Welcome! Our goal at Winds of Change.NET is to give you one power-packed briefing of insights, news and trends from Iraq that leaves you stimulated, informed, and occasionally amused every Monday & Thursday. This briefing is brought to you by Joel Gaines of No Pundit Intended and Andrew Olmsted of Andrew Olmsted dot com.
- The U.S. and UK are planning to pull out the majority of their armed forces out of Iraq by early 2006, according to a memo penned by the UK's defense secretary. If the report is true, it will be interesting to observe the effect it has on both the activities of the insurgents and the antiwar movement. The UK is already in negotiations with the Australian government to allow the UK to shift troops from Iraq to Afghanistan.
- Wretchard takes a look at what effect the Iraq war is having on terrorists' ability to strike other targets such as London.
- Suicide bombers struck three different targets in Baghdad over the weekend, killing at least 33. The attacks broke up a recent string of calm in the city, providing a painful reminder of how easily terrorists can disrupt daily life.
Other Topics Today Include: building Iraq's army; recruiting arrest; Americans held in Iraq; the books of Salah al Din; Carnival of the Liberated; Zarqawi admits murdering ambassador; American Soldier comes home.
REPORTS FROM THE FIELD
- Defence Talk has an progress update on the effort to enhance the military capabilities of the Iraqi forces. Iraqi forces will also receive some training from the Iranian army, touted as the largest in the region. This news comes during a week in which both the Iraqi Prime Minister and the Iraqi Foreign Minister met with Iranian counterparts.
- An importer of suicide bombers to Iraq has been captured in Mosul.
- In separate incidents over a three month period, five American citizens have been apprehended in Iraq for possible insurgent activities. An Iranian-American, three Iraqi-Americans, and a Jordanian-American. Each was found with either components of IEDs, knowledge of planned insurgent operations, or "suspicious activity" of some sort. The military does not feel the men are connected to each other in any way. The military released one of the five over the weekend after two months.
- THe USA has purchased more Israeli reactive armor to protect its M2/M3 Bradley light armored vehicles in Iraq.
RECONSTRUCTION & THE ECONOMY
- Michael Yon reports on the Books of Salah al Din.
- At a recent round table in Sofia, Iraqi envoy Hayder al-Barrak asked the Bulgarian government to waive $1.7 billion in dept, saying the present Iraqi government was not to blame for the faults and crimes committed by Saddam Hussein.
- Reconstruction highlights were not available this week.
- The latest Carnival of the Liberated is up at Dean's World.
THE INTERNATIONAL STAGE
- Zarqawi has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and murder of the Egyptian Ambassador to Iraq. Egypt has recalled its delegation to Cairo for security reasons. Zarqawi also reports that "The enemy is experiencing its worst days on the earth of Mesopotamia, at a time when a member of the US Congress has said that the United States are losing the war in Iraq."
- Murdoc talks about one of the recent improvements to the Stryker - Vehicle Commander Shield!
- Capt. Josie Hobbs, 39, a member of the Georgia Army National Guard's 48th Brigade Combat Team, has fond memories of running in the 1998 Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta - he's running in this year's race as well, except it's in Baghdad.
- American Soldier is home - and little by little - getting back into the groove of civilian life.
- Do you have your GI Bracelet? Many military families fall into financial hardship when the breadwinner is injured or killed. The entire $5 purchase price of the GI Bracelet is donated to support our troops and their families! Please join us to give back to these brave people in their time of need.
- The troops are still there. So is the Winds of Change.NET consolidated directory of ways you can support the troops: American, Australian, British, Canadian & Polish. Anyone out there with more information, contact us!
- Don't forget Chief Wiggles' Toys for Iraq drive!
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