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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.
Secretary Gates Leaves Iraq Encouraged -- [NY Times]
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Thursday that security progress in Iraq was significant yet still fragile, an assessment echoed by the senior American commander in Baghdad, who strongly cautioned against a premature declaration of victory. Completing his sixth visit to Iraq as defense secretary, Mr. Gates met Wednesday and Thursday with commanders in Mosul and in Baghdad, as well as with senior Iraqi officials. He said he left Iraq “encouraged.” “I came away from all of it feeling very good about the direction of things in the security arena, about what is going on at the local and provincial level in terms of people reaching out to each other, crossing tribal, sectarian and provincial boundaries to work together,” Mr. Gates said.
Iraq Briefing 10 December 2007 - MajGen W.E. Gaskin
MajGen W.E. Gaskin, Commanding General, MNF-West, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), provides Pentagon reporters with an update of ongoing operations in western Iraq, Dec 10, 2007 Pentagon
After the Battle of Al-Fajr -- [Michael Totten - in Iraq]
FALLUJAH, IRAQ – Fallujah is known as the City of Mosques. It is also a city of walls, and of war.
It was a quieter city than most after the initial invasion in 2003. There was less looting than in Baghdad, and the mayor was pro-American. It was tranquil for the most part. But resentment first simmered, then exploded in an orgy of mob violence on March 31, 2004, when four security contractors from the Blackwater corporation were murdered, mutilated, and strung up from a bridge.
Arab World Must Support Iraqi Progress, Gates Says -- [MNF-I]
...“Whether the positive trends of recent months continue will be determined largely by where we go from here,” Gates told about 200 delegates from 23 countries here at the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ annual Manama Dialogue. “And by ‘we,’ I mean not only the United States and the Iraqi government, but also the governments of every nation represented at this dialogue.”
Gates urged the Arab world to “exercise your influence with the Iraqis and encourage them to meet their own goals and expectations, to live up to their own promises.”
Iraqis turn against al-Qaeda lead decline in violence, US says - Press Statement - (Raw Video)
Speaking at a press conference in Baghdad on Sunday, US military spokesman Rear Adm. Gregory Smith said that thanks to tips and assistance from Iraqis, al-Qaeda and insurgency violence in the country declined recently.
As Al-Qaeda in Iraq gets more Desperate, the Atrocities get Worse -- [LT Nixon Rants]
Things have been getting a little ugly lately as we've seen a spate of suicide attacks in northern Iraq. The Secretary of Defense was warned about extremists being pushed to the north when he visited last week, and this is due to combined operations in and around Baghdad and the Awakening movement in Anbar province causing terrorists to flee north. Attacks are still down in northern Provinces due to a lot of courageous work by coalition troops and Iraqis, but it's still bearing the brunt of the violence. Like the cowards that they are, Al-Qaeda has chosen to go after "soft" targets, which usually includes small bands of Concerned Local Citizens.
Update from Hit, Iraq - Progress, Progress, Progress -- [BlackFive]
...In his email, LtCol Dill discusses economic and political progress, the status of security, and a surprising visit from an anti-war journalist (who the Marines put up in the "George W. Bush Suite" on the FOB). Take five minutes and see what the Marines are up to...
The Latest GAO Report and a Reality Check -- [LWJ - DJ Elliot]
The GAO’s latest report criticizes the DOD’s assessment of the independence of Iraqi Security Forces. But that criticism is misplaced.
Operation Lion Pounce Returns Diwaniyah to its People -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD — The city of Diwaniyah belongs to the people once again - a city where people walk the streets at night without fear or intimidation; a city where children go to the parks to play. It’s a city without “them” - the militants, terrorists, criminals and thugs that surrounded the city and its citizens in a cloak of fear.
Blackfive TV- Bilal Hussein, Terror Press Agent
Report on when US forces suspected Hussein was working with the insurgents
Leaders aim to 'put law back in Iraq' -- [Task Force Marne]
Throngs of Iraqi key political leaders gathered at the home of Abid Hassan Saloom in Sadr Yusufiyah Dec. 6 to discuss the future of Iraq.
The theme of the meeting was “Put the Law Back in Iraq” and it was attended by a multitude of prominent community leaders, Iraqi Security Forces and Iraqi Army officials. Of note were Dr. Ahmed Chalabi, former leader of the Iraqi National Congress, Sheik Somar, Yusufiyah nahia council president, 4th Iraqi Army brigade commander Brig. Gen. Ali Jassim Mohammed Hassen Al-Frejee, Sheik Halal Al Hemdawni, as well as representatives from the Mahmudiyah council and the chief of the Mahmudiyah Iraqi Police.
Baghdad to be Middle East economic center within a few years
The government will soon open the way for international companies to in 55 large projects in the capital Baghdad, in an effort to develop the city of peace and make it an important economic and commercial center in the Middle East. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has recently allocated the sum of one billion 800 million dollars to the Baghdad secretariat and the ministries that contribute to the implementation of service projects in Baghdad for reconstruction during the next year. The Secretary of Baghdad, engineer Sabir Al-Isawi, revealed that the year 2008 will witness a leap in the quality of services and giant projects will be implemented spanning the next three years
The Battle of Musa Qala -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
The battle for the Taliban stronghold of Musa Qala in the southern Afghan province of Helmand is well underway. Officially launched on December 7, international and Afghan forces have prepped the battlefield for well over a month. A British armored column launched a feint to the outskirts of the town in mid-November and leaflets have been dropped on the town warning civilians to flee the impending attack.
The final assault on Musa Qala began after the Afghan government convinced a key Taliban tribal leader to defect. Last month there were reports Mullah Abdul Salaam was seeking to negotiate a deal with the Afghan government.
NATO And Afghan Forces Take Musa Qala.
Nato and Afghani forces have taken the town of Musa Qala after a 4 days of fierce fighting.
Random Thoughts on Old Man Winterstan -- [1romad - in Afghansitan]
Since my last Thanksgiving post I have had a number of interesting experiences. However, they don't really fall neatly into one narrative, so I guess I will just spill them out more or less chronologically:
I woke up still full from our Thanksgiving dinner, and headed out to overwatch a "routine" patrol. Spotted some bad guys, and three of us (sniper, local, and myself) reconned out about 200m to ensure they were not observing or maneuvering on us. Worked with fixed and rotary wing aircraft when our main element reported troops in contact. Good fireworks. Everyone safe. On our way out one soldier took a tumble so we got to ride home in some toyotas. And made it back in time for dinner.....with stories to tell!
Valuing the daughters -- [Yellowhammering Afghanistan - in Afghanistan]
It takes an act from the governor for an American man to talk to Afghan women. I'm not exaggerating.
I recently met the head of civil affairs in Ghazni at an event and she told me about the work her organization and others were doing with orphanages and vocational training for women.
With most of the humanitarian aid we receive here at Camp Vulcan aimed at women and children, I thought it would be good if we could plan an HA drop with the Afghan National Police to directly support this work.
She suggested we meet to discuss it.
Canada issues ultimatum to Afghan elders
Canada is toughening its stance in Afghanistan.
The military is telling tribal leaders they must reject the Taliban in order to get security and reconstruction help.
But some Afghans feel the choice is no choice at all. Opposing the Taliban could put them in the cross-hairs. But failing to oppose the Taliban means international forces won't protect them.
Carrots and Sticks to Stop Poppy -- [A Year in Afghanistan - in Afghanistan]
October and November are the months when poppy is planted in southern Afghanistan. You may have seen a few news reports about the extent of poppy production during the 2006-2007 growing season. The UN Office of Drug Control released quite an extensive report here: http://www.unodc.org/documents/crop-monitoring/Afghanistan-Opium-Survey-2007.pdf. They report that 93% of the world's opium came from Afghanistan.
The strategy by the Afghan government for the 2007-2008 season is to try to convince religious leaders and farmers not to plant poppy, but rather some other crop such as wheat. It's a carrot and stick approach. Farmers are given seeds and fertilizer, and they are asked to sign pledges that they will not grow poppy.
R.I.P. Hard Drive -- [6 months in Kabul - in Afghanistan]
...Today we had a peaceful protest near our base. I was told by one of the interpreters that they were the widows of men that had died from war related causes. They were protesting the UN building for more widow's rights.
Lord of the Flies -- [6 months in Kabul - in Afghanistan]
...A lot of changes are going on at the clinic. The Afghans are in the process of converting it to a hospital. They brought some of their old beds over and were cleaning them today. It should be interesting when they start to have inpatients.
Some of our teammates visited a children's hospital called Indira Ghandi yesterday. It is run by doctors from India. I was so amazed to learn that they had one over here. From the pictures it looks like a really modern facility. They had some pretty sick children in the hospital. My friend took a lot of pictures. I won't post any pictures of the kids since they are sick and in the hospital but I will describe a few of them.
WA Guard & Floods -- [Blog-ah]
The Washington National Guard sent us these pics of their men and women in action helping those caught up this week in floods and wind....
The Next NIE -- [Threats Watch]
There is value in recognizing ignorance
Ample ink has been spilled by both ends of the political spectrum on what the latest NIE on Iran’s nuclear capabilities means. Partisans in both camps have reason to love and hate the thing, or more precisely what they think is in the thing, given that we are dealing with just four pages of unclassified and high-level conclusions from 150 pages of narrative and supporting material. The folly of judging important books by their covers notwithstanding, one question remains to...
Iran Report Makes Case for Keeping Pressure On -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
A piece I had in today's Baltimore Sun on last week's NIE on Iran's nuclear intentions and capabilities.
Some analysts are arguing that because last week's National Intelligence Estimate concluded that Iran halted its covert nuclear program in 2003, sanctions against Iran are no longer necessary. In fact, the opposite conclusion could be drawn from the report, which suggests that Iran is vulnerable to outside pressure on the nuclear issue - and much more still needs to be done on this front.
China's View of American "Soft Power" -- [Weekly Standard]
The Chinese have not taken kindly to Washington’s call for a probe into alleged voting irregularities in the December 2 Russian parliamentary elections, which the Putin-led United Russia party won by a landslide.
The Chinese press attributed United Russia’s victory to the potent combination of Putin’s effective leadership, popular support, and skillful campaign tactics. People’s Daily proclaimed that the win by United Russia is, in fact, the triumph of "Putinism."
The Russian president is portrayed not as a politician seeking to cling to power, but instead as a leader committed to rebuilding his country according to the "Putin Plan," the full implementation of which is expected to take 15-20 years.
The official Xinhua news agency ran on December 6 a commentary titled "Is democracy an 'obedient child'?" The piece, published the same day in Shanghai’s Oriental Morning Post, asks rhetorically:
Guilty Pleas by FARC Operatives Show How Pipelines Work -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Three Colombians have pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting FARC guerrillasthrough efforts to launder money on behalf of the terrorist organization and alien smuggling.
The case is important not only for putting FARC supporters and corrupt agents of the Colombian government in prison, but because it gives a glimpse into the pipelines that cross over between terrorist/guerrilla groups and transnational criminal networks.
Going Home -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
...Outside, in the dark and the fog and the rain, it all comes out.
The things he’d seen, the things he’d done. The things he claimed he could never tell anyone who hadn’t been there.
Most of all about his friend, who cried as he lay mortally wounded.
“Don’t let me die… please, don’t let me die… “
“I mean, I’m probably going to hear that for the rest of my fucking life!”
He’s angry again. The true grief over his friend’s death is yet to come. For now, he’s realizing what this has done to him. That he’s changed now.
He doesn’t want to be changed.
Usually, I just listen, inserting a casual, "That sucks, man" or a "That's fucked up, dude" at appropriate intervals. Like what they're talking about is the most normal thing in the world, which it is. For them.
And they sure as hell don’t need me telling them how they should feel.
But he’s asking me to say something now, with his eyes. He wants me to say it will go away....
Christmas In Iraq -- [Laughinh Wolf - BlackFive]
It is with great pleasure that I tell you today that in partnership with Soldier's Angels, and through the generosity of Mr. DeVore, the Blackfive Embed Program is set to return to Iraq for Christmas. Talks are ongoing with PAO offices, and the paperwork should be filed shortly.
When I floated this idea here earlier, I was amazed at the support offered. I am not able to take packages for the troops with me, for reasons of security and because I need to be able to carry all my own gear -- and I know how you all would respond and I am not able to shoulder the several tons likely to show up. So, I will simply note that Soldier's Angels is sending out a variety of care packages, including some with Dunkin Donuts coffee. So, if you want to do something for the troops, go make a donation to Soldier's Angels.; or, Adopt a Soldier; or, if you have some time (even just a little bit) volunteer.
VAARNG Soldier Selected for “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” -- [GX Online]
Rice, VA – A deployed Virginia Army National Guard Soldier, from Farmville, VA, and his family have been selected for the show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”
SPC Michael Lucas, who is currently deployed to Iraq with C. Co. 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry, Virginia Army National Guard, and his family have been selected to be the next family featured on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”
SPC Lucas, who has returned to Virginia on mid-tour leave, landed at the Farmville, VA, Army National Guard Armory and was driven to his home in Cullen, VA, on the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” bus to surprise his family with the news that they were selected for an “extreme” home makeover.
During the next week, designers from the show, area builders and volunteers will be working to build a new home for the Lucas family. On Dec. 8, Virginia National Guardsmen will be on site to volunteer with the construction of the Lucas’ new home.
Christmas at the White House for Military Kids -- [Gazing at the Flag]
WASHINGTON, Dec. 3, 2007 - President Bush told 200 military children -- about half of whom had a deployed parent -- gathered in the East Room of the White House for a holiday party that he had two jobs today.
"One is to introduce you to my wife, Laura," he said. "Two is to tell you how much we admire your moms and dads (and) how much we appreciate their service to our country."
Peace, Love, COIN? -- [SWJ]
The December ’07 issue of Armed Forces Journal contains two commentary pieces that are harbingers of a debate brewing “inside and outside the beltway” concerning Counterinsurgency (COIN) / Irregular Warfare (IW) operations “after Iraq.” While the two AFJ articles focus on Army and Marine Corps COIN doctrine approved last December and its execution in Iraq, the issues the authors raise will most certainly carryover into a larger debate that will shape our National Security Strategy and military capabilities for decades to come.
The first article, Dishonest Doctrine by Ralph Peters, accuses the Army and Marine Corps of selective use of history in writing FM 3-24 / MCWP 3-33.5 Counterinsurgency. Arguably the most damning of Peters’ claims is his accusation that the primary authors took an “academic approach” – formulating conclusions up-front in the writing process and conducting biased research in search of historical examples that supported those conclusions.
Relax!! -- [The Sandy Squid - home from Iraq]
I'm Home!! I flew out Tuesday night and arrived about 3 hours late due to weather. I've spent the last 40+ hours unpacking, checking in on base and spending lots of time with my wife. Sarah and I went out for a nice dinner last night, it was great to sit and talk about the last 7 months at the same restaurant we were at the night before I left. The readjustment will take a little time since I'm used to a fast paced environment...it's hard to go from 110 MPH to not moving at all. I've managed to clean some kitchen cupboards, our book cases and unpack...Sarah keeps telling me to sit and relax...I'm trying, but it's tough.
Another Surge Convert -- [Weekly Standard]
Batiste, you will remember, is the formerly "antiwar" general who spoke out against Donald Rumsfeld, and who, until recently, was a Board Member of VoteVets.org (the antiwar MoveOn.org vets front group).
...There are two stories here: 1) A formerly anti-war general flips on supporting the war, and now believes Petraeus has the right strategy; and 2) Batiste has left VoteVets.org, and the antiwar movement, and joined up with the pro-troop, pro-surge, pro-victory Vets for Freedom.
The antiwar movement has lost one of its most powerful voices today, and it will be interesting to see whether they turn on one of their own, or come around to the view, supported by a preponderance of evidence, that the surge is working.
Democrat Representative Pomeroy says Iraq is more secure -- [AP]
WASHINGTON Rep. Earl Pomeroy says he saw significant security improvements in Iraq during his fifth trip to the country, but said much more is needed. "I've never felt more hopeful about the success of the effort than coming back from this trip," Pomeroy, D-N.D., told reporters on Wednesday. "At the same time, we need to transition this now, so the United States no longer carries the principal combat and security functions."Pomeroy went to Ramadi and Baghdad, visiting with top U.S. generals on the ground. He observed joint operations between Iraqi and American officials and a morning briefing given to Gen. David Petraeus, the top military commander in Iraq. He said he saw significant improvements since his last trip in July 2006.
At a cross road and Soldierlife. -- [American Soldier]
I have been fully immersed in a very important project. It has many things to do with military members. I’ve neglected to post stories for a long time. Partly because I’ve had to endure some things on my own, also this new project. I will say that the Soldierlife site has opened many opportunities and has allowed me to meet some great people. For that would not be possible without the Milblog ring. Something that I am proud to be a part of. I am happy that this site has received worldwide coverage and visitors.
So I want to ask the readership what they think now? It seems that milblogs, unless you become a political or strict military orientated site has a certain life span. It just seems that way. What would you like to get from this site? Would you be interested in my new project? Where oh where should this site go.
You let me know.
The Iraq story: how troops see it -- [The Christian Science Monitor]
Yet the Iraq of Corporal Mayer's memory is not solely a place of death and loss. It is also a place of hope. It is the hope of the town of Hit, which he saw transform from an insurgent stronghold to a place where kids played on Marine trucks. It is the hope of villagers who whispered where roadside bombs were hidden. But most of all, it is the hope he saw in a young Iraqi girl who loved pens and Oreo cookies.
Like many soldiers and marines returning from Iraq, Mayer looks at the bleak portrayal of the war at home with perplexity - if not annoyance. It is a perception gap that has put the military and media at odds, as troops complain that the media care only about death tolls, while the media counter that their job is to look at the broader picture, not through the soda straw of troops' individual experiences.
Yet as perceptions about Iraq have neared a tipping point in Congress, some soldiers and marines worry that their own stories are being lost in the cacophony of terror and fear. They acknowledge that their experience is just that - one person's experience in one corner of a war-torn country. Yet amid the terrible scenes of reckless hate and lives lost, many members of one of the hardest-hit units insist that they saw at least the spark of progress.
Russert Concedes Fewer Deaths in Iraq Means Less Coverage -- [NewsBusters]
Asked by NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt on Sunday evening about how a new MSNBC/Mason-Dixon poll found that Iraq is not “the dominating issue” as “the economy is immensely important to voters,” Tim Russert suggested Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani will have “to re-calibrate” for “a bread and butter election” since “with the surge in Iraq and the level of American deaths declining, it is off the front pages.” Iraq is also now of less interest to the television networks. A MRC study released last week documented how Iraq stories on the three broadcast network evening newscasts fell from 178 in September to 68 during November, “with only eleven (16%) actually from the war zone itself.”
"Bush League Justice" -- [Media Blog - Greg Pollowitz]
Bush League Justice is the name of a new series starting tonight with Dan Abrams on MSNBC at 9:00. That's right, an entire series dedicated to bashing the Bush administration. Here's Abrams writing on his MSNBC:
(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.
General Petraeus Talks About Winning Iraq (Video) -- [Gateway Pundit]
General David Petraeus Talks About How We Are Winning Iraq.
General David Petraeus talked about the success of the surge in Iraq Sunday night with Geraldo Rivera on FOX News in an exclusive interview:
Death Toll for Iraqis Falls Again -- [AP]
BAGHDAD (AP) -- The number of Iraqis killed last month fell to 718, an Associated Press tally showed, the lowest monthly death toll since just before the 2006 bombing of a Shiite shrine provoked a vicious cycle of retaliatory sectarian violence.
The figures come as the military says violence has fallen to levels not seen in nearly two years, while acknowledging that Iraqis are still dying in unacceptable numbers.
American Losses in Iraq -- [Americas North Shore Journal]
Here is my regular summary of American losses in Iraq and those suffered by our enemies. U.S. losses are those as reported by the ICCC. Terrorist losses are those reported by MNF-I, except for November’s, which are my compilation pending confirmation by the military.
Much of the media and many bloggers report the total deaths, which I suggest gives an inaccurate picture of the data.
The first graph compares our losses to the terrorists since 2006. The surge reached full strength in mid-June 2007.
...In many places our troops are just not having to fight any longer. Many of the people choosing to attack the Coalition in January have either decided to join our efforts or remain on the sideline and not fight.
Iraqi and US soldiers 10th MN 2/15 helping children in Mahmudyah - Iraq
WINNING BAGHDAD - A CAVALRY COMMANDER'S REPORT -- [Ralph Peters - NY Post]
The U.S. Army's 1st Squadron of the 4th Cavalry has had a remarkably successful year in Baghdad, turning around its slice of the long troubled Dura neighborhood. In an e-interview earlier this week, the unit's commander, Lt. Col. Jim Crider, explained how his troops did it.
Question: Congratulations on the superb work "Quarter Cav" has done for us all - Iraqis and Americans. When you arrived in Iraq this time around, did you think you'd be able to make such progress?
Lt. Col. Crider: Our initial experiences upon arrival in March '07 were very discouraging. The enemy controlled the ground - the people - in southwest Baghdad. I saw more combat in the first six weeks than in the entire year of Operation Iraqi Freedom I.
We realized that we'd never kill or capture every enemy, so our goal was to change the conditions on the ground that allowed the insurgency to flourish. Three key factors contributed to our success:
The Tipping of West Rasheed, Part One -- [Laughing Wolf - in Iraq]
...The story of West Rashid is, like the district itself, a study in contrasts. Within the district, Sunni and Shia have long worked together side-by-side and, for the most part, gotten along well. So well, in fact, that marriages have taken place between the two groups. Yet, it is a clearly Sunni dominated district and has seen its share of problems as well.
...Nine months ago, this area was "al Qaeda Central" and was not only an area of combat, but also a major route into Baghdad for terrorists. It was an area in which kidnappings, murders, direct attacks, snipers, IEDs, and more threatened not only Coalition troops, but the locals as well. It was truly hostile ground, and as Capt. Showman notes in a bit of understatement, it was and is an “…interesting area with an enormous amount of dynamics which make it an extremely difficult counterinsurgency fight.”
December in Iraq -- [Welcome to Iraq - Patrick in Iraq]
Iraq is... the same. Well, not quite the same. This stuff about decreasing attacks and whatnot, it's all true. Things are starting to look a little better, across the board. Not sure if we get to attribute that to the fact that it's starting to get cold here, but for whatever the reason, it's made life very uneventful here. I'm sure most people's first thought would be "That's great news!", but at the risk of sounding like a warmonger, I miss it. The attacks are what kept us busy over here; kept us from getting complacent, and BORED.
A message you wont hear in the news! -- [One Marine's View]
(A letter home from a Marine currently serving in Iraq)
Dear Dad -
I know that you have been asking for an update as to what we are up to over here. Hopefully this gets to you on Thanksgiving. As you know, we are aligned along the Euphrates River south of Lake Qadasiyah. The area of operations we are responsible for is known as the TRIAD. It is a series of townships that include Haditha, Barwanah, Haqlaniyah and a number of smaller towns. All told, the task force is close to 2000 men (and a few women). Even with this many men, we are stretched pretty well.
Like all of Anbar, the violence dropped of significantly in 2007. Since we have been here, we have not had a single IED detonate on us.
We have found a number but compared to 2006 numbers, even the IED's have dropped off tremendously. Believe it or not, we have had no direct firefights since our arrival and only one indirect fire attack that was ineffective. Suffice to say, it is a different world than the one I left in April 2005.
Iraqi Police Capture one of Two Idiots that fires a hand gun into a group of shoppers
Men of Valor: Part III -- [Michael Yon - in Iraq]
The 4 Rifles’ first trip into Basra brought more than 15 hours of fighting that left a Pakistani driver killed, dragged away and never seen again by the British. Two British killed in action and many more wounded, a convoy of banged-up vehicles that ran the damage gamut from flat tire to complete destruction, and almost no break before it was time for Major Steve Webb to saddle up and move on again, his Welsh Warriors always taking point on another convoy.
One of the controversies I intended to explore on my second embed with the British is the claim that EFPs are flowing into Iraq from Iran, just miles down the road. Iran’s support for international terrorist groups is well established; and here in Iraq, Iran is believed to have intimate contacts with terrorist groups providing them with “lethal aid.”
You've gotta teach more than Patrolling 101 -- [Castle Argghhh!]
Judging by the increasingly positive coverage of Coalition-trained Iraqi troops I've seen in the Daily Fishwrapper, we're doing some things so absolutely right that even the NYT can't invent a down side to 'em. Which got me thinking (leaving blank space for John to insert snarkastic remark: ________ ): the troops on the ground will *still* need fixed- and rotary-wing aerial support for counter-terr ops -- border surveillance, area and zone recon, combat assault and extraction, medevac, instant "high ground" for suppressive fires (aka Close Air Support, which will get knickers in knots in certain circles), resupply, et cetera. Right now, the Coalition provides the aircraft and aircrews for those missions, but sooner or later, the Iraqi armed forces will inherit the job, and they'll have to have organic assets.
Standing Up the Iraqi Army -- [The Captain’s Journal]
If only the issues with the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) could be summed up by saying that they needed to learn to do calisthenics better or target with their rifles, training the ISF would take several months. Undoubtedly, this is what the uninitiated think when the administration talks of “standing down when the Iraqis stand up.” How long can it take to train a soldier? Even if one includes consideration beyond individual training to unit level tactics such as satellite patrols, squads rushes, flanking maneuvers, room clearing, and so forth, this would add months - maybe a year at the most.
...And so the story goes, from corruption, to desertion, to lack of family support for ISF members, to poor or no pay, to sectarian differences, to poor training, to the lack of an NCO corps. The story is about cultural differences and sectarian divides rather than the ability to perform with a firearm. The project in which the United States is engaged with respect to the ISF is no less than one of cultural transition - a change of paradigm
Al Sadr And Followers Accuse Maliki Of “Systematic Campaign To Eliminate” Them -- [Pat Dollard]
Karbala, Dec 3, (VOI) – ِA Sadrist politician accused the Iraqi government of launching what he branded as “systematic liquidation” campaign against Sadrists, or Iraqis loyal to Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr, threatening civil disobedience if detention of Sadrists continued.
“Our visit to Karbala has to do with the al-Shahid al-Sadr’s office in the province and not for any government body,” Abu Firas al-Mutairi, who led Sadr’s delegation to Karbala, said during a press conference on Sunday.
Mutairi urged the Iraqi government “not to act as lenient tool in the hands of the occupation forces and to apply the law fairly on all.”
On Sunday a Sadrist source in Karbala said a delegation sent by Shiite leader al-Sadr arrived in Karbala on a fact-finding mission regarding arrests targeting Sadrists and their Mahdi Army militias.
US warns Iraq to speed up political progress - Press Release
US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte warned on Sunday that Iraq must use space created by improved security to speed up political reconciliation or risk a new eruption of sectarian violence.
What I see every day in Iraq: locals turning against the insurgents -- [Michael Totten]
FALLUJAH, IRAQ - In August, I wrote in these pages that it was too soon to judge Gen. David Petraeus' surge of troops in Iraq a success or a failure. It's not too soon anymore.
Baghdad, the most dangerous city in all of Iraq, is only half as violent as it was when I was there during the summer. And the fact that the capital is now the deadliest city is itself evidence of a tectonic shift on the ground.
...Almost everyone I know back home was sure I'd be shot at every day, that it's still a war zone out here. Based on the news reports - even the new, optimistic ones, could you blame them for thinking that?
But attacks against coalition forces in Fallujah are down by more than 90% since March of this year. Almost all attacks these days are single, ineffective pot shots rather than the lethal IEDs of last year.
Turkey keeps up its own War on Terror in Iraq -- Is ours legitimate, and theirs not? -- [Jeff Emanuel]
The latest skirmish between the Turkish military and the PKK, a Kurdish organization recognized by the US, among others, as a terrorist outfit, saw Turkey hammering a group of about 50 fighters in northern Iraq with artillery and airstrikes yesterday.
...Jabbar Yawar, the head of peshmerga forces in northern Iraq (Kurdistan), said without elaborating that Turkish aircraft were "trespassing northern Iraqi airspace since a week."
Iraq and Afghanistan currently serve as the highest-profile nations to which America has gone (technically "trespassing" into their sovereign territory and airspace) for the purpose of prosecuting a war on terror, both to exact revenge for attacks on our soil and to increase our (and our allies') homeland security by taking the fight to terrorists where they existed at the time. Having set a recent precedent ourselves of border violation for the purpose of national security, can we honestly condemn their crossing of Iraq's northern border for the sole purpose of pursuing and destroying a terrorist organization that has attacked them?
Germany Sends PKK Suspects to Turkey, Wants Turkey to Return Al-Qaeda Suspect -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Several days ago, Germany signaled a crackdown on PKK elements there through the extradition of two men to Turkey. In return, Turkey might send a German citizen of Turkish origin, with suspected links with al-Qaeda, back to Germany.
The Today's Zaman website reported that Germany extradited Mehmet İltaş and Mehmet Eşref Kızılay, both members of the PKK, and quoted Turkey's Justice Ministry as saying that "intensified efforts and diplomatic undertakings" to return PKK members have "started bearing positive results." İltaş was wanted in Turkey for attacks on a police station and a minibus in 1991 in which eight people were killed. Kızılay is accused of killing a policeman in 1991 and had been detained in Germany since 1998.
All together now! This is how we win the war, win the war, win the war.... -- [BlackFive - Deebow ]
82nd Airborne Troopers doing it right in my former AO. This place was crawling with Taliban. I spent a week with my Afghan soldiers and the 2-87 Infantry up there and we hit a couple good sized caches and captured an HVT by the end of it all, and given the ebb and flow of fighters in the area, at least when I was there, this was bound to happen at some point.
Musa Qala: The Shape of Things to Come? -- [IWPR]
...Taleban control also means that the Kajaki dam project, southeast of Musa Qala, been delayed. The United States has been trying to reconstruct the dam to improve hydroelectricity provision for the province.
Enqiadi pointed to the road leading to Kajaki. “This road is being built by the Americans,” he said. “But we will never let them do it.”
The commander seemed confident that the Taleban could do what they want.
“Last year we used guerrilla attacks,” he said. “This year we will organise frontal assaults. Our lines are so strong that the foreigners will never break them. The foreigners say they are going to launch a major operation in Musa Qala. We are ready for that. In Musa Qala alone, we have 2,050 fully armed fighters. It will be very easy for us to resist the attack. We want to take the whole province this winter,”
The government does not seem to know what to do about the Taleban and their growing strength.
Winning Hearts and Minds -- [IWPR]
The Taleban have avoided the worst excesses of the past in a bid to win popular support.
“We don’t want foreigners here! We do not want kafir [unbelievers]. Do you hear me?”
I was not trying to interview this man, whose name was Abdul Raziq - he simply forced himself in front of the microphone.
“All Muslims reject the current government!” he shouted. “But we watch the Taleban closely, too. If they do anything we don’t like, we will stand up to them.”
...Reporters have stayed clear of the area since then. The Taleban’s attitude towards journalists whose reporting they dislike is too familiar for comfort.
But when a group of us received an invitation from the Taleban to see Musa Qala, it was too tempting to resist. For the first time, I could speak to these people directly; try to find out what they were thinking and feeling.
The local Taleban administrators told us that everybody supports them and that they face little or no resistance.
“We are winning people’s hearts and minds day by day,” said the Taleban district governor, who is called Haqani.. “That is why people cooperate with the Taleban. We are fighting not only in Helmand, but all over Afghanistan.”
Taleban Ghost Town -- [IWPR]
...There are no schools open in the district, although some young boys are receiving a religious education in mosques.
The Taleban control the district the same way they did when they were in power in Afghanistan. The only difference is now there are no men from the committee for “the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice” patrolling the streets.
“We do not punish people for their hair and beards right now,” explained the Taleban district governor. “But once we take over the country, we will treat people according to the orders of our supreme leader Mullah Omar.”
The governor does not have his own office, and I met him at someone’s house.
The insurgents have their own FM radio station covering Musa Qala district. Like other Taleban institutions, the station does not operate out of a particular office. The mobile radio station is on the air from seven in the morning until midday and then from three to seven in the evening.
US Marines call in B-52 to take out Taliban hideout in Afghanistan
Another airstrike by the heroic US Troops in Afghanistan. "Allah Hu Akbar"
Scott Huddleston: AF doc saves Afghan infant -- [MySA.com: Military City]
Much of the local media's attention is focused this week on football and individual players who excelled on the field.
So chances are, you haven't heard the name Randall McCafferty this week. If you have, you probably didn't realize he's a San Antonian who's been an 'MVP' in a different but very special way for one young girl and her family in Afghanistan.
NATO video:Taliban in Burkas using children as shields
Eye in the sky. Just released, previously classified NATO video showing how Taliban tactics are evolving. CBC's Brian Stewart reports November 30, 2007
Pakistani Army advances in Swat -- [LWJ]
The Pakistani military continues its slow advance against the pro-Taliban forces in Swat led by Maulana Fazlullah. While the government claims its writ has been restored in Swat and "life is returning to normalcy," several major towns are still under Taliban control almost two months after the Taliban took control.
The military plan calls for moving troops into the mountains and hilltops. Once secured, the military is relying on air power and artillery barrages in populated areas of the settled district to force the Taliban from their hideouts. Eleven Taliban were reported captured on Friday night, including two "foreign fighters."
Afghanistan Briefing 30 November 07
COL Edward Daly and Maj.Gen. Murad Ali, providing an update on training of the Afghan Nat'l Army and recent operations against the Taliban in the Mazar-E-Sharif area northern Afghanistan.
TWO AMERICAN SOLDIERS CONVERT TO ISLAM, MARRY IN AFGHANISTAN -- [EurasiaNet]
An Afghan newspaper, cited by the Reuters news agency, reported on July 26 that two U.S. soldiers have converted to Islam and got married in Afghanistan.
The "Hewad Daily" reported that the two soldiers are stationed at Bagram Air Base north of Kabul, the center of U.S.-led operations in Afghanistan. An unidentified U.S. military spokesman said he is working to verify the account, but added that freedom of religion is a protected right under the U.S. Constitution.
An Afghan cleric, referred to only as Hamidullah, praised the soldiers’ alleged conversion, stating that "if anybody embraces Islam...his sins committed in this world will be forgiven and Allah praises him and his family, and will bless him in the coming world too."
U.S. cruiser spots 2 Iranian subs in Gulf -- [Navy Times]
ABOARD THE CRUISER VICKSBURG IN THE PERSIAN GULF — Officials aboard the cruiser Vicksburg spotted and photographed two surfaced Iranian Kilo-class submarines in the Persian Gulf a few weeks ago, the ship’s skipper told Navy Secretary Donald Winter during a visit to the ship on Saturday.
A Shameful Act -- [Strategy Page]
December 2, 2007: The recent flurry of access denials to Hong Kong, reveal an aspect of the Chinese government that does not get a lot of media exposure. That is, no one person is in charge. China is run by a committee of senior politicians, police officials and military officers. The actual degree of power any one of them has shifts from month to month. In times of national danger, the military officials have more clout and freedom to do what they want. If there is more civil unrest, the police officials are more powerful. As long as the economy booms, the politicians prosper, and their power is unchallenged. So who gave the orders to shut down Hong Kong to the U.S. military, and why? No one is saying, and there are a lot of likely suspects. What has leaked out is that someone in the Chinese leadership is really upset over how the U.S. recently honored the Dalai Lama (the spiritual leader of Tibetan resistance to Chinese occupation), and agreed to sell Taiwan more weapons. Some Chinese officials are very unhappy with the fact that Tibetans continue to resist Chinese occupation, and that Taiwan refuses to surrender its independence and become part of China.
Reassessing China -- [Threats Watch]
It is Time for a Fresh Look at the Middle Kingdom
Several reports have emerged over the last few years that discuss a massive on-going Chinese military build-up. In parallel, numerous reports of Chinese espionage efforts against the US and our interests have also been released. More recently it was revealed that US intelligence assessments on Chinese issues have consistently fallen short, to the detriment of US readiness against the potential threats China may pose. Is a confrontation with China imminent or are there other factors we need to consider when...
Death of a Thousand Cuts For Peacekeepers -- [Strategy Page]
December 3, 2007: UN officials have begun expressing concern about the slow pace of troop contingent commitments for the hybrid peacekeeping force in Darfur. At the moment the lack of helicopters is a major worry. The UN-African Union force needs at least 18 transport helicopters. The force also needs a light observation (recon) helicopter element of six helicopters. The UN-AU command staff believes that the force will only have 9,000 troops when it becomes operational on January 1, 2008.
Anti-terror checks overdue -- [Herald Tribune]
Improved scrutiny of aviation workers is welcome
In a move at least seven years overdue, U.S. officials will soon begin conducting more thorough and frequent background checks of mechanics, flight attendants and other aviation workers.
The Federal Aviation Administration expanded its background checks of employees and applicants after the 2001 terrorist attacks, but security consultants and others in the industry have warned that the screening is far from thorough.
Fullbore Friday -- [CDR Salamander]
How do you define sacrifice? How do you respond to loss? How do you focus pride, grief, love and honor? Do you try to take positive action in the face of a horror you never expected to face? Can you go beyond the emotional and tap into the intellectual? For today's FbF, I ask you to step back , absorb, and most of all - be humble.
Ken Schram: Someone should be fired -- [KOMO-TV - ken Schram]
I don't think things can get more screwed up with airport security.
This isn't about how investigators were able to smuggle liquid explosives and detonators past TSA screeners earlier this year. It's about the atrocious treatment endured by some Fort Lewis soldiers who were escorting the remains of a colleague home to Virginia earlier this month.
Brief background: On the tarmac, an honor guard had been formed by Port of Seattle Police, airport fire and rescue and military personnel as the soldier's body was placed on the plane. A police officer then took the escort soldiers up to security. The TSA screener checked everyone's ID, including the police officer, and then had the soldiers go through the metal detectors.
Their combat ribbons and medals set off the alarms.
So what does the TSA screener do?
He has the soldiers strip off their uniforms - in front of everyone
James Hooker's Half Assed, On The Cheap, USO Christmas Show. -- [James Hooker's War]
SAME OLD CHRISTMAS"
For the troops this Christmas, another episode in the "Why We Really, Really Fight" series. Can you imagine these women decked out in hijab and burqa? It wouldn't be quite right, would it?
I wrote this song, Same Old Christmas, a few years ago, so a few of you may be familiar with the song, but this is a new recording. Fun cobbling together the video also.
Operation Santa / Hospitals Needs Our Help!!! -- [Gazing at the Flag]
Operation Santa for the Hospitals & Our Wounded Troops
Operation Santa for the Hospitals is putting together Christmas stockings with gift cards and treats and cards to deliver to the OEF/OIF veterans at Bethesda, Walter Reed, Balboa Naval Hospital and Brooke Army Medical Center.
And, they need our help!!!! There are two ways to help -
Army Issues Instructions to Prepare for Funding Shortfall -- [Army News]
The Army announced today that it has taken initial steps to plan for reduced operations at all Army bases while the congressional review continues on funding for operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and requirements associated with the Global War on Terror.
With no funds provided for GWOT requirements since the beginning of the fiscal year, the Army has had to use operation and maintenance dollars budgeted to organize, train, equip, and field forces, as well to sustain Soldiers and their Families, to fund war related activities.
MRAP Orders Cut -- [Strategy Page]
December 3, 2007: A sure sign of peace breaking out in Iraq is the U.S. Marine Corps decision to reduce, by about a third, the number (3,700) of MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles it planned to buy. This is because the use of roadside bombs and mines by Iraqi terrorists has sharply declined in the last few months. The marines also see little use for the MRAPs elsewhere. The MRAPs are too heavy for amphibious or airborne operations, and are difficult to carry on amphibious ships.
Distrust in the Dust (another 5.56mm tragedy) -- [Strategy Page]
November 29, 2007: Last May, the U.S. Army ordered another $375 million worth of M4 rifles. This got a lot of troops agitated because of the continuing jamming problems with the M4 and M16 rifles. The emails have been flying among the troops these past six months, and apparently many were passed on to members of Congress and the media. Once more, the army is on the defensive regarding its choice of assault rifles. The army agreed to run more tests involving dust and reliability. These tests were supposed to take place in August. They didn't, and after several delays they are now to take place in December. Meanwhile, the troops keep passing around horror stories.
What a Long Strange Trip It's Been -- [The Sandy Squid - home from Iraq]
I've finally arrived stateside after a long journey home. Our day started at 0800 in Kuwait on the 28th. After 24 hours of customs, inspections, quarantine and flight prep, we left Kuwait and landed in Germany. After a short delay for refueling in Germany, it was off to Baltimore, Philly and finally Norfolk. Total...just shy of 2 days of prep and travel with very little sleep. We arrived in Norfolk yesterday around midnight, got to bed around 01:30 this morning and reported in to demob processing around 0700. My body is very much out of whack due to jet lag and the time difference...I plan on lots of sleep this weekend. We cleared medical today and have demob briefs and admin on Monday. I hope to be flying home Tuesday if all goes well.
We had a great welcome home in Baltimore. Lots of people including members of the USO (United Service Organization), various American Legion and VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) posts shaking our hands, clapping and cheering as we walked through. It was very emotional...even thinking about it now. It was great having World War II veterans there saying how proud they were of our service and shaking our hands
The Last Day -- [The Way of the Shirey - home from Iraq]
“The last day. It’s hard to believe it’s here. Just like Afghanistan, it seemed like it would never get here and now that it’s here I’m left to wonder where all the time went. I haven’t allowed myself to get excited or to anticipate leaving in any way, which may be why I am not overflowing with joy.
I am happy to be leaving to be sure, but it’s never what you’d expect. There is a connection to this place now, one that can never be undone. Like a scar it will be with me forever, a reminder of what my life once was. It is the quintessential moment in all war stories; when the battle is over do you rejoice or do you cry?
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON CONGRESS'S LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE YEAR
THE PRESIDENT: -- [The White House]
Good morning. Congress returns from its two-week Thanksgiving break today. They have just two weeks to go before they leave town again. That's not really a lot of time to squeeze in nearly a year's worth of unfinished business.
In fairness, Congress was not entirely out over the past two weeks. In a political maneuver designed to block my ability to make recess appointments, congressional leaders arranged for a senator to come in every three days or so, bang a gavel, wait for about 30 seconds, bang a gavel again, and then leave. Under the Senate rules, this counts as a full day. If 30 seconds is a full day, no wonder Congress has got a lot of work to do.
Congress needs to start by passing a bill to fund our troops in combat. Beginning in February, I submitted detailed funding requests to Congress to fund these operations in the war on terror. Yet some in Congress are withholding this funding because they want to substitute their judgment for that of our military commanders. Instead of listening to the judgment of General Petraeus, they are threatening to withhold money he needs unless they can mandate an arbitrary date of withdrawal.
Public opinion tide shifts -- [CDR Salamander]
Even with the "hush, hush, the surge is working" environment, the large ship of public opinion looks like it is shifting. From the Pew Poll in summary - but if you have time read the whole thing.
...The best report is from the Washington Times, which explains in the details where Murtha's 180 on the surge may have come from.
What a tangled Webb .... -- [CDR Salamander]
Well, I guess those MoveOn.org and DailyKos types are sure getting their money's worth...
MR. RUSSERT: But many Democrats have said, “We want to stop the funding for the war, period.”
SEN. WEBB: And I think that’s just not a winning formula.
Snicker. They should be careful how much they go after Sen. Webb (D-VA) - if he is true to type, once he feels his opinion isn't loved enough, he will quit and go home.
Iraq Debate Steps Up In Washington -- [Global Security.org]
U.S. military officials say progress is being made in Iraq, months after an influx of additional American troops. But prominent Democrats in Congress say the military gains are not enough, and the Iraqi government must do more on the political front. VOA's Paula Wolfson reports.
With Congress deliberating war funding, the debate over the situation in Iraq is heating up again.
And now for some shoddy war reporting…from an NRO milblogger -- [Michelle Malkin]
Ugh. This is bad on many levels. W. Thomas Smith, Jr., a former Marine and milblogger who writes at National Review Online’s The Tank (and whose work in Iraq I’ve praised and linked to here), posts a long-winded defense of bogus, shoddy reporting he published while he was in Lebanon earlier this fall. It’s painful to read because he takes nearly 1,400 words to get to the main points
...The problem is that “more context” and “caveats” aren’t what was needed. Just the facts would have sufficed. Smith’s work in those posts was not “good” or “brave.” And “the nature of blogging” doesn’t excuse the phenomenal errors. Given Smith’s admissions, “reliable” is not a word that should attach to his Lebanon reporting.
TNR, the NYT and the Myth of the Fact-Checker [PJM - Roger Simon]
The New Republic hullabaloo has put the spotlight on the dubious art of fact-checking: the linchpin on which mainstream media bases its superiority over blogs and other new online media, writes Pajamas CEO Roger L. Simon, who has both fact-checked and been fact-checked (though never, like Scott Beauchamp, by his wife)
I never thought The New Republic was anti-union, but its editor Franklin Foer seems to be auditioning for a Writers Guild strike scab job as a late night comedy writer. How else to explain his telling us that it took four and a half months for his magazine to determine his Iraq correspondent Scott Beauchamp was a liar?
What Did I Know and When Did I Know It? -- [Kathryn Jean Lopez - The Tank]
So everyone knows the chronology here: Deep into the second week of November, W. Thomas Smith Jr. was contacted by Tom Edsall and an e-mail was forwarded from Edsall to me from our ad dept.
I immediately had Smith go through the details of what he wrote and who his sources were, what he saw and what he was relying on others for.
I then had one of our reporters retrace Smith’s Lebanon steps from New York, as I made some calls myself to experts in the area to feel them out.
By the middle of the third week in November, I concluded Smith wasn’t skeptical enough, and that the posts in question were sloppy.
Helen Thomas -- [Weekly Standard]
The Corner posts the transcript from today's press briefing:
Q Why should we depend on him?
MS. PERINO: Because he is the commander on the ground, Helen. He's the one who is making sure that the situation is moving --
Q You mean how many more people we kill?
MS. PERINO: Helen, I find it really unfortunate that you use your front row position, bestowed upon you by your colleagues, to make such statements. This is a -- it is an honor and a privilege to be in the briefing room, and to suggest that we, at the United States, are killing innocent people is just absurd and very offensive.
WH Spokeman Dana Perino pwns Helen Thomas
Woke Up this Morning and I Got Myself a Fisk -- [Moderate Risk]
Yesterday I got angry, today I decided to get mean and get help. I couldn't sleep this morning thinking about how badly biased, patronizing, and out of touch the KINK-FM commentary about deploying the Oregon Guard was. Since the author of this epistle refuses to discuss his lapses with me, I've decided to discuss them with you and try to get your assistance. Please visit the KINK site and leave your comments about their editorial. Please be respectful and serious, because that is the best way to drive the message home.
...Our soldiers, both guardsmen and regular military, have been making amazing sacrifices. If we feel that more, maybe we will protest more, write more letters, and force our U.S. Senate candidates to take a position: Do they oppose this deployment or not?
Your concern for the guardsmen and regular military would be a lot more convincing if you ever talked to them. Or if you had been to Iraq. Or Afghanistan. Or Fort Lewis, two hours north of your offices. Or Camp Withycombe, half an hour away and within your broadcast range.
Movie Review: Rescue Dawn -- [Jack Army]
Received Rescue Dawn in the mail the other day, tonight is the first opportunity JILL and I had to watch the movie.
So, how was it?
Damn good. What an inspiring story, first of all, of the human will to survive despite horrible conditions, despicable treatment and against all odds, Dieter Dengler was determined to survive. He had this determination right from the start and never gave up through his captivity, escape and run in the jungle for freedom...
As for the movie, very good.
At War -- [Scott Kesterson]
Trailer #3 for the documentary AT WAR is now live. You can view the trailer at the website at, www.atwarfilm.com, Myspace and YouTube.
AT WAR explores the timeless nature of war and conflict, and ultimately challenges us to look at ourselves as beings filled with love and hate, fear and courage, passion and chaos. Trailer #3 features music my PW Long with his song "(Let 'Em) Roll" from the album God Bless The Drunkard's Dog.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)