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BAGHDAD — As 2008 ends, U.S. troop deaths for the year in Iraq and Afghanistan are the lowest combined total since the Iraq war began in 2003.
Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, warned against complacency as the Americans hand off security to Iraqi forces in the new year and more U.S. forces head to Afghanistan.

"In military terms, transitions are always the most dangerous," he said. "We're trying to make sure we don't have any seams in our transition."

In December, at least 15 U.S. servicemembers died of combat and non-combat injuries suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan, the lowest combined monthly toll since the Iraq war began, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Pentagon data. The previous low was 18 in November.

Deaths for the year as of Tuesday were 467 in both wars, lower even than the partial year of 2003, when fighting in Iraq began in March.

Odierno said brewing tensions in Iraq between Arabs and Kurds in the north, interference by Iran and simmering internal political tensions pose potential for large-scale attacks against U.S. forces.

Plus, the Pentagon plans to send as many as 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan by summer.

The next test will be elections Jan. 31 for provincial councils. "Al-Qaeda will try to exploit the elections because they don't want them to happen. So I think they will attempt to create some violence and uncertainty in the population," Odierno said. "The next 60 days are a critical period."

Bombings remain a daily threat in Iraq, mostly hurting civilians. Military deaths have gone down significantly in Iraq since the buildup of U.S. troops in 2007 and a push to recruit former Sunni insurgents into Iraq's security forces.

The so-called surge in troops quieted al-Qaeda and Iranian-backed "special groups," said Col. Bill Buckner, a U.S. military spokesman. "We aggressively pursued their leadership and networks, significantly disrupting their activities."

For now, major military operations are limited, Odierno said.

Iraq attacks in 2008 dropped to an average of 10 a day from nearly 180 a day in 2007, the Pentagon said.

"If you look back to a year or two ago, it would have been unthinkable that we'd be where we are right now," said Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin, the No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq.

The drop in deaths also stems from U.S. troops turning over more responsibility to Iraqi security forces to lead patrols and anti-insurgent operations.

Starting Thursday, the 146,000 troops in Iraq will operate under a new security agreement that gives Iraq a stronger role. The pact requires U.S. troops to leave the country by Jan. 1, 2012.

Iraq added more than 39,000 police and 30,000 soldiers in 2008, Buckner said. In May, coalition forces conducted 50% to 60% of patrols. By December, up to 70% were led by Iraqi Security Forces.

Troop deaths in wars at lowest - USATODAY.com
 

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None of this changes the fact that this is an illegal and immoral war based on lies that is ruining us economically. $ 12 billion a month, more contractors (=war profiteers) in Iraq than troops? :mad:
 

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None of this changes the fact that this is an illegal and immoral war based on lies that is ruining us economically. $ 12 billion a month, more contractors (=war profiteers) in Iraq than troops? :mad:
CACI contractor at Abu Ghraib showing his pride for service.



But this was was mostly for the benefit of Israel
Rabbi thanks Bush for 'war against Iraq'
MATTHEW WAGNER, Jerusalem Post​



During a short verbal exchange Wednesday at the Ben-Gurion Airport Terminal, Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger thanked President George W. Bush for the US's military intervention in Iraq.

"I want to thank you for your support of Israel and in particular for waging a war against Iraq," Metzger told Bush, according to the chief rabbi's spokesman.

Bush reportedly answered that the chief rabbi's words "warmed his heart."

Metzger's stand on the Iraqi war, while reflecting the Israeli majority and Orthodox Jewry, is not shared with most US Jews. The American Jewish Committee's annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion, published last year, found that 70 percent of US Jews disapprove of the Iraq war, with 28% backing it.:thumbsup:

In a related story, Metzger was chosen as one of the 12 most influential religious figures in the world:eek: for a CBS documentary called In God's Name that appeared at the end of December.

Newsweek also devoted a story to the documentary complete with pictures of Metzger and the other religious leaders.

Metzger was chosen along with figures such as the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams and heads of the Sikh and Muslim religions.:rolleyes:
 

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Jay
Why must you continually piss off the LLLL group?:thumbsup: You know they don't
like positive/good news.
 

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Jay
Why must you continually piss off the LLLL group?:thumbsup: You know they don't
like positive/good news.
And that's the good news? Only 15 soldiers died this month and only $ 12 billion was pissed away? And only 100's, instead of 1000's of Iraqis died this month?

And I suppose it is also good news that this war is now longer than US involvement in WWII, with no end in sight, and that we have wasted at least $ trillion so far.

Note: Just because I do not support this war or extreme right opinions does not automatically make me an extreme left winger.
 

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And that's the good news? Only 15 soldiers died this month and only $ 12 billion was pissed away? And only 100's, instead of 1000's of Iraqis died this month?

And I suppose it is also good news that this war is now longer than US involvement in WWII, with no end in sight, and that we have wasted at least $ trillion so far.

Note: Just because I do not support this war or extreme right opinions does not automatically make me an extreme left winger.
You're Antisemitic:p for not supporting Israel's war
 

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Discussion Starter #9
.........
Note: Just because I do not support this war or extreme right opinions does not automatically make me an extreme left winger.
No. It is your words and far left "logic" that make you an extreme left winger. Get over it!
 
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