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.
Being There is Easy, Not Being There is Hard -- [Bullet Wisdom - in Iraq]
We sat in a long conference room staring at a projection of our counterparts' planned mission.
...It would be best if interested parties synchronized both plans, but they did not. One was to occur with 72 hours of the other. The Iraqi Army’s plan jeopardized the Coalitions hard-won partnerships of the previous five months. Our team made many attempts to bring the sides to a common table to delay the Iraqi mission and synchronize the two efforts, but for a variety of reason, it failed to happen. The Coalition made in clear to our Iraqi counterparts:
This mission jeopardizes the bigger picture. We will not stand in your way, but if you go, this time you go it alone.
First Impressions -- [Sour Swinger - in Iraq]
After almost one month of sitting around, I finally saw Iraq first hand. Not from within the base or from within a helicopter but via a convoy. Our move from Camp Taji to Camp Liberty made this happen. With all our gear, equipment, and possessions packed we left the wire. Our hymen finally broke…sorta speak. Granted many soldiers here are already combat veterans; as a company it was a first.
In all my military experience, nothing ever goes right the first time. Thankfully, this was not the case and our convoy went perfect. Not one wrong turn. Not one communication problem. Not one IED going off or bullet being fired. We arrived just as we left with not one iota of surprise.
Farewell 2nd Platoon Paladins -- [Sour Swinger - in Iraq]
I returned from EOD to find my company had completely restructured to be more like a front line infantry company. Being AT (Anti-armor) we originally had an abnormal set up. We only have enough people to make a HQ platoon and one additional platoon. We jokingly refer to ourselves as Delta platoon now. This restructuring meant we would have some extra NCO’s and officers. Two of our platoon sergeants, and two of our platoon leaders were handed off to the battalion to fill in somewhere else.
Land Bridge Patrol
Iraqi Flight Surgeons Speak on World Stage -- [MNF-I]
After years of sanctions and forced isolation, two Iraqi Air Force (IqAF) officers recently stepped on the world stage to present their study at a NATO conference in Germany.
Iraqi Contractors Provide Base Security -- [MNF-I]
More than 100 Iraqis were recently contracted to secure the outer perimeter of this base to help protect the men and women serving here.
“This contract is a first of its kind,” said Lt. Col. Raymond Reyes, Joint Base Balad (JBB) Regional Contracting Center commander. “Putting a requirement to employ 80 percent of the contractor’s workforce from the local area is an innovative contracting solution to implementing the Joint Campaign Plan.
Al Sadr calls for million men march in Iraq -- [Alsumaria Iraqi Satellite TV Network]
Al Sadr Front led by Sayyed Moqtada Al Sadr called for a Million Men March on Baghdad on April 9, the anniversary of the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime, to protest the continued US military occupation in Iraq, Al Sadr said.
Friday prayer Imam in Sadr City Sheikh Jasem Al Mtairi urged Iraqis in general and Sadrists in particular to head to Al Firdaws Square and denounce occupation.
Lt. Gen. Austin talks about the mission
Airman Helps Iraqis Bury Past, Rebuild Future -- [DVIDS]
It has been said that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. But a group of Iraqi contractors, with the help of an Airmen, are taking a different approach. They are burying the past to rebuild a new future.
Iraq is Offering Newlyweds the Chance to Spend Their Wedding Night in Saddam’s Bed -- [Doctor Bulldog & Ronin]
From the “you just can’t make this stuff up” file:
Spend your wedding night in Saddam’s bed for 150 pounds!
Looking for an exotic honeymoon destination? Well, try out war-ravaged Iraq where you can have sex in Saddam Hussein’s bed for just 150 pounds [$220 U.S.] per night.
Yes, it may sound a little awkward, but Iraq is offering newlyweds the chance to spend their wedding night in the former dictator’s bedroom in his palatial boudoir in the town of Hillah, some 60 miles south of capital Baghdad.
Lt. Col. Yingling on Leadership -- [Wings Over Iraq - in Iraq]
Another article on military leadership from Lt. Col. Paul Yingling
Lt. Col. Paul Yingling—then stationed at Fort Hood, Texas--made a name for himself when he published “A Failure in Generalship” in Armed Forces Journal in the spring of 2007. Shortly thereafter, a general brought in every single captain in the division and began to verbally berate Lt. Col. Yingling and his article. Yingling was then put in charge of a prison project in Iraq, but there was a bit of a twist: the assignment was to reform the detainee system in Iraq, and Yingling performed superbly, largely as a result of his unconventional thinking.
There are those who use civilians as human shields -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
...and there are those who give their lives to shield them.
Railroad politicking -- [Regstan - in Afghanistan]
Ahmadinejad is due in Kazakhstan this week. Besides fishing rights in the Caspian and energy policy talks, I imagine the old railroad plan might come up. There are a number of infrastructure plans in progress across Central Eurasia, though how many are permanently ‘in planning’ and how many are soon to be made reality is not easy to definitively ascertain. From the ridiculously unrealistic ideas to the more practical, there is quite a wide gradient
Taliban Door Bell -- [Miserable Donuts - CSMBones - in Afghanistan]
I was walking into an ECP of one of our very small unit locations and I looked up into a not so friendly welcome sign. "Front Towards Enemy".
Some Troops Embrace Afghan War -- [Wa Post]
Ties to 9/11 Build Enthusiasm for the Fight, but Deployments Have Taken a Toll
Leave Turkey’s bid to join EU to us, Nicolas Sarkozy warns Barack Obama -- [TIMES Online]
The love-in between Nicolas Sarkozy and Barack Obama proved short-lived after the French President warned his US counterpart yesterday to keep his nose out of the issue of Turkey’s membership of the European Union.
Troops pledged as NATO shows support for Afghanistan strategy -- [Stars and Stripes]
Words of support for a new Afghanistan strategy translated into pledges of more NATO troops Saturday at the alliance’s 60th anniversary summit. But, despite their pleasure with a new U.S. administration and tone, European allies were still hesitant to greatly escalate their involvement in the war.
Military Term of the Day: International Peace Keeping Force -- [Wings Over Iraq - in Iraq]
Since the NATO summit this week, during which America's awesome diplomatic supremacy was able to rally a whopping 35 Belgians. 150 French Gendarmes and a battalion of British troops for operations in Afghanistan, I think we've lost track of what a true International Peace Keeping Force really is.
"We totally endorse and support America’s new strategy in Afghanistan, But...
"We totally endorse and support America’s new strategy in Afghanistan," Sarkozy said at a joint news conference with Obama on Friday at the Palais des Rohan. But, he said, there will be no extra French combat troop commitment, as "France’s troop increase was taken last year."
Wahida's Home -- [Adventures in Jalalabad, Afghanistan - in Afghanistan]
When we first arrived in Jalalabad, Wahida extended an invitation out to Kate and me to visit her home.
...Her mother and father at separate times told Kate and me that we were their daughters, and to please feel at home. Her father came and spoke with us for a few minutes. He is the Department Head of the Veterinary School, and talked about Afghanistan, that it used to be a beautiful country when he was a boy, that there were 'bad' men now, the Taliban, that make life difficult, and that Americans are very kind. He, along with the rest of his daughters and family, are considered to be very educated compared to the average Afghan. Wahida had explained to us that some professors who have relationships with the Taliban question her father as to why he sends his daughters to the university. Apparently their home was fire-bombed two years ago. He also received threatening letters ...
Afghan/Coalition Force Kills Militant Involved in IED Attack That Killed 4 Canadian Troops [DVIDS]
One militant was killed and eight suspected militants were detained in Kandahar province, April 4, during a joint operation to bring down a Taliban cell directly linked to the March improvised explosive device strikes that killed four Canadian troops.
Change!... Protesters in Turkey Carry Anti-Obama Signs- Chant "Obama Go Home!" -- [Gateway Pundit]
If this were Bush they were protesting it would have dominated the news today.
The protesters say Obama's visit will bring more turmoil to the Middle East.
Warnings on Iran -- [WSJ]
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the nuclear threat from Tehran.
...Americans in key positions have noticed this Israeli message. In a meeting Thursday at the Journal, Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told us that "there is a leadership in Israel that is not going to tolerate" a nuclear Iran. Tehran's atomic designs, he said, were a matter of "life or death" for the Jewish state. "The operative word is 'existential.'" When we asked him whether Israel was capable of inflicting meaningful damage to Iran's nuclear installations, his answer was a simple "Yes."
What President Obama Should (But Won’t) Do About North Korea’s Missile Test -- [One Free Korea]
...Obviously, Kim Jong Il would not have ordered this test if previous resolutions had been effective at deterring him. The resolutions themselves were not the problem; implementation was. UNSCR 1718 in particular contained some tough and potentially effective provisions. But the term “United Nations” has become an oxymoron, and several of its member states found it convenient to undermine those resolutions. As a result, they had no measurable effect on the North Korean economy, such as it is.
...The great irony here is ...
Speaking of Missiles... [Greyhawk]
The Obama administration has signaled it wants to scale back the deployment of a missile defense system that was initiated by former President George W. Bush. The White House is also talking about dropping plans for missile defense facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Obama to Lift Travel Restrictions to Cuba, Impose Travel Restrictions to Antarctica -- [Amy Proctor]
President Obama plans to lift restrictions on Cuban-American families so they can travel to Cuba and send unlimited funds to relatives. This is seen as a move to begin normalization of diplomatic endeavors with the communist regime of Fidel Castro.
At Least 90 Dead in Italian Earthquake -- [Gateway Pundit]
At least 90 people were killed in an earthquake in Italy today.
As many as 50,000 may be homeless from the worst earthquake in 30 years.
Sky News has video:
Obama: U.S. Is Not At War With Islam -- [CBS News] What is sure to be most closely watched in this speech is Mr. Obama's message to the Muslim world, saying that although "binds are strained," the U.S. is "not at war with Islam."
"Let me say this as clearly as I can: the United States is not and will never be at war and with Islam," Mr. Obama said. "In fact, our partnership with the Muslim world is critical in rolling back a fringe ideology that people of all faiths reject." Mr. Obama continued by adding that the U.S. relationship will not only be "based on opposition to terrorism."
'Qaida-Taliban combo has chemical weapon formula' -- [Times of India]
NEW DELHI: The al-Qaida-Taliban combo plans to use parts of the Middle East as launch pads for attacks against the west. Not only so, the groups
have also developed some expertise in making bio-chemical weapons, NWFP police chief Malik Navid told a Pakistan National Assembly’s standing committee.
Notorious terrorist indicted in US eludes capture in Iraq, slips into Syria -- [LA Times]
Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Ibrahim had managed to elude coalition forces — possibly while aiding the Sunni insurgency — before he recently crossed into Syria, federal law enforcement and former CIA officials believe.
The FBI is eager to catch Ibrahim, whose real name is Husayn al-Umari, and has ramped up efforts to find him, releasing an age-enhanced sketch of Ibrahim to the AP, the first known picture of him ever made public.
But time is running out.
As American forces draw down in Iraq, the FBI worries that locating Ibrahim could become harder if he slips back into the country
Another Soldier Has Been Given the Haditha Treatment! -- [Do the Right Thing]
Government withholds evidence to imprison another soldier. The forensic findings alone doesn't support 1st Lt. Behanna's conviction. This is more evidence of the eviscerated JAG corp using rules from the Saul Alinsky "play book". Persecute, prosecute, demonize, demoralize, and falsely convict citizens, in this case an Army Officer.
Smoke on the Water -- [Greyhawk]
At least, not enough time to visit wounded troops from Iraq and Afghanistan (wow - deja vu). Here's an email exchange with an unnamed Mudville informant near Landstuhl Army Medical Center in Germany:
...No, seriously. He didn't come by.
I assume they flew into Ramstein on AF1 and then by helo to the NATO conf. If they weren't going to come to LRMC I'm not sure why they didn't land at Spang instead, which would have been closer to Strasbourg.
Something like 4 hotels were set ablaze by protesters in Strasbourg.
OUR TROOPS NEED YOU -- [Operation Love]
...they ARE very much in need of basic hygiene items, snacks, and the like. I've created a page on our website (along with a clickable, downloadable and printable flyer on that page) to get the word out about their needs. Please click here to view:
MacBeth continues exposing IVAW -- [This ain’t Hell]
Our favorite IVAW member has brought out his third and fourth videos in a series in which he claims he’ll expose IVAW for the fake organization that it is. He claims it took so long to bring out this video because he’s been in the hospital with heart problems. In case you haven’t seen them, his other two videos along with our commentary are here and here.
Thanks for your support! -- [Afghanistan Shrugged - in Afghanistan]
A while ago I complained that the food here at the FOB was almost non-existent and of extremely poor quality. Crap would be a generous term to describe its consistency, quality and desirability. My buddy Troy, from Bouhammer, put out the call for support. On top of that Soldiers Angels, Web of Support and Operation Cookiejar picked up the gauntlet to support us. Let’s put it this way, tons and I mean tons of people started sending us stuff.
April is Month of the Military Child -- [You Served - Claire]
April is designated as the month when the children of our warriors are acknowledged and appreciated for their sacrifices as their father or mother spend months and years away from the home fighting for our Country.
Are you listening? Those Key Spouses are getting tired ... -- [SpouseBuzz - MaintToad1]
Commanders -- First Sergeants ... what's up with your support of YOUR Key Spouse programs? Some seem to be working wonderfully, but more often than not, it seems that your Key Spouse may be getting what little time you have left at the end of the week or even the end of the month ... so ... are you giving it the time it deserves, this Key Spouse program?
Defense stocks off ahead of spending plans -- [Reuters]
WASHINGTON/ATLANTA - Stocks of defense contractors moved mostly lower in late morning trading on Monday as Wall Street waited for word on the Pentagon's recommendations for arms programs in the fiscal 2010 budget.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is scheduled to announce his spending proposals for the 2010 budget that begins October 1, at a news conference later on Monday, after making a series of phone calls to key lawmakers. But congressional aides said details were unlikely to emerge before his briefing scheduled for 1:30 p.m. EDT.
I Give Up -- [Villianous Co]
Here is the list of the 20 largest militaries in the world today:
How many stable democracies do you see on that list? How many that are friendly to the United States?
Now, how many flagrant violators of both human and civil rights are there? This is the context in which Robert Gates wants to slash military spending:
...It is axiomatic within military circles that we're always fighting the last war and never ready for the current one. During the Iraq/Afghanistan wars, we were resource constrained in both people and weapons. So it is frankly astonishing to me that the Secretary of Defense would blithely assume the only future conflicts we need to be prepared for are counterinsurgencies, or that he thinks it's good strategy to hamstring the military for decades simply to ensure current spending aligns with this administration's priorities.
Concerning Military Contractors -- [The Captain’s Journal]
Regardless of what one might think, the use of military contractors is still ongoing in Iraq, and increasing in Afghanistan to the point that they are being used to conduct force protection at some Forward Operating Bases. This all raises several important observations.
What is the best part of being a military wife? -- [SpouseBuzz - AWTM]
Above Spider-Man or the Hulk -- [The Voice in My Head]
WALKERTOWN -- Young Matthew Armstrong knew that Saturday would be a big day, since it was the first day of the season for his Little League team. But Matthew, 8, of Walkertown, didn't know how big the day would be until an announcer called him up to the microphone during the opening ceremony. She asked him where his dad, Frank Marques, was.
"In Iraq," he replied shyly.
And what message would he like to send to Marques?
"That I love him," Matthew said.
Coming or going, she's there for the Marines -- [Los Angeles Times]
As always, Froehlich wanted to give each Marine a handshake, a hug and a word of welcome and appreciation. She was there when the battalion left for Iraq in
Bragg commander back on home soil -- [FayObserver]
Before the plane landed, some eager families held welcome home signs while others clutched balloons and flowers.
Lt. Gen. Austin returns from Iraq (w/video) -- [FayObserver]
Fort Bragg’s commanding general returned home Sunday after a 15-month deployment in which he was in charge of the ground forces in Iraq.
Lt. Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III and about 40 members of the 18th Airborne Corps Headquarters landed at Green Ramp on Sunday at 1:26 p.m.
Editorial: Welcome home, 846th -- [Salisbury Post]
... the folks back home have been very aware that the 846th and thousands of other troops have been doing their duty in Iraq. Welcome back, 846th.
Solemn media witness arrival of fallen troop -- [USA Today]
Cameras were flashing when the remains of Phillip Myers, an Air Force staff sergeant killed in Afghanistan, returned "home" to Delaware's Dover Air Force Base late last night
No live filming was allowed, nor were "stand-ups," in which a commentator speaks into a camera as the action unfolds in the background. Photographing family members is banned. "Movement required to perform duties should be conducted in a slow and deliberate manner in an effort to not distract from the event," the rules state.
Arrival of fallen troops at Dover no longer secret -- [Delaware Online]
Late Sunday night, the arrival of Myers' body at Dover Air Force Base in a flag-draped transfer case became a powerful reminder to his nation and the world of the sacrifices made by members of the armed forces and the high cost of war.
His return also marked an early watershed in the administration of President Barack Obama, a nod in favor of transparency and away from secrecy favored by prior administrations.
Airmen Cover the Fallen with American Flags for Families -- [Air Force Link]
...The shipping specialists are part of the final process for fallen heroes prior to beginning their journey home to their loved ones. The mortuary staff prepares the remains of fallen U.S. servicemembers, as well as government officials and their families stationed abroad in Europe and Southwest Asia. Since 1955, the remains of more than 50,000 servicemembers have arrived at Dover AFB for identification and funeral preparations
Euro-Troops in Afghanistan: The U.S. Perception -- [Abu Muqawama]
Yesterday we noted the difference between the Times and the Guardian over European commitments to the NATO mission in Afghanistan. The two big Sunday newspapers in the United States, meanwhile, were more downbeat. Headlines from The New York Times and The Washington Post were, respectively, "Europeans Offer Few New Troops for Afghanistan" (online) and "NATO Backs Obama's Afghan Plan but Pledges Few New Troops" (A12).
Good News: First U.S. Based Pro-al Qaeda Magazine Released -- [Jawa Report]
It's called Jihad Recollections and is a production of Charlotte, NC al Qaeda supporter Samir Khan's self-styled jihad media company, as-Fursan. You can download a PDF version at the links provided by Sammy here.
The magazine is 70 pages of the same kind of garbage that you'd expect from al Qaeda itself, and certainly not from an American living in North Carolina.
Can Obama shut down the Internet? -- [Hot Air]
When Mother Jones and Jules Crittenden agree, isn’t that a sign of the apocalypse? Both take a hard look at the Cybersecurity Act of 2009, S.773 sponsored by Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Olympia Snowe (R-ME). The bill addresses the need to protect vital networks from cyber attack, but it gives a lot of power to the executive branch — perhaps too much power.
Action Alert: Senate Could Grow Army End-Strengh -- [The Corner - Pete Hegseth]
Senate Could Grow Army End-Strengh
Just received word of this very important amendment to the fiscal year 2010 Budget Resolution, sponsored by Senators Cornyn (R., Tex.) and Lieberman (D., Conn.).
Senate Amendment #904 would allow for the U.S. Army to increase the active duty force by 30,000 soldiers, a good first step toward alleviating some of the strain placed on the force and giving Army leaders the strategic maneuvering space needed to address personnel needs and aggressively plan for future requirements. In addition, the amendment aims to do so without increasing the federal deficit (breath of fresh air).
Details of the Amendment show that, by creating a deficit-neutral reserve fund, Congress could allocate monies not otherwise spent during the budget year towards funding an end-strength increase to the U.S. Army from 547,400 to 577,400.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)