Dawn Patrol 01/04/2010 [Mrs Greyhawk]
Welcome to the Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of information on the War on Terror and other topics - from the MilBlogs and various 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. Hat Tips to the Dawn Patrol are greatly appreciated.Refresh for updates.
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4 U.S. Troops Die in Afghan Blast - [Los Angeles Times]
Military officials today reported the year's first U.S. combat casualties in Afghanistan - four troops killed a day earlier in the country's violent south. In addition to the Americans killed in Sunday's blast, a British soldier died in a separate explosion, also in the south. Roadside bombs are the No. 1 killer of Western forces in Afghanistan, and have become the signature weapon of the Taliban and other insurgents. American troop deaths in Afghanistan surged during 2009, doubling from their levels in the previous year.
Taliban: CIA Attack Was Retaliation for Drone Strikes -- [Wall Street Journal]
A senior commander connected to the Afghan Taliban and involved with the attack against the CIA that left eight people dead said Saturday that the bombing was retaliation for U.S. drone strikes in the Afghan-Pakistan border region. "We attacked this base because the team there was organizing drone strikes in Loya Paktia and surrounding area," the commander said, referring to the area around Khost, the city where the U.S. facility was attacked. The commander, a prominent member of the Afghan insurgency, spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Victims In Attack On CIA Base In Afghanistan Include Jordanian Spy -- [RTT News]
One of the victims in a suicide bombing at a US base in Afghanistan last week was a Jordanian intelligence agent, the Washington Post reported
Rodriguez: Less aggressive posture is a necessary risk in Afghanistan -- [Stars and Stripes]
Coalition troops will have to accept more risk as commanders push for a major turnaround in the Afghan war over the next 18 months, according to the commander of day-to-day operations across Afghanistan.
In an interview with Stars and Stripes, Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez said a renewed emphasis on developing a rapport with the Afghan people will mean an increase in the kind of "chai ops" -- casual interactions with local leaders and residents, often over tea -- that have been common in Iraq for the past year and a half.
Do we need a less aggressive force posture in Afghanistan? -- [Captain's Journal]
The transcript of the conversation with General Rodriguez doesn't reveal use of the phrase "chai ops." That's a function of the reporting. But in a manner the actual transcript reveals even more troubling information about what Rodriguez thinks about counterinsurgency.
To be sure, the importance of the "awakening" in Anbar must be one of the elements of understanding that campaign, but the popular myth has grown up around Western Iraq that makes it all about drinking chai, siding with the tribes, going softer in our approach, and finally listening to them as they communicated to us. And the leader of this revolution in counterinsurgency warfare was none other than General Petraeus. We were losing until he appeared on the scene, and when he did things turned around.
3 Jan 2010 -- [Dude in the Desert - in Afghanistan]
first off -- HAPPY 2010 !!! ...and thanks to everyone for their wishes, and thanks a lot to all who had a drink for me...well, this year started off with a bang -- road trip to Kandahar...it was a long and adventurous trip...we started the year with a pre-mission briefing...there were lots and lots of red spots on the road-indicating found/exploded IEDs in the past 90 days...in one section the entire road was covered with red... we couldn't even see the road, just hundreds of red marks all jumbled together...we knew there was lots of bad shit out there, but I didn't realize how bad it was till I saw that intel map...areas of known snipers/shooters, areas of IEDs, areas of ambushes, areas of jingle trucks getting jacked and blown up, and all kinds of other bad stuff in different areas, but most of the way all along our planned route...now, I have been on many missions before and been in bad areas, but this one was a little different ...most of my trips were under 8 hours to the destination...
Brit Troops 'Will Be Led by Afghans' -- [Bouhammer]
Bouhammer Note- I am not sure what to think about this story. Is it a true sign of progress, or a dumb move by the Brits to force the appearance of progress to its public, or a public affairs spin on the way business has been done to make it look like the Afghans are really leading? Again, I am not close enough to this one to know, but I would love to hear from some of the Brits on the ground to hear what their take is. When I was there in 2006, we conducted operations (major ones) where the Afghans "led" it. I use that term loosely because it was more like the Afghan leadership was at the keyboard typing what the Americans told them to type, but then the Afghans got the credit for writing the letter. This story could be more of that, or maybe the Afghans are really leading Brit soldiers. I wonder if this will ever truly happen with American soldiers? Normally I would say there is probably not a snowballs chance in hell of that happening, but with the current administration, who knows.
Sitting ducks of Helmand -- [Times Online]
Tactics used by the Taliban to cut supply routes in Helmand have forced the army to change the way it maintains its remote bases. Taliban mines block the only main road that connects the British bases, pushing the supply line out into the desert where it is vulnerable to ambushes and minefields.
Where the ANA Once Was -- [Sgt Danger - in Afghanistan]
Okay, so I don't know why they weren't there... but the Afghan National Army barracks were empty. It was a base we drove to often, and we usually camp out next to our trucks. So it was game on when our interpreter, Papa J, pointed out an empty hardstand building that had power and heating. We moved in for the night.
Combined ANP/US Range and Golf -- [Doc H's International Adventure - in Afghanistan]
Weeks ago when we were talking and having chai with our ANP counterparts the topic of weapons came up. Our counterparts relayed to us that they had not been trained on their pistols and were not very comfortable with their use. Since they do carry these weapons and rely on them for their personal safety, we decided to arrange some time together on the range to practice. After a basic range safety lecture through my interpreter, we began.
Afghans Answering the Call to Fight -- [New York Times]
Bakhtiar Ludin looks like a rogue, with a roughly tied checkered scarf for a turban, a Kalashnikov and a band of similarly tough, armed men for company. But much of the hopes of Afghan and American officials to turn around the eight-year war here rests with him and those like him. Mr. Ludin and his band are part of a push to raise local militias to help stop the Taliban from spreading to new areas, like here in the north, where the insurgents advanced quickly in the past 18 months.
Marines Help Develop Afghan Security Force Discipline -- [DVIDS]
The shooter, one of many Afghans who have joined the Afghan national security forces, prepares himself as he's been taught. He bends at the knees, torso square to his target, elbows squeezed tight against his body. The grimace on his face shows discomfort, a sign he's positioning himself correctly. He isn't supposed to feel comfortable.
Marines Coaxing Residents Back to Helmand Ghost Town -- [Washington Post]
Now Zad was a bustling city, the second largest in Afghanistan's southern Helmand Province, before Taliban fighters moved in and made it a stronghold several years ago. Now it is largely abandoned. Capt. Andrew Terrell and his Marine Corps company have been charged with coaxing Now Zad back to life. The operation is part of a strategy to use the influx of U.S. troops ordered by President Obama to increase security in Afghan population centers and drive insurgents out. Terrell and his company from 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment pushed into Now Zad in a major operation launched early last month, curtailing Taliban attacks and seizing explosives and other materials for hundreds of bombs.
Afghanistan Bibliography Download -- [Ghosts of Alexander]
I just finished up the 5th edition of the Afghanistan Analyst Bibliography.
If there is a source (academic article, institutional report, book) that you feel is missing, just fire me off an email
1st Day back -- [Afghanistan My Last Tour - in Afghanistan]
...My message and request for school supplies is spreading like wild-fire. I am now working with 12 different states along with several schools and private organizations. The money donations are still coming in which helps to defray the cost of shipping the items to Afghanistan. Thanks to everyone involved for this joint effort.
Since our team has dwindled in numbers, we have merged and join forces with the Brigade who also lost most of its personnel due to rotations. They are slowly being replaced, but in the interim our responsibilities and functions are being redefined. I am excited because I will get involved with...
A Letter Of Grief And Hope From Kandahar: "Their Spirit Will Live On Forever." -- [Terry Glavin]
What follows is a letter from our dear friend Ehsanullah Ehsan, director of the Afghan-Canadian Community Centre in Kandahar, "a school that owes its existence to the sacrifices of the Canadian people." I've passed on the letter directly to Canadian Forces officials in Ottawa and to the editor of the Calgary Herald, so that it might make its way to the bereaved families.
Guard unit recounts progress in Afghanistan -- [Journal and Courier]
Some Indiana National Guard "soldier-farmers" believe a patch of ground in eastern Afghanistan no bigger than a backyard could help turn the tide in that violent, war-torn country.
...The Indiana soldiers arrived home from their 10-month tour convinced they'd sewn the seeds of improved relations, not just literally but figuratively.
"It sounds simple," Temple said, "but we're improving peoples' self-worth."
About half the members of a typical ag team are farmers or have some connection to agriculture; the other half are infantrymen, who provide security.
Happy New Year -- [Ramblings from a painter - in Afghanistan]
A happy new year to one and all. We had a fairly quiet one here. Our command got together for a party. There was plenty of food, karaoke (not for me!), and games. I got wiped out in blackjack as soon as I got brave. Played some Wii and proved to one and all how uncoordinated I am. Some built a bonfire outside and we roasted marshmallows - first time I've done that in many years. There were some fighter jets that made periodic low-level noisy passes over the base, which I thoroughly enjoyed. And we got to see a partial lunar eclipse from around 10 pm to around 11. A partial eclipse of a blue moon - how cool is that?
Happy New Year -- [Afghanistan My Last Tour - in Afghanistan]
...I returned to my room around 1230 am and woke up 5 hours later to prepare
Dirt road to shooting range. for our mission. I don't plan to make that a habit, because I was a bit tired today. But since we were only going a few kilometers outside the camp, the effect would be minimal.
Afghan parliament vote confirmed for May -- [Reuters]
Afghanistan will hold parliamentary elections on May 22, just 10 months after a presidential vote marred by fraud and violence that dismayed the country's Western backers.
The date, announced by the election commission on Saturday, was the latest possible under the constitution but critics say it does not leave enough time to introduce reforms needed to avert another flawed result.
4 Afghan War Veterans Look Back, and Ahead -- [New York Times]
One of them, an Army Ranger who served three tours in Afghanistan, led a team into a treacherous mountain ravine to recover the remains of 16 American commandos shot down in a helicopter crash. He still remembers how only their boots had been taken off their bodies by the Taliban. Another, a captain in the Oregon National Guard, held a town in the southern Afghan province of Helmand with a ragtag Afghan Army unit for three chaotic weeks in 2006, only to see the Taliban sweep back in after he got orders to move on. A third, a supply sergeant with the 10th Mountain Division, spent more time than she ever expected saluting coffins as they left Bagram Air Base near the Afghan capital, Kabul, for the last trip home. Such are the experiences ...
US terror suspects 'wanted to help' in Afghanistan -- [AFP]
Five Americans facing terror charges for allegedly plotting attacks in Pakistan appeared in court Monday, telling a judge they wanted to help Muslims in war-torn Afghanistan, lawyers said.
Iraq says Blackwater workers not welcome -- [UPI.com]
"Instructions have been given to check if there is any Blackwater member (in Iraq). I advise him to leave Iraq and not to stay in Iraq anymore.
Iraq vows to fight blackwater ruling
The angry Iraqi government says it's determined to appeal a controversial court ruling in the US that dismissed manslaughter charges against five
Extremist Iraq Group Claims Anbar-Bombing -- [RTT News]
Insurgent "Islamic state of Iraq" is reported to have claimed responsibility Sunday for last month-end's two suicide-bombings that killed 24
'Sons of Iraq' targeted for retribution -- [UPI.com]
A rash of killings of U.S.-allied Sunni militiamen is pointing to signs of weakness for the "Sons of Iraq," military experts say.
The militias, which are credited with helping turn the tide in favor of the United States in its struggle to defeat insurgents, have seen about dozen of their members killed in rural areas south of Baghdad in recent weeks, the military newspaper Stars and Stripes reported Sunday.
Most Iraqis Seek A Final Solution -- [Strategy Page]
The U.S. is trying, with mixed success, to convince the Iraqi government to not pursue a genocidal policy against the Sunni Arab minority. At least not until U.S. forces have all withdrawn from the country. The Americans thought they had a deal with the Kurds and Shia Arabs, who dominate the government, that the hated Sunni Arabs would be left alone and treated fairly. But things began to fall apart earlier this year, soon after the U.S. turned over control of the Sunni Arab "Sons of Iraq" militia to the Iraqi government.
Ceremony formally marks end of coalition effort in Iraq -- [LA Times]
The United States Force-Iraq is inaugurated in belated recognition of the fact that for some time there have been no other nations serving alongside U.S. forces, which had no combat deaths last month.
...Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, who oversees the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, told the troops and diplomats assembled in the palace's marble foyer that the new name signaled a new phase for the military as it prepares to halt all combat operations and scale back from the current 110,000 troops to fewer than 50,000 by August.
The remaining troops, who will provide support and training,are scheduled to leave by the end of 2011. Though challenges remain, in the form of the insurgent group Al Qaeda in Iraq and Iranian-sponsored Shiite Muslim militias, Petraeus said, "there has been sustained progress."
Single-National Force-Iraq -- [Wings Over Iraq]
Yesterday, the big news in Iraq concerned the official genesis of US Forces-Iraq, an acknowledgement of the fact that the US is currently the only intervening power in the Iraq War. This actually comes a few months after the British withdrew the last of their forces from Southern Iraq. What amazed me is that it actually came as a shock to many that the US was, as of August, the only member of "Multi-National Force Iraq", as per this conversation. Me: What classification should we use for this briefing? I know it says "releasable to Multi-National Corps-Iraq", but that really only means the US, since everyone else left. Another officer: What do you mean? The British are still here. Me: No, they left last month. Officer: And the Ugandans guard the dining facility...
Freed hostage delighted to be home -- [UKPA]
British hostage Peter Moore says he is "delighted" to have been freed from captivity in Iraq and is looking forward to "getting to know" his family again.
Mr Moore was released on Wednesday, 946 days after he was kidnapped in Iraq, and returned to the UK on Friday.
In a statement released through the Foreign Office, he said: "I am obviously delighted to have returned to the UK and to have been reunited with my family.
British Hostage Peter Moore's Kidnapping In Iraq 'Masterminded By Iran'
U.S. AND OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Nearly 1mn at Times Square -- [Gulf Times]
Hundreds of New York City police and armed troops were deployed to provide security in and around Times Square. Barricades went up early on Thursday, blocking traffic from the plaza, which is also the focus of millions of television viewers from around the US who tune in to count down the New Year.
Security was tight. In addition to armed troops deployed in the vast subway network serving the city's 8.5mn residents, others were sent to the city's two main airports, La Guardia and JFK International Airport. With the recent bombing attempt on a US airliner on Christmas Day, nerves were especially on edge and the airspace over Manhattan was tightly patrolled by police helicopters. Police who locked down Times Square were also equipped with radiation and biological detectors.
This year's ball's 2,600 Waterford crystals were lit up with LED lights with the crystals designed with interlocking ribbon patterns woven into a Celtic knot called Let There Be Courage.
The knot in different colours has been also used in anti-Aids campaigns and to welcome home troops from deployments abroad.
Iran denies entry to Sen. Kerry -- [The Hill]
Iranian legislators on Sunday decided to not allow a visit from Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.), according to Iranian media
Iran holds major military defense drill next month -- [Press TV]
Iran plans to launch a large-scale military exercise next month to prepare its military forces to be able to repel any possible offensive by the country's enemies, a top commander says.
The joint drill, conducted by Iran's ground forces and cooperation of some of the units of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), will "improve the force's defensive capabilities" Commander of Iran's Ground Forces Brig. Gen. Ahmad-Reza Pourdastan said on Saturday. It will also"boost the region's security," the commander told a meeting of servicemen in Tehran.
Both the United States and its close ally Israel have refused to rule out the possibility of a military attack against the country of more than 70 million people, should Tehran not halt its enrichment activities.
Iran Jamming Satellite Signals -- [Jawa Report]
In troubling but hardly surprising news, the satellite signal of Deutsche Welle, Germany's state broadcasting network, was deliberately attacked by the theocratic regime of Iran last month. And, it's not the first time that satellite signals have been jammed from getting into Iran. Reports also indicate that Iran has also been jamming signals from U.S. and British communications satellites which are used by many European and Middle Eastern countries besides Iran. Specific emphasis is applied to Western media reports of Iranian protests.
Iranian Website: Iran Can Jam U.S. Radar Systems -- [MEMRI]
The Iranian website Tabnak reported, citing sources in Kuwait, that Iran was able to jam the radar systems of the American forces in the region using the same mechanism it employed to jam the broadcasts of Voice of America and the BBC in Persian, which are relayed via the satellite Hotbird.
Japan says will not 'simply obey' US -- [Press TV]
Japanese Prime Minister pledges to pursue equal relations with the United States, during the 50th year of the two nations' security treaty.
US pledges 'more commitment' to Mideast peace process -- [Ha'aretz]
By News Agencies The United States pledged Monday to be "even more committed this year" to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, warning that any further delay would only hurt the interests of all parties involved.
U.S. Evangelicals' Role Seen in Uganda Anti-Gay Push -- [NY Times]
Last March, three American evangelical Christians, whose teachings about "curing" homosexuals have been widely discredited in the United States, arrived here in Uganda's capital to give a series of talks.
...Now the three Americans are finding themselves on the defensive, saying they had no intention of helping stoke the kind of anger that could lead to what came next: a bill to impose a death sentence for homosexual behavior.
"US plans military aggression against Venezuela" -- [Daily Times]
CARACAS: Venezuela on Thursday warned the US military against violating its airspace from bases in Aruba and Curacao, repeating recent accusations that Washington is preparing an act of "aggression". In a statement, Venezuela's foreign ministry called on the international community to condemn alleged incursions into its airspace by US military drones launched from Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles."(Venezuela) again calls on the international community to denounce the US use of the colonies of Aruba and Curacao, for the preparation of military aggression against Venezuela," the statement said.
WAR ON TERROR /TERRORISM
Terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui's appeal of life sentence denied -- [CNN]
A federal appeals court on Monday affirmed the conviction and life sentence for convicted terrorist and 9/11 co-conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui.
Law enforcement source: Jamaat al-Fuqra/Muslims of America involved in tax return fraud plot -- [Jawa Report]
Last month we reported on new videos obtained by the Christian Action Network which showed terrorist training at the Jamaat al-Fuqra/Muslims of America headquarters compound in Hancock, NY.
In the past few days we were contacted by a law enforcement source about a plot by members of the same Jamaat al-Fuqra compound in Hancock to engage in a massive tax return fraud plot using contacts obtained through mosques in New York and using the money to send to their sheikh, terrorist leader Mubarak Gilani, in Pakistan.
We All Know Facebook Site Hosts Terrorists, But This Site Needs To Be Known -- [Jawa Report]
...Generally, I refrain from entertaining radical bottom-feeders whose only intention is to 'stir the pot'. In the case of "Soldiers Are Not Heroes" however, I will make exception. The diseased group on Facebook has roughly 12,000 nut-jobs after the backwards cause. The picture you are looking at nearly caused me to fall out of my seat. I am curious, how do you feel?
Choudary compares British troops to Nazi stormtroopers as 200,000 sign Facebook bid to stop his Islamic extremist march -- [Daily Mail]
...Choudary compared fallen British heroes to Nazi stormtroopers and the September 11 and July 7 terrorists. He even claimed his plan was backed by families of servicemen and women. ...'We are having a procession, it's in Wootton Bassett but it's not about the people there and it's not against them personally - rather it's to highlight the real cost of war in Afghanistan.
TSA identifies 'countries of interest'; more screenings for some fliers -- [USA Today]
TSA also named 10 "countries of interest" -- Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen -- as well as ...
'Missing arms spark Yemen alert' -- [BBC]
The closure of three embassies in Yemen followed local security forces losing track of six trucks full of arms and explosives, say reports from Yemen. -- France announced its mission in the capital Sanaa was shut on Monday, a day after the US and UK closed theirs.
Video: US and UK shut embassies in Yemen - 04 Jan 10 Al Jazeera
Gen. Petraeus in Yemen sends the wrong message: Commentary -- [The Examiner]
...General David Petraeus, head of U.S. Central Command made a surprise visit to Yemen on Saturday, and met with President Ali Abdullah Saleh, described by a senior administration, "as part of our ongoing consultations with and efforts in support of Yemen. We have made Yemen a priority over the course of this year, and this is the latest in that effort."
On Friday, January 1st, Petraeus had told reporters in Baghdad that the U.S. will almost double last year's $70 million in security aid for Yemen during fiscal 2010.
With Petraeus looking like the point-man in Yemen, it sends a message that the U.S. is willing to "assist" with military forces in Yemen as they have done in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is the wrong message to send at a time when we cannot afford the two money-draining wars we have are already fighting. We cannot afford another war and another military front.
Despite Al Qaeda Threat, U.S. Not Planning to Expand Terror Fight in Yemen -- [FOXNews]
The U.S. does not plan to open a new front in Yemen in the global fight against terrorism despite closing its embassy there in the face of Al Qaeda threats, President Obama's top counterterrorism adviser said Sunday.
US students accused of Pakistan terror attack plot 'on jihad mission' -- [Times Online]
One of the five Americans accused of plotting terror attacks in Pakistan yesterday claimed the group were on their way to neighbouring Afghanistan to wage jihad against Western forces fighting there.
White House: No matter what we're sending Gitmo prisoners back to Yemen -- [The Washington Examiner]
The Obama White House insists it will continue to send those Gitmo inmates to Yemen -- a country now recognized as a hotbed of terrorism so dangerous that the U.S. has decided to close its embassy there.
On Fox News Sunday, top White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said the administration "absolutely" intends to keep sending Guantanamo prisoners to Yemen.
2 al-Qaida Members Killed in Yemen -- [Voice of America]
Photo: AP A Yemeni security official says government forces killed two al-Qaida members Monday near the capital, Sana'a. The official said at least one
The New Republic: Defining "Isolated Extremism" -- [NPR]
Now, Yemen is a special problem for Obama. We are now fighting (after Iraq and Afghanistan) on an unacknowledged but probably appropriate third front in
US detainees remanded in Pakistan -- [Al Jazeera English]
Police say the men had a map of Chashma Barrage, a complex located near nuclear facilities [EPA]
Five US citizens detained in Pakistan have denied that they planned to carry out attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan, as a court granted police two weeks to prepare terrorism charges against them. The young Muslim men from Washington were arrested early last month during a raid on a house in the eastern Pakistani city of Sargodha.
SUPPORTING THE TROOPS...OR NOT
Air Compassion for Veterans -- [AIR COMPASSION FOR VETERANS]
Air Compassion For Veterans provides complimentary air travel to veterans and their family members to complete their recovery from injuries sustained in combat.
Las Vegas is the ONLY Major Airport that does not Provide a USO for Military Personal -- [CFP]
Photos of United States Marines - 01/02/10 - McCarran International Airport
The photos shown are of United States Marines on their way to Afghanistan -
Hundreds of United States Marines are scheduled to arrive this afternoon at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas on their way to the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command, in Twentynine Palms CA.
Officials from the Clark County Department of Aviation have agreed to open a meeting room near the A and C Gates so that our service men and women do not have to sleep on the airport floor. However, food and beverages are not scheduled to be provided by the county.
Volunteers are needed, along with food and beverages.
SEVEN things never to say to a veteran -- [Kitchen Dispatch]
...It's fair to say that most military families go through what we did: people don't care to ask how you are during the deployment, but they will give you --unsolicited, their two cents about the war. All of this has made a homecoming a little bit uneasier, as even taking the dog out can be like a walk through a social mine field.
Their boorish and rude behavior breaks every code of social etiquette. They also stomp without feeling on those who have been through a life altering experience. The following tips have been culled from DiversityInc. I've also compiled a reading list for those who are greatest in need. The books make great Christmas, anniversary or birthday presents! It's apparent that the rudest were never given (as I was) a copy of Emily Post when they were sixteen!
Thanks to Red Cross, Deployed Airman Witnesses Newborn's Birth From Afar -- [DVIDS]
In the early morning hours of Dec. 23, 2009, in a small, dimmed private room, a young Airman's life changed forever.
Behind the Scenes of Tostitos "Salute the Troops" Bowl Game in the Persian Gulf -- [Web Wire]
Rocket Ismail, Barry Switzer and All-Star Team joined Tostitos and the USO to bring Tostitos "Salute the Troops" Bowl to U.S. Military in Persian Gulf
College Football Legends and Active Military Members Teamed Up for Flag Football and Tailgate Celebration
he Tostitos brand, in a joint effort with the USO, today held the first-ever Tostitos "Salute the Troops" Bowl, a one-of-a-kind college football experience at a military base in the Persian Gulf.
Tostitos Salute the Troops Bowl Game
Boise State, fans donate 600 Fiesta tickets to military -- [Idaho Statesman]
Boise State has sold about 18200 tickets to the Fiesta Bowl -- a school record -- including about 100 bought by fans for donation to the military.
Veterans Benefits Frustrations
60 Mins v. VBA -- [Burn Pit]
If you only watched one thing on TV yesterday, I hope it was 60 Mins and not the Patriots game wherein Mothax's hopes and dreams died with Wes Welker's leg injury.
...They interviewed Paul Sullivan of "Veterans for Common Sense." For those who don't know or remember who Paul is, let's take the way-back machine to the moments after Major Nidal Hassan decided to switch teams and light up an SRP center. Without any official word on motive, or even who had done the shooting, Paul decided to take to the air and bash the Army:
US: Soldiers Forced to Go AWOL for PTSD Care -- [IPS - Dahr Jamail]
With a military health care system over-stretched by two ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, more soldiers are deciding to go absent without leave (AWOL) in order to find treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
New Law for Military Spouses Makes Matters Easier at Tax Time -- [Kitsap Sun]
Military members have long been allowed to vote in -- and be taxed by -- their home states. Now their spouses have that same option.
"When the military orders service members to move, spouses who move with them often have to pay taxes in a new state or locality and lose the right to vote in the place considered to be home," President Obama said upon signing the law. "This legislation will alleviate these and other burdens on our military families."
One Step Closer -- [In Iraq Now (at 56) - heading home from Iraq]
Today we flew to Kuwait by way of Basra stopping at three bases before finally arriving at the transient base. We will be here for several days and, just as when I was stuck here for seven days in July, I won't know when I will leave here until I am on an airplane. Several times on the last trip, my name got called, I was on a manifest, I dragged my bags up to the meeting area, I was ready to board the bus then. . ."Sorry. Come back at 0500 hours." But it's OK with me. We are on the way back to America. I am out of Iraq. I have lots of work to do, assuming I can do it using personal computer on a wireless hookup. Sometime in late January this year will end and I can go back to being a civilian again. I liked some of this year. I hated some of this year. The parts I hated probably helped me grow. One thing it confirmed for me is how very difficult and very worthwhile it is to build community.
Muslim protesters 'branded British soldiers as rapists and baby killers' at homecoming parade -- [Daily Mail]
A group of Muslim protesters shouted 'murderers', 'rapists', 'baby killers' and chanted 'burn in hell' at soldiers on a homecoming parade from Iraq, a court was told today.
Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment were greeted by protesters screaming the hostile jeers and holding placards as they marched through Luton last year.
There was a furious reaction from the hundreds lining the streets to give the 200 soldiers - known as the Poachers - a heroes' welcome. Among the supporters upset by the protest were children and families.
130 Montana Soldiers returned home to Montana late Thursday night, just before ... -- [KECI-TV]
Communities held "welcome home" celebrations at the armories in Kalispell, Libby and Havre Thursday night. Troops and family members say they are glad to be
Soldiers of 639th have emotional return home -- [Helena Independent Record]
"I'm so glad to be home," he said, holding his 8-month-old son, Makiyah, in his arms in the Army Aviation Support Facility during a welcome-home reception.
Fallen soldiers, journalist back home -- [The Globe and Mail]
Honor guards carry the casket of journalist Michelle Lang to a waiting ... just three months apart each claimed the lives of six Canadian troops. ... The "mission in Afghanistan is vital for us not only as Canadians
Canadian Cover Up? -- [Michael Yon]
(Unfortunately, this news comes as I wait to board a flight from Hong Kong to the United States. It must be written quickly and without editing.) A reporter at Canwest News Service, emailed Saturday asking for information on the four Canadian soldiers and the journalist who were killed on December 30 in Afghanistan. I supplied a portion of the unpublicized information, and the reporter emailed Sunday that the Canadian military is "trying to suppress our telling of your information." The reporter also wrote, "While the Canadian military confirmed to me much of the information you provided, they are trying to prevent us from publishing it, saying it would breach our agency's embedding agreement." There is nothing classified or sensitive about the information supplied to Canwest. This smells of a classic cover-up that has nothing to do with winning or losing the war, but more likely something to do with saving embarrassment.
Most recent Canadian deaths: A CF "cover up" at Kandahar? -- [The Torch]
It seems to me Mr Yon may be rather over-stating things; I do not see that there is any "saving embarrassment". It also seems to me that the sort of details given by him, especially in the last paragraph above, are not reported by our media. For whatever reason, presumably their own view of operational security and not fear of embarrassment, the CF apparently do not want such details made public.
Canwest "Coverup" -- [Small Dead Animals]
The real story Michael, is that until this recent mass outpouring over the loss of a journalist, Canadian media interest in operational details in Afghanistan has been pretty much limited to counting bodies and answering the question "how can we use this to damage the Harper government?"
Obama effigy hanged in Jimmy Carter's home town -- [BBC]
The US Secret Service says it is investigating after an effigy of Barack Obama was found hanging in the home town of former President Jimmy Carter.
TV footage showed the doll hanging by a noose in front of a red, white and blue sign that reads "Plains, Georgia. Home of Jimmy Carter, our 39th President".
Witnesses said the effigy had President Obama's name on it.
HUMOR / SATIRE
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Posted 1:06 PM
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