Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Summary: Five U.S. troops are killed in a rocket attack on a base in Baghdad, the single largest loss of life for the American military in Iraq in more than two years. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on June 6, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that bombings in Baghdad, Iraq and Kandahar, Afghanistan killed seven people — including policemen in both countries — and wounded about two dozen.

Jul 22nd, 2010

Summary: A car bomb outside a Shiite mosque in the village of Abu Sayda near Baqouba north of Baghdad killed 15 people, the third deadly attack in the region in as many days, while a U.S. soldier was killed in a separate bombing in the same province. … The Taliban claims it shot down a helicopter that crashed in southern Afghanistan, killing two U.S. service members. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on July 22, 2009 Aubrey Immelman reported that Iraq’s western city of Ramadi, Anbar province, declared a state of emergency and imposed a vehicle ban after several bomb attacks; bombs also exploded across Baghdad, killing 16 people and wounding dozens.

Mar 19th, 2010

Summary: Seven years after the first bombs in the war to oust Saddam Hussein, Iraqis went about their business with little observance of the anniversary, looking to the future with a mixture of trepidation and hope. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 19, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that six years after the U.S. invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003 — March 19 in the United States — the end of America’s costly mission was in sight, but the future of Iraq much less clear.

Summary: U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan doubled in 2009 compared with a year ago. A tally by The Associated Press shows 304 American service members had died as of Dec. 30, up from 151 in 2008. In contrast, U.S. deaths in Iraq dropped by half as troops largely remained on bases and the United States prepares to withdraw from that country by the end of 2011. There, 152 U.S. service members died, down from 314 a year earlier. … The Pakistani Taliban claims they used a turncoat CIA operative to carry out a suicide bombing that killed seven American CIA employees in Afghanistan as revenge for the death of former Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud in a U.S. missile strike in August 2009. … A suicide bomber blew himself up in an SUV at an outdoor volleyball tournament in northwest Pakistan, killing 88 people in a village that opposes Taliban insurgents. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on January 1, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that U.S. military deaths in Iraq plummeted by two-thirds in 2008 from the previous year, while the war in Afghanistan saw American military deaths rise by 35 percent in 2008 as Islamic extremists shifted their focus to a new front with the West. The combined total of at least 465 U.S. deaths in both Iraq and Afghanistan for 2008 was the lowest combined total for both wars since 2003, when the U.S. invaded Iraq.

Nov 8th, 2009

Summary: A suicide bomber blew himself up in a market in northwest Pakistan, killing 12 people, including a mayor who had turned against the Taliban; two U.S. pilots have been killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq; Iraq’s parliament has passed a long-delayed law, setting the stage for nationwide elections in January 2010. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on November 8, 2008, Aubrey Immelman reported that Iraqi officials, who saw President-elect Obama’s views on the timing of a U.S. withdrawal as consonant with their own, appeared to be leveraging his election to pressure the Bush administration to make last-minute concessions in negotiations to reach a status-of-forces agreement with the United States; that Iraqi and U.S. officials were concerned about a surge in “sticky bombs”; and that Afghan president Hamid Karzai urged U.S. president-elect Barack Obama to stop the killing of civilians in coalition operations, which he said undermines popular support for the Afghan government and the international mission.

Jun 2nd, 2009

Summary: Two roadside bombs have killed four more American troops in Afghanistan as violence continues to mount and U.S. casualties climb to record levels.

May 18th, 2009

Summary: U.S. military deaths in Operation Iraqi Freedom compiled from U.S. Department of Defense News Releases. … Security incidents in Iraq. … Headlines from the Iraq and AfPak wars.

Summary: U.S. Army Sgt. John M. Russell shot and killed five fellow soldiers at a counseling center at Camp Liberty in Iraq. Killed were Cmdr. Charles Keith Springle, 52, a Navy commander and psychologist from Beaufort, N.C.; Maj. Matthew Houseal, 54, an Army reservist and psychiatrist from Amarillo, Texas; Army Sgt. Christian E. Bueno-Galdos, 25, of Paterson, N.J.; Spc. Jacob D. Barton, 20, of Lenox, Mo.; and Pfc. Michael E. Yates Jr., 19, of Federalsburg, Md.

May 8th, 2009

Summary: Iraq’s security forces, despite significant improvements, remain hobbled by shortages of men and equipment, bureaucracy, corruption, political interference, and security breaches that have resulted in the deaths of dozens of Iraqi and American troops.

May 1st, 2009

Summary: Three U.S. troops have been killed in fighting in Anbar province west of Baghdad, making April 2009 the deadliest month of the year thus far for American forces in Iraq.