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.
Medal of Honor recipients visit Soldiers in Iraq -- [Army.mil]
Presented by the President of the United States, the Medal of Honor is the highest and most distinguished award given to U.S. servicemembers for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty."
Because of the level of criteria in a Medal of Honor citation, the award is often presented to servicemembers posthumously.
Iraq: Suicide bomber kills 15 Iraqi soldiers -- [The Associated Press]
BAGHDAD (AP) — An Iraqi army officer says a suicide bomber walked into a base west of Baghdad and set off his explosives belt, killing 15 Iraqi soldiers and
Iraq FM expects more attacks with US pullout -- [Alsumaria]
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hosheyar Zebari expects further bombings as US Forces are preparing to withdraw from the country. He stressed that preparing Iraqi Army to take up responsibility by his own is an urgent matter as he said noting that there are some imminent security challenges ahead of crucial deadlines.
“As we get closer to June or July when US Forces are going to withdraw, from population centers, from cities to barracks outside, according to the agreement of troops withdrawal we signed at the end of year, the adversaries, the insurgents and some remnant cells of al-Qaeda will try to press on their case,"
The Dissidents' War -- [Michael Totten]
MJT: Do you think they basically got it right?
Ricks: Look. You have to back up. I think everything in Iraq is the fruit of a poisoned tree – invading a country pre-emptively on false premises. So the question isn’t whether they’re getting it right, it’s whether they’re getting it less wrong. I think it was the best of a lot of bad options. It worked tactically. It improved security. But it failed to achieve its goal. The surge is now over, and the purpose of the surge, as stated by the president and the secretary of defense, was to improve security to create breathing space where a political breakthrough could occur. Odierno says in the book that we did create a breathing space, but some Iraqi leaders – I think he meant [Prime Minister Nouri] Maliki – used it to move backwards.
MJT: How did Maliki move backwards?
Iraq: the legacy - Ill equipped, poorly trained, and mired in a 'bloody mess' -- [The Guardian]
In the fourth part of our series, Richard Norton-Taylor explains how the six-year conflict in Iraq tested the capacity and bravery of British troops to the limit - and how they were betrayed by the politicians
Battalion sent to Afghanistan after 2 weeks in Iraq -- [USA Today]
Usually when troops are shifted from Iraq to Afghanistan, the change occurs between regular rotations abroad, after they spend several months at their home ...
Afghan earthquakes kill 21, destroy homes -- [Breitbart]
Two earthquakes shook eastern Afghanistan early Friday, collapsing mud-brick homes on top of villagers while they slept and killing at least 21 people. The quakes hit four villages in...
Turning Tables, U.S. Troops Ambush Taliban With Swift and Lethal Results -- [NY Times]
...An American platoon surprised an armed Taliban column on a forested ridgeline at night, and killed at least 13 insurgents, and perhaps many more, with rifles, machine guns, Claymore mines, hand grenades and a knife.
Town by town: A new strategy in Afghanistan -- [OTTAW Citizen]
Deh-E-Bagh is Ground Zero for an Afghan-Canadian approach against the Taliban, reports Matthew Fisher.
A town south of Kandahar City is to become the focus of intense attention as part of a new Afghan-Canadian strategy to try to defeat the Taliban insurgency town by town.
The innovative approach is to start in the town of Deh-E-Bagh in Dand district, where the Taliban recently launched a major attack. Afghan-led, it's to involve targeted Canadian aid, technical assistance, and mentoring within a robust security bubble established by Afghan and Canadian forces.
Some Good News from Southeast Afghanistan (after another unfortunate event) -- [Free Range International - in Afghanistan]
Here is an assessment done in the not too distant past on Sharana: The dominate tribe in the region is the Suleimankhel who are Ghilzai Pashtuns and inhabit all of the eastern districts of the province, from Wor Momay up to Sharan district. According to former provincial Governor Ghulab Mangal, the Suleimankhel provide the majority of recruits for the Taliban in the province. As a result, the level of anti-coalition militia activities remains high in areas dominated by Suleimankhel. In most areas of Afghanistan the “Taliban” is a collection of indigenous narco-jihadi-tribal guerrilla forces. Around Sharana this is not the case – the Armed Opposition Groups (AOG) fighters are dedicated Taliban who are not motivated by financial gain, access to reconstruction projects, or narco money.
Czech PRT in Logar continues in Surkhab Dam reconstruction -- [Combined Joint Task Force - 101 - in Afghanistan]
The Czech Provincial Reconstruction Team in Logar province recently entered another phase of the reconstruction of the Surkhab dam, the largest source of water in Logar province. The project, which will cost more than $1 million, will improve irrigation conditions ...
US UAVs in Pakistan/Coup averted? -- [The Torch]
With two senior American officials at his side, the Pakistani foreign minister unleashed a strong rebuke last week, saying that American drone strikes against militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas were eroding trust between the allies.
CNN Uses Graphic of Heavy-Caliber Machine Gun To Discuss "Assault Weapons Ban" -- [LT Nixon]
Obama's trip to Mexico has ignited debate about how to curb drug cartel violence. Along with tanks and nuclear warheads, the above pictured weaponry is not legally allowed to be possessed by your average U.S. citizen. However, it was the featured graphic on an article discussing the pros and cons of Obama reinstituting the Assault Weapons Ban to halt trafficking South of the Border. It goes to show how we're failing to address the root problems of the violence in Mexico.
...The Mexican drug cartels are often utilizing heavy weaponry that is only available to the military, and only about 17% of weapons seized in Mexico are being traced back to the states, but President Calderon of Mexico has been on a media blitz on American TV trying to drum up support for an Assault Weapons Ban in America.
Translating Russia’s Military Reform -- [SWJ]
Following Russia’s incursion into Georgia and its energy standoff with Ukraine, there has been a rising perception that Russia’s increased vigor is a stark reminder of the Cold War days of East-West competition. The BBC has exemplified this message running a special report titled “Resurgent Russia”. Even during the US presidential campaign, the situation took center stage as the candidates debated on how to deal with the awakening of the old beast. This “Resurgent Russia” – a term that has recently caught fire and has a line of rhetoric that has led the media to stroke old thoughts of the Soviet Union once again repainting the world red with its military might and autocratic agenda – incorrectly defines Russia’s actions as being irrational when, in fact, these actions are quite rational from the Russian perspective.
Easter in Baghdad -- [Canon Andrew White - in Iraq]
The church was packed to capacity, there was standing room only and hundreds and hundreds were present. Our Easter reading this year was from John. The three Marys were outside the tomb weeping. Where was their Jesus? It was the point all here identified with. There used to be only six men in our church and 1000+ women. The rest had been killed or kidnapped. There are now many more in our congregation - it has more than doubled in the past year. A thousand new members is not bad going in a year.
Right Wing Extremist Vets, Left Wing Extremist Puter Hacks, Oh My... -- [SWJ - Dave Dilegge]
The Department of Homeland Security recently disseminated two FOUO reports - Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment (7 April 09) and Leftwing Extremists Likely to Increase Use of Cyber Attacks over the Coming Decade (26 January 09) - that are now in the public domain. These two reports - which say absolutely nothing helpful to those on the frontlines of defending our nation - will most certainly stoke partisan bickering.
The Vet Threat -- [MilBlogs - Greyhawk]
For the record, I remain gruntled.
Here's one example from the government report of what might be happening, maybe:
DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small terrorist cells—to carry out violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.
Change!... FARC Killers--- Not Terrorists... US Veterans--- Terrorists -- [Gateway Pundit]
A. M. Mora y Leon at The American Thinker reported that the Obama Administration has reclassified the FARC killers in Colombia as insurgents and not terrorists:
Ex-CIA Chief Criticizes Release of Interrogation Memos -- [FOX News]
Former CIA Director Michael Hayden says release of the memos will give terrorists a precise guide for what to expect in a CIA interrogation if those methods are ever approved for use again.
The President Ties His Own Hands on Terror -- [WSJ]
The point of interrogation is intelligence, not confession. — The Obama administration has declassified and released opinions of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) given in 2005 and earlier that analyze the legality …
Petition the VA to Give J.R. Salzman a New Prosthetic Arm -- [From My Position]
Chuck invited you to join the Facebook group "Petition the VA to Give J.R. Salzman a New Prosthetic Arm".
Chuck says, "I know this guy. A great soldier, and a very talented carpenter and lumberjack. Lost his Arm in Iraq.
Anyway, the VA is on it's collective ass getting him a replacement for his prosthetic, and the one he has now is falling apart. PLS Help.".
Pat McGee - "Come Back Home", a tribute to the troops
Come Back Home was written in the wake of me losing my longtime drummer and former Army soldier John C. Williams. But the song started off as a reflection of how a military couple deals with separation. After the release of Come Back Home, Johns little brother was killed by an IED in Iraq. His name was Blake Williams. His platoon used this track as the audio to a memorial slide show presentation they did in March of 2008.
8-year-old gives lessons on dealing with the deployment of a parent -- [SA Network]
In a crowded room at Grand Forks Air Force Base, 45 Grand Forks teachers listened attentively today to a briefing on military deployment. The young man doing the briefing was in uniform: jeans, a pullover shirt and sneakers.
"I want to talk to you about my dad's deployment," said Kevin Nedegaard, 8, earnest and composed as he read from notes assembled with his mom's help.
"This is how I felt when I found out my dad was going to leave: Sad. Bad. Mad. I felt sad like if a pet died. I felt bad for my dad that he was leaving. I felt mad and frustrated."
TWEET DREAMS!! Soldiers' Angels is dreaming of YOU tweeting in support of Soldiers' Angels -- [SA Network]
FIRST OFF-- FOLLOW US!! @soldiersangels
LONDON - 'Wolverine' actor Hugh Jackman is donating $100,000 to charity through a Twitter contest that encourages users to nominate their cause.
Users can tweet at Jackman's Twitter page, @RealHughJackman, naming their chosen charity and their reason for nominating it. SOLDIERS' ANGELS!!! and your reason.
Iraq Veteran and Walter Reed Officials Praise Advances in Smart ... -- [Washington Post]
Greg Gadson, who lost both his legs when he was wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq, is the first person to try out the new Power Knees, the latest in
Soldiers' Angels flag for Camp Bucca Medics -- [Soldier's Angels - Medical Support]
I recently attended a Yellow Ribbon Reintegration program put on by the Army reserve for soldiers who recently returned from deployment, along with their families. It's a great program, geared to help soldiers and loved ones readjust to the return to civilian life.
Gates: Pirates show my budget is right -- [Politico]
...As we saw last week, you don't necessarily need a billion-dollar ship to chase down a bunch of teenage pirates," Gates said at the Air Force War College, The Associated Press reported.
The Somali scenario fit perfectly into the narrative Gates has hammered away at for the past year. Gates’ budget proposal alters more than 50 Pentagon programs, and this week, he’s fanned out to military colleges to make his case.
Pentagon Chief to Troops: We Ain't Google (Updated) -- [Danger Room]
Last week, Defense Secretary announced that he wanted to junk the Army's $90 billion plan to build a new fleet of tanks, cannon, and troop transports. Today, he told the Army why.
Garden City Welcomes Home Marines -- [Garden City News]
... and tears of joy were evident in Garden City last Friday as troops with the 2nd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment returned from Iraq to a hero's welcome
Thousands line streets to welcome home soldiers from Afghanistan -- [Telegraph]
But the occasion was marked with sadness as the troops remembered two of their fallen comrades, Captain Tom Sawyer and Lieutenant Aaron Lewis,
A New, New Media Chief at Defense? -- [Gautham Nagesh]
Seems like the White House got the memo on the importance of social media to national security.
While I was discussing the National Defense University's report on social media and national defense with former Defense new media chief Jack Holt, he mentioned that his title recently changed to senior strategist for emerging media. The reason for the new business card? Apparently, the White House has a job description out for his former position as chief of new media operations at Defense. More interesting, the position will be politically appointed. So it looks like the Obama administration not only recognizes the strategic importance of social media at the Pentagon, but they view as politically sensitive enough to warrant having their own person in charge rather than a career official.
Third Annual “GI Film Festival” to Showcase World’s Best Military Filmsby G.I. Film Festival -- [Big Hollywood]
“Seven Days in May” to Highlight 48 Films Honoring American GIs
Arlington, Virginia - GI Film Festival co-founders Brandon Millett and Major Laura Law-Millett announced today the line-up for the Third Annual festival showcasing the world’s best military films. The festival will run from May 11-17, 2009 at the prestigious Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, DC and other DC area venues, including the Canadian Embassy and the Russell Senate Caucus Room. The award-winning GI Film Festival is the first and only film festival in the nation dedicated to honoring American soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines through the medium of film.
Not Guilty! -- [Greyhawk]
Well, this will certainly further disgruntle those disgruntled vets*:
A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Rep. John Murtha cannot be sued for accusing U.S. Marines of murdering Iraqi civilians ‘in cold blood,’ remarks that sparked outrage among conservative commentators. The appeals court in Washington dismissed a defamation lawsuit brought by a Marine who led the squad in the attack. The judges agreed with Murtha that he was immune from the lawsuit because he was acting in his official role as a lawmaker when he made the comments to reporters.
Update on military voters in NY 20 District -- [BlackFive - Uncle Jimbo]
Hans von Spakovsky at NRO has this info about the number of military voters in NY 20 who got disenfranchised by the two Democrats on the Election Board.
DHS Unveils New Seal and Threat Table -- [America is an Obamanation!]
In light of recent revelations regarding the true nature of the threats to our way of life made clear in a recent report, we at the Department of Homeland Security have decided to change our focus from foreign terrorists to a menace of a decidedly more domestic nature. As a result, we felt some changes were in order.
....Right now, we remain at Threat Level Yellow, though please be advised that Fox News, talk radio and right wing blogs are considered to be at Threat Level Orange! Updated Threat Table...
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)