Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Attacks on U.S. and Iraqi security forces at all time high

The U.S. Defense Department says the number of Iraqi insurgent attacks on U.S. troops and Iraqi security forces and civilians has risen to a record high. Statistics released by the Pentagon say the average number of insurgent attacks per week rose to 959 during the three-month period ending November 10. This was a 22 percent increase over the previous three-month period. The report was issued on December 18 as Robert Gates officially took over as U.S. defense secretary, replacing Donald Rumsfeld. In a speech, Gates said a U.S. failure in Iraq would be a "calamity" that would haunt the United States for many years.
"All of us want to find a way to bring America's sons and daughters home again," Gates said. "But as the president has made clear, we simply cannot afford to fail in the Middle East. Failure in Iraq at this juncture would be a calamity that would haunt our nation, impair our credibility and endanger Americans for decades to come." Gates, a former CIA director, said he intends to travel to Iraq soon to hear the views of U.S. commanders on how to improve the situation there.

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