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Welcome to the Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of information on the War on Terror and other topics - from the MilBlogs, other blogs, and the mainstream media. If you're a blogger, you can join the conversation. If you link to any of these stories, add a link to the Dawn Patrol too and your trackback will be added to the list. (We have a daily "Open Post" too, if you have something on another topic you can link there.)
Jalalabad PRT in the Media -- [Fortunate Son] MUST SEE VIDEO!
We've been getting some pretty decent media coverage as of late. Just the other day CSPAN ran a show covering a Congressional Delegation (CODEL) that was here last month. I wasn't a part of that one myself since I was out-of-town but some of my friends are interviewed at length in it.
The links are here and here (requires RealPlayer) ...
Tal Afar -- [Sappersgt - in Iraq]
Tal Afar is a dump. Now that you mention it, Iraq is a dump. But Tal Afar looks poorer than the area near Tikrit I was in last time. Certaintly rattier than Baghdad, according to the guys who spent a year there. It's also shot up pretty bad, demolished buildings, etc. The AIF fought to hold this town
and failed, but the price of throwing them out was a lot of collateral damage. On the bright side, a lot of construction is going on.
...Kids and adults in Tal Afar are generally friendly towards the Coalition, so we are told. I know I'm seeing very few 'death looks', and anyone who has been to Iraq knows what I mean.
This leads me to the next point. IA/IP. That's Iraqi Army/Iraqi Police. Wow. Lightyears beyond what I expected. They don't wear masks in Tal Afar, which means they aren't afraid of the AIF anymore. That's good. That's really good, actually. The IA/IP checkpoints are everywhere in Tal Afar--this is their town.
Glesne at War: Battalion Operation -- [War & Political Honesty - in Iraq]
Yesterday we participated in the Iraqi Army's battalion-sized operation.
We were up and at'em at 4am prepping the vehicle and checking our communications. After staging our vehicles we waited to move into position. After a few pictures of the excited IAs putting huge Iraq flags on their vehicles, we moved out and swung around the AO (area of operation) into our position.
Ingraham Talks About Her Iraq Trip (VIDEO) -- [Expose the Left]
Radio host Laura Ingraham, who just returned from a trip to Iraq, appeared on The O’Reilly Factor this evening. She discussed what she did, who she met, and the lack of good coverage the media is giving to the successes in the War.
The Dream City of the Kurds -- [Michael J. Totten - Middle East Journal - back from Iraq]
In no country are Kurds closer to realizing their dream of freedom and independence than they are in Iraq. They are wrapping up the finishing touches on their de-facto sovereign state-within-a-state, a fact on the ground that will not easily be undone. And they’re transforming the hideously decrepit physical environment left to them by Saddam Hussein – a broken place that is terribly at odds with the Kurdistan in their hearts and in their minds – into something beautiful and inspiring, the kind of place you might like to live in someday yourself.
Who's selling and who's buying? -- [Iraq the Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
Just found this disturbing report regarding some worrisomely big weapon bazaar in Qurna, the largest town at the center of the triangle formed by Basra, Nasiriya and Amara.
Qurna is located 6 kilometers from the Iranian border, population around 100,000 with a strong presence for Sadrists and there's a story running among thr locals that their town was the spot where Adam first landed at on earth after he was expelled from heaven.
There are no men in black here -- [American Soldier - in Iraq]
There are no men in black here. This area that I am in is a slum hole. Some areas are built up like shacks upon shacks. Hidden nooks and holes in many of the walls for snipers to take pop shots at you. The roads are all tore up from IED’s of old or recent explosions. Every turn you take is a turn you take with ease. You turn the corner and a trash mound could be a hidden IED within it. The people look at you with such hate. Where is the winning of the hearts and minds? The children wave and we wave back. With any luck they will see that we have tried to help their people.
tick...tick...tick -- [Talking Salmons - in Iraq]
I’ve taken to counting Sundays. Well, I guess I don’t count them, but do notice them when they pass.
Sundays are seafood days at the dining facility – a good a marker as any. Every Sunday, when I walk in to get my fried shrimp and scallops to go, I say to myself, “Wow, Sunday again? Another week gone. Nice.”
The ritual is completed when I get to the office.
Soldiers are Human -- [Across the Pond - in Iraq]
It's true, underneath all this kevlar and body armor soldiers also have a heart and soul. Even though we sometimes don't show it, we even have feelings too. We are not always the cold-hearted ruthless trained warriors that is sometimes portrayed. Even when we may be on the front lines doing our job, our heart and soul can be in other places. Their is a balance that each soldier must find between the military and his personal life.
Mid - Tour Leave Briefing -- [Chapter War - in Iraq]
Families most frequent complaint about leave: Their soldier does not seem entirely present. Although physically present they act as if they are somewhere else mentally (know that this is normal and try not to take it personally).
Do not try to make major changes in the household while on leave. It is too disruptive. ...
Grandmothers Arrested After Trying to Enlist -- (Yahoo News/ AP)
Several elderly women were locked up when they refused to a leave a military recruitment center.
Quick Rise For Purveyors Of Propaganda In Iraq -- (New York Times)...David S. Cloud
Two years ago, Christian Bailey and Paige Craig were living in a half-renovated Washington group house, with a string of failed startup companies behind them. Mr. Bailey, a boyish-looking Briton, and Mr. Craig, a chain-smoking former Marine sergeant, then began winning multimillion-dollar contracts with the United States military to produce propaganda in Iraq.
Iraqi battalions rapidly taking place of U.S. troops -- (ARMY TIMES /USA Today)
BAGHDAD, Iraq — The U.S. military says 40 percent of Iraq’s combat battalions are effective enough to have been given the lead role in fighting the insurgency, a key measure for determining when U.S. forces can be reduced.
Around Iraq In 4 Days -- (Los Angeles Times)...Doug Smith
U.S. Army historian Sherman Fleek came to Iraq to write the official record of postwar reconstruction. With thousands of projects underway across the country, there was a sense of urgency to his research.
The photos America doesn't want seen -- (Sydney Morning Herald)
MORE photographs have been leaked of Iraqi citizens tortured by US soldiers at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison on the outskirts of Baghdad.
Abu Ghraib Called Incubator For Terrorists -- (New York Times)...Thom Shanker
American commanders in Iraq are expressing grave concerns that the overcrowded Abu Ghraib prison has become a breeding ground for extremist leaders and a school for terrorist foot soldiers.
Taliban Reshuffles Their Brass -- [Strategy Page]
Taliban Reshuffles Their Brass
February 14, 2006: There was a major Taliban command conference in Pakistan recently. Some regional, provincial, and district commanders inside Afghanistan were shuffled around, and a couple actually relieved. In addition, ...
Candy and Flowers? -- [Miserable Donuts]
Flowers? Fake ones - a militia building and they have these fake flowers sitting on the desk for the highest ranking person. Not very militant, if you ask me.
Afghan Gas Pipeline Nears Reality -- (Christian Science Monitor)...Scott Baldauf
If all goes well this week, Afghanistan may soon be on its way to having a gas pipeline going through its territory.
AFGHANISTAN: NATO TROOPS BEGIN EXPANSION SOUTH -- (AKI)
Kabul, 15 Feb. (AKI) - The first batch of NATO troops that are to form part of the alliance's expanded operations in southern Afghanistan arrived in the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday. The troops from Britain, which in May takes control of NATO's Stabilisation Force in Aghanistan(ISAF), will be deployed to secure the area ahead of the arrival of more soldiers who will be flown in on British military aircraft. The NATO force is replacing a separate and much smaller American force which is hunting the Taliban.
Afghan Suicide Bombings, Tied To Taliban, Point To Pakistan -- (New York Times)...Carlotta Gall
Arrests and interrogations of suspects in a recent series of suicide bombings in Afghanistan show that the attacks have been orchestrated from Pakistan by members of the ousted Taliban government with little interference by the Pakistani authorities, Afghan officials say.
Citizens of New Orleans Should Control Federal Budget -- [Wizbang]
There is a story that all the New Orleans bashers are jumping all over. It seems some of the FEMA money sent to Katrina victims was "misspent." According to the Smoking Gun, here is a list of questionable expenditures from the GAO report.
45 calibre pistol--$1,300
Diamond engagement ring--$1,100
Army Transformation Continues In Korea -- [GI Korea - in S Korea]
If brigade are going to be rotated into Korea that would mean then that the 1st Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division would at some point in the near future either redeploy to the United States or even Iraq, much like what 2nd Brigade, 2ID did.
The last hurrah -- [Way Down In Kosovo - in Kosovo]
...For some reason, my amazing powers of deductive reasoning are completely lost on some of these people. Not all though. For instance my good friends Svezdan and his father Georgij agree with me completely. Georgij, whom I call "grandpa", is probably the wisest, kindest, and monetarily poorest man in the village. He likes to say that his neighbors are simple and selfish, but basically good people. I agree, but man can they be frustrating sometimes.
This has been true with our efforts to get their sewage problem underground, and it is likewise true of the effort to fix the whole water pump problem. This is what happened in the meeting...
Japan: Managing Crisis With China Critical -- (DefenseNews.com)...Agence France-Presse
Japan said Feb. 14 that managing its deteriorating ties with China had become critical amid warnings of a potential military conflict between the neighbors that could drag in the United States.
SAUDI ARABIA: NO RED ROSES FOR VALENTINES -- (AKI)
Riyadh, 14 Feb. (AKI) - As millions of people around the world marked Saint Valentine’s Day, with gifts between loved ones and traditional red roses,a florist in the Saudi capital Riyadh has closed his shop for three days to avoid harassment by the kingdom's moral police, al-Watan daily reported. The Saudi religious authorities several years ago issued a fatwa which specified, "a Muslim is prohibited from celebrating, approving or congratulating on this occasion." Red roses are often a target of the moral police and many shops prefer closure to harassment.
Another Example of Muslim Hacking of American Websites -- [The Counterterrorism Blog]
...I did come across some interesting info though. Lately my website has received frequent visits from people in Turkey clicking links to the site that have been posted on two separate forums, each of them clearly forums for Islamic cyberterrorists. They are here and here. I was not able to get into these forums to see what they were saying about my website, but I can only assume they were discussing plans of attack. I thought you might be interested in this information."
Terror Trial Begins for U.S. Citizens in Lodi, FBI Investigating Newspaper Leak -- [Jawa Report]
The trial for two Lodi, California, men who have extensive ties to terror supporters in Pakistan begins today. The Sacramento Bee, which has been following the case closely, is now the target of a FBI investigation over information it published from a sealed federal indictment.
Weldon Says Able Danger Data Was Not Destroyed!!! -- [QT Monsters]
Able Danger Blog has the transcript of Rep. Weldon's Able Danger press conference today. There is major breaking news here
Weldon: 'Able Danger' ID'd Atta 13 Times -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Pre-Sept. 11 intelligence conducted by a secret military unit identified terrorist ringleader Mohamed Atta 13 different times, a congressman said Tuesday....
325,000 Names on Terrorism List -- (Washington Post)
Rights Groups Say Database May Include Innocent People
The National Counterterrorism Center maintains a central repository of 325,000 names of international terrorism suspects or people who allegedly aid them, a number that has more than quadrupled since the fall of 2003, according to counterterrorism officials.
9 Sentenced to Death in Jordan Terror Plot -- (AP)
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) -- A military court sentenced nine men, including al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, to death Wednesday for a plot to carry out a chemical attack on the kingdom....
SF Supervisor Against Docking of USS Iowa, For Military Disarmament, and Against The Troops (VIDEO) -- [Expose the Left]
San Francisco Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval appeared on Hannity & Colmes this evening to publicly go against the docking of the USS Iowa in his city and to go on a tirade against our troops. Sandoval is so far to the left, that even Alan Colmes blew a gasket over him.
Hidden Heroes: Help for Military Families: -- [Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho]
...The article goes on to give some excellent suggestions on how to support our military families. From the wife of a veteran, these suggestions are excellent advice from one who's been on the receiving end.
Reactive Armor for Stryker -- [Strategy Page]
The U.S. Army is equipping 150 of its Stryker wheeled armored vehicles with ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor.) Invented by the Israelis in the 1970s, ERA consists of explosives packaged between layers of sheet metal. When the hot gas jet produced by a shaped charge (of an RPG or missile warhead) hits the ERA explosives, the gas jet is disrupted and rendered harmless by the ERA explosion.
CLARIFICATION OF FREE TURBO TAX -- [Subject: FW: CLARIFICATION OF FREE TURBO TAX -- [Kathie Biloxi FAC-Dixie Sappers]
...There has been a computer glitch causing the program to ask for payment when preparing to complete your returns, but this is a FREE service offer through Military Onesource. The staff of Military Onesource is aware of these issues, and is assisting those having problems with the programs asking for payment.
Army Officials Reassure Senate Panel On Personnel Plan For National Guard -- (CQ Today)...Anne Plummer (Link Unavailable)
Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee backed down Tuesday from their fervent opposition to a personnel plan for the National Guard after Army officials reassured the lawmakers that funding would be found to pay for extra Guard troops.
But some lawmakers remained concerned that the military is not adequately staffed and equipped, and the Senate panel peppered the Army leaders with questions on the health of the force and whether active and reserve troops are stretched too thin by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Veterans' Fee Increases Defended -- (San Diego Union-Tribune)...Elizabeth Fitzsimons
Veterans younger than 65 would pay more for the military's health care program under a controversial set of fee increases proposed by the Department of Defense. The rate increases requested for Tricare were defended Monday by Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr., the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, during a visit to San Diego.
Allen v. Webb -- [Hugh Hewitt]
The news that former Reagan-era Navy Secretary, Marine officer and author James Webb is going to challenge for the Democratic nomination in Virginia for the chance to face off against George Allen in November is serious but not necessarily bad news for Allen's presidential ambitions.
Knock, knock. Who's there? A Shotgun blast to the face. --[The World From 1250 Feet AGL.]
...I have been bird hunting. I have been sprayed and I have sprayed my fellow hunters with birdshot. None of these incidents required medical attention. I don't know what exactly happened, and I am not going to pretend like I do - but in order to hospitalize someone with a shotgun blast, you have to be relatively close, a conservative guess - within 100 yards, to the shooter. According to the mandatory Texas hunter's safety class I had to take, being born after 1971, the responsibility still lies with the shooter to identify the target before a trigger is ever pulled.
They never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity -- [Peace like a River]
The White House Press Corps has been in high dudgeon over the most regrettable hunting accident involving Vice President Cheney.
Fellow Hunter Shot by Cheney Suffers Setback -- (NYTimes)
The 78-year-old lawyer shot by Vice President Dick Cheney in a hunting accident over the weekend suffered a minor heart attack early Tuesday caused by birdshot lodged in his heart, hospital officials in Texas said.
With Hackett Departure, Old Politics Win -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- With a shove from party leaders, Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett abruptly quit a key Senate race in Ohio and further exposed a disconnect between the Democratic establishment and Internet-fueled challengers....
Former Pentagon official eyeing Clinton challenge -- (Newsday)
ALBANY, N.Y. -- A former top Defense Department official under President Reagan said Tuesday she is considering jumping into the race for the Republican nomination to challenge Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's bid this year for a second term.
Don't Plame Me If This Backfires.... -- [Villianous Company]
Former NY Times reporter Judy Miller may be getting more than she bargained for in court this week. Frustrated by her refusal to cooperate with his investigation into the Plame matter, special prosecutor Patrick Fitgerald has now subpoena'd her phone records:
Happy Birthday To Me -- [Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho]
And for those of you that missed the news yesterday, I got my birthday present early, sort of. I'm pregnant! How's that for alot of news to cram in one short post?
Heyyyy. -- [The World From 1250 Feet AGL. - home from Qatar]
As I am sure you have fathomed by now, I am home again. I got home on Friday night, and I have been lazy as hell all weekend. Holly cooked steaks the first night I was home and they were really awesome. It was nice to spend some time with Holly, I have missed her alot over the last 4 months or so.
Well I’m home now, -- [Just Another Thunderhorse - home for R&R from Iraq]
for the time being. I can’t say how long I’ll be home but just to say that I’m happy to be home.
...I was surprised and delighted when we arrived in Maine to the greetings of the Maine Troop Greeters. It’s the first time I’ve met this group of fine volunteers. They are so wonderful.