Entries in Pentagon (24)


New IED Numbers: Increase in Number Killed or Wounded

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ARLINGTON, Va.) -- The Pentagon’s anti-IED unit released new data Wednesday that first surfaced  in the Washington Post, showing a 60 percent increase in the number of killed and a 178 percent increase in the number of wounded by roadside bombs in Afghanistan.

In 2010, 268 soldiers were killed and 3,366 were wounded by IEDs.

In 2009, those numbers were 168 and 1211, respectively.

The effectiveness of IEDs has remained relatively unchanged since the start of the war. In 2010, 21 percent of IEDs were “effective”; that number has been between 21 percent and 27 percent since 2005.

So the increase comes directly from sheer quantity. The numbers of IEDs in Afghanistan today are staggering. The military says there were 14,661 IEDs hit or discovered last year. In 2008, that number was one third as large.

An explanation for this is that the military has worked very hard and spent billions to defend its troops from IEDs. And despite the increase in numbers, those efforts have been relatively effective. U.S. officials say without the new MRAPs, without more blimps and drones that can spot IEDs or the planting of IEDs, without 5,000 additional bomb detectors -- these numbers could have been much, much worse.

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Pentagon: Iraq Withdrawl Timeline Is Still 'On Track'

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Despite violent attacks to thwart its efforts, the U.S. military is on track to completely withdrawal troops from Iraq by the end of this year, says a Pentagon spokesman.

"These spectacular attacks are perpetrated to try to derail the process but thus far the Iraqi security forces have handled those, they haven't asked us for assistance," spokesman David Lapan said.

The 50,000 U.S. troops still in Iraq ended their combat mission in late August 2010 and now focus primarily on training local forces. 

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Pentagon Team Will Assess Evacuation of Ivory Coast Embassy

Photo Courtesy --Getty Images(WEST AFRICA) – A Pentagon team has arrived in the Ivory Coast to assess whether to evacuate the embassy there amid tensions over the ex-president’s refusal to step down.

The team arrived in the country Tuesday, and according to the State Department, will look at “contingencies” should things get worse.

The embassy has been under so-called “ordered departure” since December 20 as tensions send the country closer into full-blown conflict. All non-essential personnel and families of Americans stationed there have been removed from the country.

Last week, the embassy’s perimeter was hit by a stray RPG round during fighting nearby. Nobody was injured in the incident, however. 

The nation’s ex-president, Laurent Gbagbo, has refused to step down after losing last month’s elections. Last week, the U.S. slapped travel sanctions on Gbagbo and his inner circle.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


WikiLeaks: 400,000 Classified Documents Released

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Photo Courtesy - BERTIL ERICSON | AFP | Getty Images(LONDON) -- The whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks has released a trove of classified reports that it said documented at least 109,000 deaths in the Iraq war, more than the United States previously has acknowledged, as well as what it described as cases of torture and other abuses by Iraqi and coalition forces.

"The reports detail 109,032 deaths in Iraq, comprised of 66,081 'civilians'; 23,984 'enemy' (those labeled as insurgents); 15,196 'host nation' (Iraqi government forces) and 3,771 'friendly' (coalition forces)," WikiLeaks said in a statement regarding the documents' release. "The majority of the deaths (66,000, over 60 percent) of these are civilian deaths. That is 31 civilians dying every day during the six-year period."

At a news conference in London on Saturday, WikiLeaks said it would soon publish 15,000 additional secret Afghan war documents.

The new documents covered 2004 through 2009, WikiLeaks said, with the exception of May 2004 and March 2009.

A review of the documents by Iraq Body Count, an advocacy group that long has monitored civilian casualties in the war, found 15,000 previously unknown civilian deaths, according to WikiLeaks -- a detail first reported in The Guardian newspaper, one of a handful of international news organizations that got an advance look at the documents.

The U.S. military long has maintained that it does not keep an official death tally, but earlier this month following a Freedom of Information Act request, the Pentagon said some 77,000 Iraqis had been killed from 2004 to mid-2008 -- a shorter period than that covered by WikiLeaks.

The massive leak of 391,832 documents, which WikiLeaks billed as "the largest classified military leak in history," followed WikiLeaks' similar but smaller release on the war in Afghanistan.

The new release was anticipated by the Pentagon, which has warned that publicizing the information could endanger U.S. troops.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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