because the roof     has not finished analyzing
Kiwi Base, which sits on an        raid.                                 was put on at an early stage,         them, according to an IAEA
arid plateau above the green            The facility is located          blocking      views     of      the   source.
potato fields of Bamiyan. In       seven miles north of the desert       foundation and obscuring any               In an interview published
general, though, more spending     village of At Tibnah, in the          potential reactor components.         yesterday, IAEA director and
does not necessarily mean          Dayr az Zawr region, and              In construction of other types        Nobel         Peace        laureate
more development.                  about 90 miles from the Iraqi         of nuclear reactors, the roof is      Mohamed ElBaradei expressed
     "When you look at the         border, according to the ISIS         left off until the end so cranes      anger at the Syrians, Israelis
dollars," he says, "you have to    report to be released today.          can move heavy equipment              and       foreign      intelligence
bear in mind that security         Albright, a former U.N.               inside.                               agencies for not providing
operations cost a lot of           weapons inspector, said the                Some nuclear experts             information about a suspected
money."                            size of the structures suggested      urged caution in interpreting         nuclear program.
                                   that Syria might have been            the photos, noting that the type           "We have said, 'If any of
                                   building a gas-graphite reactor       of reactor favored by North           you       has     the      slightest
Washington Post                    of about 20 to 25 megawatts of        Korea has few distinguishing          information showing that there
October 24, 2007                   heat, similar to the reactor          characteristics visible from the      was anything linked to nuclear,
Pg. 1                              North       Korea      built     at   air. Unlike commercial nuclear        we would of course be happy
30. Photographs Said To            Yongbyon.                             power reactors, for example, a        to investigate it,' " he told the
Show Israeli Target                     "I'm pretty convinced that       North Korea-style reactor lacks       French newspaper Le Monde.
Inside Syria                       Syria was trying to build a           the distinctive, dome-shaped          "Frankly, I venture to hope that
By Robin Wright and Joby           nuclear reactor," Albright said       containment        vessel      that   before people decide to
Warrick, Washington Post           in an interview. He said the          prevents the release of               bombard and use force, they
Staff Writers                      project would represent a             radiation in the event of a           will come and see us to convey
     Independent experts have      significant departure from past       nuclear accident.                     their concerns."
pinpointed what they believe to    policies. ISIS, a nonprofit                "You can look at North                ElBaradei also said an
be the Euphrates River site in     research group, tracks nuclear        Korea's [reactor] buildings, and      airstrike could endanger efforts
Syria that was bombed by           weapons and stockpiles around         they look like nothing," said         to contain nuclear proliferation.
Israel last month, and satellite   the world.                            John E. Pike, a nuclear expert             "When         the      Israelis
imagery of the area shows               Israel, which has nuclear        and           director           of   destroyed Saddam Hussein's
buildings under construction       weapons of its own, has not           GlobalSecurity.org. "They're          research nuclear reactor in
roughly similar in design to a     said     publicly      what     its   just metal-skinned industrial         1981, the consequence was that
North Korean reactor capable       warplanes hit or provided             buildings." The proximity of          Saddam Hussein pursued his
of producing nuclear material      justification for the raid. Syria     the building to a water source        program secretly. He began to
for one bomb a year, the           has denied having a nuclear           also is not significant by itself,    establish a huge military
experts say.                       program.       But      beginning     Pike said.                            nuclear program underground,"
     Photographs of the site       construction of a nuclear                  But Brannan, of ISIS,            he said. "The use of force can
taken before the secret Sept. 6    reactor in secret would violate       combed through a huge amount          set things back, but it does not
airstrike depict an isolated       Syria's obligations under the         of satellite imagery to find a        deal with the roots of the
compound that includes a tall,     Non-Proliferation          Treaty,    site along the Euphrates that         problem."
boxy structure similar to the      which requires all signatories        matches          a        reactor's
type of building used to house     to declare their intent when          specifications as well as
                                   such a decision is made,              descriptions of the attack site.      Washingtonpost.com
a gas-graphite reactor. They
                                   according to sources at the           The compound's distance from          October 23, 2007
also show what could have
been a pumping station used to     International Atomic Energy           populated areas was a key             31. Pentagon Sends Fire
supply cooling water for a         Agency, the U.N. nuclear              detail, since reactors are            Aid To California
reactor, say experts David         watchdog.                             usually isolated from major           By Pauline Jelinek, Associated
Albright and Paul Brannan of            The new report leaves            urban populations.                    Press
the Institute for Science and      many questions unanswered,                 The site is also close to an          WASHINGTON -- The
International Security (ISIS).     such as what Syria intended to        irrigated area, which would           Pentagon       sent     troops,
     U.S. and international        use the unfinished structures         explain statements by some            firefighting equipment and
experts and officials familiar     for and the exact role, if any, of    officials privy to details of the     humanitarian supplies Tuesday
with the site, who were shown      North       Korea      in     their   attack that the facility was          to help California authorities
the photographs yesterday, said    construction. Also unclear is         located near orchards. A small        overwhelmed by spreading
                                   why Israel chose to use               airstrip about two miles away         wildfires and hundreds of
                                                                                                                                           page 26
thousands of people fleeing            duty military personnel and          Sam Houston's U.S. Army               situation that's going to require
their homes.                           civilians, are fighting fires.       North left Tuesday for                DoD assets," said Wyland, a
     Defense           Department      That's 12 firefighting teams _       Southern California, where            San Antonian whose specialty
officials laid out a plan early in     mostly civilian _ and their 12       they'll evaluate the situation on     is operations planning.
the week for what has already          fire engines.                        the ground amid the raging                 But    with     so     many
been provided _ and more, but               _Some       1,500      Army     wildfires and determine what          Californians needing shelter
more help has not yet been             National Guard and Air               more the Department of                and basic care, the military
requested from the state,              National      Guardsmen        are   Defense could do to help.             could have a critical role to
Assistant Secretary of Defense         helping firefighters _ not on             "Our thoughts and our            play, he said.
for Homeland Defense Paul              the fire lines, but doing other      prayers go out to the people of            Joining the team in the bay
McHale said.                           tasks to free up the firefighters.   California," Maj. Gen. Thomas         of the C-130 was their
     For instance, a battalion of           _550      Marine       Corps    J. Matthews, who is leading the       emergency response vehicle, a
Marines _ some 550 people _            personnel at Camp Pendleton          team, told reporters before the       specially equipped Chevy
has been alerted and is training       are preparing for possible           group boarded a C-130 at              Blazer with satellite and
for firefighting duties, if            firefighting duty.                   Lackland AFB.                         communications        equipment
needed.                                     _Another 17,301 National             The team will report its         and room for three passengers.
     "Whatever it takes to deal        Guardsmen are available in           findings to Army Col. Mark                 It can collect streaming
with this fire and its aftermath,      California, if needed.               Armstrong,        the     Defense     video to be sent anywhere,
we're prepared to stand with                _Six C-130 aircraft fitted      Department's             on-scene     including the White House and
the citizens of California and         with firefighting systems are        representative. Armstrong will        the U.S. Northern Command at
the governor to provide that,"         being sent to Point Mugu, two        handle any requests from the          Peterson AFB, Colo., that
Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum, chief         from the Air Force Reserve at        Federal                Emergency      oversees homeland defense and
of the National Guard Bureau,          Peterson Air Force Base in           Management Agency, the lead           civil support.
said at a Pentagon press               Colorado Springs and four            federal         disaster-response          As for how long he'd be in
conference with McHale.                from the Air National Guard in       agency, for additional troops         California — notwithstanding
     Both said the idea is to be       Wyoming and North Carolina.          and equipment.                        the smoke and Santa Ana
forward-leaning, particularly in       They were to arrive in                    If more military support is      winds — Wyland said he had
light of Hurricane Katrina in          California in time to begin          needed, the team could be there       packed about a week's worth of
2003, when federal response            flying missions Wednesday            for at least a month.                 clothes. It looked like he
was woefully slow.                     morning.                                  The       group      includes    wouldn't get to see his Texas
     "One of the lessons that               _11 Pentagon helicopters        specialists with "broad ranges        A&M Aggies play the Kansas
we, as a nation, learned is that       equipped with water buckets          of talents," Matthews said,           Jayhawks on Saturday, he said.
in a crisis, you don't wait to be      are available to help in fire        including medical personnel,
asked; you lean forward, you           suppression.                         logisticians,            planners,
prepare your capabilities and               _Local      bases,      under   communications specialists and        Colorado Springs Gazette
you ask, very pointedly, 'How          emergency               assistance   a lawyer, to help determine           October 24, 2007
can I help?'," said McHale,            authority,     provided      some    how military forces could play        Pg. 13
who noted that other agencies,         10,000 cots to local evacuation      a supporting role. Under              33. Peterson Airmen
not the Pentagon, were                 sites.                               federal law, soldiers cannot          Fight Fires
criticized for the hurricane                There are about 300,000         arrest looters or provide law         NorthCom organizing national
response. "And that's a                uniformed and civilian defense       enforcement        without      the   response to flames raging in
different mindset. It's a sense        employees and dependents             consent of Gov. Arnold                Southern California
of urgency."                           living in the San Diego area.        Schwarzenegger.                       By Tom Roeder, The Gazette
     Asked if the commitment                Fourteen hundred Navy                The team is small by                  LOS ANGELES -- From
of more than 170,000 U.S.              personnel and family members         design, to keep it from               four miles up, the famous night
troops in Iraq will affect what        have been evacuated to three         hindering        local      police,   lights of this massive city are
the military can send to the           U.S. Navy installations at           firefighters and others.              missing from the horizon,
domestic emergency, McHale             Coronado, El Centro and San               "It is very important when       shrouded by smoke so thick
said:                                  Diego _ something officials          you enter an event like this not      that the Colorado Springs
     "I      can       tell     you    said would help make room at         to interrupt the responders,"         airmen sent here to fight
unequivocally that the ongoing         military bases for more civilian     Matthews said. "It is just as         wildfires can only make out its
war-fighting activities ... have       evacuees.                            bad to over-respond as it is to       location on radar.
had no negative effect at all                                               under-respond."                            Thirty     airmen      from
(on) our ability to provide                                                      Stewart Wyland, a retired        Peterson Air Force Base were
sufficient forces to assist            San Antonio Express-News             colonel deploying in uniform          sent to California on short
civilian authorities in fighting       October 24, 2007                     as an Army civilian with the          notice Tuesday to try to halt
the wildfires.... There is no          32. Fort Sam Team                    group, said he was told late          the wall of wind-driven flames
manpower shortage."                    Goes To Help With                    Monday to prepare for the             that have driven hundreds of
     McHale         listed       the   Fires                                mission. Because Army North           thousands of people from their
following things the Pentagon          By Scott Huddleston,                 keeps standing teams on               homes and consumed millions
is providing or has available, if      Express-News                         rotation for two-month periods        of dollars in property.
asked:                                     A 13-member command              to deploy at any time, members             Two      C-130     transport
     _About      100        defense    assessment team from Fort            were ready to go. .                   planes from Peterson’s 302nd
employees, including active                                                      "It's hard to imagine a fire     Airlift Wing were sent, crewed
                                                                                                                                        page 27
by Air Force reservists               worst of the plumes that have       the best part of their job.         Latin America and the
expected to fly as many as 10         covered the region in smoke              “It’s so real and so           Caribbean.
of the firefighting missions a        from horizon to horizon.            rewarding,” Miskell said.                ''If the only tool you've got
day to fight blazes driven by              On the ground at Point              “Very few people get the       is a gun, guess what, you shoot
Santa Ana winds racing across         Mugu Naval Air Station, where       opportunity to help people like     somebody. If your tool is
Southern California.                  the Colorado crews will live        this and get to see an              aspirin, you can fix a
     The crews are loaded with        for up to a month while             immediate outcome,” Pantusa         headache,'' said retired British
combat        and      firefighting   fighting fires, locals say nature   said.                               Army Col. Bob Leitch, with
veterans who aren’t often             has given fire the upper hand                                           the civilian relief Project Hope,
impressed by disaster. But they       now.                                                                    who served as mission medical
were awed and horrified                    It’s a combination of          Miami Herald                        director.
Tuesday.                              factors from spring moisture        October 24, 2007                         The       four-month,    $18
     “Now that’s some smoke,”         that caused too much grass to       Pg. 1                               million tour from Panama to
C-130 pilot Maj. Rich Pantusa         grow to high temperatures and       34. Diplomacy That                  Peru to Paramaribo also was a
said as he flew a heavily laden       40 mph winds fanning the            Heals                               high-profile U.S. response to
four-engine transport packed          flames.                             A U.S. Navy hospital ship           years       of      Cuban-staffed,
with firefighting supplies.                “Some people are calling it    sailed to Latin America for         Venezuelan-funded         medical
“That’s something.”                   a perfect storm,” said Naval        four months -- on a mission to      missionizing.
     “I don’t think I’ve ever         Base Ventura Assistant Fire         win hearts and minds in a                Some called it health
seen this much smoke,” said           Chief Oscar Soto.                   full-blown foreign policy foray     diplomacy. Others labeled it a
his navigator, Maj. Jim Osnes              But the size of the            By Carol Rosenberg                  military relief training mission.
II, a veteran of more than 50         challenge seems to energize the          CORINTO, Nicaragua --          Either way, said Navy Capt.
firefighting missions.                airmen from Colorado Springs,       On a Friday in July, U.S. Navy      Bob Kapcio, who was called
     The 302nd’s planes are           who say this is their Super         Seahawk helicopters hovered         from destroyer duty to head up
standard military transports          Bowl.                               high over waters once mined         the operation, ``We're in a
that can be equipped with a                “This is a fun mission,        by the CIA, hauling dental          struggle to win the hearts and
special system to spray out           there’s no denying it,” said Lt.    chairs and X-ray machines to        minds.''
3,000 gallons of a fire-stopping      Col. Dave Condit, a Peterson        this gritty port city.                   In theaters of war, the ship
liquid. They fight fires when         navigator who relishes his               For a week, American           can ramp up to a 1,000-bed,
the Pentagon is called on as a        firefighting duty.                  sailors and charity workers         12-operating-room facility. For
last resort in a disaster.                 Flight crews get to swoop      would run free clinics for the      this mission, it ran at a
     “When we’re called in, it’s      in low over blazes, taking the      poor from a hospital ship. U.S.     minimum -- with only two
always a big deal,” said flight       C-130      for     a     150-mph    dentists would polish and pull      functioning surgery rooms.
engineer, Senior Master Sgt.          rollercoaster ride 150 feet off     teeth. An American GI                    It was also bedeviled by
Frank Miskell.                        the ground. Dropping the            veterinary specialist would         logistics: The unwieldy ship
     The planes are part of a         retardant is like a bombing         treat horses and cattle.            was able to dock in only four
nationwide response to the            mission where accuracy is           Cosmetic surgeons would fix         of the 12 nations, meaning the
fires organized by U.S.               everything, and crews pride         cleft lips.                         team          offered        more
Northern        Command          in   themselves on building lines             But patients were scarce       expeditionary, free clinic care
Colorado Springs, which has           that strangle flames.               that first day. A hundred miles     on shore while tweaking the
the dual role of responding to             The ground crews are in        away, Venezuelan leader Hugo        mission toward community
disasters      and      preventing    on the act, too.                    Chávez stood on a stage in the      care.
attacks on the United States.              “It’s like a NASCAR pit        capital, Managua, alongside              Help for the people
     The Air Force crews work         stop,” said Senior Master Sgt.      President      Daniel    Ortega,         In       Colon,      Panama,
with U.S. Forest Service              Jim Crain.                          celebrating      their  socialist   hundreds of schoolchildren
firefighters in the air and on the         Crain and his crew work to     solidarity          as      ``an    jammed an arena while a team
ground to stop fires in their         refuel the planes, refill them      anti-imperialist vaccine.''         of Air Force dentists polished
tracks by ringing them with           with retardant and return them           It was Sandinista Day, the     teeth in the center. In
flame retardant chemicals.            to the air in as little as 15       28th anniversary of the             Buenaventura,           Colombia,
     Crews work for years to          minutes.                            revolution that so enraged          Comfort staff discovered a rare
earn the firefighting duty, and            That’s a fast fill-up when     Ronald Reagan he tried to           concentration of more than two
only the most experienced got         it involves putting more than       topple it. And, unaware or not,     dozen people with XTB -- an
the nod to go to California this      1,000 gallons of kerosene and       the U.S. Navy had sailed right      extreme, mostly untreatable
week.                                 3,000      gallons      of    the   into it.                            form of tuberculosis, a cluster
     A flight over the fires          fire-retardant slurry aboard.            These were the travels of      so worrisome they alerted both
Tuesday showed why skill is                “You don’t feel anything       the USNS Comfort, an                the central government and the
so critical — hot air rushing         when you’re doing it,” said         894-foot      white    gleaming     Centers for Disease Control in
skyward buffeted the hulking          another ground crew member,         hospital ship from which 800        Atlanta.
plane.                                Tech. Sgt. Mark Shykes.             U.S. forces, federal civilian            In      more      prosperous
     “It was thermals,” said          “You’re working too fast to         workers and charity volunteers      Port-of-Spain,           Trinidad,
copilot         Capt.         Brian   have feelings.”                     set out to stage a sustained,       trainers emphasized teaching
McReynolds after he wrenched               The crews of the 302nd         concentrated foreign policy         emergency first-aid treatment
the plane toward its destination      have been fighting fire for         incursion in the form of a          to nursing students -- while
on a circular route to avoid the      more than a decade and say it’s     12-nation goodwill tour of          they met public health officials
                                                                                                                                            page 28
to      discuss    sewage      and    checkups.                             Indonesians gave Comfort's            she held Felipe after surgery.
water-treatment systems. ''I'm              'We fix a building and 20       sister ship Mercy following the             His no-longer-cleft lip
sure there's some good                years from now, when that             deadly tsunami in December            sutured, she slowly rocked him
publicity in seeing this big          building is still there, they'll      2004. Others credited Navy            awake.
white ship going around the           say, `It was the Navy that did        Adm. James Stavridis, the                   Ya mi chiquito, ya, she
world,''     said     Navy      Lt.   this for us, it was the               skipper of the Pentagon's U.S.        murmured again and again.
Lawrence Sproul, 41, who was          Americans that came here,' ''         Southern Command, who has                   ``There, my little one,
mobilized to join the mission         said Petty Officer 1st Class          long been an advocate for             there ... ''
from a public health job in           Manuel Gradillas.                     inter-agency cooperation.                   Of the free care, she said,
Chicago. ``But what we're                   By the time they reached             But                              ``Without this opportunity,
doing on the ground really is         El Salvador in late July, some        hands-across-the-hemisphere           most of us would have to leave
low-cost,             high-volume     healthcare workers realized           this was not.                         our kids like this. We don't
medicine.''                           that      the      state-of-the-art        Comfort crew in Haiti and        have the money or the chance.''
      Speaking at stop 10 in          technology was off-putting,           Guatemala        visited    clinics         In     fact,    Nicaraguan
Trinidad, Sproul choked back          with no application to remote         previously visited by Cuban           cosmetic surgeons teamed up
tears as he described preaching       rural life. So, to illustrate the     doctors. They appeared to be          with the Americans to donate
to a roomful of Peruvian              need to innovate, Project             conveniently       away      those    their time to the cleft-lip
women on safe sex practices.          Hope's Leitch emptied a field         weeks, or kept a low profile.         repairs, run by Operation
Mostly, Sproul said, the              rifle -- and used it as a splint.          And cynics scoffed that          Smile, which has been
mission       was      met    with          In another instance, a          such short stays were too little,     traveling the world for years
curiosity, and a fundamental          volunteer fashioned a plastic         too insubstantial. Chief among        fixing babies' faces.
question the Americans could          military meal ration pouch into       them was Fidel Castro, whose                What was new was the
not answer: When would they           a prototype uterus -- and             nation has used financial             shipboard surgery. ''It's very
return?                               simulated delivery using a            support from Venezuela's              comfortable to be here,'' Ortiz
      ''Maybe it'll be next year.     Cabbage Patch Doll.                   Chávez to dispatch tens of            said, surveying the ship, which
Maybe 20 to 30 years,'' he said.            It was also in Nicaragua,       thousands of Cuban doctors            in full war-time mode can treat
``Who knows?''                        Leitch said, where the military       and medical students into             1,000 wounded U.S. troops.
      Sproul, a 17-year career        discovered how to build trust         long-term deployments in              ``It's something that benefits all
Navy officer who in the 1980s         among         skeptical       Latin   South American and Caribbean          of us -- and I hope it's
was a Mormon missionary in            American men. First, treat their      nations.                              something that continues.''
Paraguay, said he brought             livestock.                                 ''It is impossible to carry            Presence on the water
equal zeal to both jobs -- then,            A show tour to be sure,         out        medical       programs           The military has been
''trying to bring people to our       Comfort rolled out a Navy             episodically,'' Castro wrote in a     hopscotching around the region
savior Jesus Christ,'' and now,       band at every stop and carried        July 14 essay, which boasted          for years with humanitarian aid
``preaching about protecting          a robust publicity team, which        that Cuba has long experience         missions -- mostly one-stop
yourselves from the diseases          printed out glossy posters,           in medical diplomacy.                 mini medical training exercises
that are out there.''                 escorted local reporters and               ``Physical therapy, for          benefiting poor rural areas.
      President Bush announced        dignitaries on tours and              example, in many cases                      But this one displayed a
the initiative March 5. As            cranked out news releases,            requires months of work.''            wider reach, an orchestrated
commander in chief, he was            photos and videos highlighting             To that, Kapcio said:            presence from the water that
dispatching Comfort to treat          it as a humanitarian mission.         ``Obviously there are some            pulled into port both east and
85,000 patients -- and conduct              Before the ship set sail in     people's lives we completely          west of South America,
1,500 shipboard surgeries.            June, U.S. Embassy teams had          changed. In Haiti, we took a          pointedly      ignoring    health
      The surgery target was not      fanned out across invited             19-pound ovary out of a               diplomacy rivals Cuba and
quite realized by the time            nations to screen the select few      woman. That just hurts me to          Venezuela.
Comfort left its last stop in         who would become onboard              think about it.''                           Except in Nicaragua. It
Paramaribo, Suriname on Oct.          surgical patients.                         In Corinto, an anxious           emerged as ground zero in the
7. U.S. forces and the                      Sailors scratched ''Made in     Marta Ortiz Montealban, 35,           hearts-and-minds effort.
volunteers worked long hours,         China'' off soccer balls before       took her almost 4-month-old                 First, the Chávez-Ortega
seven days a week. And their          taking them ashore as gifts,          son Felipe on his first-ever          love-fest dominated the news
salaries were already covered         along with hundreds of teddy          helicopter ride to Comfort. A         the day Comfort arrived. Then
in what was characterized as a        bears donated by civilians --         Brazilian volunteer doctor            American sailors choppered
training exercise.                    symbols of the benign nature          fixed the baby's disfigured face      into the port to discover a
      At each stop, Navy              of the medical mission.               in a delicate hourlong surgery        Venezuelan ship unloading
engineers called Seabees swept              Stop No. 6, Peru, brought       with more than a dozen doctors        tractors made by a Caracas
into rundown clinics and              a visit from former presidential      and nurses on hand -- both to         firm with an Iranian partner.
schools in need of repairs. In        aide Karen Hughes, who as             assist and translate between          Chávez declared them a gift of
Nicaragua, sailors restored           undersecretary of state for           Spanish and English.                  the Bolivarian Alternative for
running water to a rural clinic       public diplomacy declared the              The mom's eyes grew              the Americas.
for the first time in three years.    Comfort on ``a voyage of              watery and wide as she handed               ''No bones about it, there
One day, they spruced up a            healing.''                            over the infant and waited            were some political decisions
clinic, fixed its electricity and           Some said it was Hughes'        anxiously on board the chilly         around        choosing      these
added fresh paint while U.S.          idea, modeled after the               steel ship, only to breathe a         countries,'' Kapcio said seven
doctors and dentists gave free        heart-warming            reception    sigh of relief later that day as      stops later, in Trinidad. He said
                                                                                                                                         page 29
it was tipped toward America's       center.                             tubes loaded with seven                    When SEALs come back
war-on-terror partners.                   The USS Ohio is big and        Tomahawk cruise missiles              from a mission, the sub is big
      To illustrate the new era,     long at 560 feet, and for two       each.                                 enough that it can provide the
U.S. advance teams lined up          decades patrolled the seas with          Yesterday, the heavy, wide       facilities for the commandos to
the Sandinista mayor for a           Trident          intercontinental   circular hatch on one tube was        get rested, get fed and get back
press conference welcoming           ballistic missiles tucked into 24   opened,         revealing       the   into shape for another mission.
the Comfort on Sandinista Day        vertical launch tubes.              Tomahawks arrayed in a                     In high seas, the Ohio has
itself.                                   Yesterday, the Ohio pulled     circular pattern inside.              the capability to be at
      They staged it for local       into Pearl Harbor to flex its            Two tubes are used as            periscope depth and be stopped
media, near the town square,         muscles in a whole new way.         lock-out chambers for divers,         virtually dead in the water for
where Nicaraguans in red party            From 2003 to 2006 the sub      and other tubes are being used        SEAL missions or Tomahawk
caps declaring ''Poor people of      underwent a $1 billion              for gear storage and for              launches, Ratliff said.
the world rise up!'' awaited free    refueling and refit to become a     experimental deliveries.                   It also has sophisticated
rides to the capital.                stealthy platform from which             One of the big advantages        sonar and sensing technology
      Corinto Mayor Ernesto          to conduct surveillance, deliver    of the converted ballistic subs       to bring it safely into nearshore
Méndez was asked about the           SEAL commandos and launch           is the ability to conduct not         waters and can navigate
odd juxtaposition of a U.S.          Tomahawk cruise missiles. All       only SEAL missions, but               through a minefield.
Navy hospital ship anchored          nuclear missiles were removed.      SEAL campaigns, conducted                  Pearl Harbor will be
off the Nicaraguan lifeline port          Four subs in the Navy's        from an undetected position in        receiving three of the first four
that the CIA sabotaged in the        fleet of 18 ballistic missile       nearshore waters referred to as       new Virginia-class submarines
1980s in support of the Contra       subs, or "boomers," are being       the littorals.                        being built, which have the
campaign to topple Ortega's          similarly converted.                     "With the capabilities of        capability to bring commandos
first presidency.                         For the next several           the submarine, we're going to         to a mission — but not as
      ''We cannot be mired in        weeks, the Ohio, which left         be right there, the whole time,       many as the converted ballistic
the past. We all make mistakes.      Washington state on Oct. 14,        continuously supporting the           missile subs, and not as long as
The wise ones are the ones           will embark 66 Pearl Harbor         SEALs. Ready to receive them          the Ohio can support them.
who fix their mistakes,'' he         SEALs and sailors from SEAL         back on board the boat and turn            The Virginia-class sub
replied. ``Cuban doctors have        Delivery Vehicle Team 1 and         them around again just as soon        USS Texas will arrive in 2009
always         been        helping   other commands for final            as they are able," Ratliff said.      followed by the USS Hawaii
Nicaragua. Now America can           training before heading out into         For the crew of the Ohio,        later that year.
be friends with us, too.''           the western Pacific on the first    it's a mission that puts them              "That's a unique capability
      During the weeklong visit,     real mission for the converted      closer to the tip of the spear.       (of the Ohio). No other
almost every senior member of        subs.                                    "It's always going to be a       submarine can do that," Ratliff
Nicaragua's government toured             "We're going to be getting     real-world mission every time         said. "No other nation in the
the ship. Ortega stayed away,        real-world targeting that we        you go out," said Master Chief        world has that capability, for
denying the U.S. military the        really have to be able to act on    Steven Schultze, 38, of               the       extended        (special
poster-perfect photo of a            on very short notice, and we're     Placerville, Calif., the senior       operations forces) campaign."
former      archrival      rubbing   going into places where we          enlisted       sailor    in     the        A 30-by-50-foot space that
elbows with U.S. health              must remain undetected for          engineering department.               used to be jammed with
workers.                             weeks, if not months, at a               Ratliff led a media tour of      navigation       equipment     for
      That would come later,         time," said Capt. Chris Ratliff,    the Ohio yesterday past the           Trident missiles has been
once Comfort reached Haiti           the commander of the Ohio.          reddish former ballistic missile      cleared out and condensed with
and Hurricane Felix slammed               That mission will take the     tubes that protrude like              current uses, and the space now
Nicaragua's Miskito Coast.           Ohio into the global war on         redwoods through the sub's            is     a     16-station     battle
U.S.      troops      based     in   terrorism, Ratliff said.            four decks.                           management         center    with
neighboring             Honduras          Under the requirements of           The sub carries a crew of        plasma-screen TVs that can be
choppered over to assess relief      the Strategic Arms Reduction        15 officers and 140 enlisted          overseen by a general or
needs. Ortega greeted them,          Treaty, or START II, agreed to      men, but can also bring on            admiral.
hand outstretched.                   in 1992, the number of              board more than 100 special                The Ohio, which has what
                                     strategic       U.S.      missile   operations forces.                    are called "blue" and "gold"
                                     submarines was limited to 14             The Ohio carries 66 extra        crews that swap out on the sub,
Honolulu Advertiser                  from the year 2002, according       beds or "racks," for 215 total.       was in Hawai'i waters training
October 23, 2007                     to                    www.naval     The bed space provides only a         with SEAL Delivery Vehicle
35. Tricked-Out Sub                  -technology.com.                    few feet of height, but curtains      Team 1 from November 2006
Stops At Pearl Harbor                     Rather than decommission       provide a little bit of privacy.      to May of this year before
By William Cole, Advertiser          four submarines, the Navy is             Submarines typically do          heading back to the West
Military Writer                      converting them to guided           what's called hot-racking,            Coast.
    PEARL HARBOR — Its               missile subs.                       which means three sailors                  The Hawai'i-based SEALs
displacement is more than                 The boomers are big to         assigned to two beds that are         use swimmer delivery vehicles,
twice    that    of    a  Los        begin with, and have 24 of the      used in shifts, Ratliff said.         which are like a convertible for
Angeles-class submarine, and         8-foot-wide by 42-foot-deep              "To have 66 extra beds           scuba drivers and are launched
eight times that of the Bowfin       missile tubes to work with.         gives the boat so much more           from a dry-deck shelter on the
submarine next to the USS                 Ratliff said he'll be          mission flexibility," Ratliff         back of a sub, and the
Arizona Memorial visitors            deploying with 15 of those          said.                                 Advanced SEAL Delivery
                                                                                                                                      page 30
System, a mini-sub that has         National Guard supporters who       the battlefield: dirt roads and      reprogram         aircraft   test
proved difficult to develop.        fear the Air Force would delay      difficult landing conditions.        activities.
     Six of the Hawai'i-based       or even cancel the program.         The new C-27J would replace               “This        time-consuming
SEALs          deployed        to   Supporters contend the Joint        the Army’s beaten-up Sherpas         process could delay the
Afghanistan and five were           Cargo Aircraft, also known as       and the H-12 Huron aircraft.         program one to two years,”
killed in a firefight in the        the C-27J, is critical for the           The Air Force, though,          Cody said.
mountains in June 2005 and          Army and the National Guard         plans to start buying the                 The Pentagon also opposes
failed rescue attempt when a        both on the battlefield and in      aircraft in 2010. “I am not          the Senate provision.
Chinook helicopter was hit by       support of homeland defense         seeing anything that would                JCA supporters also fear
a rocket-propelled grenade.         missions.                           change the Army schedule” if         that if the Air Force controls
     One of those SEALs, Lt.             In an interview with The       the program goes to the Air          the program it may sacrifice it
Michael Murphy, was awarded         Hill, Moseley indicated that he     Force, Moseley said.                 to buy more Lockheed Martin
the     Medal       of     Honor    believed he could reach                  “I do not see any break in      C-130J cargo aircraft.
posthumously yesterday by           agreement with the Army’s           schedule. I do not see any                But Moseley asserted that
President Bush.                     chief of staff about how the        break in delivery. I do not see      wouldn’t happen.
     Ratliff said crews of the      program moves forward.              any difference.”                          “The C-130J is not a
Ohio will swap out in Guam in            “I think we can come to             But Moseley’s statements        replacement for the C-27J,” he
three months, again four            closure on this,” Moseley said.     come with a caveat. He said          said.
months later, and then four              “[Army Chief of Staff]         that he has not asked Air Force           “I do not think they [the
months      after    that,    his   George Casey and I are truly        acquisition officials those          C-27J and C-130J] are
counterpart will skipper the sub    committed to sit down and           specific questions because he        mutually exclusive,” he said.
back to Bangor, Wash.               have a conversation” about the      had hoped to work out the            “Is there a most operationally
     Ratliff said taxpayers get     JCA and another controversial       issues with the Army’s chief.        useful mix of C-130J and
20 more years of use out of         issue — control of medium- to            Another              critical   C-27s? The answer to that is
Ohio, and a stealth capability      high-altitude unmanned aerial       assumption in keeping the            yes.”
that can't be duplicated by         vehicles, Moseley said.             program on its initial schedule           There       is     a   total
helicopters or ships delivering          Congressional sources told     is that the Army’s money for         requirement of 125 JCAs,
commandos.                          The Hill that Air Force             the program would also have to       Moseley said. He added that
     Philip Coyle, a defense        officials support the Senate        move to the Air Force.               international air forces could
analyst with the Center for         provision that would give the            “I think this is a big deal     also buy the C-27.
Defense Information, said by        service control over the JCA.       for governors and a big deal for          Moseley’s take on the JCA
showcasing the Ohio, the Navy            In the interview, Moseley,     the National Guard and a big         could be met with some
is trying to demonstrate its        who will testify Wednesday at       deal for disaster relief and         distrust by certain House
relevance in the fight against      a House Armed Services              homeland security,” Moseley          members during the hearing.
terrorism "and its ability to       Committee hearing on Air            said. Currently, the Army is              An effort in the House to
adapt to the new world order."      Force strategic initiatives,        leading the JCA program              eliminate the Senate provision
                                    sought to ease fears among          executive office with 75             is gaining steam. More than 50
                                    Army planners that his service      percent of the acquisition           lawmakers have signed on to a
The Hill                            is not committed to the JCA.        personnel.                           letter opposing the measure
October 24, 2007                    Moseley said he is a “big                The Army has defined all        that is expected to be sent to
36. Gen. Moseley                    believer” in the aircraft.          the requirements, developed          conferees soon. Del. Madeleine
Pledges To Keep Air                      “I think the country will be   fielding plans and set aside         Bordallo (D-Guam) and Reps.
Cargo Program On                    well-served to be able to have      money for the program.               Robin Hayes (R-N.C.) and Joe
Schedule                            this kind of capability inside      Program documentation and            Courtney       (D-Conn.)      are
By Roxana Tiron                     the Guard and inside the active     activities have been based on        leading the lobbying effort in
     The Air Force chief of         components, to be able to both      an “Army-led joint process,”         the House. In the same vein,
staff, Gen. Michael Moseley,        intra-theater lift as well as       according to a letter written by     Sens.       Claire      McCaskill
foresees no changes to the          homeland security, homeland         Army Vice Chief of Staff             (D-Mo.) and Mark Pryor
Joint Cargo Aircraft if the Air     defense            governor-like    Richard Cody to Sen. Carl            (D-Ark.) are also working on a
Force is granted sole control of    missions,” Moseley said.            Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of         letter to conferees.
the program.                             The Army and the Air           the Senate Armed Services                 The controversy over the
     The Air Force currently        Force earlier this summer           Committee.                           JCA is not the only heated
shares responsibility for the       picked the C-27J, offered by a           “If this program were to        issue Moseley may address in
program with the Army, as per       team of L-3 Communications          revert to an Air Force-only          Wednesday’s hearing.
a      Defense      Department      Holdings,       Alenia     North    program, the validity of these            The Air Force has been
directive. But, questioning         America and Boeing, as the          documents and decisions will         pressing Congress to allow it to
service roles and missions,         Joint Cargo Aircraft.               come into question,” Cody            retire up to 30 Lockheed
Senate defense authorizers               A key question fought          said.                                Martin C-5 Galaxy aircraft,
want to take money and control      over among the services relates          The Air Force would have        arguing that it could buy more
away from the Army and give         to timing. The Army has an          to increase staffing to take over    Boeing C-17 aircraft. Several
both to the Air Force.              immediate need for the C-27J        the program, a process that          Air         Force-commissioned
     That action has prompted a     to deliver weapons and other        could take up to year. It would      studies indicated that the Air
vigorous defense by Army and        equipment on what it refers to      also have to change the              Force should maintain a mix of
                                    as “the last tactical mile” on      acquisition documentation and        about 300 C-5 and C-17
                                                                                                                                     page 31
aircraft.                                 There are 99 co-sponsors           Schmidt's mother, Patrice      being lied to and manipulated,"
     The parochial battle in         for a bill that would authorize a Semtner-Myers, says her son          he said. "We deny them proper
Congress over these two              monument financed entirely by was told that if he agreed to            classification so they can't get
aircrafts — the C-17 is built        private contributions. The bill, leave the Army he'd get full          benefits, then they get this bill
principally in California and        by Rep. Thelma Drake, R-Va., benefits. Earlier this month,             for a prorated signing bonus."
the C-5 is assembled in              was introduced in the House of however, they got a bill in the              In the Senate, Missouri
Georgia — has complicated the        Representatives in July.           mail from a collection agency       Republican Christopher "Kit"
issue on Capitol Hill.                    Alcorn says she first working for the government,                 Bond, along with Sen. Barack
     Several senators have           thought of the memorial — "a demanding that he repay his               Obama, D-Ill., is leading an
raised concerns that the Air         crazy idea" — while she and re-enlistment             bonus,    plus   effort to force the Pentagon to
Force may be encouraging             Darga were leaving a memorial interest - $14,597.72.                   change its practice. Bond says
Boeing to keep its C-17              service for Darga's husband,            Schmidt, 23, who lives         it appears worse than the
production lines open.               Navy Chief Petty Officer Paul near Peoria, Ill., is one of more        scandal earlier this year over
     “I feel pinched between         Darga. He was a bomb disposal than 22,000 service members              poor conditions at Walter Reed
the people in this town that are     expert killed by a roadside the military has discharged in             hospital.
C-5 advocates and the people         explosion in Iraq last year.       recent years for "pre-existing           "This is a very sad story,"
in this town that are C-17                Proposed memorials go personality disorders" it says              Bond says. "We are fortunate
advocates when I am trying to        through about two dozen steps were missed when they signed             enough to bring many severely
say there is an empirical            before five different groups, up.                                      wounded soldiers and Marines
analysis here and the reality of     says John Parsons, chairman of          "They used these guys up,      home, but we're not dealing
language that won’t let us           the National Capital Memorial and now they're done with                with their mental health
retire the C-5s, the reality of      Commission. The process can them and they're throwing                  problems. They need help, not
[C-5] modernization programs         take eight to 10 years, Parsons them away," Semtner-Myers              a discharge because some
now becoming very expensive          says.                              said.                               phony pre-existing condition is
and the reality of burning up             Darga and Alcorn created           Her frustration extends to     brought up."
the existing C-17s at higher         a non-profit organization and a Capitol Hill, where the stage is            'I just cracked'
rates because we are using           website:                           being set for a confrontation            William Wooldridge, 37,
them in combat,” Moseley             www.militaryspousemonument.org.    between Congress and the            of Blytheville, Ark., re-enlisted
said.                                They estimate they will need to Pentagon.                              shortly after the Sept. 11
     “That is the swirling circle    raise $30 million to $50                Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif.,     terrorist attacks. He says he
of all of that.”                     million. Their first major chairman of the House                       made the grade by losing 44
                                     contribution was $10,000 from Veterans Affairs Committee,              pounds in eight weeks by a
                                     Patriot     Guard      motorcycle calls the treatment of these         combination of running and
USA Today                            riders who help families during troops "disgraceful."                  dieting.
October 24, 2007                     military funerals, Alcorn says.         "If they have personality           But      intense    fighting
Pg. 8                                                                   disorders, how did they get in      combined         with      family
37. Women Push For                                                      the military in the first place?"   problems - his wife left him
Memorial In Honor Of                 St. Louis Post-Dispatch            Filner asks. "You either have       while he was in Iraq - sent him
                                     October 21, 2007                   taken a kid below the               into a mental tailspin.
Military Families                    Pg. 1
By Gregg Zoroya, USA Today                                              standards, in which case you've          "We're doing 20-24 hour
     WASHINGTON                —     38. 'They're Throwing              got obligations after you send      days, sleeping underneath our
Congressional       support     is   Them Away'                         him to war, or you're putting       trucks, people trying to kill us
building for a monument near         Donald Schmidt had a nervous these kids' futures in danger             and blow us up," Wooldridge
the National Mall honoring           breakdown in Iraq. Then the        with false diagnoses. Either        said. "Then I got a letter saying
military families, the brainchild    U.S. military discharged him       way it's criminal."                 I didn't have a reason to come
of two close friends — one a         for his 'pre-existing' disorder.        The Pentagon defends its       home - and I just cracked."
widow of a sailor killed in Iraq,    He's not alone.                    policy.                                  Back in the United States,
the other a military wife.           By Philip Dine, Post-Dispatch           "No military in the history    he continued to have blackouts,
     Karie Darga, 33, the            Washington Bureau                  of the world has done more to       hear voices and have nighttime
widow, and Nicole Alcorn, 34,             WASHINGTON -- After identify, evaluate, prevent and               hallucinations of terrorism and
met Tuesday with the National        two combat tours in Iraq on a treat the mental health needs            children dying. The Army
Capital Memorial Advisory            "quick reaction team" that and concerns of its personnel,"             discharged him, citing a
Commission, among the first in       picked up body parts after Defense                       Department    pre-existing          personality
a line of panels that must           suicide bombings, Donald spokeswoman Cynthia O.                        disorder, even though several
weigh in on their idea.              Schmidt began suffering from Smith said. All cases of                  doctors diagnosed him as
     "Many monuments honor           nightmares and paranoia. Then personality disorder discharges          having post-traumatic stress.
those who serve. But this            he had a nervous breakdown.        are diagnosed by a psychiatrist          "They told me the best
picture is incomplete without             The military discharged or clinical psychologist, and             way to handle it was to go
recognizing those who are the        Schmidt last Oct. 31 for troops receive some benefits                  along with a personality
heart and passion that sustains      problems they said resulted not including health care, life            disorder discharge, that the
our military," Darga of              from post-traumatic stress insurance and education, she                (Veterans         Administration)
Norfolk,     Va.,     told    the    disorder but rather from a said.                                       would take care of me. So I
commission.                          personality      disorder     that      Filner isn't buying it.        signed it and went to the VA,
                                     pre-dated his military service.         "These young people are        and the VA said, 'You were
                                                                                                                                          page 32
discharged with a personality        discharge,       including      six   hospitals and now at home,           Philadelphia Inquirer
disorder; you don't get any          months of treatment for some          often in what his mother             October 24, 2007
benefits.'                           ailments, then two years of           describes as "almost a catatonic     Pg. 1
     "I was no longer of any         priority VA benefits; and GI          state."                              39. Boeing Must Rebid
use to them."                        education loans.                           Military doctors said he        For Helicopter Deal
     Wooldridge        says    the        Soldiers who think they          had a pre-existing personality       By Henry J. Holcomb, Inquirer
military recently decided it had     were misdiagnosed can appeal          disorder, meaning reduced            Staff Writer
overpaid him for a period of         to a review board, he says.           benefits, but his mother                  A year ago, the Air Force
time and is deducting $137.85             "We          track       their   disagrees.                           picked       Boeing's      newest
a month from his Social              deployment             experience,         "It's    obvious        what    Chinook to replace aging Black
Security payments. He says           including exposure to trauma.         happened - he gets into a war        Hawks as the military's new
he's unable mentally to hold a       We track, 'Did you see dead           zone, the bombs are flipping         search-and-rescue helicopter.
job.                                 bodies? Was it so horrible you        him out, and all of a sudden              There was talk of adding
     "This is not the way I want     couldn't shake it?'"                  he's an entirely different           100 to 400 jobs and expanding
to be," he says, "but it's the            Asked        whether       the   person. Before, he partied with      the assembly line at the Ridley
way I am."                           softening of basic training in        his friends, was a surfer,           Township headquarters of the
     Wooldridge appealed to          recent years might be failing to      played guitar like you couldn't      Boeing        Co.'s    Rotorcraft
the discharge review board in        weed out some troops while            believe. Now he has fears            Division        in      suburban
St. Louis, arguing that soldiers     not preparing others for combat       about everything, he has fears       Philadelphia.
with conditions brought on or        conditions, Ireland says that's       about the food he eats, he has            But now, challenged by
aggravated by service are            possible - and that the matter is     fears about people poisoning         Boeing rivals Lockheed Martin
supposed to be eligible for          being studied.                        him.                                 and Sikorsky - and the
service-related assistance. He            Although the Pentagon's               "He stays home every day.       Government          Accountability
eventually got $2,635 in             policies are sound, he said,          ... If this kid doesn't have         Office - the Air Force is
monthly benefits restored - but      they may not always be carried        PTSD, I don't know who does.         restarting the competition. A
not his self-pride.                  out perfectly. "You need to           But they won't give him the          draft of the new call for bids
     "If there's really that many    make sure people have time to         diagnosis unless I continue to       was expected to be issued by
people who were dysfunctional        do an assessment, to do an            fight, and I'm running out of        early this morning.
going into the military, this        adequate mental status exam.          fight."                                   With orders for 144
country is one dysfunctional         We have to make sure this                  Rep. Phil Hare, D-Ill., of      helicopters at stake, the process
mess," he said.                      process is clinically valid."         the veterans panel, says the         is beginning to feel like a hot
     Clinically valid?                    Dr.      Karen       Pentella,   Pentagon has yet to come to          and ugly political campaign.
     Col. Bob Ireland, an Air        assistant clinical professor of       grips with the problem.                   Lockheed Martin Corp., of
Force psychiatrist and flight        neurology       at    Washington           "They're in denial," Hare       Bethesda, Md., for example,
surgeon, is the Pentagon's           University's medical school,          says. "There was a huge              says the Chinook is too big,
program director for mental          doubts that thousands of young        mistake here. We need to stop        that its twin rotors will blow
health policy.                       men and women entered the             it, and then see how it              people it is trying to rescue off
     He says as many as              military      with      personality   happened, ... I can't think of a     their feet.
100,000 service members have         disorders and now have                crueler thing to do to people             Not so, Chicago-based
been        diagnosed         with   problems unrelated to their           who defend the nation."              Boeing counters. It fired back
personality disorders in the         military experiences.                      Hare     says      by     his   questions about whether its
past six years. Discharges take           "At this point it's not          calculations, the Pentagon           rival,    new       to   building
place only where the disorders       possible for us to know               stood to "save $12.5 billion by      helicopters, could deliver on
"are genuinely interfering with      whether these people really           doing what they're doing."           time and handle the job. In the
the ability of the unit to           have these disorders, because              Bond and Obama secured          Air Force rating system, the
function," he said.                  having been in combat, a lot of       an amendment to the Senate           Chinook          got      highest
     Troops suffering from           these people suffer from PTSD         defense bill that restricts use of   performance marks, it noted.
post-traumatic stress disorder       and many from TBI (traumatic          personality-disorder                      All       three      defense
get the same extensive               brain injury). From explosions,       discharges. The House bill           contractors       have      major
coverage as retired military         their brains literally have been      lacks that provision, and the        operations in the Philadelphia
personnel who spent their            shaken up ... which helps             Senate-House          conference     region.
career in uniform, Ireland said,     explain why their personalities       committee will soon try to                Rep. Joe Sestak (D., Pa.), a
including lifetime benefits and      may be changing.                      reconcile the two bills.             Chinook supporter whose
VA treatment in a military                "It's too late when they get          Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo.,          district includes the Boeing
hospital if needed. Along with       back from Iraq to say,                of the House Armed Services          plant, calls the unfolding saga a
that come various privileges,        'Whoops, we missed it. Thanks         Committee,       is     on     the   "strange process."
such as use of military              for fighting, but you have a          conference panel. "My sense is            He's a retired three-star
recreational facilities.             pre-existing condition.'"             if there's going to be any           Navy admiral who has worked
     Those discharged with                'Hearing bombs'                  errors, it's on the side of          at high levels of the Pentagon
pre-existing disorders get a              Patty Harvey's son, Nick         making sure we're taking care        procurement              process.
reduced set of benefits              Harvey, 26, of Costa Mesa,            of our troops properly," he          "Everybody is being allowed to
equivalent to those provided to      Calif., was discharged from the       says.                                resubmit their bids and change
uninjured troops who did their       Army after fighting in Iraq and                                            whatever they want to change,"
tour and got an honorable            has spent time in a variety of
                                                                                                                                             page 33
Sestak said in an interview.         win the Marine One contest              shows six stretchers and             we’re still there? But how
     And, Sestak said, after         also make it good for                   medical gear in the forward          could that be — nobody in
Boeing won last year, the            search-and-rescue.                      cabin. The rear can carry an         Washington is talking about it
losers were given extensive               "It is light, quiet, and it has    all-terrain vehicle or a boat and    anymore?
briefings on why they lost. But      three engines. If you lose one,         has machine guns on both sides             I don’t know whether it
Boeing, as the winner, got no        you can complete the mission,"          and the rear ramp.                   was the sheer agony of the
information on its rivals.           Lockheed Martin's Jurgens                    In         an          August   debate over Gen. David
     "The Air Force has              said. "The Chinook is loud and          demonstration flight at Fort         Petraeus’s testimony, or the
addressed that," said Frans          big. You know it's coming               Campbell, Ky., Army pilots           fact that the surge really has
Jurgens, a senior Lockheed           from a good ways away."                 put      the     latest-generation   dampened casualties, or the
Martin spokesman. He then                 Lockheed Martin and                Chinook through an hourlong          failure by Democrats to force
quickly e-mailed a transcript of     Sikorsky         want        current    series of maneuvers that             an Iraq withdrawal through
a media discussion with Sue C.       search-and-rescue pilots to             included landing in tight spaces     Congress, or the fact that all
Payton, assistant secretary of       have more influence in the              and planting its rear wheels on      the      leading      Democratic
the Air Force for procurement.       process.                                a ridge with the front in hover      presidential contenders have
It quoted her as saying: "We              Their entries have single          while troops exited on a ramp        signaled that they will not
believe, and having talked to        main rotors and a vertical tail         at the rear.                         precipitously withdraw U.S.
our contracting people and our       rotor akin to what these pilots              The       search-and-rescue     forces from Iraq, but the air has
lawyers, that the playing field      now fly. In contrast, Boeing's          version will have the latest         gone out of the Iraq debate.
will be leveled based on             Chinook has two big rotors,             digital controls and an ability            That is too bad. Neglect is
information given to all             working in tandem and                   to detect and avoid utility          not benign when it comes to
parties."                            powered by a pair of jet                wires, a threat in urban rescues,    Iraq — because Iraq is not
     The process took another        engines. This design was                said Rick Lemaster, program          healthy. Iraq is like a cancer
strange turn this week.              invented in Philadelphia by             manager            for         the   patient who was also running a
     The Air Force attempt to        aviation        pioneer        Frank    search-and-rescue version.           high fever from an infection
level the playing field by           Piasecki, who heads Piasecki                 With tandem rotors, the         (Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia).
giving Boeing details on its         Aircraft Co.                            Chinook is less vulnerable to        The military surge has brought
rivals, akin to what they got             Pilots, like pickup truck          wind gusts when hovering in          down the fever, but the patient
about Chinook, has been              drivers, have favorite brands.          tight situations, he said.           still has cancer (civil war). And
challenged by one of the             "But a man shouldn't say what                The Air Force has said it       we still don’t know how to
bidders. People familiar with        the best is," Sestak said. Those        hoped to complete the new            treat         it.        Surgery?
the process say field-leveling       decisions, he said, should be           bidding and make a decision          Chemotherapy?              Natural
briefings      scheduled       for   based on a process that                 next spring.                         healers? Euthanasia?
tomorrow have been canceled.         measures cost and capability.                That was before the                   To the extent that the
     The estimated total costs            Chicago-based           Boeing     meetings set for tomorrow            surge has worked militarily, it
of each entry, including             notes that its entry is a variant       were canceled.                       is largely because of what
maintenance and fuel over the        of            the            Army's          Boeing's reaction to this       Iraqis have done by themselves
life of the aircraft, were not       special-operations helicopter,          latest delay was swift. "We          for themselves — Iraqi Sunni
that far apart: Boeing's HH-47       the Chinook CH-47G, which is            won fair and square," Joseph L.      tribal leaders rising up against
Chinook,        $38.9     billion;   equipped          for       in-flight   LeMarca, a retired Air Force         pro-Qaeda Sunni elements,
Sikorsky H-92 Superhawk,             refueling, has larger fuel tanks        officer     who      is     Boeing   taking back control of their
$38.5 billion; and Lockheed          for longer range, and bears             Rotorcraft's communications          villages and towns, and
Martin's US101, $35.9 billion.       sophisticated             electronic    director, said yesterday. "We        aligning themselves with U.S.
     If another company's bid is     warfare countermeasures to              believe we have the best             forces to do so. Some Shiites
chosen to replace Sikorsky's         fend off enemy planes and               aircraft     and       that    the   are now doing the same.
Black Hawk, it would be a            missiles.                               war-fighters need it... . We've            There has been no
second big downdraft to                   Lockheed Martin says               got to get this process out of       equivalent surprise, though, in
Sikorsky, a unit of United           that's irrelevant.                      the hands of lawyers and back        Iraqi politics, yet. If you see
Technologies Co.                          "In special ops, you plan          in the hands of acquisition          that — if you see Iraqi
     The      aviation   pioneer     the mission, you choose your            folks."                              politicians surprising you by
earlier lost the competition for     landing zone. You infiltrate                                                 doing things they’ve never
new presidential helicopters,        and exfiltrate on your terms.                                                done before, like forging a
dubbed Marine One when the           Search-and-rescue is different.         New York Times                       self-sustaining           political
president is aboard, to a            When there's a downed pilot,            October 24, 2007                     compromise and building the
Lockheed Martin team that            you land where he or she is,            40. Remember Iraq                    fabric of a unified country,
includes        AgustaWestland.      and the enemy is expecting              By Thomas L. Friedman                then you can allow yourself
Marine One has been a                you,"      Lockheed         Martin's         Boy, am I glad we finally       some optimism.
Sikorsky       since     Dwight      Jurgens said.                           got out of Iraq. It was so                 So far, though, too many
Eisenhower was president.                 Sestak recalled rescues            painful waking up every              of Iraq’s leaders continue to act
Sikorsky, based in Stratford,        from his Navy years and                 morning and reading the news         their part — looking out for
Conn., declined requests for         declared the newest versions of         from there. It’s just such a         themselves, their clans, their
interviews.                          the Chinook to be agile and             relief to have it out of mind        hometowns, their militias and
     Lockheed Martin says the        able to carry equipment that            and behind us                        their sects, and using the Iraqi
qualities that helped its US101      aids rescues. Boeing's mock-up               Huh? Say what? You say          treasury and ministries as
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looting grounds for personal or           It still feels to me as if     This past winter, 22 members        nearest clinic. He told me he
sectarian gains.                     we’ve made Iraq just safe           of his family were cooped up        missed the comfort and
     As a result, what you have      enough for its politicians to be    in a hole in the ground covered     opportunity of his life in Iran.
today is more of a spotty truce,     obstinate, corrupt or reckless      with wooden boards and mud.         "Here, no one looks after us,"
with U.S. soldiers still caught      on our dime. Even the               "Why are we forgotten?" he          he said with a tired wave of his
in the middle. That is a quiet       moderate Kurds must have            asked. "Are we animals?"            hand.
strategy, not an exit strategy.      developed some kind of death             Afghans are a resilient and          In a settlement of nomads,
     Study the travel itineraries    wish, allowing their radicals to    courageous people, but they         on barren desert land between
of Iraq’s principal factional        simultaneously provoke both         live in perpetual fear of being     the cities of Kunduz and
leaders after the Petraeus           Turkey and Iran and risking the     forgotten. They point to the        Mazar, I saw hundreds of
hearings. Did they all rush to       island of real decency the          post-Soviet years and cite -- at    homeless returnees still living
Baghdad to try to work out           Kurds have built in the north.      least in part -- global             idly in ragged tents and
their differences? No. Many of            General          Petraeus’s    inattention for the ensuing civil   makeshift mud shelters, a full
them took off for abroad.            strategy is to keep trying to       war, chaos and religious            three years after returning to
     As one U.S. official in         knit the different militias and     extremism. Now, Afghans fear        Afghanistan. The village elder
Baghdad pointed out to me last       tribal fragments in Iraq            they are being forgotten once       told me that, quite predictably,
week, “at no point” since the        together into a national army       again, and wonder what the          his village loses 10-15 children
testimony by General Petraeus        and government so we can            consequences will be this time.     every winter from exposure to
and Ambassador Ryan Crocker          shrink our presence. I truly             Since 2002, nearly five        the unforgiving elements. He
“have you had the four key           wish him well. But I don’t see      million Afghans have returned       said he was indignant and
Iraqi leaders in the same            it happening without two            home       from      neighboring    humiliated that his people were
country at the same time.”           things: some shock therapy —        Pakistan and Iran. This past        still homeless. "Beg for bread
They saw the hearings as             like a firm U.S. withdrawal         month, I went to Afghanistan        if you must," he told me
buying them more time, and so        signal — to spur Iraqi leaders,     with the United Nations High        ruefully, "but may you never,
they took it.                        and a regional settlement. That     Commissioner for Refugees to        ever, beg for a home."
     “We have created a real         is, without resolving the cold      visit some of the returnees. In           I spoke about these people
case of moral hazard in Iraq,”       war in the Middle East that         the center in Kabul where           with President Hamid Karzai,
said Marc Lynch, a Middle            now pits America on one side        returnees are registered, I met     during a luncheon in Kabul. He
East specialist at George            and Iran and Syria on the other,    families who had made the           told me that Afghanistan would
Washington             University.   I’m not sure you can stabilize      tiring journey home from            welcome any Afghan who
“Because all the key players         Iraq,         Lebanon          or   Pakistan the day before. I          wants to return home. It was an
think the Americans are going        Israel-Palestine.                   spoke to them as they               honorable position to take. But
to bail them out, they have no            Letting everyone know          descended from the brightly         historically, even in the far
incentive to make any real           that we’re not staying there        colored trucks loaded with          more stable era of royalty, the
concessions to one another.”         forever would be the best way       women, children, wooden             central Afghan government has
     Indeed, I continue to           to catalyze both local and          beams and bundles of bags.          never been able to provide
believe that everyone has us         regional negotiations and give      They were weary from the            adequately for its people.
where they want us in Iraq:          us something we don’t now           road, but I found their mood        Today, the country is still
We’re holding up the floor for       have: leverage. Just letting Iraq   positive and hopeful. "We are       recovering from a 30-year
Iraqi politicians to do their        recede into the back pages does     happy to be home," one              nightmare of war, famine,
endless tribal dance; we are         not serve our interests.            smiling man told me. "We have       drought, displacement and
bogged down and within                    If we’re going to just         helped the economy of               massive human suffering. By
missile range of Iran, so if we      forget about Iraq, let’s do it      Pakistan for 20 years. Now we       all indications, the government
try to use any military force to     when we’re gone — not when          can help the economy of our         is overwhelmed with the task
disrupt     Tehran’s       nuclear   we’re still there.                  own country. We are happy."         of providing even basic
program we will pay a huge                                                    For how long, I wondered.      services, and does not have the
price; and as long as we are                                             I had sat down a few days           capacity to absorb the millions
trapped in Iraq, we will never       Wall Street Journal                 before with the leader of           of Afghans who have come
even think about promoting           October 24, 2007                    Jeloghir, a small Uzbek village,    back. In the villages that I
reform elsewhere in the Arab         Pg. 21                              whose people had returned five      visited, the presence of the
world — to the relief of all         41. Afghan                          years earlier from Iran. They       government was simply not
Arab autocrats.                      Homecoming                          too had come home buoyed by         palpable, severely testing the
     No question, there has          By Khaled Hosseini                  hope and the promise of             self-sufficiency     in    which
been more local cross-sectarian            "Why       has   everyone     opportunity.        But       the   Afghans take so much pride.
dialogue lately, particularly        forgotten about us?" an Afghan      disenchanted leader, a father of          The situation is likely to
between Shiite and Sunni             village leader asked me last        five, told me that Jeloghir's       worsen. Pakistan is closing
elders. But that seems to be the     month. He was a refugee who         children      go      uneducated    down its refugee camps and
limit of Iraqi politics.             had returned from Pakistan to       because the nearest school is a     wants the two million Afghans
     People there can act as         the village of Dar Khat in          two-hour walk each way. His         living in Pakistan to be
tribes, sects and clans, but not     northern Afghanistan three          people live on bread, and drink     repatriated by 2009. The
as a unified government — so         years ago. Today, his people        water from a nearby muddy           Iranian government, burdened
there is no one systematically       still live in dire poverty. They    river. When the children get        with illegal Afghan migrant
consolidating whatever gains         have little food, no home, no       diarrhea, they must ride a          workers, is taking increasingly
the surge has made.                  school, no water and no work.       donkey for hours to get to the      aggressive measures to send
                                                                                                                                         page 35
home the nearly one million           future     of   the     coming      way to avoid "World War III"         experts doubt an air strike on
Afghans living in Iran. So far        generation.                         was to prevent Iran "from            Iranian facilities would end
this year, Iran has deported               In other words, the world      having the knowledge needed          Iran's nuclear program. Instead,
more          than        200,000     must not forget the Afghans         to make a nuclear weapon."           they think it would strengthen
unregistered Afghans. No              again.                              U.S. intelligence agencies           Iran's hardest-liners, and ensure
official that I spoke to in Kabul          Mr. Hosseini, a goodwill       believe it will be several years     they pursued a nuclear program
believed that Afghanistan can         envoy to UNHCR, is the author       before Iran has the ability to       with more zeal.
accommodate these additional          of     "The    Kite    Runner"      make a weapon, but the                    As for the Iranian threat,
returnees.                            (Riverhead, 2003) and "A            president's pledge to foreclose      I'm sure the military is far more
     The return of millions of        Thousand Splendid Suns"             the necessary "knowledge"            realistic than the White House
Afghans can be seen as an             (Riverhead, 2007).                  advances the time frame for          about its nature. No one wants
encouraging        indicator     of                                       action to before the end of his      to see an Iran with nuclear
progress in Afghanistan. But                                              term.                                weapons, which is why Europe
repatriation will falter unless       Philadelphia Inquirer                     In a one-two verbal punch,     and Washington are pushing
the international community           October 24, 2007                    Vice President Cheney railed         for tighter economic sanctions
makes a sustained commitment          Worldview                           against Iran Saturday as a           against Tehran.
to help reintegrate the returning     42. On The Brink Of A               "terror-supporting" state that            But Iran is a third-world
refugees, and provide them            Blunder?                            had "direct involvement in the       country,     whose       faltering
with a livelihood and basic           Recent White House rhetoric         killing of Americans." Then he       economy, despite oil, is only
services. Failure to do so will       suggests a decision may have        upped the ante. Going beyond         around the size of Greece or
have      destabilizing     effects   been made to invade Iran. But       previous statements, he made         Argentina. Iran's Shiite sect
beyond Afghanistan. It will           the main threat to the U.S. lies    this flat-out commitment: "We        and Persian ethnicity are
increase illegal movement             in Pakistan.                        will not allow Iran to have a        disdained by most Arabs. Iran
across the Iranian and Pakistani      By Trudy Rubin                      nuclear weapon." Put that            can cause trouble in the Middle
borders, as destitute Afghans              Hold on to your seats,         together with Bush's words,          East, but it isn't going to take
seek economic opportunity             ladies and gentlemen. It sounds     and it sounds like preemption,       over the region - or the world.
they cannot find at home.             like the president and vice         soon.                                     As for the threatening
     I could imagine all too          president are planning a war              How familiar the tone.         rhetoric of President Mahmoud
easily the villagers I met            with Iran.                          Cheney's words harked back to        Ahmadinejad toward Israel,
turning to poppy cultivation to            Never mind that our            January 2003, when he said we        Iran's military is controlled by
provide for their families. And       military is overstretched by        wouldn't "permit a brutal            its top clerics. Their worldly
there is always the specter of        two ongoing wars in Iraq and        dictator" with terrorist ties and    interest in their vast wealth
disillusionment        with     the   Afghanistan. Never mind that        weapons of mass destruction          makes it unlikely they would
Afghan government, and by             our latest National Intelligence    "to dominate the Middle East         commit suicide by attacking
extension, the promises of the        Estimate says the main threat       and threaten the United States."     the Jewish state.
West -- not to mention the            to our homeland lies with           Cheney         magnified       the        What's so astonishing is
Taliban waiting in the wings,         al-Qaeda, whose leaders and         imminence of the threat posed        that Cheney seems to have
eager      to     welcome       the   bases are in Pakistan.              by Saddam Hussein and                learned nothing from his 2003
disillusioned        into     their        I'll repeat. The main threat   distorted its nature. And now        folly. He has the same advisors
insurgent ranks.                      lies in Pakistan, which already     comes Iran.                          and consults the same experts
     With the global focus on         has nuclear weapons, and                  It's no secret Cheney          who were so wrong about Iraq.
Iraq, I have watched with             whose political scene is being      wants military action against        In Cheney's Saturday speech,
dismay as my native country           shaken       by    foreign   and    Tehran. There has been strong        he cited Princeton professor
continues to recede from the          home-grown jihadis.                 pushback        from      Defense    Bernard Lewis, who wrote last
headlines. The returnees I met             Never mind all that. Last      Secretary Robert M. Gates, and       year in the Wall Street Journal
in northern Afghanistan may           week, Messrs. Bush and              from Pentagon brass. They            that an apocalyptic Iran was
languish in obscurity, but their      Cheney ratcheted up their           recognize another Mideast war        poised to destroy Israel on
homeland        remains     vitally   rhetoric to such a pitch it         could lead to catastrophe. As        Aug. 22, 2006. I kid you not.
important. A failed state would       suggested a decision had been       Adm. Mike Mullen, the new                 We know how unprepared
be a catastrophe for both             taken on military action. For       chairman of the Joint Chiefs of      this administration was for the
Afghanistan and the West.             the sake of our national            Staff, said to the New York          post-invasion of Iraq and its
     This is a very critical          security - and our national         Times this week: "We have to         unexpected consequences. The
juncture for Afghanistan, beset       sanity - I hope I'm wrong. But      be incredibly thoughtful about       latest general to spell this out
as it is by rising insecurity, a      the latest White House words        ... getting into a conflict with a   was Ricardo Sanchez, the
stout insurgency in the south,        about Iran bear an uncanny          third country in that part of the    former U.S. commander there,
and an alarming increase in           resemblance to the 2003 case        world." He meant Iran.               who         denounced          the
narcotics production. I hope          for the war in Iraq.                      Mullen knows a bombing         "catastrophically         flawed,
that international will does not           The message from the top       strike against Iran would have       unrealistically optimistic war
falter during this difficult          is that Iran's support for          terrible reverberations in Iraq,     plan" for Iraq.
period. Now more than ever,           terrorism and its nuclear           Afghanistan and Pakistan, as              Can Bush and Cheney
the global community must             program present an imminent         well as on oil prices. It would      really be leading us down the
make a genuine, long-term and         threat to America and the           bolster radicals throughout the      same path in Iran?
comprehensive commitment to           world. On Oct. 17, President        Mideast and the Muslim world.
the Afghans and ensure the            Bush told the media that the        And - here's the crux - most

								
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