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Sunday, Feb 01st

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Russia "seizes U.S. weapons" near Georgian town

Russia said on Friday its forces had seized U.S.-made weapons from a Georgian military base near the town of Senaki, but added there had been no gunfire in Georgia in the past 24 hours.

"Our forces have seized 1,728 arms in Senaki," Colonel-General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, deputy head of Russia's General Staff, told a news conference.

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As many U.S. contractors as troops in Iraq

The U.S. has about the same number of private contractors in Iraq as uniformed service members, a new congressional report says — a history-making ratio that presents problems in keeping track of all the workers and highlights the difficulties of supporting extended military operations without a larger force.

The presence of private security companies has caused some consternation in military circles because some private guards are earning up to $1,222 a day, compared to $160 to $190 earned in pay and benefits by a midgrade military member with similar skills.

TVNL Comment: War is a racket and this one is a doozie!

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Use of Contractors in Iraq Costs Billions, Report Says

The United States this year will have spent $100 billion on contractors in Iraq since the invasion in 2003, a milestone that reflects the Bush administration’s unprecedented level of dependence on private firms for help in the war, according to a government report to be released Tuesday.

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U.S. troops still in Georgia

U.S. personnel responsible for training members of the Georgian military remain stationed inside the volatile country, where fighting erupted Friday between Russia and Georgia over the breakaway province of South Ossetia.

The U.S. European Command said on Monday that there were no plans at this time to withdraw the U.S. military trainers from the country. There are still 127 U.S. trainers in Georgia, where the American forces had been preparing the Georgian army for operations in Iraq.

TVNL Comment: So Israelis and Americans trained them. Hmmm.

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War in Georgia: The Israeli connection

For past seven years, Israeli companies have been helping Gerogian army to preparer for war against Russia through arms deals, training of infantry units and security advice.

The fighting which broke out over the weekend between Russia and Georgia has brought Israel's intensive involvement in the region into the limelight. This involvement includes the sale of advanced weapons to Georgia and the training of the Georgian army's infantry forces.

The Defense Ministry held a special meeting Sunday to discuss the various arms deals held by Israelis in Georgia, but no change in policy has been announced as of yet.

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500: Deadly U.S. Milestone in Afghan War

June was the second deadliest month for the military in Afghanistan since the war began, with 23 American deaths from hostilities, compared with 22 in Iraq. July was less deadly, with 20 deaths, compared with six in Iraq. On July 22, nearly seven years after the conflict began on Oct. 7, 2001, the United States lost its 500th soldier in the Afghanistan war.

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The Surge is Working — for Bush and Cheney

“The Surge” has worked in a major way to reduce the appearance of “Iraq News” on television to a minimum. It has also worked to achieve a major tamping down of political opposition to the War, especially in the Congress. Since there are no widely disseminated facts on what is really happening in Iraq, the White House has been able to pretend that the country is one almost totally at peace.

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