CENTCOM Reports 18 December 2005

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The CENTCOM Newsletter for the week of 12 December 2005 can be found here. Among the stories covered this week:

Iraq — This is an exciting period in the history of Iraq. With the end of more than three decades of Ba'ath party rule in the spring of 2003, the Iraqi people are now taking sovereign control of their country. Although democratically—inclined forces have been challenged by insurgents, the election of a permanent government is a major step toward securing the nation's future.

Kandahar, Afghanistan — When humanitarian organizations are unable to safely operate in the dangerous eastern and southern regions of Afghanistan, it is the engineers of Task Force Pacemaker who step in to assist the local people.  Since the Soviet takeover in the 1980s, followed by the rule of the Taliban, Afghanistan became a land devastated by years of war and seasons of drought.  Lacking an effective physical and political infrastructure, it may be seen as a country struggling to support its own people.  Afghanistan remains an area too hostile for many non—governmental organizations to safely and successfully operate in the regions most desperate for healthcare, basic education, and a functional local government and system of law enforcement.  It is in these dangerous and often desolate areas of Afghanistan that the engineers of Task Force Pacemaker find themselves hard at work constructing much—needed roadways and irrigation systems.

Kabul, Afghanistan — On the surface, it appeared to be an act of good will and charity to a people who need it the most, during a season when it's needed the most.  But under the surface, much more was going on.  The new government was taking vital first steps to assure its people that they will be there for them, an idea that has always been foreign here.  'Afghan people helping Afghan people is the theme,' said Army Lt. Col. Robert Roseman, of the Political Military Integration's ministry engagement team.  With the Afghan flag design, 7,000 blankets and several boxes of clothing were distributed by the Ministry of Refugee and Repatriation on Monday to 3,000 Afghan families displaced to a village on the outskirts of Kabul.

Baghdad, Iraq — The Najaf Industrial School serves as a vivid example that it will take much time and considerable resources to rebuild Iraq after the years of neglect suffered under Saddam's rule. Though generous, U.S. funds are only a part of the overall, broader effort that, with Iraq's own enormous human and capital resources and the support of other donor nations, will continue to guide this country on the road to rehabilitation.


CENTCOM also reports on voting in the Al—Anbar Province.

Ar Ramadi, Iraq — Iraqi Security and Coalition Forces helped pave the way for hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens in Al Anbar Province to vote in today's National Parliamentary Elections.  Voter turnout was robust throughout the province, with preliminary reports indicating that a far higher percentage of the predominantly Sunni population participated in today's elections than did in October's Constitutional Referendum.  Overall, there were few security incidents reported in the Province, and the murder and intimidation campaign that kept many people from the polls during previous votes never materialized.

Compiled by Douglas Hanson  12 18 05

The CENTCOM Newsletter for the week of 12 December 2005 can be found here. Among the stories covered this week:

Iraq — This is an exciting period in the history of Iraq. With the end of more than three decades of Ba'ath party rule in the spring of 2003, the Iraqi people are now taking sovereign control of their country. Although democratically—inclined forces have been challenged by insurgents, the election of a permanent government is a major step toward securing the nation's future.

Kandahar, Afghanistan — When humanitarian organizations are unable to safely operate in the dangerous eastern and southern regions of Afghanistan, it is the engineers of Task Force Pacemaker who step in to assist the local people.  Since the Soviet takeover in the 1980s, followed by the rule of the Taliban, Afghanistan became a land devastated by years of war and seasons of drought.  Lacking an effective physical and political infrastructure, it may be seen as a country struggling to support its own people.  Afghanistan remains an area too hostile for many non—governmental organizations to safely and successfully operate in the regions most desperate for healthcare, basic education, and a functional local government and system of law enforcement.  It is in these dangerous and often desolate areas of Afghanistan that the engineers of Task Force Pacemaker find themselves hard at work constructing much—needed roadways and irrigation systems.

Kabul, Afghanistan — On the surface, it appeared to be an act of good will and charity to a people who need it the most, during a season when it's needed the most.  But under the surface, much more was going on.  The new government was taking vital first steps to assure its people that they will be there for them, an idea that has always been foreign here.  'Afghan people helping Afghan people is the theme,' said Army Lt. Col. Robert Roseman, of the Political Military Integration's ministry engagement team.  With the Afghan flag design, 7,000 blankets and several boxes of clothing were distributed by the Ministry of Refugee and Repatriation on Monday to 3,000 Afghan families displaced to a village on the outskirts of Kabul.

Baghdad, Iraq — The Najaf Industrial School serves as a vivid example that it will take much time and considerable resources to rebuild Iraq after the years of neglect suffered under Saddam's rule. Though generous, U.S. funds are only a part of the overall, broader effort that, with Iraq's own enormous human and capital resources and the support of other donor nations, will continue to guide this country on the road to rehabilitation.


CENTCOM also reports on voting in the Al—Anbar Province.

Ar Ramadi, Iraq — Iraqi Security and Coalition Forces helped pave the way for hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens in Al Anbar Province to vote in today's National Parliamentary Elections.  Voter turnout was robust throughout the province, with preliminary reports indicating that a far higher percentage of the predominantly Sunni population participated in today's elections than did in October's Constitutional Referendum.  Overall, there were few security incidents reported in the Province, and the murder and intimidation campaign that kept many people from the polls during previous votes never materialized.

Compiled by Douglas Hanson  12 18 05