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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. Hat Tips to the Dawn Patrol are greatly appreciated.
Trauma, shrapnel and the fight for life -- [Matt Sanchez - in Iraq]
An unforgettable day at U.S. Air Force hospital in Iraq
One of the rules for a media embed is that you're not allowed to show the faces of injured people without their consent. I had to keep that in mind while spending time recently at the Air Force hospital in Balad, a level three facility, which makes it the best hospital in the entire Middle East for trauma.
"Any doctor who has spent four months here is probably ready to handle anything," Lt. Col. Christopher Coppola told me. What set the newly completed facility apart from emergency rooms back home was the typical patient and "the severity and multiplicity of wounds," Coppola explained.
...Men and women in their scrubs who looked very much like normal nurses and doctors revealed themselves to be something much more.
Prominent sheik hosts reconciliation meeting -- [Task Force Marne]
One of the most prominent sheiks in southern Baghdad hosted a high-level reconciliation conference at his home Nov. 26.
Sheik Khalif Haloos invited Sunni and Shia sheiks, Iraqi government officials and military leaders to his personal residence in Sadr al-Yusufiyah.
Haloos asked the 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment from the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) to support this meeting by providing assistance with security. Approximately 2,000 tribal and sub-tribal sheiks and members were invited to discuss their solidarity to rid their areas of insurgents, establish essential services and to establish a plan for future prosperity.
Iraqis construct Fallujah’s first-ever sewage system -- [U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - in Iraq]
About 450 Iraqis are currently working to get Fallujah’s first-ever sewer system operational by next summer. That number is expected to soon grow to a construction force of 700 Iraqis. The $85 million project includes a collection
system, trunk mains, pump stations and a wastewater treatment plant processing 40,000 cubic meters daily
Muthanna Governor thanks USACE engineers for work in his province -- [U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - in Iraq]
TALLIL, Iraq—The governor of Muthanna Province has extended his thanks to the engineers of the Gulf Region South District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the district’s work in his province. “We would like to send our thanks and appreciation for your great works, which help Al Muthanna Province in construction and services,” said Muthanna Gov. Ahmed Marzoq Salal in a recent thank you letter addressed to GRS American Engineers.
“Thanks for your continuous works,” said the governor, who voiced hope that more help and support will be forthcoming from GRS.
Negotiating the Post-War Deal -- [Strategy Page]
November 30, 2007: The war is moving north, where several hundred terrorists have fled, and set up bases. However, Iraqi civilians are not as terrified of the terrorists anymore. Even Sunni Arab civilians will pass on tips about Sunni Arab terrorists arriving in their neighborhood or village. Cell phone service, and use, has spread so much that there is hardly anywhere that does not have a few cell phone owners. The army and police are more aggressive in letting everyone know what numbers to call. The cops are competent and reliable enough that, if you do tip them off about some terrorists, a raid will follow. The Iraqi Army has come a long way as well, with two large scale (several Iraqi divisions) operations in the north in the past week. This is a big deal, because
Iraqi family culture -- [Fightin 6th Marines]
In the story below it tells about Marines with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 6, visiting people in their homes in Fallujah, Iraq. This is an introduction written by Pfc. Brian Jones about the some of the circumstances of Iraqi culture that Marines have discovered for themselves and have curiously questioned.
As violence subsides in Fallujah, “the city of mosques”, Marines find time to indulge in investigating their cultural curiosities of the Iraqi people who surround them. Marines communicate, work and in some cases live with them offering ample amounts of opportunity to get to know them.
More Positive Effects of the “Surge” -- [A Battlefield Tourist - in Iraq]
Sunni attacks up because areas have no security. Rush in troops to indicate to the locals, who are scared to death, “We will support you.” Locals see support and believe in it. They gain confidence to defend themselves from Al Qaeda; the “Concerned Citizens” are born. “Concerned Citizens” of great trust are id’d and brought into intel services. Intel services get better and begin planting spies. Spy network is set up to begin interdiction of attacks. Attacks decrease as high value targets are taken out, attacks are successfully defended and insurgents are running around wondering who the spies are.
I heard it many times. From the US soldiers to the Iraqis, “Why don’t you people stand up for yourselves…?” From the Iraqis to the Americans, “Why don’t you stay longer than a few hours and give us the support we need to stand up for ourselves?”
Taking Care of Business: Iraqis Work to Secure Their Country -- [MNF-I]
TIKRIT — Iraqi Army (IA) Soldiers recently led a raid into an area of Ad Dawr with Iraqi police (IP) and a small contingent of U.S. Soldiers to put a stop to insurgent activities there.
The 1st Battalion of the 1st Brigade, 4th IA led the pre-dawn raid into the area to capture insurgents and disrupt illegal traffic checkpoints used by those insurgents to rob and kill local Iraqis. The IP provided security for the team. The U.S. Army Military Transition Team (MiTT) of the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division provided guidance and support for the IA, who planned and executed the mission.
70,000 Sunnis join Iraqi army -- [Gulf News]
Baghdad: The US decision to include more than 70,000 armed men from the Sunni Awakening council, who fought against Al Qaida, into the Iraqi Army has fired up new conflict with Iran.
Haider Al Abadi, advisor to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki, revealed that Al Maliki had not been told of the move and the process had taken place with no coordination between the US Army and the Prime Minister.
"The US will not allow the ongoing Shiite militia's penetration in the Iraqi Army because they realise these militias are Iranian's striking force inside Iraq in case of any future American-Iranian conflict in the region.
U.S. Miscounted Iraqi Volunteer Guards -- [Military.com /AP]
American military officials have discovered there are fewer Iraqi civilians serving as volunteer guards in their home areas than it had thought, saying accounting mistakes had inflated the number by thousands.
Senior military officers said they had reduced the nationwide total from 77,000 to 60,321 - most of them Sunni Arabs.
The officers also expressed impatience with the Shiite-dominated government's failure to fully embrace the U.S.-backed home guard program and warned that the armed men could "drift back toward violence" if they aren't put to work.
Camp Korea?....email from Eli -- [American Soldiers]
Dear friends and family,
Seth and I got back last weekend from spending several days at a place called CKV (Camp Korean Village), which is up by the Syrian border. I thought since we have a strong contingent of South Korean military in the Coalitions Forces that maybe this was where they were based.....nope. Not sure why the name was what it was for this small base....but one of the Marines we asked that was stationed there said it was named by Marines...so who knows?
The drive to CKV was long...for several reasons. The first reason is simply because it is several hundred miles from Al Asad to CKV..and several hundred miles in Iraq is a very very long trip. Usually we spend most our our trips on unimproved roads where it is slow going, but one of the good things about this trip is we were on a four lane highway for most of the way. The other reason it was a long trip was because of the size of our convoy. We were attached to an 82nd Airborne convoy with over 200 vehicles. We were transporting TCN (third country nationals).
F-16 Engages Building
Footage of a building being engaged by Hellfire missiles from F-16's after a convoy was engaged by small arms fire from the building. Provided by Headquarters, 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs.
A Sign You Might Be in Iraq 2 -- [Gritty Kitty - in Iraq]
It sounds corny, but just living in America is a great blessing. Many people around the world would trade places in a heartbeat and can only dream of the privileges and lifestyle we enjoy. They would give a lot to live just one day in our shoes.
You only need to read of the great challenges we face in Iraq to realize how hard it is to build democratic institutions, to establish the rule of law, to protect human rights. It didn’t happen overnight in the United States, and it won’t happen overnight here in Iraq.
Are we there yet? -- [Jason's Iraq Vacation - in Iraq]
That's the question I must have asked myself about a thousand times on my way back from leave. The journey home seemed longer because of the anticipation, but it was a happy anticipation. It was a smiling, overly happy, I-can-sit-in-this-same-spot-for-10-days-if-it-means- I-am-gonna-be-home kinda mentality. Going home, everything just worked out perfect. I knew a Sergeant Major in Kuwait, so I was able to get on an earlier flight home to the States - two days earlier than anyone expected me - so you imagine the surprise on Rachael's face when I showed up in her office in uniform! Everything else while I was home on leave was great as well - my dog remembered me, I didn't lose my shirt in Vegas, and we had 60 family members over for Thanksgiving. It was hard for me to leave everything and everyone I love, again, and come back here.
How Embarrassing!... "Dead" Iraqis Show Up at Press Conference -- Smile & Wave For Cameras! -- [Gateway Pundit]
** You report to the international news agencies that 11 of your family members in Iraq have been slaughtered!
** You hold several press conferences and gain great sympathy.
...** Your supposedly dead family members back in Baghdad show up and wave and smile for the cameras!
(Much thanks to my friend Iraqi-American Haider Ajina for forwarding the article with the family picture from the Iraqi Barutha News.)
The sad thing is... The original story made headlines around the world, but this photo correction will not even make the back page.
UPDATE: Aswat Aliraq reports: Arrest Warrant For Diaa al-Kawwaz!!
Iraqi-American Haider Ajina informs me that according to Barutha News the Iraqi Government (Interior Ministry) has requested and recieved an arrest warrant for Dia al-Kawwaz (Dhia Alkoozi).
Haider adds: "What a change. What a change. All thanks to our men and women serving in Iraq and the Iraqis who are getting a taste of human dignity and human rights and the rule of law...."
Bin Laden's call 'ridiculous': Afghan president -- [AFP]
KABUL - Afghan President Hamid Karzai called "ridiculous" Friday a call attributed to Osama bin Laden for Europe to break ranks with the United States and quit the fight against extremists in Afghanistan.
In a statement attributed to the Al-Qaeda chief and aired Thursday, bin Laden also said he was behind the 9/11 attacks -- which led to the invasion of Afghanistan -- and Afghans "had no knowledge whatsoever of these events." The remarks were "ridiculous and contrary to Islamic culture and human values," a statement from Karzai's office said. "Osama bin Laden under no name has the right to comment about Afghanistan and the sacrifices Afghans have given," it said.
By "imposing terrorism" on Afghanistan, the Al-Qaeda chief was one of the reasons thousands of people had been killed and displaced in this country, the statement said.
A ‘Surge’ for Afghanistan -- [SWJ]
The top general of the Marine Corps is pushing hard to deploy marines to Afghanistan as he looks to draw down his forces in Iraq, but his proposal, which is under discussion at the Pentagon this week, faces deep resistance from other military leaders.
Commandant Gen. James Conway's plan, if approved, would deploy a large contingent of Marines to Afghanistan, perhaps as early as next year. The reinforcements would be used to fight the Taliban, which US officials concede is now defending its territory more effectively against allied and Afghan forces.
This is How We Do Part II: The Revenge of The Plan -- [The Satirist at War - in Afghanistan]
In the Vietnam War, we remember images from the Tet Offensive; our embassy overrun and occupied despite a numerical and technological superiority.
And so it was with what I’ll call “Operation Outrageous Success.” Our movement back to our home base of B***** from the [OPSEC] came to epitomize the anger, and frustration of a two-week mission, over the course of which we pulled guard, handed out truckloads of HA, strengthened our ties with locals, and, ostensibly, conducting training with our Afghan Army counterparts, teaching them everything we know.
...We’re doing well out here, and we’re doing our job… it just takes a sense of humor, sometimes. Because nothing ever goes according to plan, and the guys who thrive are the ones who can adjust fire.
"smexi-ubercool-shaz-o-mite" -- [6 Months in Kabul - in Afghanistan]
The title is courtesy of one of the students from a Gaffney, South Carolina high school that has adopted me. I am thinking of legally changing my name to it.
"By mutual confidence and mutual aid -- great deeds are done, and great discoveries made."
This quote was sent to me by a reader. Today was our "low tempo" day. I was supposed to plant apple trees but it was canceled for security reasons. Instead I helped to unload 3 huge pallets of food that was donated by the base store because it was about to expire. We plan to give it to the refugee families that were mentioned in Betsy's newsletter. Take a look at the stuff. Here is the forklift bringing in the supplies
Larger NATO Force Needed in Afghanistan -- [Military.com/ AFP]
NATO-led forces in Afghanistan do not have the means to secure the country in the face of a barrage of insurgent attacks, says a senior French general with the force. "That does not mean we are going to lose this operation, but it is going to take a lot longer for us to finish the job," he said.
Colombia Seizes Rebel Hostage Tapes -- [Sofia News Agency]
Another tape shows US defense contractors Thomas Howes, Keith Stansell and Marc Gonsalves, abducted by Farc guerillas after their plane crashed in Columbia ...
Islam: Name your teddy "Muhammad" and die -- [QandO]
Sometimes I'm stunned by the intolerance and barbarity of certain cultures and religions:
Thousands of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and knives, rallied Friday in a central square and demanded the execution of a British teacher convicted of insulting Islam for allowing her students to name a teddy bear "Muhammad."
But it's not an insult to name a child Muhammad? Naturally the fervor is being whipped up by so-called "religious" leaders who, in the next breath, would probably try to tell you their religion is one of peace:
Bin Laden and Future Jihad in Europe -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
What is interesting about the latest audio message of Usama Bin Laden, carried by al Jazeera, is its delayed argument. Strangely he is trying to convince the Europeans - seven years later - that they are wrong to have followed the United States into Afghanistan. Why?
In his speech - irrespective of the ritual investigative questions regarding its location, technology and other details - the central issue appears to be his growing concern with the European role in Afghanistan, and perhaps because of it, the potential growth of that role in the fight against the forces of Jihadism worldwide. As a reader of the Jihadi strategic mind, I believe that the speech writers (Bin Laden himself or his “advisors”) are looking ahead in their evaluation of future European involvement in the so-called War on Terror, and are positioning al Qaeda to “own” it. The significance of this is, as al Qaeda’s war room has showed in the past, they are skilled at anticipating trends.
Bin Laden: Message to the European Peoples -- [Threats Watch]
Osama bin Laden’s awaited speech, titled “Message to the European Peoples,” was released on the Internet this evening. It was first delivered to al Jazeera approximately 9 hours before its public distribution on the Internet and was also the second new as-Sahab product disseminated on November 29. This is bin Laden’s fifth appearance in 2007 and since September alone.
“Message to the European Peoples” is the 90th video product produced by as-Sahab, al-Qaeda’s central media wing, this year and actually comprises of three videos and a stand-alone audio file. The three videos are individually subtitled in German, English and Pashtu.
Operation Holiday Thanks -- [Miss LadyBug]
I was just watching E.D. Hill's "America's Pulse" program on Fox News Channel. Apparently, she had been contacted by viewers wanting to send holiday greetings to our wounded warriors. Working with her Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), she had made arrangements to get holiday cards to various military hospitals across the country. The address to send these cards to (requested "ASAP") is:
Operation Holiday Thanks
c/o E.D. Hill
Fox News Channel
1211 Sixth Avenue
New York, NY 10036
I'll be sending mail out to this address ASAP. I encourage you to do the same.
SU Prof to Troops: FU -- [Jawa Report]
But Students Disagree
When Marine Major Christian Devine asked Syracuse University's Maxwell School to host a presentation by his DoD outreach program, "Why We Serve," the chair, Mark Rupert , decided to tell him to go pound sand. He felt that allowing serving members of the military to speak would not meet the department's goal to ""foster open and honest discussion."
Rupert apparently based his decision on an article in which Major Devine talked about winning the information war in the mainstream media. Evidently, Rupert prefers that someone else win the information war.
Sean Taylor vs Any American Soldier -- [American Soldiers]
I don't know Sean Taylor....all I know is what I read in the papers and hear on the news. But I do know he wasn't a hero. I'm sorry he died, and I feel bad for his family and friends and his little girl.
An amazing amount of grief has been demonstrated over Sean Taylor's death....where is the grief over our real fallen hero's. People that only know Sean Taylor as a football player have been holding candlelight vigils and speaking about what a terrible loss it is....
You want to see terrible loss? You want to see the death of real hero's? You want to see unspeakable saddness? Go visit this site of honor...see the names, read the biographies of our hero soldiers. Then lets have a talk about Sean Taylor.
Henry Hyde Was A Naval Officer -- [The Tanks - W. Thomas Smith Jr.]
Congressman Hyde was a U.S. Navy combat veteran of World War II, seeing action in the Philippines. After the war, he served in the Naval Reserve, retiring at the rank of “commander” in 1968. His last assignment was as commander of the U.S. Naval Intelligence Reserve Unit in Chicago.
On January 9, 2005 — the 60th anniversary of the Lingayen Gulf landings of WWII — Hyde said:
What the SecDef Didn’t Call For, But Should Have -- [SWJ - Matt Armstrong]
Today, American public diplomacy wears combat boots. In the global media and the blogosphere, the military and its uniformed leaders shape the image of the United States. But that is not how it has always been. On the contrary, American public diplomacy was born out of the need to directly engage the global psyche and avoid direct martial engagement.
Murtha Caves: Floats Possible Deal for Iraq Funding -- [Weekly Standard]
Murtha is hoping that the White House will bite: Iraq funding with a two-year goal for troop withdrawal. He recognizes that Democrats risk a huge black eye if the Pentagon begins furloughing civilians, or if American troops suffer, because of the disagreement between Congress and the White House over funding for the war on terror. Will the public get angry when furlough notices are sent out, or will they be patient until the furloughs actually begin? Whom will they blame?
And more importantly for Congressional Democrats, why take the risk? They contend that they've made it possible for DoD to jump through hoops to fund the war through February, at least. They say that Secretary Gates and the Pentagon are being disingenuous when they claim they're being forced to lay off civilians. But if their goal was to fund the war, why not actually fund it?
HuffPo's Sanders Still At It -- [Weekly Standard]
Former HuffPo contributor Barry Sanders is at it again. Last month Sanders wrote a horribly misinformed article for the Huffington Post on "the military's addiction to oil." The piece was riddled with factual errors, and when the WWS and others pointed a few out, Arianna threw the guy under the bus with an editor's note canceling the series and saying of Sanders's defense, "it confuses as much as it clarifies."
At the time Sanders apologized for his failure "to reach an absolutely authoritative [read factually accurate] version of this essay" by explaining that he was "not a mathematician, not a military person, not a trained climatologist." Yet despite that epiphany, he's still at it, peddling bogus statistics about the fuel consumption of the U.S. military.
CNN’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy -- [Michelle Malkin]
I wrote a piece for the NYPost published today on CNN’s horticultural journalism (reprinted below). Filed it before we learned about the CAIR intern. CNN host Howard Kurtz quotes CNN senior veep David Bohrman bleating that they “bent over backwards to be fair.” I quote him below, too. Glenn Reynolds notes that CNN used Google…to buy plane tickets for Plant Number One Keith Kerr and other questioners.
...Whether through, as one blogger put, “constructive incompetence” or “convenient ineptitude,” CNN has committed journalistic malpractice under the guise of “citizen” participation.
'Knight Rider' Rides Again-- This Time Fights Military Contractors -- [NewsBusters]
Who's Hollywood's latest Big Bad Villain? Private military contractors--giving rise to a new version of Derangement Syndrome: Blackwater Derangement Syndrome or BwDS.
Echoing lefty rage at Blackwater, TV shows from “Boston Legal” to “Jericho” have turned contractors into the bad guys.
Chris Matthews: Defeat Means Troops Still in Iraq--What About WWII? -- [NewsBusters]
Did you know that the US is still at war with Korea, Germany, Japan, Bosnia and Kosovo? Based on “Hardball” host Chris Matthews' recent claims, we are still at war with those countries and will be until our troops leave their soil.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
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. Hat Tips to the Dawn Patrol are greatly appreciated.
An Edgy Calm in Fallujah -- [Michael Totten - in Iraq]
FALLUJAH, IRAQ – “You're probably safer here than you are in New York City,” said Marine First Lieutenant Barry Edwards when I arrived in Fallujah. I raised my eyebrows at him skeptically. “How many people got shot at last night in New York City?” he said.
“Probably somebody,” I said.
“Yeah, probably somebody did,” he said. “Somewhere.”
Nobody was shot last night in Fallujah. No American has been shot anywhere in Fallujah since the 3rd Battalion 5th Marine Regiment rotated into the city two months ago. There have been no rocket or mortar attacks since the summer. Not a single of the 3/5 Marines has even been wounded.
Iraq Agrees To Long-Term U.S. Presence -- [CBS]
(CBS/AP) President Bush on Monday signed a deal setting the foundation for a potential long-term U.S. troop presence in Iraq, with details to be negotiated over matters that have defined the war debate at home - how many U.S. forces will stay in the country, and for how long.
The agreement between Mr. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki confirms that the United States and Iraq will hash out an "enduring" relationship in military, economic and political terms.
Iraq: Beyond the Drop in Violence -- [ON Point]
"A TORRENT OF GOOD NEWS": So The New York Times described the reports of a significant fall in violence in Iraq. But reducing all Iraqi news to measures of violence can hamper understanding of a complex situation.
Those who opposed the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003 prefer to focus on violence, for it has seemed to confirm their claim that the war was wrong. They've downplayed all good news from post-Saddam Iraq - the end of an evil regime that had oppressed the Iraqi people for 35 years; the return home of a million-plus Iraqi refugees in the first year after liberation; the fact that the Iraqis got together to write a new constitution and hold referendums and free elections - for the first time in their history - and moved to form coalition governments answerable to the parliament.
The drop in violence is certainly a good thing. But other Iraq news, both good and bad, needs to be taken into account. ...
5,000 US troops to withdraw from Iraq
...Statement by Rear Admiral Gregory Smith
Around 5,000 American troops will head home later this month as part of a withdrawal plan announced by President George W. Bush, US military spokesman Rear Admiral Gregory Smith said Saturday.
COP Corregidor, al-Haswa -- [A Battlefield Tourist - in Iraq]
Southwest of Baghdad is an area called al-Hawsa, a Sunni region in the area of Iraq known as South Baghdad. It’s an area that is part of Iraq’s notorious “Triangle of Death”. It’s also the area that, up through October, was assigned to “B” Troop, 1-89 Cavalry, part of the 10th Mountain Division’s 2nd BCT. The unit established COP Corregidor as part of the US military’s new strategy to put smaller units among the population in an effort to stimulate cooperation. From this strategy shift, the “Concerned Citizens” movement began to take root across the area, following the successful template being used in Anbar Province.
The Real Surge -- [LWJ - DJ Elliot]
While the "surge" of five US brigades plus their accompanying support elements, about 30,000 US troops total, is the main focus of commentators when discussing the current situation in Iraq, the real surge in Iraq is happening behind the scenes. The rapidly expanding Iraqi Army is where the real surge in forces is occurring.
A comfortable minority -- [Neptunus Lex]
Political support for America’s aspirations in Iraq in general, and for the presidential author of that strategy in particular, has slipped from percentages marked in the high 70’s in 2003 to the mid-30’s or so in 2006-2007. Those of us “left behind” have often been derided by those to whom the muddled middle shifted as Myrmidons, dead enders and Dear Leader bots.
...Whenever we have been tempted to stop and question ourselves, we are gratefully provided with statistics like these:
Iraq = Korea -- [Jules Crittenden]
Big news out of Iraq where, ignoring Congress and its withdrawal proposals in the interests of common sense, the Shiite-led Iraqi government and the Bush administration have inked a deal for an ongoing U.S. military presence and strategic partnership. To ward off foreign threats and internal coups, and keep a lid on sectraian rivalries. That’s interesting. As an earlier version of this AP article noted, it’s really going to tick off the Iranians:
3/5 Marines meet unexpected man of the house -- [Fightin 6th Marines - in Iraq]
Marines stopped and knocked at a courtyard gate in Fallujah's Andaloos district. A little girl answered the door with an anxious look on her face.
“Is the man of the house in?” asked Sgt. Ysac M. Perez, a squad leader with Company K, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 6.
As if on cue, a little seven-year-old boy appeared and owned up to the title. The Marines greeted him with smiles and laughter. This scenario is not unusual, however, said Perez.
“This is actually pretty common while the father is gone,” said Perez,...
A time to give thanks... -- [Eighty Deuce On The Loose - in Iraq]
Very near the end, I turned in to this other alleyway and noticed an older kid sitting on a desk or something in the alley and through my nightvision, it totally looked like he was wearing a training bra. I though to myself, "What the fuck is he wearing?" The nightvision sometimes messes up colors and makes stuff look weird like that, so I tilted my head up to try and look at him with my eyes, but it was kind of dark. I had just focused back on him through the nightvision and had though how weird that was, when his friend, about the same age, whom I had not seen before came out from around him, about 5 meters in front of me. I noticed he had something in his hands and made out the shape of an AK-47. My heart stopped and I lost my breath. Myself and probably my team were done for. Fortunatly my head kept working and training kicked in as I drew my rifle on him, shining my tac-light on him and putting my visible green laser on his chest. Not taking any chances, I flipped my rifle to FIRE. I yelled for him to stop and to drop the weapon. The boy froze in place still holding his rifle. It seemed like an eternity, just waiting to see what he was going to do.
Intelligence Collection and Sharing -- [SWJ - CPT Tim Hsia - in Iraq]
Years from now after the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have ended; historians will pore over the operations and tactics of the U.S. Army during both campaigns. They will likely applaud the all-volunteer force and the courage of the individual soldier; just as likely, however, they will criticize the lack of information sharing and management between the militarily and civilian departments of the U.S. government. Specifically, they will note the military's poor record in information management, accessibility of intelligence gathered, and the inability to apply years of accumulated intelligence to current battlefield operations. A way to patch the current intelligence gap within the U.S. government would be to adopt an information collection program that accumulates data similar to major internet stock market trackers. Market trackers absorb information continuously, rigorously track trends, and enable traders to formulate decisions based off the latest news combined with historical data. The ability of market trackers to store and quickly recall historical data should be mimicked by the U.S. government so that commanders and diplomats possess relevant records that enable them to make decisions which take into account the economic, historical, cultural, political, anthropological, and environmental aspects of the region they are operating within...
AAA Executive Board Decision -- [From an Anthropological Perspective - in Iraq]
A little more than two weeks ago the AAA Executive Board decided to make a formal statement not supporting the Human Terrain System. I’ve read some of the blog and forum traffic on the matter and decided to respond since I’m here in Iraq as the field anthropologist for a Human Terrain Team.
...The AAA did not systematically study the HTS project but determined that they should disapprove of it anyway? Their statement is “based on information in the public record” which means not much because HTS has barely started and the public record (internet?) is full of uninformed notions of what the US military is doing in Iraq and Afghanistan and is crippled by paranoia that we engage in clandestine work as if we are living a spy novel. If anyone looks at various posts of mine, this is hardly the case.
The AAA lists five ethical concerns regarding the placement of anthropologists as contractors, in a theater of war, with the US Military.
Running on Java and Jolt -- [Sergeant Grumpy - in Iraq]
"It is impossible to know who to trust here - the best advice is to trust no one"
That is surely the best advice I got from the outgoing team, and if I didn't hear it from CI-Roller dude, I am sure he would have said it. Everyone here you work with wants something from you and has some scam they are trying to run. People show up every day with some urgent information we should drop everything in order to discuss. Most of it is crap, or recycled intel they were able to sell to the last rotation, or the FOB down the road. Or worse, they are from the "enemy/insurgent/AIF/ACF/freedom fighter/Abu dirt-bag/take-your-pick" and they are trying to figure out what we already know.
Men of Valor Part II -- [Michael Yon - in Iraq]
First Mission - To interpret events in al Basra, context is critical. When we invited the British to join us in this war in 2003, the U.S., with the bulk of troops and assets, was the senior partner. In essence, we were the driver of a bus filled with several dozen partners: Poland, Australia, Japan, Georgia, Korea, Albania and so on. Although several key countries had opted to stay home, no nation stepped up to the task like Great Britain, taking responsibility for southern Iraq. But they could not have not planned for the seemingly precipitous and arbitrary decisions made by the mostly American bus drivers in Washington and Baghdad, who took many turns without consulting an accurate map. Egos and strained competencies only magnified and compounded errors. Nobody paid more for these mistakes than Iraqis and Americans, but the Brits and others have also paid tolls for their seats.
'Medevac, medevac, medevac!' - [Matt Sanchez]
Ride along with U.S. military quick reaction force saving lives in Iraq
Embedding with the quick reaction force – QRF – was like drawing straws and hoping something would happen on the long 24-hour shifts.
I was with the "C" Company 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment from Fort Campbell, Ky., a medical evacuation team stationed at Balad, Iraq, north of Baghdad. Its motto: "Bene Volare Vitam Salvare," "To fly well is to save lives."
Paul Rauscher, a chief warrant officer and pilot originally from Lake of Ozarks, Minn., was on his third trip to Iraq, where he piloted a UH-60 Sikorsky, a type of flying ambulance with 6 litters for the wounded.
Rauscher was considered a mission-killer. "Nothing ever happens when I come on duty," he said jokingly while introducing me to his crew and commanding officer. On the other hand, 1st Lt. Travis Owen, a young pilot on his first tour in Iraq, had a reputation for being a "mission magnet." I guess the two men were supposed to cancel each other out, and with the drop in violence, the odds were that we were going to spend a lot of the day watching movies.
Terrorist Bride Captured Near Baghdad On Way to Honeymoon -- [Gateway Pundit]
Soldiers manning a checkpoint near Baghdad stopped a wedding convoy to find that the purported bride and groom were wanted terror suspects, an Iraqi Defense Ministry official said Monday. The Army set up the checkpoint last week in the ...
Member from almahdi gang wants to escape
US Commander: No Decline in Iranian Activity -- [The Weekly Standard]
There has been a lot of talk recently about a "a quiet process of apparent concessions and small gestures of approval between the United States and Iran in Iraq" as it was described today by Iran expert Gary Sick at FP Passport. Go read the whole post to see evidence of this courtship, most of which will be well familiar to our readers. Still, there's very little evidence that any thawing in relations between Iran and the United States has produced improvements on the ground in Iraq--just a lot of empty promises. Last time we spoke with General Bergner, back in October, he explained that despite Iranian commitments to reduce the flow of weapons and fighters,
Patriot -- [Bill and Bob's Excellent Afghan Adventure - in Afghanitstan]
I met a patriot today. I met a man who is not in the military of any country, but he is most certainly a patriot. He is a manager for the company that manages our terps, or interpreters. He is an Afghan-American. He lived in the United States Since the early 80's.
Soldiers on Patrol in Kabul 4
Free For All -- [ETT PA-C - in Afghanistan]
Some of you know that we've been building our camp up out back so we can have our own little part of the world without the ANP staring at us all the time. Well, we have 50% of it done and we should be able to move in within the week. I'll be so glad! You have no idea. We are the only embedded team with the type of mentoring that we do. Most teams live on a compound near by. We live in the same compound about 10ft away. Gets old after a while. You just want a little bit of space. It's like having a 3 year old or, for that matter, an irritating neighbor bother or stare at you 24 hours a day. So, the addition of room and removal to the other side will be welcome. I'll have a container to myself with room for a bench and medical supplies on one side and my personal stuff on the other. A true "Doc in a box!" ER's got nothing on me!
Freedom Watch Afghanistan
We could have taken an "off" day today, seeing as it is Thanksgiving. -- [Yellowhammering Afghanistan - in Afghanistan]
Clothes and food are ready to distribute.But instead, one of our district teams decided it would be more fitting to do unto others.
We organized a humanitarian assistance visit to Khogiani, one of the districts where we work closely with the Afghan National Police.
The subgovernor held a shura, or meeting with the elders, to discuss the issues of the district.
Then the real fun started.
Navy Preparing for War with Iran? -- [The Weekly Standard]
...Fuel demands, particularly in a war zone, are always in motion. So I'd ignore the Reuters subtext here--that this is some sort of indication that an attack is imminent. If I were a betting man, I'd say that the Navy is replenishing after the major exercise held earlier this month or--if you're absolutely convinced that there's treachery afoot--preparing to respond to the coming flurry of Iranian naval activity.
Iranian Missile that can hit Europe -- [ON Point]
Iran: We've developed new missile with range of 2,000 km
Iran has recently developed a missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers, Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najar said on Tuesday.
Iran already stocks long-range missiles which are capable of hitting Israel. The new missile, named "Ashura", will enable Iran to aim at targets in Europe.
22nd MEU (SOC) ramps up relief operations in Bangladesh -- [22nd MEU]
ABOARD USS KEARSARGE (LHD-3) – Marine helicopters from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) delivered more than 2,500 gals. of water today along with 12,000 lbs. of medical supplies to areas in Bangladesh hardest hit by Tropical Cyclone Sidr, a storm that ripped through the country Nov. 15, 2007.
The Marines made an initial delivery of water on Nov. 23, marking the first delivery of US military aid to the storm-battered nation. Kearsarge and the 22nd MEU (SOC) have contributed to planning efforts with the Bangladeshi Government and military, relief agencies and other US military and US State Department representatives. Kearsarge and the MEU are now ramping up distribution operations with the added capabilities of the embarked helicopters.
Der Spiegel on the Dollar: Exaggeration, Sensationalism and Bipolarity -- [Davids Medienkritik]
Here's a question for you: Do you remember seeing an extreme cover like this at Der Spiegel when the Euro was weak just a few years back?
...Viewed in isolation - the Dollar cover might not be considered anti-American. Given the larger body of work of Der Spiegel over the past decade - however - it is difficult to characterize the "Dollar Nosedive" cover as anything but a further manifestation of the festering Hate-America bias that plagues the magazine.
Anti-America Americans -- [MiamiHerald.com]
It is easy to hate the American people and government. All that's needed is to take seriously the opinions about their criminal conduct written by some U.S. university professors. They are the best source of anti-Americanism known.
New Bin Laden Tape Will Address Europe -- [The Blotter]
An Islamist Web site often used by al Qaeda says Osama bin Laden will address Europe in a new audiotape to be released soon.
A banner headline on the site says the "Lion Imman who defeated the American tyrants" will address the European people.
Bin Laden and his followers have repeatedly threatened massive attacks on European cities although none have been carried out.
500 lbs. bombs hit Al Qaida staging area
Terrorism, Plain and Simple -- [OneFreeKorea]
...I placed that quotation at the top of this post to give you some context for a new report, via South Korea’s Joongang Ilbo, that our State Department will formally propose removing North Korea from the list of state sponsors of terrorism in early December, perhaps two weeks from now. President Bush’s appeasement-minded North Korea negotiator, Christopher “Kim Jong” Hill, has already gone to Tom Lantos, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, to lobby for the deal.
...Why North Korea Deserves to Stay on the List
Feds Teach Firefighters to Spot Terrorists, ACLU Not Happy… -- [Stop The ACLU]
Firefighters in major cities are being trained to take on a new role as lookouts for terrorism, raising concerns of eroding their standing as American icons and infringing on people’s privacy.
AddLiveVoice Announces the Free Use of Their Service for Family Members of Military Personnel Wishing to Send Online Voice Greetings to Those Serving Abroad for the Holidays -- [PRWEB]
AddLiveVoice Announces the Free Use of Their Service for Family Members of Military Personnel Wishing to Send Online Voice Greetings to Those Serving Abroad for the Holidays
With the holiday season near approaching, families are looking to unite with their loved ones and AddLiveVoice is excited to help them make that connection through an intimate, cost effective and reliable means of communication.
"I feel that it is extremely important for everyone, especially during the holiday season to recognize the significant role that the military plays in our lives" stated Bryan Grier, CEO of AddLiveVoice. "It is our duty to support the troops during this time and offer them the chance to get in touch with family and friends back home. It's great to send a written letter, or an email - but no such medium translates the genuine emotion found in the voice of a husband, wife or child."
I'll be home for Christmas if only in my dreams" -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
What a line for the times we live in.
It will ring true for our military servicemembers in Iraq or Afghanistan or some other far flung location. Their families will miss them and they will miss their families. Operation Santa has programs to assist in sending Christmas love to them this holiday season.
Operation Santa also focuses on another group of heroes this Christmas season. Those men and women who will be in the hospital at Brooke, Bethesda, Balboa and Walter Reed over the holidays.
They won't be home for Christmas either. Operation Santa at the Hospitals will bring them some Christmas love in the form of a handmade, stuffed stocking.
"Go Home British Soldiers, Go Home" -- [In Training]
It seems like there has been more and more anti-soldier behavior occuring in Britain these days. I have even more examples I could post. With a husband in the Royal Marines, it's all personal (even though it should be personal to everyone). The phone call from my husband last night made it all the more personal.
...When the train came to the guys stop, they stood at the door and began cursing at the Marines, flipping the bird, and other rude gestures. They also whispered to the other group of lads and pointing at Royal. They got off the train and continued their swearing and bird-flipping.
Worth a prayer on Sunday -- [CDR Salamander]
For these brave military personnel from the UK.
Injured soldiers who lost their limbs fighting for their country have been driven from a swimming pool training session by jeering members of the public.
The men, injured during tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, were taking part in a rehabilitation session at a leisure centre, when two women demanded they be removed from the pool. They claimed that the soldiers “hadn’t paid” and might scare the children.
Ben Johnson, How to Support the Troops - Get Educated and Take Action -- [LT Nixon Rants]
I often find a lot of diatribe on the web about young ambitous folks proclaiming "Supporting the Troops" by performing paltry tasks like slapping a ribbon on their SUVs or justifying their lack of civic action and sacrifice by decrying "...but I support the Troops". Wonkette just absolutely destroys a young college Republican, Ben Johnson, who supports our president's war objectives, but can only find time to send the folks downrange beef jerky. The notoriously ruthless website then goes on by denouncing him as a chickenhawk, suggesting he be highlighted in Operation Yellow Elephant, and even saying we reinstate the draft just for him! I still believe the best civic action is to sign up for the military (like many of us did after 9/11), but if you're concerned about terrorism and don't like wearing a uniform or getting yelled at, I have a solution for you
Exoskeleton Turns Humans Into Terminators.
G.I. Jill - Army Medic Competes for Miss America -- [Americas North Shore Journal]
The United States Army is proud of all its soldiers, though not all of them will have an Army website dedicated to them. Jill Stevens, Miss Utah, does. Jill is also Sgt. Jill Stevens, combat medic, and a member of the Utah National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment.
WWII Marine pilot awarded Medal of Honor -- [LA Times]
Col. Jefferson DeBlanc Sr., who was awarded the Medal of Honor after a fierce World War II battle in which the Marine Corps pilot shot down five enemy aircraft, parachuted from his damaged plane, then swam to an island where tribesmen traded him for a five-pound sack of rice, has died. He was 86.
Sanchez and the Democrats -- [QandO]
The sudden relationship can be summed up neatly by the old Arab proverb: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."
Dale has written about it and he and I have discussed it on a podcast. That is the suddenly outspoken retired LTG Ricardo Sanchez blasting the administration about the conduct of the war in Iraq.
Of course what Sanchez never does is take any responsibility for his role in that war. For instance:
CBS Veteran Suicide Numbers Bogus? -- [NewsBusters]
On the CBS "Early Show" on Nov. 13th, co-host Julie Chen claimed that there was "an alarming suicide rate among veterans" of the Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts. CBS then aired a report that went on to claim that the suicide rate for our troops had wildly climbed. Fellow NewsBuster Kyle Drennen had his doubts about the report when the show originally aired and now comes an editorial by oftentime military reporter Michael Fumento further casting large amounts of skepticism on the CBS report.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
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. Hat Tips to the Dawn Patrol are greatly appreciated.
Come Home -- [Michael Yon - in Iraq]
...LTC Stephen Michael at St John’s. LTC Michael told me today that when al Qaeda came to Dora, they began harassing Christians first, charging them “rent.” It was the local Muslims, according to LTC Michael, who first came to him for help to protect the Christians in his area. That’s right. LTC Michael told me more than once that the Muslims reached out to him to protect the Christians from al Qaeda. Real Muslims here are quick to say that al Qaeda members are not true Muslims. From charging “rent,” al Qaeda’s harassment escalated to killing Christians, and also Muslims. Untold thousands of Christians and Muslims fled Baghdad in the wake of the darkness of civil war. Most of the Christians are gone now; having fled to Syria, Jordan or Northern Iraq.
...Today, Muslims mostly filled the front pews of St John’s. Muslims who want their Christian friends and neighbors to come home. The Christians who might see these photos likely will recognize their friends here. The Muslims in this neighborhood worry that other people will take the homes of their Christian neighbors, and that the Christians will never come back. And so they came to St John’s today in force,
And Now For Something Completely Different -- [Strategy Page]
November 16, 2007: Iraqis have been quick to react to the sharp decline in terrorist violence. The streets of most Baghdad neighborhoods are filled with people, as are the schools. Thousands of refugees from the city have returned. More importantly, the police now regularly patrol most of the city, talking to people, and collecting information on who-is-who and what is up. The next big target is the criminal gangs, which still rule many neighborhoods, and impose their own kind of terror on many Iraqis. The gangs are a major source of anti-government activity, and often supplied terrorists with goods and services. Many terrorists have switched to being gangsters, once the terrorist organization they belonged to was destroyed over the last few months. Also
Window of Opportunity in Iraq -- [The Captain’s Journal]
I we have said previously, “the insurgency was defeated for a number of ancillary and contributing reasons, including tribal cooperation, security, money and largesse paid directly to concerned citizens and the sheikhs, and other factors. But the primary reason that the U.S. forces have succeeded was that they were the stronger horse. The Iraqis saw this and sided with a winner.”
But there is the issue of political reconciliation to address, and thus far, the progress being made in Iraq is ground up by design, due in no small part to the ineptitude and intransigence of the Maliki administration. Progress still continues to be made in the Anbar province, even as the Anbar schema is applied to the balance of Iraq.
Iraq Gov. Moves Against AMS -- [Acute Politics]
Representatives of the Government of Iraq entered a mosque in Baghdad today to close the offices and shut down the radio station of the Association of Muslim Scholars- a Sunni religious network often seen as supporting or affiliated with some of the more radical elements of the Sunni insurgency, including elements of al-Qaeda.
IRAQ - Mosul to open new airport
Lasers, Helmet Cams Ordered for U.S. Convoy Guards -- [ABC Blotter]
The State Department plans to equip its motorcade security details in Iraq with lasers to "dazzle" suspect motorists and helmet cameras to record it all.
U.S. officials also say the State Department plans to double the number of its diplomatic security agents to 90 so that one of its agents can accompany every convoy guarded by Blackwater and other private security contractors.
Security experts say the lasers, emitting a green beam and already in use at some U.S. military checkpoints in Baghdad, overload the optic nerve but, if used from at least 10 feet away, will not cause any permanent eye damage.
Mind of a Warrior, Heart of a Peacemaker
HADITHA, Iraq – With the number of enemy attacks at an all time low in Al Anbar Province, today’s Marines are able to conduct peaceful operations while rebuilding communities, advising security forces and establishing democracies.
U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq Target Militants With Ties To Soldiers' Kidnapping -- [WSJ]
BAGHDAD -- About 600 U.S. soldiers launched an air assault south of Baghdad on Friday, targeting militants believed to be involved in the May kidnapping of three American soldiers, the military said.
Meanwhile, a top British commander said attacks dropped 90% across the country's south after Britain withdrew its troops from the main city of Basra.
Former Insurgent Leads Coalition, Iraqi Forces to Huge Weapons Cache -- [MNF-I]
FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU — A former member of an insurgent group led Coalition forces, Iraqi Army (IA) and members of a Concerned Local Citizens group to a weapons cache site here in the early morning hours of Nov. 13. The citizen, who reconciled with U.S. and Iraqi troops, knew where the cache was because he helped bury it sometime ago. He said he is now helping Coalition forces because he is tired of al-Qaida trying to force him to work with them. He said al-Qaida imprisoned him and tortured his friends for not joining forces with them.
The Soldiers from Battery B, 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery (FA), 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, and IA found refrigerators that contained numerous rockets, mortars and ammunition.
Coalition Forces Detain Dozens, Find Weapons, Continue to Weaken al-Qaeda in Iraq -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD — Coalition forces detained (16) suspects, including three wanted individuals, during recent operations to disrupt al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and foreign terrorist operations in central and northern Iraq.
B-roll of U.S. helicopters engaging two buildings and a tower from which an insurgent force was firing. Scenes include gun tape footage of ... all » the buildings being fired upon.
Opening Day -- [6 Months In Kabul - in Aghanistan]
"To love what you do and feel that it matters - how could anything be more fun?"
Today was the opening ceremony for the new clinic. It was a great day for Afghanistan. It all went very well. Somehow we were able to pull it off. I have to admit, I had my doubts. They were still installing sinks and mounting diagnostic kits when we left yesterday.
Mest School -Building New School In Afghanistan
Nothing Else Matters -- [Strategy Page]
November 15, 2007: Taliban attacks on remote government operations, usually district headquarters, have fallen by half this year. This is because the Taliban have been unable to come up with a way to defeat NATO tactics of quick response with UAVs and smart bombs. The basic problem is that, in these remote areas, a large force of Taliban are easy to spot from the air, and attack with smart bombs. If the Taliban try to move a force of more than a dozen or so men, they are subject to detection and destruction. Even if they split up into small groups, these are detected, and intelligence troops have computer software that can see through the Taliban tactics. While the drug gangs are more inclined to bribe government officials to get what they want (no interference), the Taliban want control, and they are having a hard time coming up with a winning plan.
Bush Frees Up Military Airspace For Thanksgiving -- [WAPO]
President Bush yesterday announced measures intended to curb airline delays during the Thanksgiving travel frenzy, including freeing up military airspace for commercial use.
Iranian Stealthy Spying Ships -- [Strategy Page]
November 15, 2007: Kuwaiti police have discovered that some Iranian commercial ships were equipped to eavesdrop on civil and military communications while docked in Kuwait. The scheme was quite clever, in that the Iranian cargo and fishing boats, which have long called at Kuwaiti ports, were modified for the spy work so that you could not see any differences on the outside of the boats. The Iranian ships appeared to have the usual radio and radar antennas of coastal shipping. But on closer examination, one found a lot of additional gear. There were a number of these electronic monitoring boats, as they needed to move in and out of Kuwaiti ports, actually delivering and picking up cargo, to avoid detection. When a spy ship had to leave, it would radio for its "replacement" to come in and keep up the monitoring. Iran denies everything, and some Kuwaiti officials have also denied the allegations.
New From The MEMRI Islamist Websites Monitor Project Website: A Call to Assassinate U.S. President George Bush -- [MEMRI Blog]
On November 15, 2007, the Islamist website http://www.alhesbah.net/v (hosted by NOC4, Inc., in Tampa, Florida, USA) posted a message by a contributor calling himself Abu Osama Al-Hazin, titled "This Saturday, Bush Will Be in Riyadh; Lions of the Peninsula, [Get Ready] to Cut Off His Head." It should be noted that an OPEC summit is slated to take place in Riyadh on Saturday, November 17, 2007, but there have been no reports that Bush intends to attend.
Afghanistan: Bin Laden hiding in border mountains, claims ex-Taliban militant -- [AKI]
Swat Valley, 15 Nov. (AKI) - Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was hiding in the remote mountains on the Afghani-Pakistani border and moving constantly to avoid detection by intelligence agencies, according to a Taliban sympathiser.
Ahmad Farooq, a Pakistani Pashtun has told the Italian daily, Corriere della Sera, that bin Laden had been moving from village to village in the area from Chitral to the "corridor of Waqan", the mountainous Hindu Kush region of Pakistan bordering Tajikstan and China.
It is a rare account of bin Laden's life since he masterminded the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. But it is impossible to verify the accuracy of the account.
Farooq told the Italian daily's magazine, that bin Laden was surrounded by about 20 armed men and he moved whenever he felt particularly threatened.
Decent Americans owe it to our troops to loudly say "Stop it!"... -- [wrenncom.com]
...to Mark Cubin, Brian De Palma, and the rest of the Hollywood Left for endangering our military personnel with anti-troops propaganda such as the movie "Redacted."
Go here if you haven't already done so, but before you do, read this. Then send it to everyone you know. Everyone saying he/she supports our troops should do so-- including sending it to everyone who sincerely, but not fanatically, opposes our troops' missions in Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere.
Boy Scouts Accused of Being Too Pro-War -- [Stop ACLU]
In a nutshell, a troop of Boy Scouts tried to raise money for the the U.S. troops. Some moonbat cried that the message was too pro-war and so the city removed the donation boxes. Talk about appeasing the appeasers. Outrageous!
Appreciate Freedom? Support Any Soldier, Inc. -- [Miss Ladybug]
One of my hobbies is counted cross-stitch. Another of my hobbies is supporting the troops by sending them mail (cards & letters, and care packages when I'm able). At the moment, I've got more time than money, so I thought I would take one of my hobbies to help give back to Any Soldier, Inc., an organization that helps me with another of my hobbies.
...Marty now has it up for raffle at AnySoldier.com. This isn't the only item up for raffle at the moment, but it's the one I'm promoting. If you love it as much as I do, please go purchase as many $5 raffle tickets as you can afford. This round of the Any Soldier raffles ends December 1st.
HOLIDAY PACKAGES FOR THE TROOPS -- [Some Soldier's Mom]
To hell with that idiot woman in Massachusetts.... my sitemeter is filled with people looking for ideas of things to send the troops. I know I'm running late on this post this year -- SO GET GOING!!
First, I suggest that you make this a family project -- nothing better than to explain the sacrifices of the military to your children.
Sears - Christmas shopping has already started -- [JR4OT Blog]
Sears is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining all benefits, including medical insurance and bonus programs, for all called up reservist employees for up to two years.
I submit that Sears is an exemplary corporate citizen and should be recognized for its contribution. I suggest we all shop at Sears, and be sure to find a manager to tell them why we are there so the company gets the positive reinforcement it well deserves.
Awesome Pro-Troop News: Sacramento Honoring Heroes Rally
On Tuesday, November 13th, Move America Forward (website: http://www.MoveAmericaForward.org ) hosted the first event in what will be a 40-city cross country pro-troop tour to rally the American public to support our troops and their missions.
Along the way we're asking the public (including you) to help us collect and send over 100,000 Christmas, Hanukkah and holiday cards to our troops. The media coverage we got from our first event was outstanding - some of the best reporting you'll see about our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Davison school kids welcome home their hero -- [The Flint Journal]
"I wouldn't mind going back at all," said the 2005 Davison High School graduate. Bundy, who is home on leave until Nov. 25, left Iraq on Oct. 31 after a stint as crew chief for an amphibious armored assault vehicle in Anbar Province. He said the work was tough but fulfilling, and he's optimistic he contributed to making the future brighter for a nation beset by violent religious strife and warfare.
"I honestly think it will work out. I definitely think it will turn around," said Bundy, 21, who was promoted to corporal the day after he returned to his home base, Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
Troops from 303rd get late-night welcome home to Jackson -- [Jackson Citizen Patriot]
Hundreds of people gathered at Jackson's Army Reserve Center Wednesday night to welcome home the locally based 303rd Military Police Company from Iraq.
Despite the late hour -- the buses rolled in about 11:30 p.m. -- and chilly weather, the soldiers had a boisterous homecoming.
Troops Come Home To Warm Welcome -- [Rockbrige Weekly]
After 18 months in Kosovo, 88 troops of Bravo Company 1/116th Infantry returned home to the Lexington Armory under a police escort the morning of November 9th. The troops boarded buses at Fort Dix, New Jersey in the early hours of the morning and arrive at the Armory about 9:30 a.m.
Cheap Army Chopper Draws Heavy Fire -- [ABC Blotter]
The secretary of the Army and the Army's top general are being questioned today about why the Army spent billions on a new helicopter that was purchased for homeland defense and disaster relief but cannot be used to fight forest fires, and that was found to be "not operationally suitable," according to an internal Pentagon report obtained by ABC News.
The $2.6 billion contract for 322 Lakota Light Utility Helicopters is drawing fire after three glaring flaws were discovered in field tests this summer. According to the Army's "Operational Test and Evaluation Report," the chopper was found to be "not operationally effective for MEDEVAC missions," "not effective for use in hot environments" and did not meet required lift capacity.
Another official U.S. Army document, obtained by the Blotter on ABCNews.com, says the Lakota helicopter was chosen "because the price was more important" than the technical requirements.
Too Good To Lose -- [Strategy Page]
November 16, 2007: In some units of the United States National Guard, soldiers who're interested in switching to the Active Army, are finding their paperwork going astray. Apparently Guard units would like to discourage seasoned personnel from leaving for the regulars. Some Guardsmen who are interested in joining the Active Army have, however, found a work-around; by checking in with their local Army recruiter they can initiate the transfer from the Army's side. That cannot be blocked by the National Guard brass.
All politics is war, and all war is politics. -- [John of Argghhh!]
"I … strongly urged the Congress to pass a global war on terror funding bill that the President would sign. With the passage of the Defense Appropriations Act, there is a misperception that this department can continue funding our troops in the field for an indefinite period of time through accounting maneuvers, that we can shuffle money around the department. This is a serious misconception. … I make these comments solely as the person charged by the President and the Congress with administering the Department of Defense. The high degree of [uncertainty] on funding for the war is immensely complicating this task and will have many real consequences for this department and for our men and women in uniform."
The Congress to American business: Do not help America in time of war -- [Tigerhawk]
The result is that dozens of lawsuits against those companies alleging that the telecoms damaged plaintiffs can proceed. Democrats blocked immunity because they believe that evidence to be adduced on the order of judges will reveal more details about our surveillance practices and, presumably, inflame new controversy that they can turn to partisan advantage.
Satisfying as this interim victory may be for Democrats and the media, there is a real chance that it will lead to no end of problems for the United States. Executives and directors of public companies are fiduciaries, and will no longer be able to help the United States government in time of war without a clear and enforceable indemnity that has been publicly acknowledged ex ante so that it cannot be taken away after the fact. While that would, presumably, be available for overt transactions, it effectively shuts off companies from assisting the government in covert work that might create a cause of action in American courts.
Democrats Ignore Progress in Iraq -- [Newsmax]
It has been said that there are none so blind as those who will not see. The quote is attributed by some to Jesus (Matthew 13:13): “Therefore I speak to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.”
MTV's Kurt Loder: Baghdad Diarist a "Total Fraud" -- [Weekly Standard]
Just posted at Reason magazine's new reason.tv is a segment with Kurt Loder, who was once the editor of Rolling Stone and has been a news anchor at MTV for as long as I can remember. He is also a veteran of the Army. In the course of a discussion with Reason editor Nick Gillespie on "technology and freedom," Loder brings up the New Republic's Baghdad Diarist:
Anbar, Buffoons and the Daily Kos -- [The Captain’s Journal]
...Far from “really doing a job” on American forces, the Jaish al Mahdi have run from every engagement with U.S. forces. But in breaking down the success in Iraq, Friedman makes a fatal and irrecoverable error and thus completely misses the point of the strategy. The so-called surge of forces went into effect in order to continue and enhance a strategy that was already in place in the Anbar province, i.e., expand this strategy in space and time to the balance of Iraq. Anbar was won without the surge. Let’s put it another way. The surge didn’t win Anbar. The strategy in Anbar was proof of principle for the specific focus and strategy, and thus caused the surge. Friedman and the Daily Kos have gotten it exactly backwards.
DailyKos Smeared Again On Hannity & Colmes
Karl Rove Joins Newsweek -- [NewsBusters]
When Newsweek announced Tuesday that it was hiring Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos to be a contributor during the 2008 presidential campaign, Kos told his readers, "Newsweek is ‘balancing' me out with someone that should make heads on our side explode."
As reported by the Washington Post moments ago, Moulitsas was quite prescient:
Newsweek has signed the president's former deputy chief of staff [Karl Rove] as a commentator who will turn out several columns on the 2008 campaign through inauguration day.
NBC Catches Up With ABC to Highlight Safer, Better Life in Iraq -- [NewsBusters]
Three weeks after ABC's World News aired the first of three stories then and since about significant declines in violence and improving living conditions in Iraq, NBC Nightly News caught up Wednesday night as anchor Brian Williams acknowledged: “We are all hearing more and more these days about a significant drop in violence and deaths in Iraq, even though 2007 some time ago became the bloodiest year of the war, yet for U.S. forces these new stats show a different trend.”
From Iraq, reporter Tom Aspell illustrated how life has improved
Talk About Planted Questions!! -- [Riehl Worldview]
Update: How fitting. CNN pulls out someone not to simply ask a question about Iran, but with absolute moral authority given her son's service. And just as we learn that the IAEA has confirmed Iran's having installed 3,000 centrifuges. CNN works to undermine our ability to respond just as it may become critical. Great, just great! Thanks, CNN. CNN rolled out a Catherine Jackson to ask a question about Iran given that her son served three tours in Iraq.
Now when have I heard that before? How about in May. Thank you Harry Reid.
Bush Raises Airport Crowding Threat Level to Orange -- [ScrappleFace]
President George Bush, acting on intercepted cell phone and email chatter repeatedly using the cryptic phrase “big plans for the holidays,” today raised the homeland airport crowding threat level to ‘Orange’, and ordered the Federal Aviation Administration to take preemptive action to head off “potentially devastating inconveniences” to U.S. air passengers.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
Inside the Surge -- [Healing Iraq - Iraqi in Iraq]
I asked Zaidan what sort of deal had led to the Sunni Awakening. “It’s not a deal,” he said, bristling. “People have come to realize that our fate is tied to the Americans’, and theirs to ours. If they are successful in Iraq, it will depend on Anbar. We always said this. Time was lost. America was lost, but now it’s woken up; it now holds a thread in its hand. For the first time, they’re doing something right.”
Zaidan said that Anbar’s Sunni tribes no longer had any need to exact blood vengeance on U.S. forces. “We’ve already taken our revenge,” he said. “We’re the ones who’ve made them crawl on their stomachs, and now we’re the ones to pick them up.” He added, “Once Anbar is settled, we must take control of Baghdad, and we will.” There would have to be a lot more fighting before the capital was taken back from the Shiites, he said. “The Anbaris will take charge of the purge. What the whole world failed to do in Anbar, we have done overnight. Baghdad will be a lot easier.”
Sunni Warlords Reconsider -- [Strategy Page]
November 14, 2007: The centuries old battle between Sunni and Shia Moslems in Iraq has just shifted gears. Sunni Arab groups that have been fighting since 2003 to regain power, have renounced their 2004 alliance with al Qaeda and sought to eliminate al Qaeda militias in their territory. What is unclear, both to foreigners and the Shia dominated government of Iraq, is what the Sunni Arab warlords will do next.
Last days in Mosul
CNN rides with soldiers of the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment on one of their last missions in Mosul, Iraq.
November 13, 2007
Baath Holds The White Flag -- [Iraq the Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
The formation of a so called political council for Iraqi resistance was met by different reactions from the public and the politicians who are now divided into proponents and opponents. Whereas the Accord Front called for mediation between the council and the government some parties in the UIA see that the council cannot be negotiated with and declared it a continuation of the former regime
GOP finds solid ground on Iraq war -- [The Politico]
For the first time since losing control of Congress in 2006, Republicans are back on offense in the political struggle over the Iraq war, as Democratic plans to force a change in strategy by President Bush through peeling away his GOP support continue to yield few results.
Republicans are increasingly buoyed by perceived divisions among Democrats, seeming signs of progress on the ground in Iraq and the fact that the first brigade of U.S. troops started coming home Tuesday.
Unit Blasts 'Desperate' AQI Element
Footage of U.S. helicopters engaging two buildings and a tower from which an insurgent force was firing.
Iraq: Positive Signs -- [Stratfor]
The latest reports concerning the war in Iraq suggest the situation is looking up for the United States. First, U.S. military and Iraqi civilian casualties continue to fall. Second, there are confirmed reports that Sunni insurgents controlled by local leaders have turned on al Qaeda militants, particularly those from outside the country. Third, the head of U.S. Central Command, in an interview with the Financial Times, implied that an attack against Iran is a distant possibility.
Are We Winning in Iraq? -- [Time]
The reduction of violence is real. The defeat of Al Qaeda in Iraq--sneezed at by some antiwar commentators--is nothing to sneeze at. The bottom-up efforts to reconcile Sunnis and Shi'ites across the scarred Anbar/Karbala provincial border, which I wrote about a few weeks ago, quite possibly reflect an Iraqi exhaustion with violence that has to be taken seriously as well. There is no question that the performance of the US military has improved markedly under the smarter, more flexible and creative leadership provided this year by General Petraeus. And the withdrawal of U.S. troops is beginning. The refusal of the antiwar movement--or some sections of it--to recognize these developments isn't helping its credibility.
Winning the Iraq War? -- [Outside the Beltway]
David Sands and Sharon Behn join a growing chorus asking, “Are we winning the war?”
While stopping short of declaring victory, they cite “a growing number of indicators that the fighting has taken a new, more hopeful turn.” Most of them are familiar: lower casualties among American troops and Iraqi civilians, fewer mortar attacks, and the like. Those things tend to be cyclical and could be construed negatively as well — for example, as evidence that ethnic cleansing has done its dirty job or that we’ve given up fighting in certain territories. This, however, is good news:
Footage of the largest Naturalization Ceremony in Iraq. Scenes include service members observing the speeches and walking up to receive their certificate. Also see "Troops Become Citizens" in the package section and "Spc. Madut" and "Secretary of Homeland Security Chertoff" in the interview section.
Turkish Special Forces Attack PKK Inside Iraq -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Just over a week after President Bush promised Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan aid in fighting PKK, Turkish special forces attacked across the border into Iraq. The limited action, apparently consisting of helicopter gunship raids on two villages, is a clear sign of more cross-border activity to come, as the army basically promised last week after the meeting. Reports after last week's meeting indicated that the U.S. would provide detailed intelligence which would enable the Turkish military to hit specific PKK targets, and Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki publicly signaled his government's support for Turkish incursions. "The prime minister renewed the willingness of the Iraqi government to take steps to isolate the terrorist PKK, prevent any help reaching its members, chase and arrest them, and put them in front of the Iraqi judiciary because of their terrorist activities."
Operation Iron Hammer targets al Qaeda in Iraq’s north -- [LWJ]
Multinational Forces Iraq and the Iraqi Security Forces maintain pressure on al Qaeda’s network in the northern provinces, where violence has increased. Over 200 insurgents have been detained in latest sweep.
Targeting al Qaeda in Iraq's Network -- [Weekly Standard - Roggio]
U.S. and Iraqi Security Forces are maintaining the pressure on al Qaeda in Iraq's network nationwide and October netted the highest number of senior terror leaders since the surge went into full effect in June. While Coalition forces have degraded al Qaeda's network inside Baghdad and in the Belts, the terror group is attempting to regroup in the north and east.
The daily raids conduct by Task Force 88, the hunter-killer teams assigned to dismantle al Qaeda's network in Iraq, have resulted in significant losses for the terror network. Forty-five senior al Qaeda in Iraq operatives were killed or captured during the month of October, said Colonel Donald Bacon, the Chief of Strategy and Plans, Strategic Communications at Multinational Forces Iraq, in an interview on November 13. Among those captured or killed include: ...
Aid and comfort -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
U.S. Army Capt. Edmond Hardy of 1st Armored Division, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, 4th Squadron, Outlaw Troop commander holds a local child and her new toy monkey while giving orders during an aide mission in the Al Doreen neighborhood of Iraq, Oct. 14. Outlaw Troop handed out blankets, toys and kerosene heaters in preparation for the winter months. Photo Spc. Larayne Hurd.
Scouting In Baghdad? Who’d Have Thought…-- [A Soldier’s Mind]
One thing that’s a normal part of growing up in the United States is Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Many of us probably participated in these organizations when we were younger and our children may have as well. In Iraq, that’s been quite a different story. Thanks to coalition volunteers though, that’s quickly changing.
SADDAM FAKED HAVING WMD ARSENAL TO TRICK IRAN -- [NY Daily News]
..."What better way to do that than have the Americans think he had WMDs?" Kessler told me last week. If true, that was as big a miscalculation by Saddam as the decision by the U.S. to invade Iraq. It's also worth asking why the Bush White House and U.S. intelligence community never seriously considered that scenario to explain his actions.
The book reveals that Saddam had little affection or trust for his two maniac sons Uday and Qusay, who were slain in a firefight with American troops. When an FBI agent pressed him about his relationship with them, Saddam snapped back: "Leave me alone. You don't get to pick your kids. You're stuck with what you're given."
Saddam Admits Bluffing on WMD
Are you ready for some (Iraqi) football? -- [Fightin 6th Marines]
Cpl. Bryce Muhlenberg is our correspondent with 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, out in Habbaniyah, around 14 km west of Fallujah, straddling the highway that runs between Ramadi and here. He recently watched some of the first league-play football (soccer for us Americans) to take place in years there. It may be difficult to comprehend exactly how important football is in the lives of folks here, but it is more than just sport to Iraqis.
Doors of learning reopen at Baghdad University -- [Yahoo]
BAGHDAD, (AFP) - One month into the new academic year and education at the sprawling University of Baghdad is as near to normal as it has been for years -- the grisly killings of two professors and two students aside.
Educators at the tree-lined, garden-sprinkled campus on the banks of the Tigris River are upbeat that 2007-2008 will restore the university's reputation for excellence that it has enjoyed since it was established 50 years ago
Awakening in the Balance of Iraq: Insurgents Turned Constable -- [The Captain’s Journal]
...But settle we are, whether the Sunnis like their new station (deposed along with Saddam) or not. The future is uncertain. If this approach is successful, a paradox presents itself to senior leadership, this paradox being unrelated to Iraq, per se. We will continue to send Marines to Mohave Viper to train prior to deployment, yet it appears that their mission will be one primarily of neighborhood diplomacy and constabulary operations, perhaps to the detriment of morale among at least some of the troops
Kochis HA Drop -- [6 Months In Kabul - in Afghanistan]
Today we accomplished a lot. I will only comment on part of the day because I don't want to discuss ongoing projects for security reasons. I asked the interpreters to hand out the gifts that people sent from back home. I did not go with them for security reasons. The interpreters were able to film the whole thing so fortunately I was able to view it.
Humanitarian Aid in Kabul
Footage of aid given to Afghan's in Kabul. Scenes include footage of the surrounding mountains, Soldiers working with local children, giving aid with the Afghan army and interviews.
RISE OF THE NEO-TALIBAN, Part 2 -- [Asia Times]
While I was waiting in a village mud mosque, several motorbikes emerged from the evening darkness along a dirt track.
Four strongly built men stopped in front of me and alighted, their
faces flushed from their ride. They each gave me a hug, and their traditional Punjabi greeting was music to my ears after listening to a lot of Pushtu.
I asked the obvious question: "Are you Punjabi?" The concern on their faces was immediately noticeable. "No! We belong to this land and like many Afghans we were settled in Punjab [in Pakistan] and therefore learnt Punjabi and forgot Pashtu, but now we are back in our land and have learnt our language again," one of the men explained.
Pushing Beyond -- [1romad - in Afghanistan]
A few days ago I went up a mountain, and then came back down.
It's strange how a simple sentence can say so much and so little at the same time.
In reality I climbed about 2000 feet in elevation and covered at least two klicks (as the crow flies, definitely not as the goat climbs) in 2 hours and 20 minutes with my full combat loadout plus a ruck filled with day and night gear and stopped (so I wouldn't pass out) for less than 5 minutes two or three times.
Now that sentence comes closer, but still does not convey the agony. After the first thirty minutes I thought I had reached my limit. Everything after the first thirty minutes came from some deep reserve that we rarely tap.
Freeing feeling -- [Yellowhammering Afghanistan - in Afghanistan]
...After a morning spent tediously inventorying weapons by serial number at the ANP provincial headquarters in downtown Ghazni, we paused for lunch.
An ANP general insisted we join him at a nearby restaurant. So, the three of us hopped into his SUV sans body armor and helmets and rolled over to the restaurant, which was on the second floor of a commercial building.
Once at the restaurant, the prudent thing to do would be to find a secluded corner and try not to draw attention to ourselves. Instead, we chose to eat out on the balcony for all of Ghazni to see.
New medical facility opens in Ghazni Province -- [ISAF News Release]
“The emergency room facility took about three months to build,” said Navy Lt. Jeff Ammon, Ghazni PRT project payment officer and engineer. “The project, which costs about $35,000, was a very cost effective building that has quality workmanship.”
The opening ceremony also commemorated the donation provided by the Ghazni PRT of more than 84 types of critical equipment and supplies, which is worth more than $150,000.
ISAF gives seven villages in Baghlan pure water -- [ISAF News Release]
8 Nov. - Hungarian Provincial Reconstruction Team and ISAF Regional Command North bring pure drinking water.
Troops should stay in Kandahar past 2009 deadline, Clinton tells summit -- [EIN News]
... calls Taliban a major problem NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont.–Canadian troops should stay in Afghanistan past the current 2009 deadline despite the ... successor, George W. Bush, for concentrating U.S. military efforts on neighbouring Iraq. "The U.S. has ...
Another Pro-American Leader Wins Re-Election in Denmark -- [Gateway Pundit]
Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a staunch supporter of President Bush and the War on Terror led his party to a big win in Denmark today.
Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen enters a celebration held in his honor Tuesday Nov. 13, 2007 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Fogh Rasmussen declared victory in Tuesday's election after near-complete results showed his center-right government defeated the left-wing opposition. (AP Photo/John McConnico)
Rumor: Zawahiri Places Bin Laden Under 'House Arrest' -- [Jawa Report]
I can't find the original at Islammemo, but here's the post about it over at al Jazeera Talk. The other jihadis, two of them using the flag for the Islamic State of Iraq--an al Qaeda 'umbrella' organization--for an avatar, aren't too happy about the suggestion that al Qaeda's #2 has placed al Qaeda's #1 under 'house arrest'.
Meanwhile, In The Nooks and Crannies -- [Strategy Page]
November 14, 2007: The war on terror is being fought in lots of places you never hear about. There have been lots of victories. But since success does not attract as much attention as failure, you rarely hear about the wins. There have been a lot of them.
Al Qaeda has been trying to establish itself in northern Nigeria, where most of the people are Moslem. Sharia (Islamic) law has been established in some parts of the north. This was done to deal with the rampant corruption, but has not worked. Mainly it has inflamed the already testy relations between Moslems and Christians.
Video Games: Crucial Front in the War of Ideas -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Today's New York Sun has an op-ed I co-authored with my boss, University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies director, V.S. Subrahmanian on incorporating video games into the war of ideas against Islamist extremism.
Don't Discount the Mall -- [ThreatsWatch]
Live Your Life; Maintain Your Vigilance
The FBI recently reported an “unsubstantiated” terrorist threat to shopping malls in the US. The report was quickly challenged by terrorism experts of various stripes as very un-al-Qaeda and unlikely to occur. As the conventional wisdom holds: al-Qaeda doesn’t do malls, it does monuments. We might challenge the wisdom of the conventional. Consider that just a few weeks ago suspected similarly inspired terrorists detonated a bomb at the Glorietta mall in the Philippines, killing eight and wounding almost 100. This...
America Supports You: Ceremony Recognizes Extraordinary Troop Support -- [Defense Link]
NEW YORK, Nov. 13, 2007 – Americans who offer extraordinary support to the nation’s servicemembers got the red-carpet treatment yesterday during a luncheon held in their honor at the famous Rainbow Room restaurant here.
...The winners are:
-- Outstanding Effort Award: Soldiers’ Angels. Patti Patton-Bader started the organization when she discovered her son, who was serving in Iraq, was giving the care packages she was sending to troops who weren’t getting any mail. Since its beginning, the group has grown to include more than 100,000 volunteers who regularly send care packages to servicemembers as well as other programs that benefit military families.
Help Veterans Continue Their Education -- [IAVA]
Eight million veterans got their education thanks to the World War II GI Bill, which covered tuition, fees, and books, and gave veterans a living stipend while they were in school. A 1988 Congressional study proved that every dollar spent on educational benefits under the original GI Bill added seven dollars to the national economy in terms of productivity, consumer spending and tax revenue.
All Military Components Meet, Exceed Recruiting Goals -- [Stop the ACLU]
The first month of fiscal 2008 was a success for all active and reserve military components.
In a meeting with Pentagon reporters today, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said all components met or exceeded their recruiting goals for October.
On the active-duty side, the Army made 101 percent of its goal of 4,500, with 4,564 recruits. The Navy made 100 percent of its goal of 2,788 recruits. The Marine Corps made 102 percent of its goal of 2,720, with 2,788 enlisting. The Air Force made 100 percent of its goal of 2,656.
Providing A Chance For Soldiers To Tell Their Stories -- [A Soldier’s Mind]
For those of us who have family members who have served in the military, how much do we really know about their service? For instance, my grandfather served in World War I in France and was exposed to Mustard Gas. That’s about all I know of his military service. According to my dad, my grandfather never talked much about his experiences during the War and it’s too late to ask him, because he passed away when I was 6 years old. The Army Historical Foundation, however, is making possible for family members and the public to learn about a Soldier’s tour in the Army, through a new program their launching.
Suicidal GIs -- [Jules Crittenden]
And when you think about it, an increase of only 1 to 3 suicides per 100,000 is pretty remarkable, when we’re talking about people who are considerably more likely to have seen friends die, to have narrowly avoided death, to have expected to die, and to have killed people than the other 100,000 Americans they are being compared to. In addition to being separated from loved ones and living in stressful circutmstances for long periods of time.
Yes, war is stressful. Yes, war can make you crazy and suicidal. We’re aware of that and have seen the many news reports. Apparently, it’s a lot like real life that way.
Soldier returns home to surprise celebration -- [Port Clinton News Herald]
PORT CLINTON --U.S. Army Sgt. Travis McCleary might have expected a few friends and family members for his homecoming.
He did not expect two police cars, three fire trucks, an ambulance and a handful of other vehicles to escort his girlfriend's car from Ohio 2 to Perry Street, then Madison and Second Street Wednesday evening.
He did not expect nearly three dozen people, including the mayor, safety-service director and a Wolf Scout pack braving chilly temperatures to welcome him home.
A homemade banner reading "Welcome Home Travis" hung from the front wall of 222 Second St., where his girlfriend, Sarah Schoen, lives.
Reid Playing Hardball? -- [Weekly Standard]
The AP reports:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that Democrats won't approve more money for the Iraq war this year unless President Bush agrees to begin bringing troops home.
Good Grief, Here We Go Again -- [The Daily Brief]
According to this story, this lot of blue-nosed busy-bodies is having another go at banning mags like Penthouse and Playboy from being sold in military PXs and bookstores on base. God save us, and as a small “f” feminist and mother I object to acres of objectified flesh on display next to the Air Force Times and “Family Circle” as much as any other woman with taste.
But hey, to each their own. I am fully cognizant of the fact that the military is largely made up of men. Most of them are young men, supposedly straight, and historically with an abiding interest in the female form – either in the flesh or pictorially. This is just one of those facts of life that one has to accept, as tacky as the morally over-fastidious may find it.
Newsweek Welcomes Kos as Political Contributor -- [Gateway Pundit]
Newsweek picks up Kos.
Above: A scene from Fallujah, Iraq. (charred bodies hanging from bridge)
Newsweek announced that it is adding Markos "Screw Them" Moulitsas to its staff. Daily Kos reported:
MARKOS MOULITSAS, FOUNDER AND PUBLISHER OF DAILYKOS.COM,
TO BECOME NEWSWEEK CONTRIBUTOR FOR 2008 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
New York -- Markos Moulitsas, the founder and publisher of dailykos.com, will become a Newsweek contributor for the 2008 presidential campaign, offering occasional opinion pieces to the pages of the magazine and to Newsweek.com.
The Next Abu Ghraib Abuse Scandal: Laughing -- [Jawa Report]
If you read David Smith's embed journal today over at The Guardian, you really have to wonder if this guy is a moron or just a complete tool. In it he recounts how a patrol in Baghdad picks up some young men as potential terrorists. The young men are bound and blindfolded.
Why is Smith an asshat of an embed? Because he emphasizes over and over just how scary it must be to be one of the suspects, and the tone of the piece is that the "barely out of their teens" suspects are probably not guilty of anything.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
Is Iraq getting better? -- [BBC]
Is Iraq getting better? The statistics say so, across the board.
Over the past three months, there has been a sharp and sustained drop in all forms of violence. The figures for dead and wounded, military and civilian, have also greatly improved.
A Different Veteran's Day Post -- [Badgers Forward - in Iraq]
The Badgers Forward Veterans Day post though is dedicated to the Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Not only were you ready, willing and able to deploy and serve, you have tangible results to show for your sacrifice and efforts.
These charts are both sobering and encouraging; sobering of course because we are talking about real people, encouraging though because they indicate real progress thanks to the veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
...So while I salute all veterans, a special salute to my fellow veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom. You have made a tangible difference in the lives of the Iraqi people and your fellow Americans by not allowing this nation to go over to the camp of extremism. ...
It's A Motherfusser
Shiite, Sunni and U.S. forces cooperating -- [Stars and Stripes]
Group working to eradicate attacks south of Baghdad
U.S. soldiers are hoping the Shiite leaders can follow the Sunni Sheik Nori’s example: In Nori’s area, 362 “concerned citizens” are working side-by-side with a mainly Shiite Iraqi national police.
“Four months ago, they were fighting each other,” said Capt. Richard Thompson, commander of Company B, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade
Sunni, Shia Sheiks Present United Front Against al-Qaeda -- [MNF-I]
The conference was called by a highly influential leader, Abu Maruf, with less than 24-hours notice, to make a public declaration of unity amongst the tribes against al-Qaeda and to map the way ahead for their region.
“We were notified of the meeting at about 8 p.m. the night before,” said Lt. Col. Brian Coppersmith, commander of War Rakkasans, 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). “We weren’t sure why the conference was being called on such short notice. We have learned that things move fast when they are this good.”
Iraqi leaders thank Vt. soldiers for support -- [Rutland Herald Online] HT: INDC Journal
NORTHFIELD — An eight-member delegation of high-ranking Iraqi officials began to chuckle as they toured the Norwich University museum Thursday.
The source of their amusement, a giant Baghdad road sign bearing the oversized image of former president Saddam Hussein, had been procured by a contingent of Vermont National Guardsmen during a tour of duty in Iraq.
"It says 'Saddam Hussein: Great leader, great people,'" one of the Iraqis said of the Arabic caption. "He is not a great leader, but they are great people."
In an unlikely Vermont appearance by the Sunni leaders of Al Anbar province Thursday, the moment reflected their unflagging support for the United States' war in Iraq.
"Thank you for all your assistance to your friends in Iraq," Rafe Al-Essawi, former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, told Vermont soldiers through an interpreter.
Afraid of a Slowly Improving Iraq -- [IraqPundit]
At the risk of scaring some people, the British Observer newspaper reports that students are returning to class in Baghdad:
"It begins and ends with the children. They stayed away from the al- Gazaly school in southern Baghdad when the streets were murderous - their parents moved out and their PE teacher was shot dead during the mundane act of having a haircut. Now, one by one, cautiously, determinedly, noisily, they are returning to their desks, bringing the school back from the brink. Their hopeful faces reflect, perhaps, the new and fragile optimism dawning in Iraq."
Embedded with the 101st Airborne, Checkpoint
The Voice Of God -- [Iraq: The Purgatorium]
"Wake up, CO needs one vehicle crew to be ready to roll in 20 minutes."
I look at the clock on my computer. The math doesn't add up, because wakeup was supposed to be 0630, but it was clearly two in the morning. No, something about this doesn't add up at all.
I put my uniform on in a stupor, wondering what the hell the deal was. Today's mission was supposed to be another routine borefest, but not in the small hours of the morning.
Al Qaeda, Islamic Army of Iraq battle near Samarra -- [LWJ]
...Abu Ibrahim, an Islamic Army commander in the region, told the Associated Press that he informed the Iraqi Police in the region that his fighters intended to attack al Qaeda. Ibrahim requested US forces stay out of the fight, as the insurgent groups could not be distinguished by uniform.
"We found out that al-Qaida intended to attack us, so we ambushed them at 3 p.m. on Friday," Abu Ibrahim told the AP. The battle raged for over four hours.
Losing everything -- [Yellowhammering Afghanistan]
What if you lost everything? Your home? Your possessions? Everything except the clothes on your back?
Afghan refugee women.Now, what if you lost everything in a country as poor as Afghanistan without the resources and wealth of organizations capable of lending a helping hand?
This question smacked us in the face this week when we were lead to a Refugee camp near downtown Ghazni.
They were from a village in a nearby province that the Taliban destroyed because a couple of the men who lived there worked for Coalition soldiers at a nearby Forward Operating Base.
Passing along generosity -- [Yellowhammering Afghanistan]
We didn't leave the refugees after our initial visit without a good-faith showing that we are indeed willing to help.
I had boxes of goodie bags with snacks, juice, pencils and paper for the children. We had candy, Beanie Babies and other toys.
The Afghan National Police gave it all away, many of them not able to contain their smiles as they did so.
I also saw smiles among the refugees. I saw hope as well.
New Report from NEFA Foundation - "A Taliban Resurgence: The Destabilization of Kabul?" -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
An exclusive new report is available for download from the NEFA Foundation website by NEFA Senior Investigator Claudio Franco, titled "A Taliban Resurgence: The Destabilization of Kabul?" Although the defeat of the Taliban regime in 2001 seemed complete and virtually effortless, the initial optimism has long since given way to a security situation which is once again seriously deteriorating. Over the past few years, the Taliban has introduced the sinister tactic of suicide bombing to Afghanistan, and maintains its alliance with international terrorists. The movement of Koranic students that the U.S. bombed out of power has undergone a metamorphosis. In his report, Mr. Franco examines the resurgent
Dirty Fog -- [6 Months in Kabul - in Afghansitan]
The air in Kabul was so thick with pollution this morning that you needed to use a fork and a knife just breath it. The air had the appearance of dirty fog. The problem with the air in Kabul stems from the fact that the city is surrounded by large mountains so the pollution is essentially trapped inside and can not easily ventilate itself. There are also a number of other causes which exacerbate the pollution, such as, cars that burn diesel fuel, people burning wood in furnaces to heat their homes, and, worst of all, everywhere you look they are burning tires.
Driving in Kabul is definitely an experience, especially when you are driving a Humvee.
A Dangerous Transfer of Wealth -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The Washington Post had a provocative article on the massive redistribution of oil wealth the new, record prices for oil, is causing.
The reality of shifting resources from one section of the world to another is not unusual, although this shift is the largest in history. Nor is it necessarily a bad thing for new countries to experience the bounty of controlling a vital natural resource. But what is disturbing about it is that it is mostly benefiting countries that wish to do us harm.
Al-Qaeda Arrests in Nigeria -- [The Tank - J. Peter Pham]
The BBC reports that Nigerian security services have arrested men in three northern states with links to al-Qaeda and a local group of Islamist militants, the Muhajirun, more popularly known as the "Nigerian Taliban." The men were found with fertilizer and explosive-making devices. Although many have been skeptical of the presence of groups in Nigeria with links to transnational terrorist networks, back in February, in a column for World Defense Review on "The Return of the 'Nigerian Taliban,'" I warned of precisely this danger and singled out Kano and Yobe, two of the three states where today's arrest took place (the third state is Kaduna), as centers of activity
Russian and Chinese Spies Aid Terrorists -- [Strategy Page]
November 11, 2007: The increasing use of industrial espionage by Russia and China is hurting counter-terrorism efforts in the West. Increasingly, these two countries are being caught engages in major spying efforts in Europe, Japan and North America, there is tremendous pressure to divert resources from counter-terror work to deal with it. The increased spying has also hurt the exchange of terrorist related intelligence with Russia and China. Britain has cut off all cooperation for the moment, mainly because of an expatriate Russian who was believed murdered by Russian agents.
Web sites ready for al Qaeda 'morons' -- [Washington Times]
A planned cyber-attack by al Qaeda supporters against Internet sites today has its intended targets in the U.S. on guard.
Robert Spencer, whose Web site Jihad Watch is a lightning rod for criticism from Islamist groups, said he is consulting with his technical advisers to ensure his page is inoculated from intrusion.
Rescue operation aims to save a wounded warrior [LA Times]
Despite concerns of overstepping, Times photographer Luis Sinco feels compelled to help the Iraq vet he made famous.
James Blake Miller was in a world of pain, and I figured I should be by his side.
A veterans' treatment program in West Haven, Conn. -- arguably the best in the nation -- offered hope. Moe Armstrong, a pioneer in vet-to-vet counseling, had heard of the Marlboro Marine's troubles and sent him feelers about coming for a visit. Despite my reservations about getting too involved, I had flown from Los Angeles to Kentucky to help Miller grab this lifeline. I coaxed him into my rental car and we headed north.
A Marathon: The Wounded Warrior Program -- [Bill and Bob's Excellent Afghan Adventure - in Afghanistan]
CPT Keilty is a West Pointer, a veteran of Iraq, who did his initial active commitment and was transferred to the IRR (Inactive Ready Reserve.) He began law school last fall. He is a Bronze Star recipient.
Scant months before his time in the IRR ran out, CPT Keilty was notified that he was being activated to fill out a team to go to Afghanistan. You can imagine his joy at this new opportunity to interrupt his life and serve his country. Many who receive the same news avoid their responsibility, but CPT Keilty heeded the call without question.
He is now in Afghanistan, stationed just outside of Kabul. CPT Keilty decided that he was going to train for a marathon. ...He is running to benefit the Wounded Warrior Program. CPT Keilty has managed to raise over $60,000.00 for the program.
A Wife's Request -- [White Rose's Adventures]
While placeing our orders, several Soldiers walked in and went straght to the back table to sit. Now if this had been a crowded resurant, I would not ahve thought anything about it, but it wasn't. There were plenty of big tables they could have sat at. My thoughts were that they were sitting in the back for one of two reasons, they did wnat others to hear what they talked about, or, they didn't want the nasty looks they somethimes get when out in public in uniform. As soon as I finished ordering my lunch, I told the others that I would be right back, I wanted to go talk to these Soldiers.
...The other people I was with, all asked me what I had said to them. I told them what I had said and that some of these Soldiers had been to Iraq already. One lady asked me why I went out of my way to thank them. I told her it wasn't out of my way and that they need to know that there are those of us that DO support them and what they do to keep us safe. If a few minuets out of my day will help a Soldier feel a bit better about what he/she does, then it is more than worth my time to do it. She responded with, "Oh!"
Over There — and Gone Forever -- [New York Times - RICHARD RUBIN]
BY any conceivable measure, Frank Buckles has led an extraordinary life. Born on a farm in Missouri in February 1901, he saw his first automobile in his hometown in 1905, and his first airplane at the Illinois State Fair in 1907. At 15 he moved on his own to Oklahoma and went to work in a bank; in the 1940s, he spent more than three years as a Japanese prisoner of war. When he returned to the United States, he married, had a daughter and bought a farm near Charles Town, W. Va., where he lives to this day. He drove a tractor until he was 104.
But even more significant than the remarkable details of Mr. Buckles’s life is what he represents: Of the two million soldiers the United States sent to France in World War I, he is the only one left.
Non-Deployable Chickens -- [Cop & Soldier thoughts]
Since Nine Eleven I've run across many people in the National Guard and have heard of many active duty Army soldiers who have done everything they can to not get deployed. They claim injuries, family problems and all kinds of crap to stay home. The part that really upsets me is many of these people have not and will never deploy and THEY STILL GET PROMOTED!
I've been deployed twice for a total of 24 months. It screwed up my job and my family, but I still did my duty. In my opinion, these non-deployable pukes should be kicked out if they have not deployed at least once. And if they won't deploy, they should not get promoted. We now have lots of good soldiers who've deployed and have real world experience in our jobs who can lead very well...they should get promoted.
Thank You -- [MichaelYon - in Iraq]
A big “Thank you” to all the readers who voted for this site in the 2007 Weblog Award for Best Military Blog. Winning the award is especially gratifying this year, and even more so considering the fine company. Blackfive is hard to touch, and the posts from Alex Horton at Army of Dude include firsthand combat narratives from, of all places, Baqubah. Folks who seriously pay attention to this war know that Baqubah is more than just another strange name on the map.
BLOGWORLDEXPO -- [Acute Politics]
It's been an eventful day. I got up earlier than I ever thought I would while in the City of Sin, and the whirlwind hasn't stopped since. I was interviewed today by a French radio/news service (I'll post a link once it airs), and was tapped as a last-minute panelist addition to the conference session "From the Front" which as the name implies covers blogging from combat zones. I also started to explore some other venues for publication.
Update 3: Blogworld Expo -- [Jack Army]
I sat on the panel for the session titled "From The Front" and had fun. I did manage to get a word in edgewise... ok, I ran my mouth like a fool, but I had fun. Actually, it was a great discussion. Ward Carroll of Military.com moderated and fielded some great questions. I enjoyed listening to MAJ Ziegenfuss talk, very interesting. TF Boggs of Vox Veterana and Teflon Don of Acute Politics rounded out the panel. Some very interesting guys.
How to Make an Internet Disaster 10 Times Worse -- [Patterico’s Pontifications]
Remember Bobby Caina Calvan, the Sacramento Bee reporter who bragged on his internet blog about antagonizing an American Green Zone border guard?
Meet Armando Acuna, the Public Editor for Calvan’s employer. Here’s how Acuna describes Calvan’s run-in with the American soldier:
Hollywood is casualty of war as movie-goers shun Iraq films -- [breitbart.com]
The wave of recent films set against the backdrop of war in Iraq and post-9/11 security has failed to win over film-goers keen to escape grim news headlines when they go to the movies, analysts say.
...Lew Harris, the editor of website Movies.com, said the films have struggled to be successful because the subject matters of Iraq and 9/11 remain too close to home. And in many cases, the films have not been entertaining enough.
"These movies have to be entertaining," Harris told AFP. "You can't just take a movie and make it anti-war or anti-torture and expect to draw people in.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
Obey on Iraq: ‘We’ve Run Out of People to Kill’ -- [Town Hall]
The man who controls the House purse strings to fund the war in Iraq said the President’s “surge” was showing recent signs of success because U.S. soldiers have “run out of people to kill.”
“One of the reason we’ve had incidents of violence, sectarian violence go down is because they are running out of people to kill,” said the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee Rep. David Obey (D.-Wisc.) at a National Press Club luncheon Monday afternoon.
Iraqi-led operation nets 39 detainees, torture devices -- [MNF-I]
SALAH AD DIN, Iraq – Iraqi Security Forces conducted a large joint operation Oct. 30 along the foothills of the Hamrin Mountains of Tikrit. The operation resulted in the detention of 39 suspected insurgents and the discovery of a torture cell, a mobile hospital, vehicle-borne bombs, rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns and a Katyusha rocket.
Acting on their own intelligence sources, provided by tribal leaders in the area, the Iraqi inter-agency force targeted terrorists within the region.
“This is a first in a lot of ways,” said Lt. Col. David Hsu, 1st BCT Military Transition Team chief. “This is the largest operation the Iraqi Police and the Iraqi Army have ever conducted together in terms of detail,” he said. “The Iraqis are leading the way here.”
Iraq: The Concerned Citizens on Blackfive TV -- [LWJ]
Public Multimedia and The Long War Journal are pleased to co-produce the first episode of Blackfive TV with the esteemed military weblog Blackfive. In the inaugural episode, Blackfive TV airs a segment on the Concerned Citizens, the grouping of local citizens, tribes, and former insurgents who have banded together to fight al Qaeda and the Shia extremists in thier communities.
This episode was filmed and produced by David Tate, who, along with Bill Roggio, was embedded with US forces in Baghdad and southern Baghdad province throughout September 2007 as part of PMI's efforts to chronicle the results of the surge.
Ramadi parade celebrates unity, security -- [MNF-I]
The last parade held in downtown Ramadi was by insurgent forces in the fall of 2006 when the city was gripped in daily violence.
Times have changed now as government officials and city locals recently held a parade down Route Michigan here. Capt. Aaron Southard, Information Operations officer for 1st Brigade Combat Team, said the parade speaks volumes when considering the former violence that plagued Ramadi
Iraqi Army & Concerned Citizens
Work together for security
An AQI Weapons Cache -- [ON Point]
...When the fight was over, known now as the battle of Donkey Island, the battlefield was littered with dead enemy bodies and foreign weapons. Aside from the size and ferocity of the attack there was a curious observation I noted from a military brief received prior to embedding. The hand grenades used by the fighters were homemade - fashioned from plastic bottles filled with explosives and nails.
Why would an AQI infiltration force choose to use homemade hand grenades in a country awash with weapons?
During the last four years the insurgents and AQI have hidden or buried weapon caches across the country. But since the Sunni’s joined forces with the Marines in forcing AQI out of Anbar, AQI weapons caches are regularly uncovered and destroyed.
Why Southern Iraq Won't "Awaken" Like Anbar -- [Iraq the Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
There is growing popular dissatisfaction with the poor performance of local administrations across Iraq’s southern provinces and the growing pressures practiced by clerics who are trying to Islamize the society.
17 booby-trapped bodies found in Iraq -- [Khaleej Times]
BAQUBA, Iraq - Iraqi troops have discovered 17 decomposed corpses north of Baghdad but were unable to recover them Wednesday as they bodies were surrounded by booby-trapped bombs, an officer said.
The Bored Skies Over Iraq -- [Strategy Page]
November 6, 2007: The decline in U.S. casualties over the past few months has been accompanied by a sharp decline in U.S. Air Force combat activity. The enemy is not there anymore. They are dead, fled or given up the violent life. In the first nine months of the year, air force (including British) jets carried out 2,539 attacks (with bombs or cannon). That was up 43 percent from the same period last year. Activity peaked in August, when there were 303 attacks, but fell to 90 in September, and continued to decline in October.
Bringing Water To Sadr City
Getting water services going
U.S. to Release Qods Force Agents -- [The Weekly Standard]
As part of the new counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq, General David Petraeus directed Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces to target Iranian-backed extremists with the same intensity as they were showing in their campaign against al Qaeda in Iraq. In the process, Multinational Forces Iraq has learned much about the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps - Qods Force's activities in Iraq, and has killed or captured hundreds of its Iraqi Shia operatives since the surge began. Now that the attack levels have dropped dramatically, the U.S. is planning on releasing some of the Iranian captured in those sweeps. The Iranian government, naturally, is pleased by this development. Reuters reports:
From zero to sixty -- [John MySpace Blog - in Afghansitan]
Like most Afghan National Army officers, this one has been stationed far outside his home province. Sending officers to work outside their home regions helps create a more ethnically diverse Army, and is one of the main reasons the ANA is seen as such a professional, competent force.
Anyway, that's today's history lesson. For less insightful material, we go to Ahmad Abad in Paktya, where the Coalition is paying for a new hydroelectric dam
The majority of electrical power in Afghanistan comes from hydroelectricity. Unlike other nations...
Allies Claim Victory Against Taliban
11/03/07 In Arghandab. CBC report.
The 89,000 -- [Yellowhammering Afghanistan- in Afghanistan]
This year, the 12 months I am working in Afghanistan, there will be 89,000 more children live who would have died without the international community's help.
That's an astounding number. The Afghan Health Ministry and John Hopkins University revealed the figure yesterday in announcing that child mortality in Afghanistan has dropped 25 percent since the fall of the Taliban.
Getting past the gruesome -- [Yellowhammering Afghanistan- in Afghanistan]
We have a combat stress team here at Camp Vulcan today.
Their presence is the result of an incident involving one of our district teams that you may have read about in the news earlier this week.
During a routine mission (I'm not even sure what "routine" is anymore), their convoy struck an IED. The Afghan National Police Ford Ranger pickup struck the device as the bed of the truck was on top of it.
Suicide bombers kill over 90 in Afghan north -- [LWJ]
The Taliban have pulled off the largest suicide attack in Afghanistan since the US overthrew the Taliban government in late 2001. A pair of suicide bombers targeted a parliamentary delegation as it visited a sugar factory in the northern province of Baghlan. Over 90 were reported killed, including five members of parliament, and over 50 have been wounded. A local doctor said the casualties may well rise.
Bread House -- [6 Months in Kabul - in Afghansitan]
Today we intended on going to the clinic but we had to postpone our trip because there was a student protest taking place nearby. When we went to meet the Wolf Pack we decided to stop over at the Bread House to buy some naan. As I previsouly mentioned, naan is an important part of every Afghan meal. One of my officemates described it as tasting like pizza dough. I uploaded a video up top of them making it. Here is what their shop looks like:
Company Patrols Mountains
Fatal Jealousy -- [Strategy Page]
November 7, 2007: One thing that keeps the Islamic world favorably disposed towards Islamic terrorism is widespread fear and hatred of the Western world. Opinion surveys continue to show that Moslems hate and fear the West, more than Westerns hate and fear Moslems (despite the growth of Islamic terrorism.)
The fear comes largely from the poor economic, political and scientific performance of the Moslem, especially the Arab, world when compared to the West. It's a perverse expression of jealousy and resentment.
Pakistan: Media Reports on Pakistani Islamists Conceal Their Anti-Freedom Ideology -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
In the media coverage of Pakistan President Musharraf's declaration of emergency and martial law, Islamists objecting to his emergency declaration are being portrayed as defenders of Pakistani freedom, when in fact they represent Islamist anti-freedom ideologies. While there are certainly other genuinely pro-freedom individuals who object to Musharraf's emergency declaration, media sources are combining reports of anti-freedom Islamists' criticism along with other democratic opponents of Pakistan President Musharraf, and in the process, lending undue credibility to Islamist Pakistanis.
Kuwaiti MP Praises Jihad, Advises Bin Laden On Avoiding Mistakes In Al-Qaeda's Jihad -- [MEMRI]
In a letter to Osama bin Laden, published in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Watan, Kuwaiti MP Dr. Walid Al-Tabatabai, from the Islamic bloc in the Kuwaiti parliament, praised the jihad fighters' activities and advised him on avoiding mistakes in the jihad that Al-Qaeda is waging.
Valour-IT: More than a laptop -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Here's part of a note from the fiancee of a Valour-IT recipient based in Germany...
...You hear a lot about how only zero-point-something percent of the population are bearing the burden of the war. So in my opinion, one of the most important aspects of organizations like Soldiers' Angels is getting civilians involved and bridging that gap between them and the military community.
This Soldier still has somewhat limited use of both arms a year after being wounded, so the value of a Valour-IT laptop for him is obvious.
December 25th, 2006 -- [Life in a Cracker Box]
It was crisp and clear with minimal wind. Perfect for flying. A relief for my exhausted mind that wouldn't be able to take another set back. I had waited long enough. I was finally going to see my husband for the first time since he lost his arm to a roadside bomb.
Appreciate Freedom? Support Any Soldier, Inc. -- [Miss Lady Bug]
At the moment, I've got more time than money, so I thought I would take one of my hobbies to help give back to Any Soldier, Inc., an organization that helps me with another of my hobbies.
...Marty now has it up for raffle at AnySoldier.com. This isn't the only item up for raffle at the moment, but it's the one I'm promoting.
"...that's when I started to laugh" -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
SPC Staggs and three other soldiers were wounded when a roadside bomb hit their Stryker on Oct. 21 in Baghdad. He's had surgery on his ankle which was shattered in the explosion. Staggs hopes to go back after he recuperates.
“I definitely want to go back. My team’s still there.”
The Abuse of Military History -- [SWJ]
I am a soldier, first and foremost, and this is as it should be. But I am also an academic historian.
As a member of two cultures, I find that they have much in common, at least in theory. Foremost among those is an inclination to distrust the first report, and to privilege the written word. In my historical writing, however, I seek to create a thesis for the reader which accurately represents a synthesis of facts and ideas that come from sometimes quite disparate sources. In developing that thesis, I am bound by the facts. This, also, is as it should be. But there is something else my two professions share. In short, members of both professions hate liars and those who twist the truth around.
Our Veterans Deserve Better -- [Mitch's Bluegrass Blog]
This morning I delivered remarks on the floor of the Senate about the need to pass a Veterans Appropriations bill by Veterans Day. While this is only the latest in a string of failures by this Congress to pass any meaningful bipartisan appropriation legislation, not passing this bill is a real insult to the brave men and women who have served our country.
Let's stop playing games and start taking care of business. The entire text of my remarks is below.
The Comeback of a War President -- [SPIEGEL ONLINE]
...Bush, the man who has become firmly ensconced as a wartime president, has scored three successes recently. One can either welcome them or feel threatened by them, but to ignore them would be a mistake.
First, there has been noticeable improvement on the Iraqi war front. Unless the Pentagon statistics Bush recited on Friday in a speech to soldiers at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, are made up, the new Iraq strategy appears to be working. The number of weekly bombing attacks on US troops has dropped by half, and the number of US military deaths is the lowest in a year and a half. At the same time, US forces are arresting or killing more than 1,500 terrorist "thugs," as Bush called them, each month. If the military successes continue, public opinion toward Bush and his Republicans could soon improve. Americans are not against war itself, they just don't like losing.
Hillary takes cash from terror suspects -- [WMD]
Muslim donors targets of federal investigation
Presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., has taken thousands of dollars in cash donations from Islamists under federal investigation for terror-financing, money laundering and tax fraud, WND has learned.
The Democrat senator over the past seven months has received $1,000 from M. Yaqub Mirza and another $500 from M. Omar Ashraf, federal campaign records show. Federal agents raided the Virginia homes and offices of the Muslim donors after 9/11 for ties to terrorism.
Code Pink Initiation Video -- [Gateway Pundit]
Being a devoted Code Pink member involves more than just an occasional attack on the Secretary of State...
It's either pledge week or one of the Code Pinkos ate the last jelly donut at the Code Pink house.
Now they must pay...
NY Times Slimes Private Guards in Iraq as 'Mercenaries' -- [NewsBusters]
In an editorial with the misleadingly bland title "Legal Loopholes in Iraq," the Times editorial page took a leap into left-wing logic Monday, referring to private security contractors like Blackwater as "mercenaries."
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
How the U.S. Air Force has Saved Thousands of Lives in Iraq -- [Shooting Straight]
The coalition air component in Iraq “remains strong,” airlifting supplies and troops, providing surveillance and assisting ground forces with kinetic support, a senior air force officer in Iraq said today. During a news conference with reporters in Baghdad, Air Force Maj. Gen. David M. Edgington, director of Multinational Force Iraq’s Air Component Coordination Element, referred to air lift forces as “the backbone of the air component.”
...“For any of the injured troops – coalition troops, Iraqi security forces as well as civilians – if we can get them to a regional cache within one hour, we have a 98 percent survival rate,” he said, noting that the high survival rate is also a credit to coalition medics.
Sharp Drop in Airstrikes in Iraq -- [BlackFive - Grim - in Iraq]
Some months ago, before the Surge brigades were in place, I had a lengthy discussion by email with a left-leaning thinker on this question: how could we measure the success of the Surge? We had several ideas about things we would like to see in order to say that the Surge was (or was not) working. The discussion isn't free for me to reproduce here, but we thought of many of the same measures under debate in the media now: death rates for Iraqi civilians, number of attacks, and so forth.
Iraq Briefing 05 November 2007
Holding our collective breath -- [Sgt Grumby - in Iraq]
Three IEDs were found in the small city we operate out of today. What is significant about this is that all three were called in to the IPs by local citizens who noticed something out of place. The police handled each one, and although one blew up not far from our gate, no one was hurt.
Things could still go to hell here, but everyday there is a little more news that things may really be turning a corner.
IED Emplacer Destroyed
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle footage of individuals placing an IED on a dirt road while a pickup truck approaches with more material which is then destroyed by Apache fire. Scenes include the truck exploding.
Freedom Journal Iraq
The Grass is Greener in Tikrit -- [manrymission.com - in Iraq]
...while I was still in Tikrit last week, I was sitting in the conference room of the GRN headquarters downloading my email. For some reason, I noticed a peculiar noise coming from outside. After a couple of minutes I realized it was the sound of a lawnmower. Inside the USACE GRN compound in COB Speicher, there are a couple plots of grass. Here’s a shot of the contractor mowing the grass in the desert!
Pakistan Caves to Taliban; Cracks Down in Islamabad -- [Weekly Standard - Bill Roggio]
As Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf deploys tens of thousands of troops to the capital to put down protests, the government continues to cave into the demands of the Taliban in the Northwest Frontier Province. Over the weekend, the military released 25 Taliban fighters from custody in exchange for 213 soldiers captured during an ambush in South Waziristan. The government also dismissed terrorism related charges against seven of the Taliban fighters. Pakistan’s Dawn reports
Freedom Watch Afghanistan
864th completes 156 miles of road -- [Blog-ah]
U.S. Army engineers continue to build forward operating bases and roads in support of the forces providing security to the people of Afghanistan.
Despite harsh conditions due to “moon-dust”, very fine silt that permeates every crevice at Forward Operating Base Kushamond, the Soldiers of Alpha Company, 864th Engineer Battalion, from Fort Lewis, Wash., are building 24 B-Huts and a C-Hut to allow the units from the Polish Battle Group, a battalion size infantry element, to move into a comfortable winterized base prior to the cold season.
Collector's Edition -- [1romad - in Afghansitan]
Sometimes children collect the strangest things. And in Afghanistan, a childs collection can become surreal. As is true with most of my strange stories, it all started out innocently enough.
...We set up our targets, loaded mags, and started to shoot. And then, like moths to a flame, the children arrived.
And by now a few "grown ups" had arrived--but not to assist in any way.
These grown ups were true spectators. And they seemed to enjoy the scene: Alarmed American trying to keep crazy Afghani kids off the firing line.
Have a Rainbow of a Day -- [6 Months in Kabul - in Afghanistan]
Today during our convoy we actually saw a man pulling a decorated camel on the side of the busy surface streets. Whenever you drive the streets of Kabul just about every corner has a site that causes you to shake your head in surprise. Whether it is 5 kids hanging their legs out of a open car trunk of a moving car, or people piled on top of a roof of a bus because it is too full, to a beggar literally sitting in the middle of a busy street in the same location everyday, to freshly skinned goats with abnormally large dariers hanging from ropes outside of shops, to jingle trucks that are stacked amazingly high with almost anything you can imagine, to an old guy riding a bike with the fur of 10 freshly skinned goats hanging from the back. There is always one surprise after another
You Can't Touch Me -- [Strategy Page]
November 4, 2007: The government continually plays up the likelihood of an American attack, and how the nation must unite to resist this aggression. The government, with the support of less than 20 percent of the population, needs an external threat to defuse any rebel movements inside the country. Iran has so far managed to terrorize the majority of Iranians into submission with a combination of force (quick police action, jail, or attacks by gangs of pro-government thugs) and distribution of oil revenues to those who cooperate. Added to this has been a propaganda campaign that stresses efforts by the West, especially the United States, to hurt Iran.
Africom – No Longer the Lost Continent -- [ON Point]
Andrew Lubin October 2007 marked the birth of America’s newest initiative for global peace and security, as the Pentagon announced that “Africom”, was up and working. Until this year, American affairs in Africa were primarily handled out of Europe, with some specific countries assigned to Pacom and Centcom. Since 9/11, however, with the spreading of Al-Quada and Muslim Fundamentalism from Somalia to Morocco to Kenya, as well the Darfur genocide, HIV epidemic, and the usual problems posed by...
Iranians CELEBRATE Hostage Takings: Happy "Death to America" Day! -- [Jawa Report]
On November 4th, 1979 Iran officially declared war on the United States. Never forget.
So, how do the Iranians mark the anniversary of the beginning of the hostage crisis? They celebrate it.
Iraqi Insurgents Accuse Al-Qaida of "Horrific" and "Insidious" New Crimes Despite Calls for Unity From Bin Laden -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The Islamic Army in Iraq (IAI)--one of the largest and most influential Sunni insurgent groups active in Iraq--has issued yet another stinging condemnation of Al-Qaida's network in Iraq from its media spokesman, Dr. Ali al-Naimi. According to Dr. al-Naimi, Al-Qaida is the "main cause" behind recent "painful events" in Latifiya and Samarra: "It is such a horrific scene that makes the occupiers pleased and is painful to Muslims... we weren’t expecting that after the speech of Shaykh Usama Bin Laden who announced Al-Qaida's incorrect acts and the need to overcome them."
Al Qaeda's Zawahiri Calls for Attacks Against Western Interests in North Africa, Overthrow of Leaders -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
On November 3, Al Qaeda's number 2 Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri called for attacks on Western interests throughout North Africa, and called for the overthrow of leaders of Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
Patti Patton Bader on Valour IT -- [Pundit Review]
Patti Patton Bader, the founder of Soldiers Angels, joined Bruce McQuain from QandO along with Gregg and I to discuss the ongoing fundraising drive for Valour IT, an amazing project that provides voice activated laptops for our most severely injured soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.
A Day's Salary to Valour-IT -- [Flag Gazer]
You probably wonder why I have a picture of Sharon on a post about Valour IT. This is my tribute to her generosity and grace for our troops.
When she got here, we were talking about our troop support activities - something she always asks about. When we finished shearing, and I was getting ready to pay her, she said, "I have a proposition for you.... Take my fees and give them to the troop project."
I have donated, in Sharon's name, her fee for an entire day's work. Not many people are willing to give a day's wages to anything, but Sharon did. In my book, she is an extra-special lady!
Andy Dancaster, 1976-2007 -- [manrymission.com - in Iraq]
...Andy believed in what we are doing. He cared for the Iraqis and felt strongly about developing personal relationships with the locals. On every project visit he made, Andy would grab his interpreter and talk to the local residents. He knew that these relationships are the key to success. I believe in Andy’s vision. In Ecclesiastes 9, the Preacher goes on to say in verse 18:
Marine Staff Sergeant Jason C. Ramseyer - Fallen But Never Forgotten -- [BlackFive]
It is unfortunate that this man gave his life for his country, even earning the Bronze Star with Combat "V", and it was not even mentioned in the media at all. I hope that your website would be able to at least shed some light on his sacrifice.
...His last second warning to his Marines undoubtedly saved their lives and prevented more serious injuries. SSgt. Ramseyer was evacuated by helicopter from the site. While on the helicopter receiving medical care, he ignored his own mortal injury and ...
Wounded Troops Denied Guns -- [Stratgy Page]
November 4, 2007: The U.S. Congress has much support for new laws that would make it more difficult for anyone with a mental condition to buy a gun. Reasonable enough, especially when you toss in efforts to keep firearms away from suicidal veterans. But as many of these proposals are written, this would include combat veterans who had any kind of brain injury or have been diagnosed combat stress. The U.S. Army and Marines has already been having problems with getting troops, with subtle (hard to detect) brain injuries from roadside bombs, and combat fatigue (or PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder), to seek treatment.
7th AS Coming Home -- [Blog-ah]
McCHORD AIR FORCE BASE RELEASE – More than 115 Airmen from McChord’s 7th Airlift Squadron will be greeted here by their family and friends Sunday afternoon after a 120-day deployment in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
...The squadron flew more than 2,700 missions transporting more than 34,000 passengers and more than 84 million lbs of cargo moving anti-improvised explosive device vehicles, mine-detecting equipment, Iraqi aircraft, vehicle armor and other cargo to help sustain U.S. military missions in Iraq and Afghanistan
More of the Same from Pelosi -- [Weekly Standard]
Congress has yet to act on the president's request for roughly $200 billion in supplemental funding for the war on terror, including the war in Iraq. Given Speaker Pelosi's recent promise that Democrats would offer 'more of the same' in an effort to get President Bush to 'change course' (again?), it appears that Congress is quietly preparing another 'blank check:'
George Bush Senior During FOX News Sunday Interview
The media's Iraq con job -- [Matt Sanchez]
...I found men and women who complained because they weren't allowed to leave the safety of big bases and meet Iraqis. I met Iraqis who trusted American troops more than they trusted their countrymen. I met Iraqi policemen who were risking their lives to fight religious fanatics.
Sure, there were problems, but I was shocked by how the reality of Iraq was so different from what I had read back home.
Even more surprising was how poor the reporting back home has been. Time magazine writer Tim McGirk reported on a Haditha massacre while leaving out huge important facts that were pertinent to the credibility of his sources.
Fall into Summer -- [Jules Crittenden]
Swallow sightings continue, as the turnaround in war reporting persists. AP reports 2007 was the deadliest year for US troops, but getting better. The report includes a lengthy discussion of surge strategy, how it worked, positive results, the fact that those who died contributed to bringing this about:
News Poll: Most Qaeda Members Happy with News Polling -- [ScrappleFace]
(2007-11-05) — A day after release of a Washington Post-ABC News poll showing 63 percent of Americans think the war in Iraq is not worth fighting and even more think the U.S. is “headed in the wrong direction,” a source inside the network leaked results of another poll which shows most al Qaeda supporters are delighted with the results of the first poll.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
ESPN Outdoors -- [Lumber jack in the Desert]
ESPN has a great five page spread on me at ESPNOutdoors.com. Sam Eifling is the Author. Now everyone go nominate him for an ESPY
Regional Flux and the Long War -- [The Captain’s Journal *]
Published November 2nd, 2007 by Herschel Smith in Syria, The Long War, al Qaeda, Jihadists, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran |
Former Commander of CENTCOM General John Philip Abizaid, born to a Christian Lebanese-American father and fluent in Arabic and knowledgeable in Middle Eastern culture, coined the phrase long war to describe the conflict with extremist Islamic groups such as al Qaeda. This phrase was dropped by Admiral William J. Fallon, but the idea is the same and the conflict will not go away because the phrase isn’t used at CENTCOM any more.
Iraqi Islamic Party: “Al Qaeda is Defeated” -- [Michael Yon - in Iraq]
“Al Qaeda in Iraq is defeated,” according to Sheik Omar Jabouri, spokesman for the Iraqi Islamic Party and a member of the widespread and influential Jabouri Tribe. Speaking through an interpreter at a 31 October meeting at the Iraqi Islamic Party headquarters in downtown Baghdad, Sheik Omar said that al Qaeda had been “defeated mentally, and therefore is defeated physically,” referring to how clear it has become that the terrorist group’s tactics have backfired. Operatives who could once disappear back into the crowd after committing an increasingly atrocious attack no longer find safe haven among the Iraqis who live in the southern part of Baghdad. They are being hunted down and killed. Or, if they are lucky, captured by Americans.
Petraeus gets Feedback from Surge Troops -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD — Senior leaders from both the government of Iraq and United States Army came to visit Soldiers at Patrol Base Hawkes, Oct. 27, to get an assessment from troops on the ground.
Gen. David Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, Dr. Ahmad Chalabi, director of services in Iraq, and Dr. Safi Al-Sheik, director of the Iraqi national reconciliation committee, met with Soldiers and leaders of the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga., who are operating in the Arab Jabour area.
Joint Statement on Transfer of Security Responsibility for Karbala Province -- [MNF-I]
By Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker and General David H. Petraeus
on the Transfer of Security Responsibility for Karbala Province
The United States and Multi-National Force-Iraq welcome the transfer of security in Karbala Province to Iraqi responsibility as a positive step on the path to Iraq’s self-reliance. Karbala is the eighth province to be transferred to Iraqi security responsibility as the Government of Iraq and its security forces continue to develop and assume greater responsibility for governing and providing security for the citizens of Iraq. The first province transferred to Government of Iraqi security control was Muthanna in July 2006, followed by Dhi Qar, An Najaf, Maysan, and most recently Irbil, Sulaymaniyah, and Dahuk in May 2007. The transfer of provincial security responsibility is particularly significant because it includes the city of Karbala, a center of Shi’a Muslim worship, pilgrimage and religious instruction. Saddam Hussein once restricted religious observances at this city and non-Iraqi Shi'a were not allowed to travel there.
"The Longest Morning": The story of Heroism, Courage, and Loss in the Face of Impossible Odds -- [Jeff Emanuel ]
Six weeks ago in the Iraqi city of Samarra, four paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division became the object of a pre-planned, coordinated effort by dozens of al Qaeda to kidnap and slaughter American soldiers only days before General Petraeus's internationally televised testimony to the U.S. Congress on the state of the war in Iraq. Only two survived -- but, fighting like heroes, they succeeded in preserving the honor of their nation.
Screw the Bastards -- [Strategy Page]
November 1, 2007: It's all about trends. In Iraq, the trends are going against the terrorists. Take IEDs (roadside bombs). There are fewer of them, and more of them are being detected before they can hurt anyone. Thus U.S. casualties from IEDs are down 80 percent compared to last Spring. Overall American casualties have not been this low since May, 2003, right after the fall of Saddam's government. Iraqi military and civilian casualties are also down over 70 percent, compared to last Spring. Most of this was due to so many Iraqis finally taking control of their own security. Iraqis, particularly Sunni Arabs, have basically said "enough!" Over 60,000 Iraqis have volunteered to help with security.
Insurgents in Iraq become cops...in 8 days
Insurgents become cops Sunni tribesmen once fighting the U.S. military receive basic police academy training that they are expected to complete in 8 days.
Sunni and Shia Getting Along, Getting Together -- [Badgers Forward - in Iraq]
Iraq is incredibly complicated. As I mentioned here several weeks ago, one of the things I learned here was that it was not a 100 piece puzzle to put back together; more like a 1000 piece puzzle.
Many people at home think that by being able to talk about Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds they somehow are demonstrating a greater understanding of the social dynamics of Iraq.
Ramadi: Building on Success -- [ON Point]
Andrew Lubin This month last year I was embedded in Ramadi with 1st Battalion 6th Marines as they kicked in doors, fought insurgents, and began to clear the city block by block. It cost the lives of a lot of good Marines, most under age 25, but their efforts and sacrifice convinced a few local citizens that the Marines understood the difference between “Iraqi’s” and “Al-Quada” – and so the charismatic Sheik Sattar Abu Risha formed the Sons of Anbar, and began co-operating with LtCol William...
Nathan Ritzo: 'Taji Awakening' proof the surge is helping Iraqis -- [Union Leader]
The best thing about my job on the Baghdad Provincial Reconstruction Team is seeing ideas become reality and make a positive impact. It's rewarding to visit places that have benefited from the ideas and hard work of American service members and civilians in Iraq and to see Iraqis adapt to their situation the Americans' example of dedication to national unity against the forces of terrorism and tyranny.
Quiet Times in the “Triangle of Death” -- [A Battlefield Tourist]
US Troops in Successful Partnership With Iraqi Army
The Blackhawk landed hard, forcing the men inside to grab hold of something. “Go! Go! Go!”, broke through the night, above the thundering sound of the rotor blades overhead. The choppers quickly emptied as 10 Americans, 10 Iraqis, a translator and myself rushed toward the nearest home, surrounding it.
Rebuilding the Iraqi Air Force -- [Pinch - BlackFive]
Yesterday I had the opportunity to participate in a DoD-sponsored Blogger's Roundtable with U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Wobbema, Chief of Staff for the Coalition Air Force Transition Team. His job? Help rebuild the Iraqi Air Force.
US targets al Qaeda's al Furqan media wing in Iraq -- [LWJ]
Eight media cells and offices have been broken up in Iraq since the surge began in January 2007. US forces recently broke up al Furqan's Mosul cell and captured two leaders and two media specialists.
"Desperate People with Limited Skills" -- [Small Wars Journal]
Writing and Employing the Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual
In the current issue of "Counterpunch", anthropologist Dr. David Price continues his assault on social scientists assisting national efforts to succeed in Iraq and Afghanistan. This time he impugns the work of anthropologists who helped write Field Manual 3-24, the Counterinsurgency Field Manual that was published by the Army and Marine Corps in December 2006 and republished by the University of Chicago Press in July 2007.
Iranian Rockets Seized in Iraq Oct 27/07
Alleged Iranian rockets seized by U.S. Soldiers east of Baghdad. Scenes include shots of the seized rockets, the stands upon which the rockets sit and...
Whump, Whump, there it is! -- [Sergeant Grumpy - in Iraq]
The old team is gone and we have assumed responsibility for operations here (RIPTOA in army speak, or Relief In Place - Transfer Of Authority.) The outbound guys answered some last minute questions, hit some golf balls off the top of a bunker, and wished us well. We had an alert that there could be a mortar attack, and the guys who were leaving were anxious to get the hell out of here - Soldiers are superstitious about being in harms way when they're short.
Iraq Pictures -- [Iraq Pictures]
Suham Hassan wraps a sleeve over her leg at the Iraqi Army Surgeon General’s Prosthetic Clinic in the International Zone. Suham was fitted for a new prosthetic right leg at the clinic. Suham lost both of her legs in an insurgent mortar attack three years ago
A Taliban Tribe Switches Sides in Musa Qala? -- [Weekly Standard]
Have the Afghan government and NATO forces cracked the code with dealing with the Taliban-controlled district of Musa Qala in the violent province of Helmand? A report from the em>Telegraph indicates Afghan and NATO forces may have found a pro-Taliban commander and tribal leader willing to turn on the Taliban in Musa Qala.
VMO -- [ETT PA-C - in Afghanistan]
So, sometime in my recent past I was able to go on another village medical outreach about an hour from my new location. Turned out that it was a village surrounded by a refuge camp with approximately 12000 families. If you know anything about families in Afghanistan, that's like 10 dudes with 10 wives a piece and a few thousand kids running about the mine fields like no big deal! Anyway, two other PAs and I went out with SECFOR (security forces) with humanitarian goods and medical supplies for about 300-400 people.
Welcome Back to "The Suck" -- [Bill and Bob's Excellent Afghan Adventure - in Afghanistan]
The first day of the operation started with deceptive calm. Other than the fact that the firebase was chock full of more people than had ever been there before, the early hours of the morning seemed almost sleepy. The morning itself was a typical Afghan morning, clear and calm and becoming bright very quickly as the sun came up over the mountains to the east.
250 Taliban fighters surrounded, 50 killed and 16 captured near Kandahar -- [Live Leak]
ARGHANDAB, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan, U.S. and Canadian troops have surrounded a pocket of some 250 Taliban fighters who have commandeered people's homes in villages just outside Afghanistan's major southern city, officials said Wednesday.
Hundreds of Afghans — their cars and tractors piled high with personal possessions — were fleeing the battleground about 15 miles north of Kandahar city.
The provincial police chief said the combined forces have killed some 50 Taliban in three days of fighting. Three police and one Afghan soldier have also died, Sayed Agha Saqib said.
"The people are fleeing because the Taliban are taking over civilian homes," Saqib said. "There have been no airstrikes. We are trying our best to attack those areas where there are no civilians, only Taliban."
It's all treats at Salerno Hospital . . . -- [Richard's Deployment - in Afghanistan]
I decided not to put any names with these pictures (TOP has the address to use for all the promised payola)
Day 2 of the CMA and Happy Halloween! -- [6 Months in Kabul - in Afghanistan]
If yesterday was like drinking water from a fire hose then today was like drinking water from a fire hose that was connected to the Hoover Dam. I think everyone we saw yesterday told all of their family and friends to come today to be seen. It was like nothing I had ever seen. Around noon, after a very tiresome morning, I turned to the interpreter and asked how many more patients needed to be seen. The interpreter replied causally, "About 500." I smiled and shook my head. The people that we were seeing were the poorest of the poor.
Al Jazeera Reports that USAF Bombed Syria in August...with Nukes! -- [Ace of Spades *]
Israel has kept a pretty tight lid on just what happened in Syria back in August. The unofficial story is that the Israeli's conducted an impressive air assault on Iranian-sponsored nuclear facilities in Syria after disabling air defenses using teams on the ground.
52% of Americans support military strike against Iran -- [Tom Gross - Media Blog]
It seems that most Americans are coming round to the view that the world cannot afford to allow the Islamic Republic of Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.
Messianic Iran is not the Soviet Union. If the Islamic fundamentalists of Iran get nuclear weapons, they may very well use them – either directly or by giving a dirty bomb to one of the terror groups they sponsor, such as Hezbollah or Hamas.
North Korean Sailors Battle Pirates with Aid of US Navy -- [GI Korea]
It is a strange world we live in when North Korean sailors and the US Navy are battling pirates together. This incident will probably teach Somali pirates not to mess with North Korean sailors next time considering all North Koreans have mandatory military service and are trained with weapons.
Anti-Bush Song Clip Explodes In Popularity In Turkey -- [MEMRI]
As tensions grow between Turkey and the U.S., anti-Americanism in Turkey also reaches new heights. An anti-Bush song clip recorded last year by the popular Turkish singer Baris Akarsu, is now so much in demand that Turkish TV channels are broadcasting it multiple times every day.
Suicide attack in Rawalpindi -- [Peace like a River]
Rawalpindi is the seat of the military and intelligence services in Pakistan. It is just south of Islamabad. (Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was apprehended here. See also this.)
What could be more symbolic than an attack here. It also illustrates the difficulty in preventing such attacks. How do you stop a guy who just walks up to a checkpoint?
Here is a comment from this post at Metroblogging Islamabad:
Jihad Website Promotes Killing of Americans -- [Jawa Report]
Marked Manner has all the contact details. Remember, Layered Tech probably does not know who they are helping here. Be civil, but help them understand what they are doing and how these websites are used not only for propaganda, but also to recruit new jihadis, and raise funds.
Homegrown Radicalism in the United States -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
More than six years after 9/11, it is clear the US still faces an serious terrorist threat. Recent reports portray a disturbing picture: The latest National Intelligence Estimate on the terrorist threat to the US homeland describes a resurgent al Qaeda based in NW Pakistan which is still determined to strike the US and its allies, and whose ideology continues to radicalize and inspire Muslim youth throughout the world. Similarly, a study by NYPD intelligence division on terrorist radicalization outlines the difficulties in developing profiles for potential future terrorists.
Project Works to Provide Voice-controlled Laptops for Wounded Warriors -- [Soldiers Andel Forum]
In recognition of the continuing need to supply voice-activated and adapted-technology laptops to severely wounded military personnel; Project Valour-IT is mounting its 3rd annual Veterans Day fundraising drive among military and civilian bloggers. Teams of bloggers with thousands of readers are aligning themselves with their chosen service branch—Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, or Navy/Coast Guard—in a friendly competition to raise $240,000 before Veterans Day.
Marine Dad victor in suit over fundamentalist church -- [On Point]
ON Point: Marine Father Victor in Suit Over Protests By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, 11/1/07BALTIMORE, Oct. 31 (AP) - The father of a marine killed in Iraq was awarded nearly $11 million in damages on Wednesday. A jury found leaders of a fundamentalist church had invaded the family's privacy and inflicted emotional distress when they picketed the marine's funeral.The jury first awarded $2.9 million in compensatory damages. Later, it awarded $6 million in punitive damages for invasion of privacy and $2 million...
The Book Tour: The Fisher House -- [Bouhammer.com]
As I walked across the Walter Reed campus with Garry, David, Shelly, Owen and Barbara; my mind was lost in thought. Thoughts of what I had just seen as far as technology helping mend the wounded, thoughts of a brave soldier trying to put a Lego model together, thoughts of what I was about to face in the Fisher House we were walking to. See I was worried how I would keep my composure in front of wounded warriors at Walter Reed, because I thought we would be touring the recovery wards. In fact, I had told my wife that I was not sure how I would act. I know these guys don’t want a whole bunch of emotional saps visiting them, they are trying to keep a positive outlook and the last thing they want is grown men crying over them. Since we didn’t walk the wards, I had escaped that situation even though I had really looked forward to it at the same time.
A hail fellow, well met -- [CDR Salamander *]
Brig. Gen. Paul W. Tibbets Jr., the commander and pilot of the Enola Gay, the B-29 Superfortress that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in the final days of World War II, died today at his home in Columbus, Ohio. He was 92.
More on the Relevance of the U.S. Air Force -- [The Tank - W. Thomas Smith Jr.]
Yesterday, responding to a post by Jonah at "The Corner," I discussed the relevancy and absolute necessity of the U.S. Air Force in the modern world: a relevancy the American Prospect has called into question.
Shaken and Stirred -- [Strategy Page]
October 31, 2007: Not since the 1970s has the U.S. Army and Marines had so many combat veterans on active duty. There are nearly 200,000 of them, many of them veterans of two or more tours in Iraq or Afghanistan. This is leading to more concern about the aftereffects of combat. This includes brain injuries from roadside bombs, or other explosions encountered in combat, and combat fatigue (or PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder). Neither problem is new, but better diagnostic tools, plus political and media attention, are making it a lot more visible. This has resulted in better methods for dealing with it. But this has uncovered two particularly vexing problems. First, it's been difficult to get troops to seek treatment for subtle brain injuries or PTSD. Second, research, and practical experience, has shown that the best time to deal with both problems, is as soon as it shows up.
Welcome Home: More Than 300 Soldiers Return From Iraq -- [WWNY TV 7]
More than 300 Fort Drum soldiers are back home with their families. The soldiers are with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team. They have been deployed to Iraq for the past 15 months.
H&I* Fires, 02 NOV 2007 -- [Castle Argghhh! *]
Of interest, the Democrats in congress are still trying to tell the President he has no authority to go to war with Iran without congressional support. Flying in the face of the War Powers Act and possibly hamstringing future Democrat presidents who, in the past, have not been exactly adverse to applying a little American Military force without declarations of war. The Dems are arguing among themselves about how to say the most while doing the least.
Biden Tells Fourth Graders President Blamed And Attacked Wrong People For 9-11-- [Pat Dollard *]
And what context do they have to analyze what he says?
...Biden compared the war in Iraq with the invasion of Afghanistan.
“Osama bin Laden set up camps there, and he was getting a lot of help from folks running that country called Afghanistan. And that’s where he planned an attack on America to bring the World Trade Towers down and kill all those innocent Americans. We had a right to, and we should’ve gone, to Afghanistan to try to get bin Laden and those people who’ve done very bad things to America,” he said.
“But the president, I think, he got a little confused,” he continued. “I think he thought the folks in another country, way, way far away, far from here, it’s also far from Afghanistan, called Iraq. He said, ‘The guy in Iraq he helped bin Laden do bad things to us,’ and he didn’t. He wasn’t a good guy, but he didn’t help. So we used that kind of as an excuse to attack Iraq.”
From the Desk of Donald Rumsfeld . . . -- [WaPo]
In Sometimes-Brusque 'Snowflakes,' He Shared Worldview, Shaped Policy — In a series of internal musings and memos to his staff, then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld argued that Muslims avoid "physical labor" and wrote of the need to …
"Make the American people realize they are surrounded in the world by violent extremists." -- [Althouse]
Rumsfeld's "snowflake" memos.
Is the WaPo "running a story based off of selective quotations and gross mischaracterizations from a handful of memos -- carefully picked from the some 20,000 written while Rumsfeld served as Secretary"? Or does this story "shed light on [the] brusque management style" of "a defense secretary disdainful of media criticism and driven to reshape public opinion of the Iraq war"?
Nickelodeon is trying to brainwash your children in the morning, or a leftist primer -- [ArmyWifeToddlerMom]
This Nickelodeon "news program", is not a news program. It is a leftist primer on how to be a "left-wing radical REBEL".
I am not a blind follower of our Government, and I also think that Government should be watched by it's citizens. It is our civic duty.
However this program led by Ellerby, is anti-war, anti- GWOT, anti-military.
This "news program" is not about people changing the World around them.
Ms. Ellerby uses leftist propaganda buzz words like "taking on the establishment".
She shows a group of "tweenagers" walking around in orange jumpsuits, hooded and yelling from a bullhorn. "We are not ok, with people being tortured by American soldiers!" "Are cooperation's priority over human lives?"
Twice NBC's Andrea Mitchell Confuses Iraq With Vietnam -- [NewsBusters]
In a great illustration of how many mainstream media journalists view the war in Iraq through the prism of the war in Vietnam, twice on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News veteran foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell said “Vietnam” when she meant to say “Iraq.” Offering a brief summary of how State Department foreign service employees are fighting a plan to involuntarily assign 40 of them to the embassy in Baghdad, Mitchell told anchor Brian Williams about a meeting held Wednesday:
The Guardian’s cartoon today again shows President Bush having sex with a goat-- [Tom Gross - Media Blog]
People outside the U.K. sometimes wonder how the BBC became so viciously anti-Israel.
One important factor is that the BBC news staff’s daily paper of choice is The Guardian, whose coverage of Israel has on more than one occasion verged on spilling over into outright anti-Semitism.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)