James Jeffrey, a career foreign service officer who is now the senior adviser to the Secretary of State on Iraq matters, told defense reporters in Washington Tuesday that State is tracking violence in Iraq in a new manner—distinguishing between “effective” and “non-effective” attacks. While there has been an upsurge in violence and attacks in Iraq recently, he says that not as many have been effective since the mix is muddied by sectarian strife—a very distinct category from the insurgency. Jeffrey defined an effective attack as “any effort by any insurgent to take action” be that an improvised explosive device or a mortar round. He said there has been “a slight increase” in effective attacks, which are “by and large more professional” over the last few weeks, compared to the generalized attacks related to ethnic violence, which now appear to have leveled off since the bombing of the Golden Mosque in February.
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.