- Violence in Iraq Kills 10 U.S. Troops
BAGHDAD, Oct. 18 -- Ten U.S. troops were killed in Iraq on Tuesday, one of the bloodiest days of the war for American forces outside of major combat operations. With nearly two full weeks to go until the end of October, the month is proving to be devastatingly lethal for both U.S. forces and Iraq's military and civilian populations.
At least 68 U.S. troops were killed in the first 2 1/2 weeks of October, according to independent databases and wire service counts; last month, 75 American military personnel were killed.
At the same time, least 767 Iraqis were killed in war-related violence and sectarian fighting during the first 17 days of this month, according to the Associated Press -- an average of 45 deaths per day, compared to an average daily death toll of about 27 over the last 18 months.
- Ministry: Iraq families join exodus to escape violence
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes to escape the war and escalating sectarian violence in Iraq, the country's Ministry of Displaced Persons and Immigration announced Wednesday.
The reported exodus is the latest sign of the profound demographic changes in a country being ripped apart by Sunni-Shiite animosity.
The ministry said the deteriorating security situation in Baghdad was primarily to blame for 53,788 families leaving their homes.
- Problems Afflict Program to Advise Iraqis
One of the biggest shocks for Lt. Col. Nick Demas and his troops came before they even deployed to Iraq.
The colonel's soldiers, most of them inexperienced reservists from Maryland, had been tapped to serve as advisers to the Iraqi army. Their job was to live with, train and mentor an Iraqi force buffeted by poor morale, desertions and corruption.
Other advisers have been just as scathing. "By the time the training was finished, soldiers were demoralized, motivation was nonexistent and the team motto came from the Jo Dee Messina lyric, 'my give-a-damn's busted,' " wrote Lt. Col. James Goodwillie, who led advisers in Iraq, in a review that was passed to senior Army officials last fall.
Senior U.S. military officers in Iraq and the Pentagon say their primary focus is getting Iraqi forces to take over more of the fighting as quickly as possible so U.S. forces can pull back. The 10- to 12-man advisory teams are central to that effort.
In recent weeks, Army officials overseeing the advisory program have begun to acknowledge the gap between the Army's words and deeds. This summer, after two years of biting reviews, the Army rushed to revamp the training advisers receive. It also has begun to assign more experienced troops to advisory teams. "I think we are going to be doing it much, much better than what you have seen in the past," says Gen. Richard Cody, the Army's vice chief of staff.
As Andrew J. Bacevich explained the entire ideology that led to the debacle in Iraq was flawed but the incompetence of the Bush/Cheney cabal made a hopeless situation even worse.