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.
The ISX Phenomenon -- [IRAQ THE MODEL - Iraqi Blog]
I saw this graph on Iraq Stock Exchange and thought I should share. It represents the ISX index monthly closing figures between November 2004 and February 2009. The picture speaks for itself.
Given the direction of developments in Iraq over the last two years there is no irony at all. In fact I see that the image quite accurately reflects the ups and downs of the period represented in the graph—not just in the economy, but in every aspect of life. The irony, however, is striking if we are to compare this with markets elsewhere under the global economic crisis!
Iraqi forces arrest four kids recruited by Al Qaeda -- [The Peninsula, HT: Jawa Report]
Kirkuk, Iraq: Iraqi security forces have arrested four children who were recruited by Al Qaeda to carry out suicide attacks in and around the northern city of Kirkuk, an army general said yesterday.
“Special forces units have arrested an organisation of children consisting of four individuals under the age of 14 who call themselves the ‘Birds of Paradise’,” General Abdelamir Al Zaidi said. “The group relies on children and is connected to Al Qaeda.
How the Spartans Were Conquered -- [Castra Praetoria - in Iraq]
Been on deck nearly 10 days and this deployment may prove to be darkest night as compared to last year’s glorious days of ruggedness.
...Lean, hardened Marines exited friendly lines multiple times a day looking to take the fight to the forces of jihad. It was hot, miserable, sucky work and I remember it fondly. We were totally ready for the Zombie Apocalypse.
This year I am completely disgusted with myself.
I have Headquarters and Service Company and we live on an air base that looks more like a small town. (Que Mr. Rogers theme music)
Sitting Around a Map -- [Bullet Wisdom - in Iraq]
Another crowded, smoke-filled room with forty or so people gathered around another long table with a projector at the end throw up a picture of a map on a too-small screen. From my position, the whiny fan on the aged Canon digital projector obscures the voices coming from the other end of the long, rectangular room.
Today at the command center, many of the provincial players from nearby Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) gathered at our weekly meeting.
All’s Quiet on the Western Front… -- [The Writings of a Man’s Man -- in Iraq]
Well not the Western Front really but all has been pretty quiet in Baghdad lately. Mind numbingly quiet actually, which makes it quite the challenge to keep twenty paratroopers from going stir crazy, however it speaks of US success here.
Combat Camera Video: 591st Engineer Route Clearance in Mosul, Part 2 of 3 -- [THE TENSION]
Dispatches from the Front:
Embedded above is a b-roll video of a route clearance operation in Mosul. Scenes include footage from inside an armored vehicle driving through the market and footage of U.S. soldiers viewing Iraqi soldiers search a car. (Video: 145th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment. Length: 5:30. Part 2 of 3.)
Sandstorm…a different perspective -- [S4 at War - in Iraq]
I posted a photo a little while ago taken during a sandstorm. Today I managed to get a picture of an approaching sandstorm minutes before it hit. Some have expressed doubt but this is a 100% real picture. It
Left Seat Right Seat -- [Sour Swinger - in Iraq]
With the company reorganized, I found myself in a new platoon and new squad. I think I lucked out as I’ve known my squad leader, Beard, for several years now and we even did PLDC (Sergeant’s school) together. On top of that my fellow team leader, Reese, is a long time army friend. We not only did PLDC but deployed to Germany together. Back then, we were also in the same squad too.
Leave, R&R, EML...Whatever You Call It...I'm There -- [My Point of View - in Iraq]
Today is the day that a lot of service members look forward to when they're deployed. Well, actually, it's when you get home...but today is the day I leave Baghdad for home.
The process that gets us from here in Baghdad to home is something that we don't look forward to. It's long, it drains you mentally, it leaves you exhausted after traversing eight time zones...but it is sooooo worth it.
Double, Double, Toil and Trouble -- [AFGHANISTAN SHRUGGED - in Afghanistan]
The white flash splits the Afghan night and I see the world in reverse color for several moments. Then the concussion hits me and I feel it through chest into my heart and lungs. KARUMPH!
...Three of us are kneeling around a map our ACHs touching; actually putting our heads together to stave off the enemy. Pools of red, green and blue light spill from our headlamps lighting the map in a mosaic of color. Two armored vehicles are parked to our front, their doors standing open and red light oozing from them. The radios they contain barking and hissing information.
One Step Forward Two Steps Back -- [Free Range International - in Afghanistan]
...I have pointed out time and time again that there is no need for armored vehicles in the north - or in most of Afghanistan. It is safer for all concerned to be in unarmored vehicles with lots of dispersion and preferable locals mixed in amongst your vehicles. But that is not what bothers me about this article it is the cavalier way something that was obviously important (or why even fly up from Kabul) was dismissed. Here is why:
We have not been dumping the money, resources or attention in the north like we have in the south. The south is populated with Pastun people, the north (with the exception of Kunduz City) has no significant Pashtun population - they are Uzbeks, Hazara and Tajik’s. They have for the most part cooperated in the disarmament programs, stopped growing poppy, and cooperated with the central government. And we treat them like a bunch of irrelevant rubes.
Afghan minister sees hope in travels -- [National Post ]
Mr. Zia, who has a master's degree in war recovery studies from Britain's York University, has no time for those learned publications that have recently predicted that the Taliban are winning the insurgency.
"The reason I travel so much is so that I can come face-to-face with the hope and determination of our people," he said during an hour-long discussion in his office. "They want to play a role in the development of our villages, which constitute our identity.
"The tide is still in favour of our people. This is my strong belief. It is based upon what I see in rural Afghanistan where the population speaks confidently about tomorrow and does not think the war is lost."
U.S. Troops Helping to Secure Afghan Capital
Winning the War in Afghanistan -- [Small Wars Journal - Dr. Karl A. Slaikeu]
An Oil Spot Plus Strategy for Coalition Forces
While granting that Afghanistan is centuries behind Iraq in terms of infrastructure, the central question remains: can we build on the successes and lessons learned in Iraq and a half century of other counterinsurgency (COIN) wars to emerge victorious over the Taliban and al Qaeda? Or, will we go the way of Great Britain and Russia, who left Afghanistan in defeat? This paper offers a plan for victory that builds on classic COIN--the oil spot or ink spot strategy--customized to address the unique challenges of the Afghan area of operations
The Chase Is On, And On, And On -- [Strategy Page]
The U.S. has told the Afghans to prepare for more violence, as the U.S. brings in three additional brigades this year, increasing American troops strength in Afghanistan by 55 percent. The Taliban and drug gangs control many valleys and villages in areas where they grow poppies and manufacture heroin. These are the targets, and the Taliban are paid to defend them. The drug gangs cannot afford to lose control of many of these places, and will fight hard to hold on.
I want to talk some more about Afghanistan today -- [Sgt Stryker]
...Afghanistan has a long history of being used as a sort of mudroom in the region. In the past, even technology hasn’t been able to totally calm extremists in the country. If you recall, not even the Russians at their peak could manage to hold and control Afghanistan from the rebels. (Although, some Afghans got a lot of help in the 1980s from the US and other countries covertly… from what I hear…)
Today, though, the most technologically capable country in the history of the world has sent under 100,000 troops to try to tame the area so that it can thrive as an Islamic Republic, a cornerstone of modern life in the region. So far, things have been a little shaky. It’s a lot safer than it was under the Taliban and
Women -- [Adventures in Jalalabad, Afghanistan -- in Afghanistan]
...We asked Wahida if her sister's husband is strict with her. Wahida said yes, very. I asked about abuse of women -if it occurs and how it is handled. She said yes, that her sister's husband is very abusive. Just recently he took a kitchen pan or pot and struck her on the head with it, causing her to receive several stitches. I asked Wahida what women can do when that happens - and basically, if you say anything; report it to the police (oh who by the way can be very easily bribed and the husband has relatives that are in the police force) it is considered extremely shameful.
A Blast, an Ambush and a Sprint Out of a Taliban Kill Zone -- [NY Times]
The two Army lieutenants crouched against boulders beside the Korangal River. Taliban gunfire poured down from villages and cliffs above, hitting tree branches and rocks and snapping as the bullets passed over the officers' helmets.
US airstrike targets Taliban training camp in South Waziristan -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Eight terrorists are reported to have been killed in a Predator attack on a training camp used by the Taliban, al Qaeda, and the Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Number One with an F -- [Deployed Teacher - in Afghanistan]
Sat with linguists at lunch today and an Afghan gentleman stopped by the table. We all did the Salaam Alaikum shtick, I mean greeting. Once the pleasantries were exchanged, and the gentleman left, I told my lunch mates I had met this man a month or so ago, and that he had an interesting background.
Where Have All The Soldiers Gone -- [Strategy Page]
North Korea claims that its April 5th missile launch was not a violation of the 2006 UN Resolution 1718, threatening more punishment (after the North Korea nuclear test) if there were more missile launches or nuclear weapons tests. ...Trying to punish North Korea further serves no useful purpose, because North Korea is punishing itself so severely. Last month, North Korea tossed out the foreign aid groups that handled distribution of donated food. At the same time, the north said it would no longer accept food from the United States. This leaves nearly half the North Korean population malnourished, with several million in danger of starving to death. It's possible to monitor this, because of the increasing number of North Koreans escaping into China. South Korean and foreign aid groups can operate up there, and make contact with many of these refugees. Most of these people are malnourished and display stunted growth characteristic of lifelong poor diet. More importantly, the refugees describe conditions inside North Korea, and these confirm estimates of the extent of the famine that has lasted nearly two decades.
News roundup: NATO ships hunt down 7 pirates -- [USA Today]
International: A high-speed chase involving NATO warships, helicopters and Somali pirates ended with warning shots fired at the pirates' skiff. Seven pirates attempted to attack a Norwegian tanker late Saturday night. Pirates now hold at least 18 ships and more than 310 crewmembers hostage, according to an Associated Press count.
Napolitano: Veterans are Targets of Right-Wing Extremist Recruiters -- [FOX News]
The head of homeland security said Sunday she regrets that some people took offense over a report warning that right-wing extremist groups were trying to recruit disgruntled troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. But Secretary Janet Napolitano added that "a number of groups far too numerous to mention" want to commit domestic terrorism attacks and are looking for new recruits.
She told a cable news network the warning report that went out to American law enforcement agencies was consistent with reports that were issued before.
"Here is the important point. The report is not saying that veterans are extremists. Far from it. What it is saying is returning veterans are targets of right-wing extremist groups that are trying to recruit those to commit violent acts within the country. We want to do all we can to prevent that," she said.
Napolitano: Returning vets too stupid to avoid extremists -- [Hot Air]
Janet Napolitano continues to thrash around for any rationalization she can find for the DHS report that painted political organizing on abortion, federalism, and immigration as potential national-security threats and called returining military vets a danger to the country they served. Yesterday on CNN, Napolitano tried explaining that the DHS doesn’t see these vets as threats. The DHS sees them as saps who don’t know any better than to fall into extremist traps...Yes, the poor dears are victims that obviously can’t decide themselves not to join violent groups
DHS Internal Threat Map -- [Castle Argghhh!!!]
This map is displayed and updated in Secretary Napolitano's office, and others as seen in the linked picture from January 29, 2009 – "Secretary Napolitano meets with senior leadership from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Pictured are Secretary Napolitano; Acting Assistant Secretary John Torres; Marcy Forman, Director Office of Investigations; and Susan Lane, Director Office of Intelligence."
Al-Qaeda no.2 unimpressed by Obama -- [AKI]
Barack Obama's election as US president has failed to lift America's status in the Muslim and Arab world, and is a victory for Al-Qaeda, according to a new audio message allegedly from the terror network's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri. The video was posted on key jihadist websites on Monday.
The Memos Prove We Didn't Torture -- [WSJ]
The Red Cross was completely wrong about 'walling.'
The four memos on CIA interrogation released by the White House last week reveal a cautious and conservative Justice Department advising a CIA that cared deeply about staying within the law. Far from "green lighting" torture -- or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees -- the memos detail the actual techniques used and the many measures taken to ensure that interrogations did not cause severe pain or degradation.
Sources: Wiretap Recorded Rep. Harman Promising to Intervene for AIPAC -- [CQ Politics]
Rep. Jane Harman , the California Democrat with a longtime involvement in intelligence issues, was overheard on an NSA wiretap telling a suspected Israeli agent that she would lobby the Justice Department reduce espionage …
A mission to focus on..... -- [Knottie's niche]
Ramblings of a Gold Star mom who still loves and supports the troops and their mission.
Sgt. Lewis, who knew my son well, told me just a couple days after we lost Micheal that is was easier in theater to loose a man because they had a mission to focus on. It would be some time before I told him that his word saved me from the deepest part of the depression I battled. I kept in touch with a lot of Pokey's brothers in arms. For a while they thought it was a gratitude thing. In some ways it was but in a larger much more important way they and all those who serve became my mission in life. I explained it to my son's brothers like this. My job was to be a mom and take care of Micheal as best I could while he was in Iraq. That meant being supportive, positive and sending the hugs in a box we call care packages. Micheal's job was to take care of the men he served with. when Micheal was killed he couldn't do his job anymore. Nor could I do mine. So I am now doing Micheal's job for him.
The Long Road Back -- [Weekly Standard]
A Texas bicycle ride helps wounded veterans rehabilitate and reconnect.
Fleming had been planning to make the journey on a hand-cycle, a vehicle that looks like the product of a one-night stand between a recumbent bike--the kind favored by fat, bearded men who like to tinker with things that come in kits--and the Green Machine big wheel that was popular in the 1970s. A hand-cycle has three wheels--two in back and one in front--and it is propelled forward when the cyclist repeatedly moves "pedals" in front of his chest in a circular motion, much as a traditional bicyclist does with his legs.
Stolen Valor... not so new a phenomenon -- [Castle Argghhh!!!]
I was unaware of Mr. Salling, so I went looking. "General" Salling's family is still supportive, though Wikipedia and other sources are not so sure.
So, I went looking for other indicators of Stolen Valor in history - and ran across these.
Patriot's Day, 2009 -- [Castle Argghhh!!!]
Yes, I know, it was yesterday. Castle Argghhh! was in satellite defilade yesterday.
234 years ago...
Stand your ground! Don't fire unless fired upon! But if they want to have a war, let it begin here!
Captain John Parker's orders to his troops. Like many good quotes, probably apocryphal - but part of the mythos, regardless, and captures the spirit of the restive residents of Massachusetts.
Anti-Gay Sentiment That Smears the Military -- [Washington Post]
The four retired military men who shared their anti-gay prejudice ["Gays and the Military: A Bad Fit," op-ed, April 15] unfairly smeared all Americans who
Apple's iPod Touch is latest US military weapon -- [Computer Weekly]
Apple's iPod Touch is the latest piece of kit for members of the US military that is proving to be a valuable tool in Iraq and Afghanistan. Soldiers need little training with the relatively low-cost consumer device, which can run useful applications in operational areas, according to Newsweek.
Marines return to warm welcome in Glenville -- [Schenectady Gazette]
About 200 people lined Freemans Bridge Road, many waving small American flags or holding banners that said, “Welcome Home,” or “We love you.
Returning warriors receive a hero's welcome -- [MiamiHerald]
Napolitano said friends and families of returning troops need only call his group or send an e-mail to muster a welcome home they will never forget.
CNN the Latest Corporate Thug to Use Copyright As a Weapon to Eliminate Embarrassing Clips from YouTube -- [Patterico Pontifications]
The latest culprit is CNN, a network that was recently embarrassed by a video of reporter Susan Roesgen cutting off tea-party protestors in Chicago, and assailing them with silly liberal talking points. The blog Founding Bloggers showed up on scene and caught her in further arguments with angry citizens who noted her biased coverage. I posted the Founding Bloggers video on Thursday.
Politico's understanding of journalistic anonymity -- [Salon]
In a Politico article discussing Obama's decision to release the OLC torture memos, Mike Allen granted anonymity to "a former top official in the administration of President George W. Bush" to enable that official to do nothing other than attack Obama's decision and accuse him of handing our critical secrets to Al Qaeda. Those anonymous quotes predictably attracted the only thing of value for Politico: a prominent, screaming Drudge link announcing that Bush officials accused Obama of helping the Terrorists.
Preposterous! -- [Villianous Co]
...Anonymity is dangerous. I mean, can you imagine if that kind of thing spread to the Internet? And anyway, it's not as though this so-called "source" were performing a valuable public service ... like, say, illegally releasing diagrams showing snipers how they can defeat Marine body armor! How dare he presume to criticize the leader of the free world?
Sure, the New York Times published gazillions of anonymous criticisms of George Bush from acting government servants speaking on condition of anonymity because disclosing sensitive information to the media violated the terms of their employment contracts. But that was completely different because we agreed with them.
The Workshops Of Identity -- [Big Politics]
...There was a time when America broadcast its virtues to the world. Films like It’s a Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, even Star Wars and Spider-man, were films about common, decent people – Americans, obviously, for we all know that even Luke Skywalker was an Iowa farm boy – who find themselves in dangerous and evil places and whose fundamental decency corrected this wrong in the world and restored a sense of hope and optimism, a sense that we are masters of our own destiny. It is an idea so powerful that even French intellectuals, who seemed then and seem today to be incapable of a single positive or upbeat thought, could watch in wonder and contempt as legions of their countrymen flocked to see them.
Those days have gone. No longer does Hollywood broadcast America’s mythic virtues to the world. No, the flow is reversed now. Now the great creative driving force of Hollywood is to present to America the anti-American hatred of the intellectuals watching in impotent fury out in the rest of the world.
Of the six or seven war movies made during the last few years, all – save one – were spectacular failures. Many were the reasons given for this, but perhaps, someday, while sitting in a hammock in the Cayman Islands, even a studio executive might be just intellectually aware enough to catch a flash of what is obvious
Bright Idea Of The Day - Let's Close All The Service Academies To Save Money -- [BlackFive - McQ]
And while we're at it, let's close the War Colleges as well.
That's the prescription the Washington Post's Thomas Ricks puts out today as a great way to save federal funds.
Why is it the ideas these guys come up with to trim the federal budget are always aimed at the military and never at entitlements and the like?
Obama Poses With Marxist Hugo Chavez While Murderer Looks On(?) -- [Gateway Pundit]
"Having lived in Venezuela I recognize the man in the back ground between Obama and Chavez. He is Nicolas Maduro and is a murderer. I have seen, in person, the bullet wounds on people who survived his shots. Sadly, not all survived. It is so irritating when people pretend to know what they are opining on and have no true perspective at all!"
Scappleface: DHS to release left-wing group report via Twitter
After the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sparked a firestorm of protest from right-wing extremists over a nine-page report on the "resurgence in radicalization and recruitment" among right-wing extremist groups, DHS chief Janet Napolitano announced today that her department would soon release a similar report on leftist groups via Twitter.
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