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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.
Different Narrative -- [Matt Sanchez]
Pete Hegseth just filed another dispatch from Baghdad. He noted something extraordinary that most people back home do not understand.
These gains, however, were costly. In their first 30 days in Doura, the unit was attacked over 50 times. On the very streets we’re walking today, LTC Crider has lost nine good men, with dozens more injured. But the unit persisted — honoring the sacrifices of their brethren — and has not been attacked in their sector since September 27. As compelling testimony to the unit’s dedication to the task, LTC Crider’s squadron had the highest reenlistment rate in all of Baghdad in 2007, exceeding their goal by over 500 percent.
Marne Forward - Sons of Iraq
Inside Iraqi politics – Part 5. A look at legislative progress: Sunnis’ and states’ rights -- [The Long War Journal - Bill Ardolino]
A significant measure of political progress in Iraq is the parliament’s ability to pass laws on sectarian reconciliation and those stipulating the government’s long-term design. To those ends, the most significant pieces of legislation include the Unified Retirement Law, the Accountability and Justice Law, the General Amnesty Law, legislation on the status of Kirkuk, and the Provincial Elections and Powers Law. Some of these measures have passed, while others remain contested.
Politics rears its Iraqi head -- [Belmont Club]
Today brought some bad news for the Surge. "Iraq's three-member presidency council has rejected a draft law to hold provincial elections and returned it to parliament, the president's office said on Wednesday." Fortunately, the other two laws which were part of the reform package "the 2008 federal budget and a general amnesty" passed. But "the law to hold provincial elections has not been approved and has been sent back to the parliament".
Williams Reports From Iraq -- [Blog-ah]
CSM Tommie Williams called this morning from Iraq to talk with me about the progress being made to stand up the Iraqi Army and police forces.
Williams is serving in the Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq.
From the sound of it, progress is being made.
“We’re building the security forces across the country,” said I Corps and Ft. Lewis’ former Command Sergeant Major. “The teamwork is there; the good work is there; we are making significant progress on all fronts,” he added.
A largely successful Arba'een -- [Sergeant Grumpy - in Iraq]
...The Shia in my observation* are obsessed with suffering and, as might be said in America, immerse themselves in a culture of being the victim. During Ashura they beat and cut themselves to show their devotion to Husayn and his suffering. They also have a bizarre tradition where they put their sons in a tent which is then lit on fire. All the kids are supposed to run out, but we have had to treat some poor boys who were badly burned.
...As you might imagine, this is a nightmare from a security perspective. It would be easy for a suicide bomber to blend in with crowd.
Iraqi leaders say 'Chemical Ali' will be executed -- [International Herald Tribune]
BAGHDAD: Iraqi leaders said Friday that they had found a way to execute Ali Hassan al-Majid, the man known as Chemical Ali who was one of Saddam Hussein's most notorious henchmen.
Most recent techniques in killing innocents -- [The Last of Iraqis - in Iraq]
It seems like the old methods of road side bombs, explosive packs in garbage and dead bodies and even kidnapping are old and aren't exciting anymore for the fanatics and criminals.
New methods are deployed recently to overcome the troubles they faced; like the lack of recruiters because of the awakening movements and the increasing difficulties of their movement because of the awakening movements too so they tend to find a way out, and the most modern way is sticking explosive packs!! AlQaeda is using this techniques instead of the explosive cars, they use a sticking explosive packs and stick them to innocent's cars, they usually choose cars that attract least attention like family cars or women's cars and they either use a timer or remote control to explode it...
Little Savages -- [Northern Disclosure - in Iraq]
I decided to give them something different today and to not throw it at them driving by, but to treat them like humans and not animals on the side of the road we are feeding our table scraps to. We had banana's, apples, cookies, and to cases of juice boxes. All kids love juice boxes right! We stopped at the selected site and I took Doc Voo Doo with me to help give the food away. As soon as I got out the children ran away, spooked so perhaps whoever had stopped before had given them reason to be fearful, I hoped this was not the case and they were just being apprehensive. I walked toward them calling out in Arabic for them not to be afraid
Sometimes you just gotto' take the chance! -- [CI-ROLLER DUDE]
I still get questions like: "what did you do to survive your tour in Iraq?"
I was the unit Combat Comic...I had to do things to keep up moral...
How many Soldiers or Marines do you know with the balls to find a sleeping First Sergeant, walk up to him and stick a rubber chicken in his face and take a picture of it?
It was worth the effort...nobody thought I would do it... but, I had to. I 'm glad I did it, and I'd do it again if I was deployed. So, my tip for the day...
Yankee Magic Terrorizes Taliban -- [Strategy Page]
February 29, 2008: The Taliban are having a bad Winter. The Pakistani army offensive against the Pakistani Taliban has cut off a source of reinforcements. Battles on the border, as Afghan and NATO troops catch Taliban crossing, have declined over a third. As a result, more foreign fighters are being found among dead and captured Taliban. The manpower shortage has caused the Taliban to abandon areas they had long maintained a presence in, particularly in Helmand province.
Preparing for spring -- [Yellowhammering Afghanistan - in Afghanistan]
I can remember when prepping for spring meant doing some spring cleaning around the house, planting some flowers or herbs in the garden and cleaning the grill to get ready for the barbecue season.
ANP learn to search dead bodies and call in reports. Here in Afghanistan, we prepare for spring a bit differently.
The History of Electrical Power -- [ETT PA-C - in Afghanistan]
I encourage you to look it up then get on your knees and thank the Almighty God, creater of all things, especially scientists and engineers, for giving us the ability to harness it. Where is this coming from you may ask.....a few GIs that don't live on big bases and depend on single generators to provide electricity occasionally lose them (generators, that is). And when that occurs in the middle of a cold ass desert, nights get long. REAL LONG.
Iraq veteran is Washington's newest millionaire
Open letter says China not 'civilized' enough to host Olympics this summer -- [International Herald Tribune]
BEIJING: Chinese petitioners have written a letter to lawmakers questioning whether the communist government is "civilized" enough to stage the Beijing Olympics, a watchdog group said Friday.
At least one person who helped organize the open letter has been seized by police after its release, according to China Human Rights Defenders, an international network of activists and rights monitoring groups.
Egyptian al Qaeda leader reported killed in South Waziristan airstrike -- [The Long War Journal - Bill Roggio]
Yesterday's attack in the South Waziristan tribal area run by Mullah Nazir appears to have claimed al Qaeda operatives from Egypt, Turkistan, and Pakistan's Punjab province. Zawahiri is not the only Egyptian operating in Pakistan's tribal areas.
The Dark Side of Luck -- [Strategy Page]
February 29, 2008: For the West, the most dangerous Islamic terrorists are not members of al Qaeda, but rather young Moslems living in the West. This is especially true in Europe, where many Moslems have not integrated with the local culture. That means many young men are uneducated and unemployable. Many refuse to blame themselves or the cultural habits they brought with them from the old country, and instead put it all on the country they have moved to. European governments have made it worse by tolerating this separatism.
American Traitor Adam Gadahn is Dead Update -- [Jawa Report]
...This week a trusted contact revealed to me that he was hearing from Pakistan that Gadahn was most likely dead. I asked him if his sources weren't the same as NBC? No, he replied, he had a different source of information.
Then why hasn't the U.S. confirmed Gadahn's demise? Too many body parts, he said. Very little left of any one on the ground. Could take some time, or we may never have confirmation.
How much do I trust the person who told me this? On a scale of 1-10, he's an 11. It's more a question of his sources than anything else.
Paratroopers Fighting in Afghanistan Need to Hear from You! -- [BlackFive]
Now, as if the Taliban and Al Qaeda, bad weather, and lack of support here at home weren't bad enough, the New York Times has published a one-sided view of the paratroopers tour in Afghanistan.
And so now we have cause to band together again and send massive support down range. Here's why:
...Our paratroopers are in the fight of their lives and they need to hear that America loves them.
Please send an email of support to email@example.com
Due to security reasons in Afghanistan please do not put addresses or phone numbers on any correspondence. All emails will be printed out here in the US and mailed to Afghanistan as they do not have the resources to receive a large number of emails.
Let's show the Sky Soldiers some love -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
...A dear friend has told me that if she saw what I do on a regular basis she'd be in a perpetual state of pissed off-ness.
Which, in fact, I am.
But it's been a while since I've been this disturbed. I've met quite a few Sky Soldiers at Landstuhl, including a couple of those shown covered in blood in the photo gallery of this article.
Picture this. You're standing beside a hospital bed. The guy lying in the bed has been shot or blown up just a day or two before, and has lost friends. And you both know that while HE has been out there killing terrorists to keep YOU safe at home, YOU have let the media stab him in the back.
Now hold that thought while executing on the following action items: ...
Your Story Is Important To Me -- [Miss Ladybug]
When I think of an American soldier, four words come to mind, Honor, Respect, Freedom and Valor.
Your story is filled with Honor and Respect. Honor for our country and all we hold dear. These brave men and women risk their lives to honor this great nation. All of the service men and women show great respect for our flag and everything it stands for. With everything these wonderful people do, I don't think we show them the respect and honor they deserve in return. I can not think of a more honorable profession than to be a United States Soldier.
Texas Veteran Project -- [Random Thoughts of ABW’s Friend]
The Texas Veteran Project is a group of Bed and Breakfasts and small inns/hotels in central Texas (31 are currently listed at the website). The purpose of the organization is “to support returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their spouses by donating 1 or 2 night stays at their establishment. Each proprietor is thankful for veterans’ service to our country and feels honored to recognize the sacrifices of their time, talents, and in many cases, health.”
What the website doesn’t mention is that the project was started by two B & B owners whose son served in Iraq as an Army surgeon.
My Two Cents: I've Said It Before; I'll Say It Again. -- [Iraq War Today]
I've been criticized in the past for saying that the anti-war crowd almost invariably turns anti-troop. They'll tell you they're not.
Even when they do this, and this, and this, and this, and this.....and the list goes on.
Still, they'll tell you they're not anti-troop. And as it was forty years ago, and sixty years ago, and in every conflict where they've decided to slither in, it's a lie.
And now, once again, they're at it in D.C.
How Hero SF Soldier Was Killed -- [MoD News - Afghanistan]
A Special forces hero gave his life in a daring bid to save 15 comrades — after they were cornered by seventy Taliban gunmen next to a bridge.
Brave sergeant Paul Bartlett tried to sneak past the bloodthirsty killers on a mission to fetch help as his ambushed patrol — including its wounded commander — took refuge in a ditch.
The fanatics spotted him and he was gunned down in a hail of terrorist bullets.
Home Sweet Home -- [1romad - home from Afghainstan]
Just a short note and update:
Weather and scheduling cooperated wonderfully and Jon and I arrived at Hurlburt Field, FL, in the wee hours of the morning this past Tuesday. The next day we flew Delta air to our home unit, where we were greeted with friends and family and flags and welcome signs at the airport!! It was a wonderful welcome party, and after a few hours of inprocessing it was back to the hotel to relax with my family.
El Paso Hosts Texas-Sized Homecoming Parade for Returned Cavalry Troops -- [DefenseLink News]
EL PASO, Texas, Feb. 28, 2008 – The 1st Cavalry Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team may be a relative newcomer here, but more than 3,000 of the unit’s soldiers got a Texas-sized hometown heroes’ welcome yesterday as the city hosted a homecoming parade to honor them for their service in Iraq.
Bush Sends a Zinger at the Senate -- [LT Nixon Rants]
“Congressional leaders are still sounding the same old call for withdrawal. I guess you could say that when it comes to pushing for withdrawal, their strategy is to stay the course.”
Bush: Dems Stay the Course on Withdrawal Mantra -- [bottomlineupfront]
Pew: Majority now believe U.S. effort in Iraq will succeed, 53-39 -- [Hot Air]
In case you were wondering why the Democrats are running from this debate, it’s because the more public opinion shifts, the more their willingness to abandon Iraq looks less like a “realist” exit strategy than calculated defeatism. Even so, note how inelastic most of the results are despite the security gains (especially in Anbar). The microresults show impressive shifts — click the image and follow the link to see double digit swings in the “Growing Perceptions of Iraq Progress” graph — but the baseline results below are static. I wonder why.
HE PLANS ON DISARMING AMERICA
Obama's Incoherence -- [IraqPundit]
What did Barack Obama mean Tuesday when he told Tim Russert that if, following his promised withdrawal of U.S. forces, "al-Qaeda is forming a base in Iraq, then we will have to act in a way that secures the American homeland and our interests abroad"?
Surely Obama is aware that much of the military activity in Iraq for some time has been devoted-- successfully -- to pushing AQI out of those areas (Anbar, for example) where it had previously established itself. Isn’t he?
...bama’s later statements on the matter haven’t clarified matters.
Fewer U.S. Dead = Less TV Coverage of Iraq -- [NewsBusters]
One year ago, liberal journalists depicted the surge of U.S. troops to Iraq as a certain failure. “A lot of people are going to go to bed tonight terrified,” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews opined just minutes after President Bush announced the policy on January 10, 2007. Other journalists were only slightly more subtle.
One year later, the President’s surge strategy is well on its way to succeeding. Several milestones have been reached in Iraq in both the political and military spheres of action. U.S. military deaths have also declined, falling from 126 in May 2007 to 40 in January 2008 and just 29 so far in February, with two days left in the month.
Yet this good news seems to have diminished the media elite’s interest in broadcasting any news from Iraq
NBC Claimed Bush Allowed Al-Qaeda in Iraq Before War, Media Now Ignore Pre-War Presence -- NewsBusters]
While it is currently conventional wisdom in the media that there was no Al-Qaeda presence in Iraq before the 2003 invasion, as evidenced by the media's failure to correct Barack Obama's recent claim that "there was no such thing as Al-Qaeda in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq," for several years dating back before the Iraq invasion, there have been media reports of former Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's connections to Osama bin Laden, and his use of Iraq as a base to plot terror attacks against other countries before the war. In fact, ...
Harry goes to war -- [Hot Air]
A “world exclusive” that was actually leaked two months ago and then dutifully suppressed by the British media. How badly have they wanted to write about this? Count the number of articles on the Telegraph website that have appeared in just the past few hours. Drudge is patting himself on the back but I’m curious what our readers think about the ethics. The story itself is genuinely awesome — he’s seen action, called in airstrikes, done patrols (”I’m still a little bit conscious (not to) show my face too much, in and around the area”), and got the word about his deployment from grandma herself — but the brass is none too happy that his cover’s been blown. British chief of staff Gen. Dannatt:
George Galloway: media blackout on prince harry in iraq
Air Force Blocks Access to Many Blogs -- [Danger Room]
The Air Force is tightening restrictions on which blogs its troops can read, cutting off access to just about any independent site with the word "blog" in its web address. It's the latest move in a larger struggle within the military over the value -- and hazards -- of the sites. At least one senior Air Force official calls the squeeze so "utterly stupid, it makes me want to scream."
Until recently, each major command of the Air Force had some control over what sites their troops could visit, the Air Force Times reports.
Facebook Threatens Soldiers, Canada Warns; '80 Percent' of Enemy Intelligence Gleaned From 'Net
Canadian soldiers: "Be careful who you are poking, al-Qaeda may be watching. The Canadian military is warning soldiers not to post personal information on social networking sites such as Facebook, due to security concerns."
(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.
Oliver Twisted -- [Kaboom: A Soldier's War Journal - in Iraq]
“He say that Ali Baba blow up his house ten months ago,” Biggie translated. “It kill his whole family except for him and little brother.”
SPC Winch, who was pulling security away from the Stryker, turned around, and shook his head in troubled dismay. Biggie continued.
...“He say that there is still bomb in his front yard. He say that his brother stays there to guard it.”
...I walked up to the boy, putting out my gloved fist so he could pound it. He was wary of the Kevlar-lining though, and instead seized my hand and tugged. “What your name?” he demanded, in broken English.
I looked down at the child, amused at his comeuppance. The cocky Iraqi kids are few and far between, but they tend to be the ones that stick with you. I pointed at my chest. “My name is Matt.” I pointed back at him. “What is your name?” ...“Well Yusef, lead the way,” I told the boy, tousling his hair. As he dashed across his neighborhood, four American soldiers and one terp in tow, excitement dripped off of him like caramel off of a candy apple. We followed, wedging out into formation, rifles at the low-ready.
Not Much to Say -- [Jason's Iraq Vacation - in Iraq]
I have gained a different perspective on how the training of the Iraqi Army is going. Now that I have a birds eye view instead of a ground level view, it does appear that we are making some really good progress. The section I am in is responsible for generating the new Iraqi Army Brigades, training their Soldiers and Officers, and then making sure they have all the equipment they need to get into the fight. Once they are recruited, trained, and equipped, we turn them over to group of Military Training Teams (MiTTs) who supervise their entry into "the fight". I wont say everything is going smoothly, but I do think as far as generating an Army goes, there has been some good progress made in the past year.
Reconstructing relationships: Hawr Rajab -- [The Long War Journal - Gordon Alanko - in Iraq]
“Like juggling kittens” is how one civil affairs soldier described the struggle to balance the needs of the population in the Arab Jabour region. With the area just recently cleared of al Qaeda in Iraq fighters, the work of reconstruction is just beginning. Most projects are small, and directed toward improving the area as well as providing much-needed jobs. Micro-grants of $2,500 or less are targeted to specific businesses judged likely to be successful; a civil affairs team will tour a village and identify local businesses that provide essential services, such as butcher shops, fruit stands, or ice makers. The owners of such businesses are told about the grants and given a chance to apply for money.
Distribution Sunday, February 10, 2008 -- [Roc Wheels - in Iraq]
Hi Everyone! The distribution went awesome today! We had 6 teams fitting children in chairs, and gave out 55 chairs in 4 hours.
I did the Quality control, and the troops did the fittings. These troops were experienced in this, as they also participated in the fittings on 13 Dec. They had a great time, and everyone was really touched.
There were various ethnicities present from 10 different segments of Baghdad. Truly an event which brought warring factions together in a common bond - they all had disabled children.
The Man with the Hardest Job in the World -- [Miserable Donuts - in Iraq]
Last night we had a bit of a surprise. We were paid a visit by Sergeant Major of the (Iraqi) Army Adel. He has possibly the hardest job I can imagine; build the NCO corps of the new Iraqi Army. The old Iraqi Army paid no heed to it's NCOs, it was a very Officer-centric/Soviet model force. So SGMA Adel has to fight not only to get his NCO corp built from almost scratch, he has to overcome an old and entrenched cultural problem. Training, doctrine, logistics and organization are all problems that he is facing. Oh, and all this during a war. I don't envy him his job one little bit.
Guns in the Desert -- [Michael Totten - in Iraq]
ANBAR PROVINCE, IRAQ – The Humvee slammed to a halt on the desert road between Fallujah and the town of Al Farris. I peered around the driver's head from the back seat and tried to figure out what was happening.
“Why are we stopping?” I said.
“IED,” Sergeant Guerrero said.
I swallowed and took the lens cap off my camera.
“Where?” I said.
All five Humvees in our convoy had stopped and pulled to the side of the road. None had been hit.
“We think there's one buried off the road around here.”
Iraqi to Return Home, As a U.S. Soldier -- [AP]
LEWISTON, Maine — Safaa Wadi moved to this former mill city after his life was threatened in his native Iraq while serving as an interpreter for the U.S. Army. He expects to soon head back to Iraq — not as a civilian interpreter, but as a U.S. soldier.
Wadi arrived in the United States in September with a special immigrant visa for Iraqi and Afghan interpreters. But with his savings nearly depleted and unable to land a decent job, Wadi enlisted in the Army. He begins training in South Carolina on Monday.
Wadi isn't worried about returning to Iraq, where many of his countrymen considered him a traitor because he worked with American forces. His allegiance is now to the United States, he says.
"I want to serve this country because this country returned to me my life," Wadi said. "If I had stayed in Iraq, I'd be dead now."
The Charlie Company Surge... -- [Eighty Deuce on the Loose - in Iraq]
When you look forward to redeployment and to ending your mission here in Iraq, you set certin expectations in your mind as far as what you expect it to be like. In my head I had expected us to ride things out, continue to do what we normally do, but nothing special, physically and mentally phasing ourselves out of our combat mission. Well as could be expected with just about everything I have ever experienced in the Army, what you expect tends to be nothing like what is or will be.
Sons of Iraq: Recruiting and Employing -- [Acute Politics]
As Coalition forces in Iraq have moved to a doctrine centered more on counterinsurgency and begun to engage the sheikhs, the military has relied more and more on security forces supplied by local sheikhs to point out bad guys, weapon caches, and IEDs. In Arab Jabour, those forces are called Sons of Iraq.
Sayifiyah, in southern Arab Jabour, had local villagers trying to start a Sons of Iraq program before US forces even reached their village.
The Sons of Iraq Part 1 -- [False Motivation - in Iraq]
When we first arrived in Baqubah, I was not impressed by the CLN. Far from it in fact, I despised them and what they represented at the time. They were a bunch of out of town thugs for hire, who wanted to play Army and have none of the responsibility. They were established in the wake of Operation Arrowhead Ripper, and their leadership was questionable with rumored ties to a notorious Islamic Extremist group that had partnered with AQI in previous years.
My introduction to the CLN began with my platoon's 2nd day in sector, we were still getting to know the sector and had just settled in a court yard to speak with a member of the neighborhood when we heard a few gun shots,
Troops Detain 2 Extremists Tied to Soldiers’ Abduction -- [Defense Link]
BALAD, Iraq, Dec. 27, 2007 – Iraqi police and U.S. special operations forces seized two suspected extremists believed to be complicit in the kidnapping of three U.S. soldiers in early May, U.S. military officials said today.
The suspects were detained during Dec. 24-25 operations in Ramadi, officials said. The raids were prompted by intelligence reports linking the two individuals to the May 12 abduction of three U.S. 10th Mountain Division soldiers after an insurgent ambush near Mahmudiyah in which four U.S. soldiers were killed.
Boring is Good....an email from Seth -- [American Soldiers - son Seth in Iraq]
Dear Family and Friends,
It has been awhile since I last wrote, and the truth of the matter is, there really is not much to report. As soon as I returned to Al Asad in January from my two weeks leave our squad was very busy. We made three different trips to the Syrian border, and a couple of other small trips all within a short time frame. However, after returning from a trip down south on February 13th, we have yet to be back out. We are not scheduled to go back out until some time after the 27th. Our next convoy is scheduled to be the longest I have been on, as well as the largest. We are supposed to be gone for approximately ten days, and our convoy could consist of up to one hundred vehicles.
Clinging to defeatism -- [Washington Times]
Senate Democrats yesterday provided yet another sorry illustration of the fact that they are thoroughly invested in the defeat of U.S. military forces in Iraq. This happened despite the growing evidence that the troop surge is damaging al Qaeda, and that the Iraqis are making remarkable progress on the political front as well.
What happened yesterday? Lawmakers debated legislation introduced by Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin that would cut off funding for the troops in Iraq in 120 days. Moreover, the Feingold proposal would, after ending military operations in Iraq that are principally directed against al Qaeda in Mesopotamia (in essence, reviving that terrorist group from the dead), requires Mr. Bush to formulate a new plan for defeating al Qaeda.
Investments -- [Fuzzilicious Thinking]
...With those stories in mind, I asked where his unit was posted. He named a town in Northern Iraq. "So you guys have been in the middle of things lately, huh? Tough situation?"
He stopped and thought for a moment, then shook his head. "No, not really... this time. It's been pretty good where we are, not like [another northern city]." He took another shot, then paused again, his face suddenly brightening.
"It was kinda bad at first, but we worked really hard to change things. We've been working real hard on this one village. They hated us when we first came, ___ months ago--the unit we replaced had never even gone over there during their deployment. But we did our own thing, tried new ways of doing things, and now the villagers like us--well, I don't know if they like us, but they trust us a bit and they work with us. Before they wouldn't even talk to us."
Iran will start rebuilding Baghdad soon: Tehran mayor -- [Tehran Times]
BAGHDAD - Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf announced on Monday that despite some security problems Iranian companies will soon start implementing infrastructure projects in Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
“In the near future Iraqi people will feel the presence of the Tehran Municipality in the implementation of projects in all areas,” Qalibaf told reporters in a joint press conference with Baghdad Mayor Sabir Al-Isawi.
Turkey Says It Has Sent Ground Troops Into Iraq -- [NY Times]
SAMSUN, Turkey - Turkey's military said it had sent ground troops into northern Iraq Thursday night in an operation aimed at weakening Kurdish militants there, the first confirmed ground incursion since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003.
“Everyone thought the Taliban would not fight!” -- [The Captain’s Journal]
The “whack-a-mole” brand of counterinsurgency didn’t work in Iraq, and will not work in Afghanistan. For COIN operations to succeed, two elements must be present as we have learned in Iraq. First, the force size must be right. If there aren’t enough troops to take, hold and rebuild, the campaign will fail in the brave new world of the global religious insurgency. Second, having the right force size in itself does nothing to ensure the proper use of those troops. The corollary or companion axiom for force size is force projection. The circumstances on the ground, with the population being too afraid to return to their homes due to terror, and the loss of years of effort at becoming trusted for good governance, proves the contrary of the Dutch strategy. Pushing the insurgency into surrounding areas doesn’t work, either short term or long term.
Twisted Taliban Tactics Take a Tumble -- [Strategy Page]
February 26, 2008: The Taliban in Afghanistan have been notable for their desire to stop foreign aid from reaching Afghans. There are actually a number of reasons for this practice. One of the more obvious ones was demonstrated recently when Italian soldiers delivered food, fuel and blankets to a mountain village that had been cut off by brutal Winter weather. The grateful villagers told the Italians where three weapons caches could be found, and the Italians seized dozens of mortar shells and thousands of rounds of rifle ammo.
Just when things start getting good, time to leave -- [All expenses paid afghan vacation - in Afghanistan]
...It’s definitely a big boost on the awesome scale and confidence level to have a couple helicopters flying overhead while out on mission in case anything kicks off. They can see a lot that we can’t and are able to be a forward recon relaying what’s ahead and provide a lot of firepower if we need it. I only wish we would have seen them around earlier in our deployment. Nothing happened with any type of enemy contact for those missions, but I kind of wish it had, so we could rock their world. Yes I’m crazy in case you were wondering.
Iran, China to Sign $16 bln Gas Deal Today -- [Fars News Agency]
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran will sign a final contract with China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) today covering the development of the North Pars gas field.
North Korea Linked to Iranian Nuclear Warhead Factory -- [GI Korea]
Much attention has been focused on North Korea’s links to a suspected Syrian nuclear program, but quietly as posted before here on the ROK Drop, North Korea has been aiding Iran’s nuclear program as well. More details about this North Korean and Iranian nuclear connection are now coming to light:
Getting Serious about 'Virtual' Terror -- [ThreatsWatch.Org]
Juan Cole lambasts terror-in-cyberspace in an article on Salon. In a certain sense I agree with him, but predictably he joins a long list of experts in varying fields that take aim at this issue and strike far from the bull’s-eye. For starters, I don’t know any serious analyst who has studied both the technical and tactile aspects of terrorism and concluded that al-Qaeda is about to go 9/11 on the ‘Net. As Cole rightly points out, they derive a...
US Muslim Helps Convicted Felon and al-Qaeda Supporter Adbullah al-Faisal -- [Jawa Report]
of Morality Police | Main | British Hostage Shown in Video on al-Arabia (Update: Video Added) »
Evil Adbullah al-Faisal, 44, jailed here in 2003 for soliciting the murder of Jews and Americans, is mounting an internet campaign from his homeland Jamaica...
He is now raising cash from followers so he can carry on his wicked doctrine on the web.
Rick White's Trike for the Troops -- [Miss Ladybug]
Rick White has taken Colorado's Bike to Work day and turned it into an opportunity to help support the troops. Last year, he raised $3500 to purchase care package items that went to the 82nd Airborne. This year, he has teamed up to with Soldiers' Angels to raise money for Project Valour-IT.
This year's Bike to Work Day is June 25th. His goal is to raise $8000, which would purchase 10 laptops for our wounded warriors. As of today, he has received $455 in pledges.
Lance's Journal: A Solider's Angel -- [Soldiers Angels Network]
For more than a year now, Ernestine Smith has spent two to three hours a night, every night, writing American soldiers serving overseas.
She's fondly known as the cookie lady, the pistachio lady and one soldier even calls her his adoptive mom.
Smith is making a difference, one letter at a time. Whether she's putting it down on paper or e-mailing it, Smith is delivering letters of love to her soldiers.
"We become part of their family, and they become part of ours," she said.
Smith has written letters to more than 200 soldiers, starting in December of 2006.
William F. Buckley Jr. (1925-2008) -- [The Corner - Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I’m devastated to report that our dear friend, mentor, leader, and founder William F. Buckley Jr., died this morning in his study in Stamford, Connecticut.
He died while at work; if he had been given a choice on how to depart this world, I suspect that would have been exactly it. At home, still devoted to the war of ideas.
As you might expect, we’ll have much more to say here and in NR in the coming days and weeks and months.
Our Spouses -- [Badgers Forward - in Iraq]
Military Spouses, it seems to me, have the toughest job in our Armed Forces. Would you rather be hunting IEDs in western Iraq or having your spouse do it and you have to worry about the finances, the dogs, the house, and what ever other mutual obligations you have? If you are doing the former and everything goes horribly wrong, you don't have anything more to worry about. The spouse on the other hand, has one more thing to worry about.
Army: Service Must Cut Combat Tours -- [Fox News]
Top Army officials told a Senate panel on Tuesday that the Army is under serious strain and must reduce the length of combat tours as soon as possible.
"The cumulative effects of the last six-plus years at war have left our Army out of balance, consumed by the current fight and unable to do the things we know we need to do to properly sustain our all-volunteer force and restore our flexibility for an uncertain future," said Gen. George Casey, chief of staff of the Army.
Cheney Praises Fort Hood Troops, Pledges Perseverance in Iraq -- [Defense Link]
WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2008 – U.S. troops in Iraq will go down in military history as purveyors of democracy in the region, Vice President Richard B. Cheney told a cheering crowd today at Fort Hood, Texas.
“Because of you, the people of Iraq can see a better day ahead,” he said.
Before addressing 1st Cavalry Division soldiers and their families, Cheney helped uncase the colors of the Army’s 3rd Corps, which recently turned over control of Multinational Corps Iraq to 18th Airborne Corps.
“On the ground in Iraq in all of 2007, you amassed a superb record,” Cheney told the troops. “I’m here to say ‘thanks’ and ‘welcome home.’”
Lessons on the Long War -- [NRO - Pete Hegseth - embedded in Iraq]
The Democratic leadership in Congress haven’t got their facts straight on Iraq. They continue in failing to account for the surge’s dramatic success here, and persist in using a public rhetoric stubbornly suited to conditions in the past. This week, Democrats will bring two bills to the Senate floor whose aim is to immediately redeploy U.S. troops out of Iraq under the mistaken notion that doing so will serve our broader (and presumably, legitimate) fight against al-Qaeda. If success against al-Qaeda is the goal, Senators Russell Feingold, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama need to catch up on their reading and acquire all the relevant facts.
BBC knew of link to failed 21/7 bombers -- [Telegraph] HT: Glenn
A BBC producer failed to give police information that would have helped track down the July 21 bombers, the trial was told. . . .
Called as a defence witness, Miss Suleaman admitted that she had spoken to Hamid in the days following the July 21 attacks and found out he knew the wanted men.
She said she thought he was scared the fugitives might try to call him but did not contact the police because she felt under "no obligation" to do so.
"Ahmed the dead terrorist" -- [Jeff Dunham: Spark of Insanity]