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IRAQ WAR -
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US Bombing of Iraq Intensifies

Posted in the database on Thursday, December 29th, 2005 @ 21:06:56 MST (1096 views)
by ShiftShapers    Guerilla News Network  

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Summary:

‘’The political climate at home may force a decrease in the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, but the compensatory upswing in air power meant to offset this will be inevitable and will inevitably lead to unexpected problems. Why? Because the Bush administration will still be committed to permanently hanging onto a crucial group of four or five mega-military bases (into which billions of construction and communications dollars have already been poured) along with a massive embassy, directing political and military ‘’traffic’’ from the heart of Baghdad’s Green Zone – and that means an unending occupation of Iraq, something that, air power or no, can only mean endless strife.‘’

~ Dahr Jamail

[Posted By ShiftShapers]

By Bradley Graham
Republished from The Washington Post

US airstrikes in Iraq have surged this fall, jumping to nearly five times the average monthly rate earlier in the year, according to US military figures.

Until the end of August, US warplanes were conducting about 25 strikes a month. The number rose to 62 in September, then to 122 in October and 120 in November.

Several US officers involved in operations in Iraq attributed much of the increase to a series of ground offensives in western Anbar province. Those offensives, conducted by US Marines and Iraqi forces, were aimed at clearing foreign fighters and other insurgents from the Euphrates River Valley and establishing Iraqi control over the Syrian border area.

But Air Force Maj. Gen. Allen G. Peck, deputy commander of the US air operations center in the region, said the higher strike numbers also reflected more aggressive military operations in other parts of Iraq that were undertaken to improve security for last week’s national elections.

“I’m hard-pressed to provide a single definitive explanation for the increase,” Peck said in a telephone interview.

For most airstrikes in Iraq, US crews have been employing 500-pound, precision-guided bombs rather than the 1,000- or 2,000-pound versions used in past conflicts, Peck said. The smaller bombs are intended to reduce the potential for collateral damage.

In limited cases, the 100-pound Hellfire missile is used. “It won’t knock down a house, but it can be effective in taking out a car,” Peck said.

With the Pentagon preparing to reduce the level of US ground forces in Iraq next year, some defense experts have speculated that US airpower will be used more intensively to support operations by Iraq’s fledgling security forces and protect US advisers embedded with them. Indeed, American commanders have said that



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