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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 and other sources around the world. 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.
the most miserable 10 day stretch of my life. -- [Jake's Life - in Iraq]
...What else made this a pretty bad 10 days?? Well al Qaeda decided they wanted to come out for a few rounds. The first few days were pretty mild, except for all the stories we were hearing from people in our area. It seemed that every household you talked to had a horror story about what al Qaeda had been up to in the area for the past two months. Then around the fifth day, we were at a patrol base when about 6 of them decided to start unloading some AK fire into our house. I of course was sleeping, and awoke to the incredibly loud crack that rounds make as they snap past the air around you and impact cement. We ended up repelling that attack pretty easy with the machine guns mounted on our trucks.
The Wing -- [The Gunner's World - in Iraq]
...My trip to Al Asad was a collection effort to meet with senior leadership and conduct interviews on the aviation perspective of the on going battle here. I am fortunate to have a 2 hour meeting with the Commanding General, what a great opportunity to hear his thoughts and perspective. I also meet with his staff over the course of the week gathering a unique glimpse into the senior headquarters and their battle rhythm. By weeks end I have meet all the Commanding Officers, their Executive Officers and the Operations Officers of most of the Marine Aircraft Group . I also make key points of contact to follow-up with on future visits for a dig deeper down to the men and women actually flying the missions every day.
I continue to hear the same story from Fallujah and now to Al Asad "We Are Winning". The overall view of the Al Anbar province is considered a success right now...
7 down, 11 to go -- [Foreign and Domestic - in Iraq]
3 more Iraqi provinces were transferred to Iraqi control over the weekend according to the MNF-I press release. Unfortunately, that's where most Americans will have to go to learn about this story, since it got little or no coverage on TV or in the papers.
Taking it to the enemy -- [Calvey in Iraq - in Iraq]
I arrived in Iraq in early February. So the next item caught my interest.
In a recent interview with Geraldo Riviera on FOX News, GEN Petraeus pointed out that just since mid-February, Coalition Forces have killed over 2500 terrorists, many of them al Qaeda members.
That's 2500 nutjobs who will never again be able to kill or threaten their own Iraqi neighbors. 2500 who will never be able to fly a plane into a building, or set off a bomb on Main Street USA.
And that does not count the ones we wounded and put out of commission, much less the ones we have in jail.
The Guaranteed Solution -- [Strategy Page]
June 6, 2007: A major problem in Iraq is that there are two, quite different, solutions to the violence problem. Most of the bombings, and violence in general, are the work of Sunni Arab groups, desperate to get back into power, and avoid being brought to justice for atrocities committed during Saddams long reign. The Iraqi solution is the traditional one; punish the entire Sunni Arab community. Since the Kurds and Shia now have far more men under arms than do the Sunni Arabs, this approach would result in a series of battles against Sunni Arab neighborhoods (in large cities) and towns (out in the countryside). These areas would be cut off from the outside world.
Baghdad Wall Completed -- [Military.com]
Construction of a controversial, three-mile blast wall in one of Baghdad’s most troubled neighborhoods was completed recently, following three months of grueling labor and heated protests from Iraqi residents and government officials.
The barrier, which consists of thousands of 12-foot-high concrete slabs, or T-walls, rings much of Adhamiyah -- an island of Sunni families in Baghdad’s predominantly Shiite east side.
Is Mookie morphing? -- [Soldier's Angel Germany]
I don't like the sound of this:
...the meeting sets a dangerous precedent. Sadr is presenting himself as a head of state, leading senior state officials to his meeting like sheep, and challenging the power of the legitimate leaders of the country.
AL-QAEDA LEADER KILLED IN BAGHDAD -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces killed a terrorist leader and detained three other suspected terrorists during an operation in Baghdad June 5 to disrupt a bombing network in the city.
Intelligence reports indicated the targeted building in the raid was a residence known to be a safe house for the targeted individual. As Coalition Forces were securing the targeted building, numerous suspected terrorists attempted to flee and were detained by ground forces. One terrorist made continuous hostile attempts to evade the ground forces and refused to listen to instructions given by the interpreter with Coalition Forces. Coalition Forces, responding in self-defense, engaged the terrorist, killing him. Three suspected terrorists were also detained during the raid.
MIDDLE EAST: TURKISH TROOPS ENTER NORTHERN IRAQ - [AKI]
Ankara, 6 June - Several thousand Turkish troops entered northern Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region on Wednesday in pursuit of Kurdish separatist fighters, the Associated Press reported citing Turkish security officials. Broadcaster CNN also reported the incursion quoting Pentagon officials who confirmed it. An official interviewed by the AP said it was "not a major offensive and the number of troops is not in the tens of thousands."
Turkish Military Denies Troops Entering Northern Iraq -- [IC Publications]
Turkish military sources denied Saturday that Turkish troops had entered northern Iraq earlier in the morning.
The sources described as a "lie" the report that some 1,500 Turkish troops had entered northern Iraq through the provinces of Hakkari and Cukurca in southeastern Turkey at 00:30 local time Saturday, Turkish NTV reported.
Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle: June 2007 Update -- [The Fourth Rail]
The Jun 2007 updates to the Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle are now available at the ISF OOB Page. The significant changes to the Order of Battle are summarized below.
Troops disrupt operations, capture insurgents -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD — Coalition forces detained a number of suspects and uncovered an enemy mortar system in Iraq during operations that ended Tuesday.
A local citizen tipped Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldiers to uncover a 60mm mortar system in Sadr City Sunday.
Counterinsurgency Expert Advises Soldiers in Iraq -- [Small Wars Journal ]
CAMP STRIKER, Iraq (Army News Service, June 5, 2007) - Recruit more Iraqi Soldiers and increase their divisions from 11 to 20 is what one counterinsurgency expert said he would do if he was in the shoes of the Multinational Forces - Iraq commander.
Dr. David Kilcullen, an authority on counterinsurgency, was appointed to advise the MNF-Iraq commander, Gen. David Petraeus. Dr. Kilcullen visited Soldiers with the 10th Mountain Division's 2nd Brigade out of Fort Drum, N.Y., to take stock of the "Commando" brigade's progress June 2 and 3.
Taliban Tribulations Intensify -- [Strategy Page]
June 5, 2007: So far this year, Taliban and drug gang related violence has left about 1,700 dead. It's less than last year, and lower than the average annual death toll in Afghanistan for the last three decades. There's always a lot of tribal violence and banditry in Afghanistan. Each of the thirty or so major tribes considers itself sovereign in its own territory, and the armed men of the tribe are often used as an army to defend tribal territory, or expand it. Been that way for thousands of years, and most rural Afghans are not in a hurry to change it.
Document: Iran Caught Red-Handed Shipping Arms to Taliban -- [The Blotter]
NATO officials say they have caught Iran red-handed, shipping heavy arms, C4 explosives and advanced roadside bombs to the Taliban for use against NATO forces, in what the officials say is a dramatic escalation of Iran's proxy war against the United States and Great Britain.
A 82nd Airborne Private has the job of escorting Local Nationals who work on Forward Operating Base Salerno in Afghanistan.
30 Dead As Second Taliban Boat Sinks -- [Sweetness & Light]
KABUL, Afghanistan, June 5 — The Afghan Defense Ministry said Tuesday that a boat full of fleeing Taliban fighters had been fired upon by NATO helicopters and sunk in the Helmand River, in southern Afghanistan. All on board, between 20 and 30 guerrillas, drowned, said Gen. Zaher Azimi, a ministry spokesman.
AFGHANISTAN: CLOSE TO 100,000 REFUGEES EXPELLED FROM IRAN -- [AKI]
Herat, 6 June (AKI) - Close to 100,000 Afghan refugees have been expelled from Iran and forced to return to Afghanistan over the past six weeks and the number is likely to increase further as the Iranian authorities continue their forced repatriation. "From April 23 to June 3, 98,712 persons have been deported," Aleem Siddiqui, spokesperson for United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) told Adnkronos International (AKI) at the Islam Qala border...
Normandy Invasion 1944: D-day (German newsreel).
Fear of Foreigners -- [Strategy Page]
Next year, China hosts the Olympics, and it fears reformers, and dissidents of all sorts, will use the huge influx of foreigners as an opportunity to stage anti-government demonstrations. This was learned when the contents of a secret speech, by a senior police official, was leaked. The government considers it essential for Chinese prestige, as a "major power", that the Olympics go off without a hitch. To that end, the government will round up all known troublemakers and dissidents and put them in preventive detention for the duration of the Olympics. By government count, there were 17,000 public "anti-government" actions last year, all but a few of them out of the view of foreigners. But the country will be full of foreigners, and foreign journalists, next year.
New Series of Reports From the NEFA Foundation - "Target: America" -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Evan Kohlmann]
On the heels of the foiled plots targeting Fort Dix and JFK Airport, the Nine Eleven Finding Answers (NEFA) Foundation announces the release of the first in a series of reports examining the multitude of terrorist plots directed at the United States since 9/11. This week's reports focus on the homegrown threat and detail efforts by terrorist cells in Los Angeles and Miami.
JFK Plot: Iran, Crime, Capability -- [Threats Watch]
Eli Lake of the NY Sun points out a connection that has received nominal attention:
As New York police and the FBI interview suspects in an alleged plot to attack John F. Kennedy International Airport, one thread the ongoing investigation will explore is why one of the suspects was planning to go to Iran.
The article deserves your full attention and reinforces a number of points raised earlier, in particular Sunni-Shi’a cooperation. With two of Kadir’s children living and studying in Iran, it seems safe to say that the Islamic Republic has more than a passing connection to the plotters.
JFK Plotter Was Arrested On Way To Iran -- -- [Sweetness & Light]
A former Guyanese legislator, Abdul Kadir, was arrested in Trinidad on Friday on a plane bound for Caracas, Venezuela. According to Mr. Kadir’s wife, Isha Kadir, he was in the island nation to pick up an Iranian visa so he could attend an Islamic conference in Tehran. Two of Mr. Kadir’s children are studying in Iran, according to Mrs. Kadir.
Three Al-Qaeda Members Arrested in Saudi Arabia -- [MEMRI Blog]
On June 5, Saudi security apparatuses arrested three Al-Qaeda members. The three are: Abu Asid Al-Faluji, who was responsible for informational material calling for takfir and whose aim was to recruit young people to wage jihad; Abu Abdallah Al-Najdi, a Saudi who tried to launch a new version of the Sawt Al-Jihad website which calls for takfir and for attacks primarily on the Saudi oil industry; and an unnamed individual who circulated publications online that called for takfir and attacks.
Beefeaters -St. Paul to Iraq arrives in Al Anbar -- [sixty-six.org - in Iraq]
In March of 2006 a group of volunteers came to Camp Shelby, Mississippi to treat our Brigade to a steak dinner. They had planned on doing the same for us here in Iraq, but the logistics were too great to work out. So, instead of coming over themselves they managed to ship thousands of steaks directly to us. At first we feared that the ‘Lost Battalion’ would be conveniently forgotten by the rest of the Brigade due to our geographical separation and perceived bastardness, but it turns out our [conditioned] pessimism was for naught –cases of steaks donated by Mancini’s arrived a week after Brigade’s steak gorge-fest.
In Focus: Homes For Our Troops -- [Spouse Buzz]
Updated and bumped by Andi on June 5: As many of you know, our "In Focus" posts are designed to raise awareness of organizations which give back to the military community. We made an exception this month and spotlighted the debut of Army Wives because of all the buzz. In Focus stays on top for a couple of days because it's important that we take the time to read about, donate and promote organizations that aid military families. I think we can all agree that Sarah's post this month is much more important than a television show, so please take a moment to read her post, and donate to this wonderful charity if you're so inclined.
Fidelity Gets Fined for Misrepresinting Destiny Funds -- [CounterColumn]
Long time readers will remember that I had it out with First Command Financial Services San Antonio-based brokerage back in 2004 over their contractual investing plans - essentially investments marketed to military personnel with a 50% front end load.
As if that weren't bad enough, the funds most often sold in these plans - Fidelity Destiny I and Destiny II, were dogs with fleas, with atrocious performace records.
Well, Fidelity just got caught in the act of deceiving military investors by overstating the returns of these dogs - and two Fidelity brokerages were fined 400k by the NASD.
June 6, 1944
D-Day. -- [Duty in the Desert - in Iraq]
Starting at around 11 PM on June 5th, approximately 13,000 American parachutists would descend upon the peninsula via hundreds of twin-engined C-47s. The C-47 was a DC-3 aircraft that held 18 parachutists (known as a "stick" to the men). At the low speed of 120 mph, the flight would take them over an hour. The parachutists were weighed down with nearly their body weight in equipment and weapons. They would be prepared as much as possible since they would be dropping behind enemy lines - cutoff from the invading force. Whatever weapons they would fight with would be carried on their backs or strapped to their harnesses.
FDR's D-Day Prayer
In Remembrance -- [Half a World Away - in Iraq]
Part of the process of getting out of here is remembering those that have gone before us. It struck me the other day as we were making plans for coming home parties, car purchases, and vacations, that not everyone that got on the plane with us is making the trip home.
A busy day in history, today is. -- [John of Argghhh!]
1775 NY patriots prevent the Royal Governor from removing weapons from the city - I wonder how many would stand up to the Governor today?
1813 US invasion of Canada halted at Stoney Creek (Ont). Heh. Someday we'll get it right and *beat* them dang Canuckistanians... ;^)
1898 Marines land at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - Prisoners no doubt abused - and Bibles mistreated in anticipation of future operations!
D-Day: Crisis On Omaha
What if the Normandy invasion had occurred on June 6th, 2007?
A Soldier's Bad Day
A soldier from the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan has a particularly bad day
Gitmo Isn't Going Anywhere -- [Flopping Aces]
Democrat boneheads shooting their mouths off one more time:
A day after two military judges ruled against the Bush administration’s system for trying terrorism detainees, Democrats seized on the rulings on Tuesday as evidence that Congress should restore the right of those held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to challenge their detentions.
The Baghdad Order of Battle and the New York Times -- [The Fourth Rail]
The surge is failing, according to the New York Times. The U.S. has fallen short of securing Baghdad by July, and the Iraq security forces have been hopelessly infiltrated by Shiia militias. The Times’s conclusion is based on a one-page memo. The memo, actually a status update on the situation in Baghdad, was never intended to serve as a full report on the progress of the Baghdad Security Plan. But that didn't stop the New York Times from characterizing the memo as such.
General David Petraeus Interview with CBS
General Betrayus? -- [QandO]
Amanda at Think Progress tells us, or at least claims, that General Petraeus is no better than any of the rest of the scalawags that populate the military leadership in Iraq:
Not Having What It Takes -- [Outside the Wire - in Iraq]
I leaned up against the humvee and cried in the parking lot of Fallujah Surgical.
I knew right then I was not cut out for this type of work.
It was even worse a few weeks later on a rainy night in Baghdad...
On Memorial Day a column ran in the NY Times (Not to see the Fallen is no Favor) about the rules for photographing an injured Soldier or Marine. The author wrote about how he had to seek permission from the wounded before using the photo.
The editors obviously thought this column was perfect for Memorial Day.
I disagree. The times I have been around injured Marines I pitched in to help. I ran to get the stretcher. The only photos I have taken of an injured person were of a Soldier treating an Iraqi man for shrapnel wounds. You see the soldier doing his job, but not the face of the Iraqi man. You see the Marines saving a wounded comrade, their friend, Ali.
Random Thoughts -- [Outside the Wire - in Iraq]
...This current crop of Company and Battalion commanders could be one of the best ever. Nearly every company commander in theater has already been a platoon commander in combat. Most of the Battalion commanders have been here previously on a Battalion or Regimental staff.
I ask the officers: "When you joined, did you ever think you would be--acting as a city manager, provincial governor, village sheriff, mediator between tribes, spending so much time talking with the locals?"
They all say no.
Freedom of the Press/ Responsibility of the Press -- [Calvery in Iraq - in Iraq]
On May 15, 2007, McClatchy News Service, through one of its newspapers, The Miami Herald, published an article entitled "Embassy Staffers Assail U.S. Security" that really upset me.
...In the article, the writer, Laila Fadel, reported anonymous State Dept. personnel in Baghdad as complaining about the security at the Baghdad Embassy. The article stated that "Embassy employees have been ordered not to talk about security concerns or precautions with reporters." The article also stated "when a rocket landed outside the U.S. Embassy while Vice President Dick Cheney and several reporters visited last week, no warning sirens were sounded." The article also asserts that "Embassy employees complain, most staff members still sleep in trailers that one described as "tin cans" that offer virtually no protection from rocket and mortar fire."
...There are two things about this article that bother me. First of all, there is a VERY good reason why people are not supposed to talk about security concerns or precautions in a combat zone. It is called OPSEC, Operations Security.
Arabs killing Arabs in Lebanon: Where's the outrage? -- [TigerHawk]
Dr. Sanity makes the unfortunately necessary point that the mainstream media and the world's governments are not nearly as interested in civilian casualties in Lebanon now that only Arabs are doing the killing. Terrorists shoot at the Lebanese Army from behind a wall of civilians, and the Lebanese Army fires big guns into refugee camps that harbor terrorists. Many noncombatants get hurt and die. Where's the outrage? Gone with the Jews.
Journalists, You're in the Army Now -- [TCS Daily]
The days of the independent, neutral war correspondent, objectively reporting from a war's front lines, are quickly coming to an end. In the future, a war correspondent will either effectively be a soldier for one faction of a conflict, or he will literally not survive in the war zone.
In today's media age, the requirement for combatants to shape perceptions about the nature of a conflict, and the necessity of denying that ability to the enemy, are more crucial than firepower and logistics, the traditional measures of battlefield dominance. Successful media operations energize a faction's supporters and demoralize its enemies.
Bush: Russia Not Enemy, Better Ally Than Democrats -- [ScrappleFace]
President George Bush, on his way to the G-8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, attempted to reduce tensions with his Russian counterpart over a U.S.-planned Europe-based missile shield by telling reporters, “Russia’s not our enemy. Come to think of it, it’s a better ally than the Democrats right now.”
The president said the real enemies are “radical regimes armed with missiles, and those who would have us appease them through negotiation and concession.”
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)