Welcome to the Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of information on the War on Terror and other topics - from the MilBlogs and various sources around the world. If you're a blogger, you can join the conversation. If you link to any of these stories, add a link to the Dawn Patrol too and your trackback will be added to the list. Hat Tips to the Dawn Patrol are greatly appreciated.
U.S. To Pull 12,000 Troops From Iraq As Withdrawal Begins -- [Los Angeles Times]
The initial phase in Obama's plan to end combat operations will take place over the next 6 months, military officials say. Just before the announcement, a suicide bomber kills 33 police recruits in Baghdad.
Diversions (III) -- [Greyhawk]
Remember the Iraq drawdown you heard about last month? The one where a Brigade originally scheduled for Iraq was going to Afghanistan instead? Well, a funny thing about that...
U.S., U.K. Troops to Begin Iraq Pullout by Sept.
Coalition cuts combat brigades by half since peak of US 'surge' -- [LWJ - DJ Elliott]
The number of US and allied combat brigades deployed in Iraq has been cut in half since the height of the "surge" in the summer of 2007, while the number of Iraqi security forces has nearly doubled during the same period of time.
The Red Pill (III) -- [Greyhawk]
"The main mission has instead shifted almost entirely from combat to stability operations, from fighting insurgents to rebuilding Iraq’s services and shattered economy in a way that could offer a better chance for the country to succeed, making America’s exit more like a victory than a retreat."
- - The New York Times front page, on Iraq today
Suicide Attack Kills 28 In Baghdad -- [New York Times]
A suicide bomber driving a motorcycle laden with explosives blew himself up in the busy early morning hours on Sunday near the police academy, killing 28 people, including 5 police officers, and wounding 57, some of them seriously, according to Iraq’s interior minister.
Everything happens for a reason -- [Blogs Over Baghdad - in Iraq]
...As I read the story, each word drew me in…and made me think more about the reasons for things. It seems this particular attack happened early this morning, maybe the same time I might have been on my way to visit my friend. The story also said that the attack happened near an Iraqi policy academy.
I’m not sure exactly when during the “early morning hours” the bomb went off in the middle of a crowd of oil workers protesting for better pay, or if the adjacent police academy was the same one I was planning to visit.
I Was a Rock Band Roadie in Iraq -- [War On Terror News]
As part of the events and communications team here, I am called upon to be part of base Morale, Welfare and Recreation events. Sometimes these missions are a chore, sometimes they are exciting, but they are always a learning experience.
McGuire - Ramstein - Bagram and back: Lifeline to Afghanistan -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Ramstein's a busy place these days. Pressure on supply lines moving through Pakistan and the possible closure of Manas in Kyrgyzstan, combined with the planned increase of forces in Afghanistan, have made the delivery of personnel and supplies directly to Bagram by air a necessity.
Obama says US is losing war in Afghanistan and hints at Taleban Talks -- [Times Online]
President Obama conceded yesterday that America was not winning the war in Afghanistan and opened the way for negotiations with moderate ...
Taliban: no peace talks unless withdrawal of all foreign troops -- [Xinhua]
Obama, according to US media reports, said on Friday that he would open the door to a reconciliation process to moderate Taliban elements as the US troops
Afghanistan welcomes Obamas Taliban initiative
Boom Frequency -- [Greyhawk]
I spoke via phone with a friend at Bagram this week, one who was with me in Baghdad in 2007. I'd heard about that car bomb story immediately before he called, but I didn't ask him about it directly, instead asking a more general "How's security?".
"Here?" He replied, "Not bad. No where near as bad as we had it in Baghdad."
Your results may vary.
"The Myth of the Two Talibans" -- [counterterrorism Blog - Dr. Walid Phares]
If the Iraq model is the inspiration for Obama’s reaching out to “elements” of the Taliban, he has not learned the correct Iraq lesson.
Silly Rabbit I have two F-15s -- [Afghanistan Shrugged - in Afghanistan]
“I wish I was Spiderman, and then it this would be much easier”. I thought to myself as we scaled the side of the mountain. Afghan soldiers scampered past CPT Brain and I doing their best imitation of Icarus. We slowly plod along through the cracked pieces of shale that populate the slope like broken dinnerware. My wings have already melted and I’m now stuck with my leather personnel carriers to propel me.
The ANA look at us as they move by with pity, they’re well aware of how much the equipment we’re carrying weighs. Several of them have tried our equipment on prior to this and been shocked.
The Afghan Wilderness: A Tiny Victory -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Andrew Cochran]
1LT Aaron Flint is serving on an Afghan Police Mentor Team in Paktya Province, Afghanistan. He's a former staffer in the U.S. Senate, a member of the Montana Army National Guard, and most recently worked as a reporter for KTVQ, the CBS affiliate in Billings, Montana. He sent the following account of our work with the Afghan people with permission to post it here.
As Doc Sleaford lightly cuts the old bandages off her badly burned skin, Sergeant Dylan McGee holds up her tiny legs, blood dripping into his right hand. In a room next door, soldiers e-mailing their family and friends from the tiny makeshift computer lab are interrupted by the heart wrenching cries of a 9 month old baby girl. To the soldiers she is baby Farida.
Rebooting the Afghan mission -- [BBC]
A convoy of American armoured Humvees ventures out of the heavily fortified Camp Phoenix on the edge of Kabul.
...They warn that following a narrower military strategy will not work in itself without building a capable state.
There have been some signs of progress in recent years. While the Afghan police are acknowledged to need considerably more work, the Afghan National Army is moving ahead much quicker.
IED Attacks Soar In Afghanistan -- [USA Today]
Jump in coalition deaths could portend fierce spring.
Guard Practices Airdrops For Troops In Afghanistan -- [Baltimore Sun]
Maryland Air National Guard cargo crews are prepping for an expected deployment to Afghanistan next year, flying a critical mission of air-dropping supplies to U.S. troops fighting in remote locations.
North Korea warns of war if 'satellite' is shot down -- [The Guardian]
Regime suspected of disguising long-range missile test as peaceful rocket launch
N Korea Warning Over 'Satellite' The South And US Join In Military Exercise.
U.S. Air Force To Widen Access To Detailed Space Surveillance Data -- [Space News]
The U.S. Air Force has agreed to provide wider access to its high-accuracy catalog showing the whereabouts of orbital debris and operational satellites as part of an effort to enable commercial and non-U.S. government satellite operators to better avoid in-orbit collisions, according to U.S. Air Force officials.
The Personal and the Political in the Middle East -- [Michael Totten]
...Most Westerners who spend time in Muslim countries have similar stories to tell. Jeffery Goldberg related some of his own on his Atlantic blog recently. “I was once with a mullah in Pakistan,” he wrote last week, “who told me that Allah would soon fulfill his promise and destroy the Jews, but who invited me to stay in his guest room rather than make a dangerous night drive back to my hotel. I took him up on his offer, and slept soundly. It wouldn't be fair of me to call this sort of hospitality superficial, because it grows from a real spirit of personal generosity, but I've learned the hard way that the personal isn't always the political.”
We'll Take Los Angeles -- [Strategy Page]
Western nations have told Russia and China that if they arm Iran with modern weapons, there will be consequences.
Iran Tests Air-To-Surface Missile -- [Los Angeles Times]
Iran has test-fired a precision air-to-surface missile with a 70-mile range, a news agency reported Sunday, a capability that could threaten ships in the Persian Gulf.
Iran using nuclear talks to buy time for bomb: Israel -- [AFP]
Iran is trying to use the talks with Western powers on its nuclear ambitions to buy time to produce an atomic bomb, Israel's military intelligence chief said on Sunday.
Border Watch -- [Aviation Week]
Add Mexico to the list of world trouble spots keeping Pentagon planners up at night.
The U.S. Marine Corps’ Strategic Vision Group has placed Mexico on its list of places to watch because of potential instability. ...But the Marines aren’t the only ones keeping a close eye on events south of the border. The CIA, Homeland Security and State departments all say Mexico’s troubles are a growing concern.
Thomas Barnett: The Pentagon's new map for war and peace -- [HT: Ace]
Green Beret becomes first amputee to complete Jumpmaster Course -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Late last year SFC Mike Fairfax became the first amputee Soldier to complete the Jumpmaster Course, paving the way for other amputees.
Army Suicide Prevention Update -- [A Soldiers Perspective - CJ]
Before I go any further with this post, I want to address that Soldier, Marine, Sailor, or Airman that may have come here for answers. You may be contemplating suicide and you're seeking help over the internet. If this is your only outlet, please seek us out. My email address is on the sidebar and regardless of the time of day, you may contact me. If you need help, I will give you my personal phone number. Above all, don't go to extremes and try to kill yourself.
Clausewitz: On Crazy Cat Ladies -- [Wings Over Iraq - in Iraq]
When I first deployed, I signed up at one of those Adopt-A-Soldier websites and I got a lot of great responses. Also, true to form for me and my blogging escapades, I got a lot of crazy people replying to me. I'm grateful for packages and letters and whatnot, but did it have to come from the nutjob segment of the population? Let's look at the highlights:
New VA Legislation Breaks a Sacred Trust -- [VFW Radio]
New VA legislation would charge veterans for healthcare? It's true. We'll speak with VFW Director of Communications in Washington, Joe Davis, on this absurd concept and VFW's nationwide call to action on this issue.
Beautiful watercolors for Soldiers' Angels -- [Made A Difference For That One]
While I was in Balad, I saw their work in action. Wounded warriors would receive a backpack with comfortable clothing for the trip home and some comfort items like a Dopp kit and a travel mug. It made a difference for these men and women who either had only dirty uniforms, or no clothing if we had cut it off of them.
My friend who is an artist paints cards for Soldiers' Angels. I haven't seen the other entries being considered for this year's cards, but her watercolors are very beautiful.
Odyssey Took Man From Campus To Combat -- [Arizona Republic]
...Bhatia was joining the Human Terrain System, a Pentagon experiment to re-engineer battle against Afghan and Iraqi insurgents by teaming soldiers and scholars. Human Terrain set off a war of its own in academia: Critics, particularly anthropologists, argued that researchers risked betraying the people they studied by feeding information to the military.
To Whom Should our Generals Listen? (Full PDF Article) -- [SWJ]
Today there is much being written, discussed and even passionately argued over the nature of future conflicts that the US will face. This debate is critically important as the military enters a new QDR period and develops the future operating concepts for the military and (as US leadership has now fortunately come to realize) the whole of government approach to US National Security challenges. One might ask why this important or perhaps more pointedly, is it really that important?
Regarding Proxy Servers and Blocked Websites -- [Wings Over Iraq - in Iraq]
David Axe at War is Boring has notified us all that the US military has just now blocked his blog from their servers. Add this to a long list of milblogs that are on the US military's ban list, to include great ones like Andrew Exum's Abu Muquawama, blogs.state.gov (an actual .gov address from the US State Department), Global Guerillas, The Captain's Journal, and others (by some accounts, this includes Small Wars Journal, and other professional websites). You have to wonder about the military IT department's criteria for blocking websites.
Troops returning home to Utah: 'People really do care' -- [StandardNet]
He said the welcome home reception he received in 2009 was similar to the one he received in 2003. "I think it's (public support) pretty much the same,"
Crowds welcome soldiers home -- [Bury Free Press]
By Bury Free Press reporter Crowds enjoyed welcoming home soliders from RAF Honington who took part in a homecoming parade on Saturday. ...
Wikipedia Scrubs Dear Leader's Page Clean of Critical Entries -- [Gateway Pundit]
Wikipedia scrubs Obama's entry clean of any critical information that may taint your view of Dear Leader.
Communist tyrany Joseph Stalin routinely air-brushed his enemies out of photographs.
Wikipedia airbrushes any controversial information about Dear Leader from its webpage including his 20 year relationship with mentor Jeremiah Wright and his long relationship with terrorist Bill Ayers.
World Net Daily reported, via Drudge:
Media Spins Obama's Withdrawal Of Troops That Were Planned Months Ago -- [Gateway Pundit]
We now know that the media will spin anything to make Barack Obama look good despite the colossal economic disaster due to his policies.
Today the corrupt media rejoiced in the news that President Obama will withdrawal troops from Iraq.
This is despite the fact that David Petraeus already announced this plan back in 2007.
Obama's Pledge To Prune Pentagon Raises Fear Of Job Cuts -- [WSJ]
In pledging last week that the “days of giving defense contractors a blank check are over,” President Obama is taking on the giant weapons contracting system that he says has “gone amok.”
WSJ: Taxing the other 95% -- [Hot Air]
Send to a Friend | Share on Facebook | printer-friendly A week ago, I warned about the coming cap-and-trade tax that would hit the 95% of Americans that Barack Obama promised would never see a tax increase. The Wall Street Journal picks up that story today, stating the obvious that Obama’s populist supporters never quite understood. Once you tax a producer, the producer passes those costs along to the consumer:
Gift exchange gone wrong -- [Greyhawk]
Don't you hate it at Christmas when someone gets you a a pen holder fashioned from the oak timber of HMS Gannet, a Navy vessel that served on anti-slavery missions off Africa, a framed commissioning paper for the HMS Resolute, a Royal Navy ship that came to symbolize British-American goodwill when it was rescued by the U.S. from icebergs and given to Queen Victoria, a first edition of Martin Gilbert’s seven-volume biography of Winston Churchill, whose World War II partnership with President Franklin Roosevelt symbolized the U.S.-Anglo alliance, and all you have for them is a DVD set?
Obama is 'Overwhelmed' Being President -- [Amy Proctor]
You remember the formality blunders that President Obama and his staff committed while the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown visited last week… not giving Mr. Brown a formal dinner, a press conference and bestowing a pretty pathetic gift on the visiting PM.
Aidsclose to Obama told the UK Telegraph that the president was “too overwhelmed” and “tired” to give PM Brown the proper welcome. The Obama administration seemed confused by what the proper protocol should be.
Rasmussen: Obama's approval rating at lowest since inauguration. -- [Rasmussen Reports]
Pentagon's Unwanted Projects in Earmarks -- [Abu Muqawama]
Guess who is funding the infernal F-22 over the objections of the Pentagon's senior leadership? The evil Republicans! Oh, wait... No, as it turns out, it's mostly Barack Obama's own party which is to blame.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)