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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 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.Refresh for updates.
SPC Chad Edmundson KIA at 20 -- [Sour Swinger - in Iraq]
My brigade, 56th SBCT, has suffered its second KIA. Spc Chad Edmundson of Williamsburg, PA died on the 27th of May. He suffered fatal wounds from an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) while on a dismounted patrol in Abu Ghraib. His death hits closer to home for he's not only in the same battalion but his company and mine share some of the same battlespace. The blast that killed Chad also injuried 3 other soldiers though not seriously. Also 16 Iraqi civilians were injured.
Maliki calls citizens to trust Iraqi Forces -- [Alsumaria Iraqi Satellite TV]
Two days ahead of the withdrawal of the US troops from the Iraqi cities, Iraqis live an amalgam of feelings combining pride on one hand and challenge on the other. The challenge of how to handle the situation in face of a promising secure and prosper future that seems to loom after years of distress and agony. In this context, during an interview with Alsumaria TV, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki called all the Iraqis to support the Iraqi national forces and to trust their capacities. Maliki stressed that Iraq will accept nothing less than the full implementation of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).
When Will The Americans Invade Us? -- [Strategy Page]
Another prison scandal in Iraq, this time featuring at least 43 Iraqi policemen and prison guards accused of corruption. Offences include jailing people without a warrant, and then demanding a bribe to get them out. Jailers are accused of torture, and demanding bribes so inmates can see visitors, get food or a better cell. Most of these abuses disappeared in 2003, when the Americans took over the prison system. But now most of the U.S. run prisons are controlled by Iraqis, and the prisoners mourn the sharp decline in living standards, and fair treatment by the guards.
Top US Officer Says Iraqis Ready for Handover - [Voice of America]
The United States' top military officer says he believes Iraqi forces are ready to take full control of their country's cities on Tuesday, as called for in the US-Iraq security agreement. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen spoke to reporters traveling with him in Europe. In a conversation with a small group of reporters, Admiral Mike Mullen was asked whether he is confident the Iraqi forces can handle the duties they are about to take on. "I am, and I take that from not only my own interaction there, which is infrequent, but really the reports I get back routinely and the leaders I talk to, not just General Odierno but others that have that confidence as well,"
Is the Job Done? - [Los Angeles Times]
On Tuesday, US troops will leave Iraqi cities in accordance with an agreement negotiated under President Bush. Although President Obama has largely endorsed the Bush timeline for reducing the US military presence in Iraq, far less clear is the extent to which he has also adopted his predecessor's appreciation for the importance of achieving America's strategic goals there. For all his administration's mistakes in Iraq, Bush clearly understood the imperative of victory once US forces were committed.
Before I go...(hopefully) -- [Wings Over Iraq]
...One question that hasn't gotten that much attention is what will happen not only between the Sunni and Shia, but also between the Arabs and Kurds. While I would venture to say that there won't be massive pitched battles between the Iraqi Army and Peshmerga fighters in the next few months, the situation in Kurdistan still leaves many unresolved issues. Anyway, I could see those as the leading challenges in the next few months.
Mosul: Post 30 JUN -- [Mongo's Montreaux - in Iraq]
On thinking about it, I'm not going to post squat on the 30 JUN withdrawal of US combat forces from urban areas in Iraq. Too easy to get crosswise with OPSEC, PAO, etc. Instead, I'll link to this article, which does a good laydown of the situation. One note, though: the Iraqi Police that the writer mentions as the "weak link" are the local police, or shurta mahlhauli, not the Iraqi National Police, or shurta wattaniya, with whom we (the team) are partnered.
What does June 30 mean? -- [Blogs Over Baghdad - in Iraq]
We also have been handing over facilities and bases throughout the country to ISF. Many of the ones where we remain are now joint bases with the Iraqis commanding there.
...I don't think most Iraqis are necessarily happy that our combat forces are leaving the cities - because most of the ones I meet seem to like Americans, whether it is us personally or the opportunities we bring to exercise their freedoms or make a better living.
Pirates and Iraq Upates -- [The Intrepid Reporter - in Iraq]
Baghdad has seen a bit of an uptick in the ultraviolence, but not to worry me Droogs... Ye Olde I.R. of fame and lore is safe and sound on Base.
Seems the stuff as of late has been concentrating downtown in the typical "Shiite Versus Sunni" Deathmatch, and the favorite tools of the tools in question are indiscriminate Car Bombings and such. ...Problem is, these jokers for the most part these days are cowards. They use little kids to do the dirty work that they are too cowardly to do themselves.
The High Price of Eliminating the Taleban from Buner-- [The Times]
The road home for Sultan Mahmood was hardly a welcoming sight. The route through the mountains was scattered with burnt-out cars and lorries and lined with the wreckage of buildings destroyed as the army mounted its assault on the Taleban in and around the northwestern region of Swat. At makeshift checkpoints along the way, troops peered from sandbagged machinegun posts as cars and vans snaked back into Buner, the district neighbouring Swat, that has now been declared free of the militants.
Some NATO Allies in Afghanistan Should Just Stay Out of The Fight -- [P.J. Tobia - in Afghansitan]
...The New York Times has a story about German Chancellor Angela Merkel being in a tough spot at home because of her country's involvement in Afghanistan. German soldiers are dying in a war that nobody in Germany wants any part of, and some don't even want to call a war.
Obama's AfPak Envoy Says Opium Eradication Policy 'Least Effective Program Ever' -- [P.J. Tobia - in Afghansitan]
In what is probably the most significant shift in US strategy in Afghanistan since the invasion, US Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke told reporters at the G8 summit that NATO forces would no longer focus on poppy eradication. Instead, ...
A Path we need to take to Win in Afghanistan -- [Bouhammer]
I had an opportunity to ask the Secretary-General about how NATO is dealing with the opium problem in Afghanistan. You can listen to the segment below, but the jest of what he said was "Not our job". He then asked me what I would do about it, and I referred him to the fact that US Army is deploying the National Guard Agricultural Development Teams (ADT) into Afghanistan to help farmers with how they grow crops and show them alternatives to growing poppy. The Secretary-General then told me how he ran into one of the teams when he was in Ghazni and how he was impressed by them.
Talking the IMU in Northern Afghanistan -- [Registan]
When discussing the possibility of the IJU being a faked terror group, I declared the IMU inactive in Northern Afghanistan. After Namangani died and Yoldashev fled to Waziristan in 2001, I said, there hasn't been an IMU presence up near Kunduz. Well. A friend working in Balkh wrote to me about that, and mentioned something I haven't heard in the news yet:
82nd Airborne DSTB supports local district -- [Combined Joint Task Force - 82 / CJTF]
...According to the Central Intelligence Agency the unemployment rate in Afghanistan is approximately 40 percent. New jobs could usher in the potential for increased money, which would bolster the local economy.
"Almost everyone in our village is jobless, so they go to Iran and Pakistan for work," said Naqibullah, village elder and teacher for Sanjali Village.
After the villager explained his plight, Capt. Wilson carefully explained his plans and potential solutions.
Cruizin in the Uzbin -- [Afghanistan My Last Tour - in Afghanistan]
...As we wound down through the J-Bad pass our convoy stopped rather abruptly. Typically livestock or a broken down vehicle is the usual cause. However, today's short halt is was for a small rock slide. Considering the height of the towering cliffs, we wanted to avoid our gunners in the turret from being knocked out by a falling rock. Besides this would be embarrassing to visit the TMC for being knocked in the cranium by a rock.
Our next stop was to a strategically positioned outpost in the wealthy (by Afghan standards) town of Serobi.
McChrystal's Afghan 'listening tour' -- [BBC]
The official told the commander that he had only taken his job after being led to believe by the Afghan government that the security situation was good - but it turned out it was not. Gen McChrystal then joked that US President Barack Obama had "done exactly same thing to me" - provoking laughs from the assembled audience.
It was a rare moment of humour from the commander known for his seriousness.
McChrystal is the man of the moment - a general tasked with changing the course of the war in Afghanistan.
Pakistan asks U.S. to stop drone attacks in tribal region -- [Xinhua]
Pakistan Thursday asked the United States to review its policy of drone attacks in its northwest tribal region, saying the attacks are counterproductive.
"We would continue to convey the concern of the people of Pakistan to the United States," Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said at weekly press briefing in Islamabad.
Taliban kill 12 soldiers in North Waziristan ambush -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
The ambush capped a bloody weekend in the Waziristan region, where the military has yet to take on Baitullah Mehsud in a full-fledged ground offensive.
HORRIFIC Video Captures Basij Thugs Shooting At Protesters From Rooftop -- [Gateway Pundit]
Busted! Regime thugs shoot down at democracy protesters on the street from a rooftop in Tehran. This is one of those videos that you will not forget. What kind of regime fires on its own people peacefully demonstrating for freedom?
Honduran President Is Ousted in Coup -- MEXICO CITY -- The Honduran president, Manuel Zelaya, was ousted by the army on Sunday after pressing ahead with plans for a referendum that opponents said could lay the groundwork for his eventual re-election, in the first military coup in Central America since the end of the cold war.
Chavez threatens military action over Honduras coup -- [Reuters]
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Sunday put troops on alert after a coup in Honduras and said he would respond militarily if his envoy to the Central American country was kidnapped or killed.
Killer Video -- [Strategy Page]
The CIA has admitted that one of the more dangerous sources of Islamic terror attacks in the West, is among the 2.4 million Moslems in Britain. This reasoning is simple. According to a recent survey, some 76 percent of British Moslems believe it was wrong for foreign troops to be in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the same time, 11 percent thought it was alright for Taliban fighters to attack NATO troops in Afghanistan. In the same vein,
Military Spouses Thank Gates for Support -- [Soldiers' Angels Network]
Since he took office two and a half years ago, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has traveled the world talking with troops about their service and sacrifices.
At each meeting, the secretary is careful to thank the troops' families, recognizing their sacrifices as
Britains Celebrate First Armed Forces Day -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Until today, the UK didn't have a holiday like our Veteran's Day. Now, finally, they do. Thank you to all of our British brothers in arms for your service! We're proud to stand with you.
Fort Sill Families Proudly Welcome Home Their Soldiers -- [KAUZ]
Fort Sill honored about 160 soldiers with a welcome home ceremony on June 28th. The soliders are from the Alpha and Charlie batteries, second battalion, ...
Fort Drum puts on free air show to welcome soldiers home -- [WTEN/AP]
Fort Drum is putting on an air show and Mountainfest this weekend to welcome home the soldiers of the...
Reliable Sources: Journos spar over Obama presser question -- [CNN]
Tensions flared between "new media" reporters and print and television journalists last Tuesday when President Obama called on Nico Pitney, HuffingtonPost.com national editor, to ask the second question during a news conference at the White House.
Obama names envoy to Muslim communities (Woman) -- [The Hill]
The Obama administration on Friday named America's first ever special representative to Muslim communities. ...Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday named Farah Pandith as the United States Special Representative to Muslim Communiites. Pandit is expected to engage with Muslims around the world on a grassroots and organizational level.
Congress Coordinates Combat Colors -- [Strategy Page]
June 29, 2009: The U.S. Congress has ordered the Department of Defense to provide a new camouflage color pattern for combat uniforms of troops going to Afghanistan. This came about because many legislators received letters from troops complaining about how the camouflage pattern that worked in Iraq, doesn't work in Afghanistan. The army told complaining legislators that this was not true, even though SOCOM preferred a different camouflage pattern for their troops in Afghanistan. Is it any surprise who won that argument?
U.S. Bio Research & Defense -- [Threats Watch]
As time passes, the discussion of "The Risk/Reward Ratio" of BioResearch becomes more interesting and complicated. Last week, while the Senate approved the first $36 million designated for the construction of the National Bio and Agro Defense facility at the campus of Kansas State University, However, the House version of the Appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security, omitted that funding. Instead, the House allocated $5 million to fund an independent study the safety of conducting research into Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) at a mainland laboratory.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
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.Refresh for updates.
Moonwalks in Baghdad: Discovering the King of Pop on Foot Patrol -- [IAVA]
One of the strangest things I experienced in Iraq during my two tours there was the multitude of "Michael Jackson" stories I brought home.
I remember watching Baghdad children moonwalk during lulls in our foot patrols to try to get our attention.
I remember children waving to us and simply saying "Mike-kal Jack-son" to express affection and get us to look at them. During a door-to-door search ...
The Iraq Drawdown Is Proof of Success - [Wall Street Journal]
A major transformation is underway in Iraq. Each day U.S. forces hand over more responsibility for security to the Iraqi army and the Iraqi police. As this moves along, the number of US forces in Iraq will shrink to no more than 50,000 by August 2010 from approximately 132,000 now. Further, as directed by President Barack Obama, all US forces will be out of Iraq by the end of December 2011. As we proceed with this drawdown, the role of US forces in Iraq will transition to primarily focus on advising Iraqi forces instead of fighting terrorism directly.
US non-combat troops to remain in Nineveh -- [Alsumaria Iraqi Satellite TV]
The situation in Nineveh province will be different after US Forces withdrawal at the end of the month.
Some non-combat troops will remain in Mosul after June 30 while the Iraqi government has agreed on their stay stressing that they would work in a supportive role to Iraqi Forces in five Districts only, Major General Robert Caslen, the senior US officer in northern Iraq, said...
Iraqis have second thoughts over June 30 date for US troops to leave -- [Times Online]
For six years Iraqis in this restless provincial capital have been waiting for US forces to withdraw, in the hope that the area will return to being Iraq's sleepy rural backwater.
However, with only days to go before the last American soldiers are due to pull out of Baquba and other Iraqi cities, the residentshaving doubts.
US Troops, Civilians to Become Less Protected on July 1 -- [Washington Post]
BAGHDAD, June 25 -- US military officials fear that the closure of inner-city bases and restrictive guidelines that go into effect next ...
Wednesday Wanderings -- [Ramblings from a painter - in Iraq]
...Baghdad seems to be getting edgier as we count down the days to June 30th. That's when all US troops are supposed to have pulled their bases out of the cities. Everybody, Iraqis included, seem to think that our troops will be out of the cities, period. Not true and it never has been. The agreement is that our bases will be outside the cities. Our troops will still make patrols inside the city limits, alongside their Iraqi counterparts. As one said, "nothing will change except our commute to work will get longer".
US intel: Al-Qaida activity plunges in Iraq -- [AP]
The number of al-Qaida extremists in Iraq has plummeted and their ability to maintain a high-level of attacks has been eroded, U.S. intelligence suggests.
...The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence reports, said that the number of foreign fighters coming across Iraq's borders had dropped from hundreds to "tens," and the membership of al-Qaida in Iraq, or AQI, has plunged from thousands at its peak in 2006-2007 to hundreds now.
Iraq, the unraveling (XII): Bombs away -- [FP - Tom Ricks]
On the eve of the pullout from cities, everything appears calm. Except in Mosul, which is a special case. As is Basra. And Kirkuk. And now east Baghdad.
A friend passes along this day report from the Iraqi capital:
Baghdad market bombing kills 11 -- [ABC]
At least 11 people were killed and 46 were wounded when a bomb exploded in an industrial area of Baghdad today. The incident comes just ...
Differences Between the U.S. and Iraqi Armies, Part I -- [Notes from Iraq - in Iraq]
The Iraqi Army was forced by necessity into forming and building while simultaneously fighting and succeeding in combat. Their supply system, quite simply, struggles to keep up the pace with the maneuver units and increase sustainment as the Army grows.
Therefore, the Iraqi Soldiers often times struggle to make due with the supplies that they have.
What is G2 Targeting? -- [For Your Eyes Only - 34th Red Bull Infantry Division - in Iraq]
In G2 Targeting, we are dedicated to finding out as much information as we can on a number of nefarious individuals. Those individuals have committed acts endangering the lives of the Iraqi people and Coalition Forces. Our job is to use our skills and those of various people within the Intelligence Community to find and track those individuals.
Raising the quality of life on Camp Shaibah -- [WarHorse - 34th Red Bull Infantry Division - in Iraq]
"This was an empty desert space converted into a full living area," said 1st Lt. Shawn Peterson, camp commander, HHC, STB. When Soldiers began arriving at the end of May, they were crowded into an empty hanger and took showers with a plastic water bag, hose and showerhead. Soldiers ate packaged Meals, Ready to Eat, or drove to a neighboring camp on the installation for food.
The province that aid forgot -- [IN Iraq - in Iraq]
"We're on the cusp of progress," one team member said. "Diwaniyah was the last province to get a PRT, and now the PRT has been on the ground for a little less than a year. We've made great strides in public diplomacy, establishing good connections with the local government. We would like to get out into the private sector."
Translation- The newly elected local government realizes they'd be foolish not to at least pretend to cooperate with the Americans to get some free project money. They are now making the effort, instead of taking directions from Iranian clerics like the last governor, but so far we've had a lot of meetings, drank a lot of Chai and shook hands and no substatantial projects have been completed.
Al Qaim SWAT arrests terrorist suspect (Al Qaiim) -- [MNF-I]
AL ASAD, Iraq - In the early morning hours of June 24, Al Qaim Special Weapons and Tactics personnel arrested a suspected terrorist pursuant to an issued warrant in Al Qaim, Iraq. The suspect is wanted by authorities for his alleged involvement in smuggling materials and foreign fighters into Iraq.
The worst job in the Army -- [Bad Dogs and Such - in Iraq]
belonged to the platoon medic for the guys we were out with the other day. We had to sit in a small meeting room (cushions on a concrete floor, etc etc), drinking even-less-trustworthy-than-usual tea and talking about water projects. We had to continue said discussion even when the power went out and the flies tripled in number.
But unlike the medic, we did not have to ...
Rising toll at US military hospital in Afghanistan -- [AP]
"Everything I've experienced is boredom or terror," said Air Force Maj. Adrian Stull, a 36-year-old emergency physician from Beavercreek, Ohio.
Reckless IED attacks kill indiscriminately -- [DVIDS]
The rate of civilians killed by improvised explosive devices in eastern Afghanistan has risen 117 percent in the last year. Insurgents have shifted their primary focus from coalition forces, to target the local residents.
Coalition, Afghan Forces Eliminate IEDs in Eastern Afghanistan Schools -- [DVIDS]
Afghan national policemen and coalition force service members discovered and eliminated six improvised explosive devices emplaced by insurgents near a village school in Khayr Kot district, Paktika province,...
Great Video of Apache taking out 14 Insurgents -- [Bouhammer]
This is great new video exclusively from Fox News that demonstrates the great care our forces take in order to avoid civilian casualties. In this video the Apache pilot makes the request six times to engage 14 enemy insurgents in Afghanistan carrying machine guns and RPGs. After the 6th time he feels confident enough that there is no chance to accidentally kill innocent civilians.
Update on ROE Changes for Afghanistan -- [Captain's Journal] ...protecting Afghan civilians involves killing Taliban. One won't be possible without the other. Young Marines in Camps Lejeune and Pendleton preparing to deploy to Afghanistan must be wondering "just what kind of mess are they preparing for us? I think I'd rather go on a float where I can shoot back." At Camp Leatherneck there must be young Marines staring in disbelief at their COs. In the halls of the Pentagon the Marine Corps Commandant surely must be preparing an exit strategy for Afghanistan.
Afghans In Country's North Are Calm, But Wary -- [NPR]
In Afghanistan, the bulk of the violence occurs in the country's south and east. In the north, it's a different story: The area is relatively calm. But there are simmering tensions among the ethnic groups in the north, which human rights workers say could increase ahead of Afghanistan's upcoming presidential election.
Thousands rally in Afghan capital to support Karzai -- [Reuters]
Tens of thousands of Afghans gathered in central Kabul on Friday to support President Hamid Karzai in the first big rally to be held before elections on Aug. 20.
Thousands of people, many of them ethnic Hazaras who once opposed Karzai
Afghan Presidential Campaign Under Way, Underwhelmingly -- [Radio Free Europe]
The campaign for Afghanistan's August 20 presidential election is gathering momentum in Kabul. Election posters for incumbent President Hamid Karzai and his 40 challengers compete for space and attention on the city's walls and lamp posts. But some in Kabul are calling for a delay in the election as concern mounts about what is happening -- or not happening -- in the country's south and east.
NATO to start offensive soon in south Afghanistan -- [Reuters]
NATO forces in southern Afghanistan, boosted by a big influx of U.S. troops, will step up operations in Helmand province and the city of Kandahar soon, the top regional commander said on Thursday.
How we fight -- [Embedded in Afghanistan... - in Afghanistan] I can't speak for the whole country and different areas can be pretty distinct, but I've been in enough scrapes by now to give readers a pretty good idea of how the battles are actually fought in eastern Afghanistan. Most every engagement between the Anti-Afghanistan Forces (AAF) and us (when I say "us" I'm referring to the ANA and the US Army) is begun by them. They always know where we are and we rarely know where they are with any exactitude. In fact,...
People...the difference -- [Embedded in Afghanistan... - in Afghanistan]
The ANA tend to move around a fair bit. Some of the areas where they work are considerably "different" from others so everyone moves around to give everyone the chance to "experience" the different places. The ETTs don't move around with the ANA; most of our guys have stayed in the same place for our whole tour. I'm one of the few that's moved around a lot,...
At Bagram's SSG Heath N. Craig Joint Theater Hospital -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
The urgent call came in: Roadside bombs had ripped through two Humvees and wounded eight or nine U.S. soldiers.
Medevac helicopters immediately hit the air to ferry the soldiers to the main U.S. military hospital. But when they arrived, they carried only five patients. ...
Taliban commanders survive US airstrike at funeral -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Qari Hussain Mehsud and Mullah Sangeen survived Tuesday's airstrike that was aimed at South Waziristan Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud.
Connect The Dots -- [Bill and Bob's Excellent Afghan Adventure] Michael Cohen is proving that he is still the guy who just can't connect the dots. His interest regarding COIN doctrine is bordering on a fetish, and his desperation to discredit the doctrine is palpable. As I've said, this is self-defeating. Cohen's primary advocacy dovetails very nicely with the capabilities that need to be developed in order to successfully shepherd Afghanistan and Pakistan through this very troubling and dangerous period of history in Central Asia. It boggles my mind that this man is so frightened that he literally loses his ability to reason, grasping at straws ranging from COL Gian Gentile's writings to
Love For Sale (Airbases Too) -- [Strategy Page]
Last February, Kyrgyzstan ordered the U.S. to leave the Manas air base it has been using (to support operations in Afghanistan) for the last seven years. Now, after the U.S. matched the Russian offer, Kyrgyzstan has decided that the United States can stay after all.
Iranian protesters avoid censorship with Navy technology -- [Wa Times]
Iranians seeking to share videos and other eyewitness accounts of the demonstrations that have roiled their country since disputed elections two weeks ago are using an Internet encryption program originally developed by and for the U.S. Navy.
Iranian cleric: Some in unrest should be executed -- [AP]
EDITOR'S NOTE: Iranian authorities have barred journalists for international news organizations from reporting on the streets and ordered them to stay in their offices. This report is based on the accounts of witnesses reached in Iran and official statements carried on Iranian media.
Rafsanjani Has Votes To Remove Khamenei? -- [Threats Watch - Steve Schippert]
Once again, another tidbit regarding the power moves behind the scenes in Qom that cellphone cameras and live-bloggers in Iran cannot capture. From the International Business Times, Rafsanjani has enough support to remove Khamenei:
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warns Barack Obama that support for protesters could end rapprochement -- [Telegraph]
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has warned Barack Obama his support for pro-democracy demonstrations in Iran endangered the prospect of a historic rapprochement between the two rivals.
KILLER REGIME Shoots Man In the Head-- He Dies in the Street (Video) -- [Gateway Pundit] WARNING: DO NOT VIEW THIS IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO SEE REGIME BRUTALITY THIS IS EXTREMELY VIOLENT-- On a street in Tehran a young protester is shot in the head by Basij militia (seen in distance) before the cameraman heads closer to where the other protesters have dragged the man's body. Here's another one-- The Basij thugs are hiding on a rooftop shooting down on protesters and throwing rocks at them. They are not aware that someone is filming them from behind!
Iran ambassador suggests CIA could have killed Neda Soltan -- Sometimes it seems Wolf Blitzer has interviewed pretty much every single person on the planet by now on CNN's "The Situation Room." Fact is, Wolfie is literally, a stand-up interviewer and a real pro, even with people you don't know.
Iran doctor tells of Neda's death -- [BBC]
...Dr Hejazi also told how passers-by then seized an armed Basij militia volunteer who appeared to admit shooting Ms Soltan. Dr Hejazi said he had not slept for three nights following the incident, but he wanted to speak out so that her death was not in vain.
They Aim To Misbehave -- [Strategy Page]
State controlled media announced that 17 demonstrators, and eight members of the Basij have died in two weeks of unrest. Also announced was the final tally of the election, with 62.6 percent for Ahmadinejad and 33.75 percent for Mousavi. Ahmadinejad is to be sworn in for his second four year term in August.
On Michael Jackson and Matthew Martin, Navajo Code Talker
So... the mainstream media now is all about Michael Jackson. Yes, Jackson made a significant contribution to popular culture, and society is rightly observing his death. Personally, I prefer to mark Saturday's passing of 84 year old Matthew Martin of Crownpoint, New Mexico. Mr. Martin served with the Marine Corps' famed Navajo Code Talkers during World War II. Mr. Martin and his teammates used an unbreakable code - their native language - to deceive enemy Japanese forces in the Pacific.
A War Correspondent Responds to MJ's Death -- [P.J. Tobia]
I swear we're not heartless, hard-boiled or cynical. But as fans mourn one man's death, let's keep in mind that over 5,000 soldiers have died in Afghanistan and Iraq since the US-led invasion. Each of them was important to somebody, somewhere too.
America mourns Michael Jackson & Farrah Fawcett while Iran burns -- [Examiner]
Freedom is on life support in this world. When people don't know the value of freedom, they don't realize they are throwing it away. Today, some famous people died. They were great entertainers, and millions of places online are mourning them.
I will mourn for the death of freedom in Iran. As of this late writing, no major news outlet is covering the brutal oppression of the Iranian people. Our President is breathing a sigh of relief that he has been gifted with a worthless press, who has given him the ultimate pass. For the first time in my life, freedom must look to some other nation to give voice to it's struggle.
North Korea Threatens 'Shower of Nuclear Retaliation' -- [Danger Room]
Once again, North Korea has reminded us that you don't need Twitter to organize a big rally -- just a dose of old-school Stalinism.
Message on Jihadist Website: Kill as Many Americans as Possible -- [MEMRI Blog]
A message on an Islamist forum calls on the mujahideen of the ISI in Iraq and on "the heroes of [the jihad group] Ansar Al-Islam" to increase their activity against U.S. troops in the upcoming week, before they withdraw from the Iraqi cities...
Terrorist Financing on the Internet -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Since the September 11 attacks on the United States, al-Qaeda has come under growing international pressure. In response, the terrorist organization has increasingly relied on the internet to spread its message and gain support throughout the world. While its use of the internet for propaganda and recruiting purposes has received wide publicity, al-Qaeda has also utilized the internet for a variety of other purposes, including terrorist financing. Al-Qaeda is far from alone among terrorist organizations in exploiting the internet for financing. A wide range of other terrorist groups -- including
Landstuhl hospital to move to Ramstein? -- [Stars and Stripes]
The Defense Department is studying whether to build an Army hospital and supporting facilities on Ramstein Air Base to replace the 56-year-old Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.Last August, Landstuhl received approval for a $400 million project that, among other upgrades, would add a five-story inpatient tower to the existing hospital. Construction on the new tower is slated to begin in 2010 or 2011. But with the new study ongoing, that project now is in limbo. "They're looking at 20-, 25-, 30-,
40-year projections of what [U.S. Army Europe] and this whole area's going to look like,
Our wounded in transition need some help -- [BlackFive - Uncle Jimbo]
Pam from Maine is a member of the Warrior Legacy Foundation who has been working to help our wounded troops who leave the service make their way. She has seen some holes in the system that need work and wants to discuss how WLF can help with this. Here are her thoughts.
Grrrrrrrrrrrrr -- [Castle Argghhh!!!]
There's a special place in Hell. At least one hopes so.FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATIONKANSAS CITY, MISSOURI 64105June 24, 2009Contact:FBI - Media Representative,Bridget Patton (816) 512-8833SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES VICTIMIZING FAMILIES OF DEPLOYED U.S. MILITARYPERSONNELPUBLIC AWARENESS The Kansas City Division is issuing information regarding a new scam involving the victimization of families of deployed U.S Military personnel through social networking sites.
TROOPATHON 2009 RESULTS -- [The Radio Patriot]
TROOPATHON 2009 - $603,049.14 total!
"Thank you from the bottom of my heart"
Chaplains reaching out to those in need -- [Army Live]
...We've had a couple of stories come out about our U.S. Army chaplains in the past week. In the military, it's too easy to give a group the tagline of unsung hero - we certainly have a lot of those. But when we think about folks making daily and value added contributions to the morale of our trips, we probably don't think about chaplains as often as we should. Many of you will have already heard about the tragic Washington, D.C. metro rail accident which left dozens injured and killed nine during the busy commuter rush hour. Walter Reed Chaplain David Bottoms was in the first car
Sword Still Hangs Over the Head of LtCol Chessani; Marine Commandant Refers Prosecution Decision to New General -- [VOX - Humbled Infidel]
Nearly four years after the so-called "Haditha Massacre, " an investigation conducted by over 65 NCIS agents (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) ─ the largest investigation in that agency's history ─ with the expenditure of millions of taxpayer dollars, and prosecution losses at every stage of the criminal process, the government is still pursuing legal action against Marine LtCol Jeffrey Chessani.
GENERAL CONWAY BAILS -- [DEFEND OUR MARINES]
...In my opinion, the Haditha, the Fox Company, and other cases where Marines are prosecuted for performing their mission, call for active instead of inactive leadership. For the Commandant to shirk his duties with a boast of inaction is not the kind of leadership I expect of the general officer holding that prestigious office.
In the Haditha case, we seem to have created a dark legal slap-stick comedy called "Lawyers Gone Wild". These legal mistakes, besides supporting a rush to judgment, include prosecution grants of immunity to unreliable witnesses, the whimsical addition of charges against Marines, and a confirmed case of undue command influence that, if pursued further, can probably be traced back to the Commandant. In addition, let's not forget that the Marine Corps prosecutors are suing CBS in order to obtain evidence against SSgt Wuterich, the Haditha Marine squad leader. If they could not get the evidence they needed from the battlefield and a 65-member NCIS investigation team, why do they think they can get it from CBS?
3 Doors Down is one rock band that openly supported the men and women of the U.S. military before it was cool. -- [California Chronicle]
"We're one of the only rock bands in America that gives them any support at all," guitarist Chris Henderson says. "Then the others started saying, 'I guess it's OK'. "
Not that it's a competition. ...Henderson said the group uses its Better Life Foundation, named for their 6 million-selling breakthrough album, for a variety of children's and other charities, some of which are military-related. It also hosts about 50 members of the National Guard and other military branches during meet-and-greets at its shows.
One of its newest hits, "Citizen/Soldier," was written in honor of the Guard.
Struggling workers filling military ranks -- [Arizona Republic]
People struggling to find jobs in the bad economy are turning to the military for a paycheck. Recruiters say that they are seeing more
Convoy retracing military vehicles' paths of 90 years ago -- [North Platte Telegraph]
Quicksand caused the first U.S. Army Transcontinental Motor Convoy to linger in Dawson County longer than planned as they battled unpaved roads.
Re-enactors of that journey 90 years ago will pass through Hub Territory
Be cool -- [Afghani Kush]
I AM HOME
I've got leave here in Texas for the next two weeks and I could be happier. I've got nothing Afghanistan related to post about, but I just wanted to let my readers know that I'll probably be out of contact for a little while.
Millville soldier returns from Iraq to city's open arms -- [NJ.com]
A 2003 graduate of Millville Senior High School, Petitt, appearing at a welcome home ceremony through by the city in his honor Thursday, said he is home ...
More soldiers coming home today -- [Killeen Daily Herald]
Supporters can also welcome troops at Victory Corner, the corner of US Highway 190 and Clarke Road. Those interested are asked to be in place 30 minutes
On Loan at You Served -- [You Served]
Starting May 15th, 2009...It is one of our biggest goals of 2009 to feature milbloggers in this space that are new, exciting, and otherwise unknown to our readership. * We are seeking bloggers who are willing to be "on loan" to our blog* for a few posts over 2 weeks. Just like Professional sports teams sometimes get players "on loan" for a short period of time, we will do the same on You Served.
Media watchdogs blast Army's embed ban -- [Stars & Stripes]
The Army's decision to bar a Stars and Stripes reporter from embedding with a unit in Iraq because he "refused to highlight" good news drew a harsh rebuke from media watchdogs, who said the action compromises the integrity of the media embed program.
"If they put these kind of conditions on it, then I'd say the whole program will collapse," said Kelly McBride, Ethics Group Leader at the Poynter Institute, a media training facility and think tank in St. Petersburg, Fla. "It's not meant to be a public relations program for the military."
Issue of U.S. Troop Withdrawal from ROK Resurfaces in Opinion Piece -- [One Free Korea]
...But in light of recent developments involving North Korea, I find it interesting to once again, hear calls for a full U.S. withdrawal from the peninsula. In an opinion piece penned by a (former?) military service person, a man calls on President Obama to pull U.S. troops out of Korea in a sign to Kim Jong Il that the U.S. is serious about North Korea's latest actions. The writer suggests we withdraw our troops from the peninsula and let the other five nations in the region deal with the problem on their own, without U.S. involvement
Government Health Care - VA's "Shoddy Standards ... Put Veterans At Risk" -- [Q and O - Bruce McQuain]
We had a little dust-up this week when I mentioned Ezra Klein's propensity for government run health care and that he held the VA up as a shining example of what that can be.
Apparently it is a no-no among the crowd that follows Klein to include the government run military hospital system with the government run VA hospital system in a general critique of government run health care. And as is typical of drive-by commenters, they ignored the gist of the post to concentrate on pretending that two government run health care systems were not at all alike (because both have major problems).
So today, we'll just talk about VA and the latest findings that support precisely what I said
Senate Defense bill to raise military pay by 3.4 percent -- [CongressDaily]
The Senate Armed Services Committee plans to approve a fiscal 2010 defense authorization bill that includes a 3.4 percent pay raise for military personnel, a half-percent higher than requested by the Obama administration, a Senate source said Tuesday.
Congress to vote on military malpractice bill -- [Star-Gazette]
congressional committee will vote today on a bill authored by U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey that would allow armed services members and their families to hold the military accountable for medical malpractice.
Current law prevents such lawsuits from being filed against the military.
Sen. Kerry's Bid to Produce War Movie Is Up in the Air -- [FOX News]
The Federal Election Commission failed to reach a decision Thursday on the Massachusetts Democrat's request to use $300,000 from his campaign funds to invest in a documentary about injured Iraq war veterans.
Senate Panel Votes for More Stealth Jets, Defying Gates -- [Danger Room]
The White House and the Pentagon leadership couldn't be clearer: they don't want any more of the controversial F-22 stealth fighters. But Congress now seems ready to pour billions into extra jets, anyway. The Senate Armed Services Committee just "voted to fully fund seven F-22 Raptors for $1.75 billion," Air Force Times is reporting.
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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 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.Refresh for updates.
Iraq marks US pullout day as public holiday -- [AFP]
Iraqi Government decided to mark the June 30 pullout of US troops from cities and major towns as a public holiday, Cabinet spokesman Ali Al Dabbagh said.
"The decision was taken by the cabinet that ceremonies will be held on June 29, and June 30 will be a public holiday. But school exams will continue on these dates", he added.
Kirkuk -- [Wings Over Iraq - in Iraq]
...Nevertheless, just when you thought that the Iraq War might be over--when even Small Wars Journal was reporting no Iraq news in its daily roundup--someone decides to detonate nearly two tons of explosives outside a Shia Turkoman mosque in a town just south of Kirkuk.
Two Incoming Rockets to make the day a little more interesting. -- [Far From Perfect (tweet) - in Iraq]
K-9 cop keeps military safe -- [K9 Pride - in Iraq]
"We've got a bomb threat at the shoppette," the Airman says. "Who do you want to send?" Tech. Sgt. Michael Jones thinks for a second. "I'll go with Blacky," he says.
..."We don't normally get those on base," Sergeant Jones says of the bomb threat. "They'll have set up a cordon and then we'll go in and search it out."
DVIDS Joint Patrol in Baghdad Iraq -- [Sour Swinger]
These pictures are from a joint patrol of my platoon and the Iraqi Army. ...The Army has been occasionally embedding Combat Camera in our missions.
Big Oil Ready for Big Gamble in Iraq -- [WSJ]
Next week, Iraqi officials plan a welcome-back party for Big Oil. The government intends to auction off oil contracts to foreign companies for the first time since Iraq nationalized its oil industry more than three decades ago. If all goes according to plan in the first round, foreign oil companies will move in to help Iraq revive production at six developed fields that have suffered from years of war and neglect.
Mail Call! -- [Bad Dogs and Such - in Iraq]
That's four days worth of mail. This is where it gets fun. We hopped in (much to the confusion of the mail guys - "why are there two sergeants helping us?") and joined the chain passing boxes out and stacking them.
"Alpha! Alpha! Bravo! HHC! Alpha! K-9!"
You don't know how many weird little subunits you have until you start making piles.
Fierce Battles and High Casualties on the Frontlines of Afghanistan -- [Matt Gutman/ABC]
...in the unruly crags of Gulestan, which hugs the Farah border with Helmand, a single platoon of Marines, about 50 men plus assorted supplementary troops, is charged with holding a 450 sq km area. It has one semi-passable road that runs diagonally through it. Gulestan has thirty cops. One of them said: "I will fight as long as the Marines are here, when they leave, I will leave before them."
US missile strike kills 60 at funeral in Pakistan -- [Guardian]
A US drone aircraft killed at least 45 Pakistani Taliban militants in south Waziristan yesterday when it fired missiles at the funeral of an insurgent commander killed earlier in the day, Pakistani intelligence officials said.
...The army had no information on the attack on the funeral in the remote area under the control of Baitullah Mehsud, the country's enemy number one, a military official said.
One local security official, who could not be identified as he was not authorised to speak to media, said that more than 60 had died of whom "half are civilians". Funerals of Taliban are attended by local villagers, not just militants.
Scores of Taliban killed in second US strike in South Waziristan -- [Bill Roggio-LWJ]
Predators fired on the funeral of a Taliban commander near Baitullah Mehsud's stronghold in Makeen. More than 65 Taliban fighters were reported killed in the attack.
Taliban Turns On Terrorism -- [Strategy Page]
In Pakistan, Taliban leaders are suddenly trying to distance themselves from the growing number of terrorist attacks. The Taliban, and some politicians, now insist that these atrocities have nothing to do with Islam. This is an attempt by the Taliban to recover some of their popularity.
Al-Qaeda Leader in Afghanistan Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid Talks About Using Pakistani Nuclear Weapons Against U.S., Offers Americans 'Peace Plan' -- [MEMRI]
Either Convert to Islam, Or Be Ruled By Islam And Pay Poll Tax To Muslims
Changes to the Rules of Engagement for Afghanistan -- [Captain's Journal]
The U.S. commander in Afghanistan will soon order U.S. and NATO forces to break away from fights with militants hiding among villagers, an official said Monday, announcing one of the strongest measures yet to protect Afghan civilians.
New Afghan Strategy Tackles One Village at a Time -- [CANWEST News]
Canada held a coming-out celebration Tuesday of a social experiment in Afghanistan designed to defeat the Taliban one village at a time - by being nice.
Taliban Make Human Shields Work -- [Strategy Page]
The U.S. has again changed their rules of engagement (ROE) in Afghanistan, in response to popular anger at civilians killed by American smart bombs. As a result, it's much more difficult to get permission drop a smart bomb when there might be civilians nearby. Taliban propaganda, and the enthusiasm of the media for jumping on real, or imagined, civilian deaths caused by foreign troops, made people forget that far more civilians (about four times as many) had been killed by the Taliban.
Suffocation vs. Killing -- [Outside the Wire - in Afghanistan]
At first blush it may sound like the rule is to retreat. I'll save final judgement until I see the full order from the General McChrystal. I'm wagering that it will have plenty of wiggle room for commander discretion. But the key point of the change in the use of force is to move away from killing to suffocation.
As Marine General Mark Gurganus told me, "you can't kill your way out of an insurgency." But you can suffocate an insurgency by denying its ability to operate. You suffocate the insurgent by conducting detailed census data collection missions, ID card programs, gated communities and check points.
Not very sexy stuff, but very effective. And being effective is the goal.
Afghanistan, like Iraq, the culture has a strong revenge component....
Afghanistan's Failing Forces -- [New York Times]
President Obama was right to send more American troops to fight. That violence will surely increase as strengthened ground forces step up the pressure on...
Afghan, coalition forces disrupt weapon, foreign fighter facilitation cell -- [DVIDS]
KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghan and coalition forces detained four suspected militants during a patrol last night in Ghazni Province to disrupt weapon and foreign fighter facilitation operations in eastern Afghanistan.
Retired D.C. Guard commander died in Metro crash -- [Stars and Stripes]
The nine victims of the Metro train collision in Washington included the recently retired commanding general of the D.C. National Guard and his wife; two working moms; a retired teacher who was working as a substitute, and a woman who worked with nurses around the world.
Maj. Gen. David F. Wherley Jr., 62, and his wife Ann, 62, were killed Monday afternoon when two trains collided on the Red Line.
EXCLUSIVE: U.S. contacted Iran's ayatollah before election -- [Washington Times]
Prior to this month's disputed presidential election in Iran, the Obama administration sent a letter to the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, calling for an improvement in relations.
'Privately, Obama advisers are crediting his Cairo speech for inspiring the protesters.' -- [NRO]
bama's approach to Iran, including his assertion that the unrest there represents a debate among Iranians unrelated to the United States, is an acknowledgment that a U.S. president's words have a limited ability to alter foreign events in real time and could do more harm than good. But privately Obama advisers are crediting his Cairo speech for inspiring the protesters, especially the young ones, who are now posing the most direct challenge to the republic's Islamic authority in its 30-year history.
Regime Change Iran: Movement Seeks to Eliminate 'Supreme Leader' Position -- [Threats Watch - Steve Schippert]
Folks, this is huge. Huge. A report from Saudi Arabia's al-Arabiya, Iranian clerics seek supreme leader alternative, indicates that Rafsanjani is seeking to eliminate the Supreme Leader. Not just the man, but the position and role presiding over Iranian politics and the Iranian society.
Live from Baharestan Sq... [Revolutionary Road... - in Iran]
25 journalist were arrested last night. Arrested journalists have been threatend to write in support of Ahmadinejad and his government and not to support popular gatherings anymore. - Thousands of detainees family members have gathered in front of Tehran's revolution(Enghelaab)court. The force police has surrounded them.Fervent atmosphere in place and conflict is possible at any moment.
The Mideast's New Spring of Freedom -- [WSJ]
Iran is only part of a trend.
The hotly contested presidential election in Iran between Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is still unfolding, with uncertain results. But regardless of the outcome, the events in Iran are symptomatic of a larger change in the political landscape of the Middle East -- the revival of a regional freedom movement, which stalled in 2006 after the election of Hamas in Palestine.
Negotiating with Terrorists -- [NRO - Andrew C. McCarthy]
As the Iranian government's murderous repression of the Iranian people continues, critics right and left agitate over the deafening silence of an American president who, as a candidate, derided the Bush administration's ambitious democracy promotion as too timid. They speculate as to why Barack Obama won't speak out: Why won't he condemn the mullahs? Is he daft enough to believe he can charm the regime into abandoning its nuclear ambitions? Does the self-described realist so prize stability that he thinks it's worth abandoning the cause of freedom -- and the best chance in 30 years of dislodging an implacable American enemy?
In truth, it's worse...
DHS To Kill Domestic Satellite Spying -- [CBS News / AP]
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano plans to kill a program begun by the Bush administration that would use U.S. spy satellites for domestic security and law enforcement, a government official said Monday.
Napolitano recently reached her decision after the program was discussed with law enforcement officials, and she was told it was not an urgent issue,...
Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack: A Preventable Homeland Security Catastrophe -- [Heritage Foundation]
A major threat to America has been largely ignored by those who could prevent it. An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack could wreak havoc on the nation's electronic systems--shutting down power grids, sources, and supply mechanisms.
Soldiers' Angels Germany has a new shipping address! -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Effective immediately, Soldiers' Angels Germany has a new shipping address. Mail will be forwarded from the old address, but to avoid delays please change your records.
Attn: Soldiers' Angels
APO AE 09180
- Check our list of requested items for current needs before purchasing and shipping donations.
- Notify us when items are shipped.
Friends of Fisher House Illinois - Saturday, June 27, 2009... -- [Soldier's Angels - Medical Support]
The Friends of Fisher House - Illinois organization is working hard to get ready for the long-needed opening of the new Fisher House at Hines VA hospital in Illinois. If you aren't familiar with Fisher Houses, they provide free housing for the families of wounded and ill veterans and soldiers who are receiving treatment at VA hospitals.
Shirt Idea Competition 2009 - Round 1Exit this survey -- [Ranger Up]
Here we are. This year's shirt ideas. Sort through our list and vote on your favorites. Next week, we'll have a shorter list as we approach the final winners.
Nonprofit Group Reverses Plan to Give Home to Injured Iraq Veteran 99 [Seattle Times /AP]
A veteran who lost three limbs in Iraq will not get the keys to a new home, after a nonprofit group said the family concealed that they already own two homes.
Gates Creates Cyber-Defense Command -- [WaPo]
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates issued an order yesterday establishing a command that will defend military networks against computer attacks and develop offensive cyber-weapons, but he also directed that the structure be ready to help safeguard civilian systems.
Halo Out There -- [Strategy Page]
After years of requests, and complaints, from the infantry, the Department of Defense has finally developed mission planning software that is easy to use, does what needs to be done, and fits on a laptop computer. RealWorld combines digital maps and 3-D gaming technology with military procedures and equipment specifications to produce a program that enables commanders...
Eye Opener: Dept. of Navy Name Change Soon? -- [WaPo]
A proposal to rename the Department of the Navy to the Department of Navy and Marine Corps now has 300 cosponsors in the House, a feat rarely achieved by any piece of legislation.
More soldiers coming home today Posted On: Wednesday, Jun. 24 2009 ... -- [Killeen Daily Herald]
Supporters can also welcome troops at Victory Corner, the corner of US Highway 190 and Clarke Road. Those interested are asked to be in place 30 minutes
Home from Iraq for Father's Day, and just in time -- [Dallas Morning News]
The three held each other silently and then the soon-to-be mom and dad kissed as the crowd, waiting to welcome the troops home, cheered and waved flags.
Iran accuses CNN of training hackers -- [MX Logic]
Iran's foreign ministry spokesman accused the cable network CNN of "officially" training people to "hack government and foreign ministry" websites on Monday
New All-Time Lows for Both CBS & ABC Evening Newscasts -- [TV Newser]
Breaking: TVNewser has learned the CBS Evening News has once again set an all-time low last week with 4.89 million Total Viewers and 1.42 million A25-54 viewers. But it was also the lowest (since records began in the 1991-'92 season) for ABC's World News with Charles Gibson.
"Transformers": A Swipe at Obama? -- [Variety - Wilshire & Washington]
Cohen writes, "So as usual in these movies, the federal bureaucrats are portrayed as annoying if not villainous. The President's man, "Galloway," is a bespectacled blowhard who becomes an obstacle to our brave fighting men and their alliance with the noble Autobots. Operating specifically under presidential authority, he makes all kinds of mischief. He says the President wants to try "diplomacy" against the evil Decepticons and hints the President would consider handing over Shia LaBouf's character to be killed by them.
"In this movie, exactly one real-life politician is named: "President Obama." They went out of their way to make sure they named the craven, obstructionist president as Obama."
What Obama didn't mention -- [Politico]
A couple of surprising words were missing from President Barack Obama's 55-minute news conference on Wednesday: "Iraq" -- and "Afghanistan." -- Also MIA: "Korea," "Pakistan," "soldiers," "surge" and "war" -- as well as the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.
Obama takes credit for the Iran revolution -- [USS Neverdock]
But Obama said he didn't want to meddle. As always, Obama and the Democrats want to have it both ways. Now let's see, what other country just won its freedom in the region? Oh yeah, Iraq!
House Passes Advance Funding for the VA -- [IAVA]
Today, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the nation's first and largest non-partisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, applauded the House for passing the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act (H.R. 1016).
2010 Defense Authorization Bill: Merits and Flaws of House Armed Services Bill H.R. 2647 -- [Heritage Foundation]
The U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee will complete its markup of H.R.2647, the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year (FY) 2010, this week.
...While considering the legislation, committee members made several important steps to begin reversing some of President Obama's most alarming proposals. The legislation is not without its flaws, however, as it fails to restore funding for the missile defense budget. When the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee completes its markup this week, it should retain many of the House recommendations while restoring missile defense funding.
Unreal... Even as Iranian Regime Continues Slaughter of Democracy Activists-- Obama Won't Cancel July 4th Party With Regime -- [Gateway Pundit]
"If Iran chooses a path that abides by international norms and principles then we are interested in healing some of the wounds of 30 years in terms of US-Iranian relations. But, that is a choice the Iranians are going to have to make."
He's Barack Obama - Jib Jab
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
Bloody day in Iraq as U.S. forces' withdrawal approaches -- [Aswat Al Iraq]
BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: As Iraq gears up for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from urban areas by the end of June, a number of Iraqi...
US hands over Sadr City base to Iraq -- [AFP]
The US army handed over a base in the Baghdad neighbourhood of Sadr City, once a bastion for anti-US insurgents, to Iraqi forces on Saturday as the deadline nears for its pullout from Iraq's cities.
..."Today this base returns to its true owner," said US Major General Daniel Bolger, the commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division.
..."US troops will continue to provide support our Iraqi security partners, as requested, under the articles of the Security Agreement," Master Sergeant Nicholas Conner told AFP earlier.
Iraq Receives First of Four Naval Ships -- [MEMRI Blog]
The commander of the Iraqi naval forces in Basra, Maj.-Gen. Muhammad Jawad, announced that the Iraqi navy has received the first naval vessel, Fatah, to protect Iraq's territorial waters. The vessel is one of four being built in Italy. The vessel carries a machine gun but has no platform for firing missiles.
Rhetorical Question -- [Mongo's Montreaux - in Iraq]
This question is unanswerable, at least until the smoke clears--literally. To what extent has a free and democratic Iraq (as fragile and tenuous as it is right now) influenced the Iranian people's uprising subsequent to their fixed, sham elections?
Remarkable security success vs. deteriorating services in Missan -- [Aswat al-Iraq]
One year after the launch of Operation Bashaer al-Salam in Missan, many officials and residents of the southern province have highlighted the improvement in the security situation, but lamented the decline in the quality and quantity of services in the province.
I'm a Noncommissioned Officer... -- [Blogs Over Baghdad - in Iraq]
"No one is more professional than I. I am a Noncommissioned Officer, a leader of soldiers." These are the first two sentences of three long paragraphs that make up the Army's NCO Creed. Although they seem to be only words, I believe they are much more. They are the touchstone and core of many NCOs' experience in the U.S. Army. I know they are for me. Since being deployed, however, I've noticed some NCOs may not hold this belief. It seems ...
Rebel Rouser -- [The Intrepid Reporter - in Iraq]
Yes folks.... The IR back again with the latest and greatest from Iraq... but in this case, Iraq takes a sideline. My dad, as those of you know, cashed in this past month, and truthfully, it's been a bitch for the ole Intrepid Reporter to have much to say... those who know me have been in shock, and many have emailed me asking "What the fuck?"... well I'm here to tell you, the verbal abuse I had was directly influenced by the Old Man, and in his passing, I just have had one hell of a time being able to write. Call it the "Death of my Muse/Father."
Several Things - The Heat -- [Downrange 46 - in Iraq]
You may have heard the saying, "the dog days of Summer", in reference to those hottest days in summer when the sun's heat sinks into the very soul of your body causing an almost uncontrollable desire to simply sit and do nothing - like a bloodhound on the porch of a dilapidated wood-slat house in a holler of the West Virginia hills. Do you know that feeling? Well...
Father's Day -- [My Point of View - in Iraq]
Today is Father's Day. Here, however, it feels like any other day. Hot. 118 degrees by lunch. There are probably a lot of dads back home BBQing, relaxing, and such. Some are getting the special treatment from their spouses, hugs and kisses from daughters... Came in a little late today...it being Sunday. I noticed on the way to work that if you look carefully, ...
Orange Day -- [Ramblings from a painter - in Iraq]
A couple of days ago we had a dust storm blow in. "Storm" isn't really the right word, since there weren't any high winds or rain. Rather, we had this thick fog of orange dust that settled in. It was like a light touch of snow, except it was orange, and it was dust, and it got everywhere. It even came into my little hooch through the air conditioner and coated the whole room with a fine powder. So after work,
The Adventure Continues -- [Bad Dogs and Such - in Iraq]
Quite some time ago, after much discussion, the Mister and I decided to part ways after this deployment. No hard feelings, etc etc.
This was a personal decision, and is not, directly, the subject of this post.
A Personal Touch in Taliban Fight -- [Washington Post]
..."All of you please call me Michael," he began. "I am the commander of this area."
Harrison told the elders that he didn't expect them to fight the Taliban. "I am just asking you to tell us if you see someone who doesn't belong in your village," he said, passing out a business card with his cellphone number. "There is no reason for children to be killed by bombs." The Barabat elders seemed reluctant to place their trust in Harrison. A year earlier, a U.S. airstrike had killed three Afghans living about a mile from Barabat. Village residents insisted the people who were killed weren't involved in the insurgency. Six months ago U.S. soldiers shot a man across the river from Barabat. Neither incident occurred while Harrison was in the province. But they were his problems now.
"Michael is different from the other Americans. He behaves like an Afghan," said Shah Jan, the provincial sub-governor, coming to Harrison's defense. "We are very happy with him."
Rockets hit US base in Afghanistan, 2 troops dead -- [My Way / AP]
A rare rocket attack on the main U.S. base in Afghanistan early Sunday killed two U.S. troops and wounded six other Americans, including two civilians, officials said.
First female Shura in Wardak -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
It may not sound earth-shattering to us, but this is very important news. For centuries women have generally never been permitted to attend shuras, which are meetings of community elders like our town councils. And in areas under Taliban influence, women not wearing burkas and girls attending school are subject to gruesomely violent intimidation tactics.
Marines Take the Fight to the Enemy in Now Zad -- [Captain's Journal]
NOW ZAD, Helmand Province, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan - U.S. Marines maneuver through a wall to conduct site exploitation after a precision aerial attack during a combat operation in the abandoned village of Now Zad, Helmand Province
Senior Al Qaeda and Afghan Taliban leaders meet with Baitullah -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Senior al Qaeda and Afghan Taliban leaders are reported to have met with Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud to advise him to move his group's operations into Afghanistan and halt attacks against the Pakistani state. Several meetings were said to have been held last week after an 11-man delegation of al Qaeda and Taliban heavy hitters arrived in Waziristan to deliver a request from Mullah Omar
Into Afghanya Valley -- [Afghanistan My Last Tour: Mission Day 5 - in Afghanistan]
Another early rise at 0430 hours. I woke up at 0330 hours due to the prayer music being blared over the loudspeakers. Blueberry Pop Tart and Famous Amos chocolate bit cookies for breakfast....yum...yum. Not necessarily the breakfast of champions, but it will suffice until I can chow down an MRE at lunch time. Prior to the trip I stocked up with snacks from our DFAC. All of my snacks got crushed from the bouncy ride and backpacks being tossed around. Nonetheless, I still ate my crumbled snacks. Five days and no shower, only quick wipe downs with a wash cloth and bottled water.
Day 6 of Medical Mission -- [Afghanistan My Last Tour - in Afghanistan]
Everyone was exhausted last night and went to bed early. I stayed awake until 1130 pm perched on my cot writing my memos. Around 0330 hrs a pack of stray dogs were barking incessantly. Then around 0415 hours the Mullah started broadcasting his sermon and prayer music. I lay in my cot and struggled to go back to sleep. The French were revving up for a patrol and 20 minutes later
Somali Gov't to Neighbors: Invade Us, Please -- [War is Boring]
Fighting has spiked again, in Mogadishu. President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed's regime, in a panic, has cried help. "We have, as a parliament, decided to ask the regional governments -- like Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti -- as well as the international community to intervene militarily in Somalia within 24 hours to help the Somali nation," parliament speaker Sheik Adam Mohamed Nor said.
Iranian Hero & Leading Activist Ahmad Batebi On Obama: "His Lack of Response Will Not Be Regarded Kindly" (Audio-Video) -- [Gateway Pundit]
Courageous Iranian student activist Ahmad Betebi was sentenced to death by the evil regime in Iran after the student protests of 1999. He was severely tortured for years in the notorious Evin Prison in Iran. Last year Ahmad Batebi arrived safely in the United States. During a break from prison, Batebi fled Iran traveling through a free Iraq to Austria and finally arriving in Washington DC.
Tonight I had the great honor of interviewing one of the great Iranians of our time, Ahmad Batebi. The interview took 30 minutes. I broke it down into 4 clips. They are all posted below.
Iran Admits Possible Discrepancy in 3 Million Votes -- [NY Times]
Locked in a continuing bitter contest Monday with Iranians who say the presidential elections were rigged, the authorities here acknowledged that the number of votes cast in 50 cities exceeded the actual number of voters ...
The Danger of Hijacked Rallies -- [niacINsight - National Iranian American Council]
State-run TV in Iran is showing demonstrations in other countries such as the US, however with some serious editing. They are not broadcasting the majority of people standing and shouting in solidarity with people in Iran. Rather, they show images of demonstrators who shout, "Death to the Islamic Republic,"
Iran Updates - June 22 -- [niacINsight - National Iranian American Council]
...Ghashghavi has accused the European countries and the United States of supporting the "agitators" instead of inviting the people of Iran to participate in democratic processes and emphasizing the rule of law.
Southern Philippines -- [Michael Yon]
Small teams of American troops are spread across many locations in the southern Philippines. Each team works side-by-side with Filipino counterparts. The jobs vary. Navy SEALs and Special Boat Teams often support the AFP (Armed Forces Philippines) on actual operations. I have been briefed on some of these operations
McCain favors boarding NKorean ship -- [AP]
Sen. John McCain says the U.S. should board a North Korean ship it is tracking if hard evidence shows it is carrying missiles or other cargo in violation of U.N. resolutions.
Mustafa Abul-Yazeed: al-Qaeda Seeks Pakistani Nukes -- [Jawa Report]
And what does he want to do with them? He wants to nuke the US of course.
NPR interviews Benjamin Patton- The grandson of Gen Patton -- [Soldiers' Angels Network]
Guest Host Alison Stewart speaks with Benjamin Patton, grandson of the famous WWII general. Did you know that Ben Patton's FATHER was also a decorated general? He fought in the Vietnam and Korean wars, and sent audio "postcards," like this one, back to his family in the States.
A Letter of Thanks to All of You Who Have "Adopted" A Soldier -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
I am a soldier deployed to central Afghanistan and I wanted to tell you how very much your support means to all of us fighting over here. I know that you write out of the goodness of your heart, many of you writing countless letters, which often go unanswered. You write and mail packages and pray for these fine young soldiers, the best our country has to offer, often in harm's way each and every day. I know that it might get a bit discouraging sometimes, sending letters and emails and packages into the "big black hole of Afghanistan and Iraq" and you must wonder sometimes if you are making a difference. Well that is why I am writing this...to tell you that you are!
Submit Recipes for Soldiers' Angels Cookbook -- [Soldiers Angels LA]
The first Soldiers' Angels cookbook, Angel Delights Cookies Cookbook has been a best seller and fund raiser for Soldiers' Angels, so it is time for SECOND EDITION. Please send recipe submissions in ...
Groton Woman's Club marks 100th Quilt made for Landstuhl patients -- [Soldiers Angels Germany]
The Groton Woman's Club recently celebrated 90 years (!!) of continuous service to their community. Every five years they put together a play about the club's activities, and I was very touched and honored to learn from our POC Susan Slade that the Blankets of Hope project for Landstuhl hospital was part of this year's play.
And in another exciting milestone, the shipment of quilts pictured in the photo above contain the 100th quilt made with love and hope for our wounded warriors.
Who is at War and Who Is Not? -- [OPFOR]
I don't have all the facts, nor do I have all the names, but I have it on good authority, that an Army Official who is the designated Army Representative to meet the remains at Dover Air Force Base was told, by the Operations Wing Commander, that instead of landing his helicopter at Dover he would have to land at the Regional Airport about twenty miles away and then drive to Dover to meet an Air Force C17 carrying the remains of two Army Soldiers. Why was this request made? Because Dover Air Force Base is having an Air Show this weekend, and the arrival of the Helicopter would disrupt the events at the Air Show. Earlier the same Operations Wing Commander attempted to have the C17 diverted to McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey because it would interfere with the Air Show; apparently someone thought maybe there was something wrong with this.
Father's Day -- [In Iraq Now (at 56) - home]
Father's Day has been my favorite holiday (or whatever it is) for more than a decade now. It's early in the summer so school is out but summer camps haven't started yet. I spend most of the day with my kids. This Father's Day I was with my family
Blog regulation at the FTC -- [Hot Air - Ed Morrissey]
Unfortunately, the effort to regulate blogs in the Obama administration will come from the Federal Trade Commission, as the FTC announced over the weekend:
...This is the equivalent of using a bazooka to kill a fly. If the trade and consumer issues in the US are resolved to the point where the FTC's biggest problem is bloggers recommending books and DVDs to their readers, they've just made the argument for their dissolution.
Blabbing About David Rohde's Abduction -- [Registan]
Howard Kurtz on the media silence over David Rohde's abduction: "After the Italian news agency Adnkronos International reported the kidnapping, it was sporadically mentioned by such blogs as Little Green Footballs, the Jawa Report and Dan Cleary, Political Insomniac. Michael Yon, a former Green Beret, said from Thailand that he 'sat on it' for months and in March 'just did a small item because it was pretty much out there' online. 'There's no way I would've done that if I thought it increased his jeopardy.' Keller said the Times contacted such bloggers, and in each case, 'they took it down,' as Yon did." Well, no they did not: Little Green Footballs, Michael Yon, Dan Cleary, and the Jawa Report all have posts about Rohde, dated between November and March.
White House Changes the Terms of a Campaign Pledge About Posting Bills Online -- [New York Times]
During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised that once a bill was passed by Congress, the White House would post it online for five days before he signed it. -- "When there's a bill that ends
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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 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. Refresh for Updates.
Iraqis back Iranian protesters' call for change -- [AFP]
..."Religious leaders should not intervene in politics and in people's day-to-day lives," the 27-year-old said.
"I support the protesters. If the regime fell, that would be a good thing for Iran, and for Iraq." ..."I think if Ahmadinejad wins this struggle, it would have a negative effect on Iraq, because Iranian intervention would continue," the 24-year-old said.
FM Iraq confident about security after U.S. troops leave towns -- [Aswat al-Iraq]
BAGHDAD / Iraq is confident its security forces can manage alone after U.S. soldiers pull out of towns and cities this month, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said on Friday.
Concerns have arisen about Iraqi security forces' ability to combat increasing violence ahead of parliamentary elections due next January.
"The Iraqi government, about the security forces, are confident (they) are capable of taking over its full responsibility after the withdrawal of American forces" from cities, Washington Post quoted Zebari as saying at a news conference in Tokyo.
Drawdown -- [Ramblings from a painter - in Iraq]
I mentioned our ongoing drawdown a couple of times. I thought I'd go a little more in depth into that topic, particularly after reading an article in the Stars and Stripes today.
...as recently as a few months ago, many of us were still pretty sure that there would be an American presence across the country for the foreseeable future.
Not now. The change in direction is clear, and if you don't get it, General Odierno will personally come and educate you with a two-by-four.
How's the Weather? -- [Wings Over Iraq - in Iraq]
The other day, I had gotten back from a beautiful, albeit short night flight. I went inside a building and sat down at my desk, once again, relegating myself to the grind of the daily job. I had just sat down when I heard someone next to me ask, "Hey, how's the weather?"
"Gorgeous", I replied, referring to the "clear-blue-and-twenty-two" weather I had just flown in, not an hour prior.
"Are you joking?"
Dust Storm Dominates Central Iraq -- [My Point of View - in Iraq]
You know that feeling you get when it's cold outside and the much anticipated weather report had said that it's supposed to snow? You wait and hope. And then, the next morning, there is a blanket of white covering everything. You'd venture outside and marvel at the snow-covered silence and see your breath coming out in plumes...
But here, of course, ...
[hack!] frickin' lovely -- [Bad Dogs and Such - in Iraq]
Dust storms by themselves are pretty awesome, let me tell you. Fine powder, oozing under the door and around windows. But tonight, we're extra lucky, because we're having dust and pretty impressive wind.
Now, keep in mind this entire FOB is covered in camo nets, tarps and cobbled together cheap-nail-and-plywood construction projects. So
Vehicle Shuffle -- [Sorority Soldier - in Iraq]
The beauty of Iraq is our section of 20+ people has one vehicle to share while each contractor is given his very own road-hogging SUV. Although COB Basra isn't a very big compound, we covet the luxury of driving in a semi-A/C'd Tahoe to get from point A to point B.
US envoy to Iraq calls for talks -- [United Press International]
BAGHDAD, June 19 (UPI) -- There are political solutions to the outstanding issues in Iraq despite a modest rise in the level of sectarian violence,
Iraq going ''all out'' to reach Confed Cup semis -- [ESPN]
Bora Milutinovic believes his Iraq side still have a good chance of progressing to the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup despite failing to win either ...
Taliban In Secret Talks With U.S., Afghanistan -- [CBS News]
Some Taliban leaders are initiating third-party talks that could lay the groundwork for progress between the U.S. and Afghan governments and the Taliban insurgents. In the video below, Charles Sennott of international news site GlobalPost.com reports on how moderate Taliban leaders are engaged in shuttle negotiations, and have been in contact with Mullah Mohammad Omar, the spiritual leader of the Taliban.
Jazeera staff held for "promoting terrorism": Karzai -- [Reuters]
Two Al Jazeera journalists who were freed Wednesday after three nights' detention were held because the Afghan authorities believed their work promoted terrorism, President Hamid Karzai said.
Day 1 - Medical Mission to Uzbin Valley -- [Afghanistan my Last Tour - in Afghanistan]
I was once told never to volunteer for anything. This is one piece of advice I've always ignored. Instead I look for unique opportunities because they can become rewarding. So when the Public Affairs Officer (PAO) offered me a chance to embark on a 6 day Village Medical Operation (VMO) mission as the PA representative, I immediately seized the offer.
Day 2 Village Medical mission -- [Afghanistan my Last Tour - in Afghanistan]
Our doctors along with several Afghan NGO doctors set up their supplies in a crude and rustic concrete building divided by several rooms. The outlying villages were informed of our presence. The biggest problem ...
Sonic Must Die: Death To The Hedgehog!-- [Bill and Bob's Excellent Afghan Adventure]
GEN McChrystal has taken command in Afghanistan, and one of the first things he began to do is look at the way that troops are currently disposed and the planned dispositions of incoming "surge" troops around the country. Under the former commander, existing FOBs were being expanded to make room for the influx of new troops. This often had unintended but not completely unforeseen consequences.
Tired Narratives on Afghanistan: Holy Warriors, Militias and SOF -- [Captain's Journal]
Jonathan Kay has been to a conference of "experts" on the border areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Here is the narrative...
Who has taught them this narrative? Where did they get it? As for Pakistan, Baitullah Mehsud's fighters have proven resilient despite repeated operations against them. No turning to the right or to the left. As for Afghanistan, the indigenous insurgency in the South has proven resilient enough that the U.S. Marines in Garmser had to kill some 400 of them before relative peace came to the city in what at times was described
No, No, A Thousand Times No -- [Mongo's Montreaux - in Iraq]
Over at The Captain's Journal, Mr. Smith* analyzes a paper by Jonathan Kay summarizing the findings of a conference of experts on how to handle the border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan
...Let's talk basics. Conventional Forces, represented here by the Infantry, are regimented, hierarchical, and inflexible. SOF operations and culture--where merit, competence and aptitude often win out over rank--is anathema to CF. As for "no special privileges" like greater authoritiy than CF to call in indirect and air support: those "special privileges" are generated because ...
Pentagon Admits Some Responsibility in Afghan Incident, But No Disciplinary Action Planned -- [VOA]
..."There certainly is responsibility," said Admiral Mullen.
But Admiral Mullen said it was a long and difficult battle against a Taliban unit, in which U.S. forces did many things right, and whatever mistakes were made do not rise to the level that would require disciplinary action.
Taliban Tactics: Massing of Troops -- [Captain's Journal]
There remains an uproar over this incident because of noncombatant casualties, and some of it even over military analysis web sites. The focus of much of the discussion is on how counterinsurgency cannot succeed with noncombatant casualties, and that successful counterinsurgency must be population centric. True enough within context, this point misses the mark by a wide margin and succeeds only in parroting doctrinal talking points without a true understanding of what this incident can tell us about the campaign.
US Pursues a New Way To Rebuild in Afghanistan -- [Washington Post]
.. Members of his (President Obama) national security team have concluded that the country requires not just more money and personnel for reconstruction but also a fundamental overhaul of the US approach to development. They want to implement broad-based initiatives aimed at improving the lives of as many Afghans as possible, shifting away from an approach employed during the Bush presidency that focused on generating discrete "success stories" and creating long-term economic sustainability through free-market reform.
Foreigners Fighting Foreigners -- [Strategy Page]
While the Taliban have been successful with their human shield tactics, they have done so at great cost to the popularity of the Islamic radical group. ...the Taliban increasingly find themselves operating in a hostile environment as they move through Afghanistan. This is made worse by the fact that many Taliban units are often half, or more, composed of foreigners. Many of these are Pakistanis, who at least look like Afghans (and only betray themselves when they speak, and reveal a foreign accent). But a growing number of foreigners are Arabs,...
New header -- [MoStFab]
Pakistani Taliban. A band of men wielding machine guns, mounted on a pickup truck. Business as usual; an image observers of developments in the region are all used to. But even in such a picture, interesting details can be highlighted. One of the most misplaced perceptions regarding Afghanistan is how supposedly it is tribal in the sense that tribal fault-lines would mostly be driving the insurgency, and that they would be the key to engineer a social context conducive to COIN success there. Ironically, it is the Pakistani Taliban who are arguably more tribal then their Afghan counterparts. But even the Pakistani Taliban are made up of all sorts of elements. See illustration below:
So why is that guy in the frame wearing a mask, while the others are not?
Pakistan -- [Embedded in Afghanistan... - in Afghanistan]
Nearly every Afghan I've met blames the insurgency on the Pakistanis, holds a huge amount of hostility toward Pakistan in general, and resents Pakistan's involvement in Afghanistan's internal affairs. According to many Afghans, there's not a single Afghan involved in the insurgency.
Pakistani military facing tougher fight in northwest than reported -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
An Indian intelligence briefing obtained by The Long War Journal claimed that 370 Pakistani troops have been killed and 900 have deserted since the operation to root out the Taliban in the Swat Valley began in April.
Iran's Supreme Leader says "Definitive Victory" in Election -- [VOA]
In his first address to the nation since the June 12 vote, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused Iran's enemies of targeting the legitimacy of the Islamic establishment by disputing the election outcome....
'Al-Sharq Al-Awsat': Arab Militias In Iran Suppressing Demonstrations -- [MEMRI Blog]
The London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat is reporting from two different sources that special Arab militias are operating, in the framework of Iranian security forces, against protestors in the streets of Iran.
An Iranian source said that it received a report that Arab forces are involved in killing Iranian civilians at demonstrations.
US Deploys Defenses for Possible N. Korean Missile Launch Audio Clip Available -- [VOA]
Defense Secretary Robert Gates orders deployment of a new missile defense system and a sophisticated tracking radar to respond to any North Korean missile launch that threatens Hawaii
In Other News, North Korea Plots Attack on Hawaii -- [One Free Korea]
Satellite imagery of the Dongchang site here. This is a new site, whose construction apparently continued in flagrant violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions 1695 and 1718, and throughout the duration of Agreed Framework II, while George W. Bush and Chris Hill looked the other way. According to some reports, launch day will be the Fourth of July.
Officials: US tracking suspicious ship from NKorea -- [Knox News /AP]
The U.S. military is tracking a ship from North Korea that may be carrying illicit weapons, the first vessel monitored under tougher new United Nations rules meant to rein in and punish the communist government following a nuclear test, officials said Thursday.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he has ordered additional protections for Hawaii just in case North Korea launches a long-range missile over the Pacific Ocean.
Congress: Not so fast on closing Gitmo -- [Hot Air]
The enthusiasm for closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay has waned on Capitol Hill ever since it became clear that our allies want nothing to do with the terrorists imprisoned there -- and that the administration is considering releasing some in the US as a confidence-builder. Congress passed the war-funding bill that Obama wanted, but stripped out all money for closing Gitmo. Instead, they included a number of restrictions intended on tying Obama's hands and slowing down the process ... perhaps to a halt:
ACLU Says Terrorism Finance Laws Violate Muslim Rights -- [Security Management]
A new report from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) criticizes federal terrorism financing laws for undermining the ability of Muslims to practice their constitutional rights of worship and association. The civil liberties organization says that post-9-11 terrorism finance laws' vagueness combined with government intimidation have scared away Muslims from giving alms, a central pillar of the Islamic faith,
Pentagon Pulls Question That Called Protests a Form of Terrorism -- [FOX News]
The Pentagon has removed a controversial question from its anti-terrorism training exam that labeled "protests" a form of "low-level terrorism," calling the question "poorly worded."
Wounded commander takes over Warrior Transition Battalion -- [Soldier's Angels Germany]
"Taking an artillery battalion into Iraq would be easier than doing what I'm going to have to do with the Warrior Transition Battalion. That's how complex, how important it is. But that's where my passion lies.
Calif. cities' military recruiting laws tossed -- [Washington Post]
A federal judge on Thursday struck down two Northern California city ordinances banning military recruitment of minors, finding the laws violated the U.S. Constitution.
Voters in the cities of Arcata and Eureka passed identical Youth Protection Acts in November with 73 percent and 56 percent approval, respectively. They ordered Armed Forces recruiters to refrain from contacting people under 18 or face a fine.
But the Justice Department promptly sued, arguing that they interfered with the government's ability to raise an army and protect the country.
Counterinsurgency: Is "Air Control" the Answer? -- [SWJ - Major Angelina M. Maguinness]
Within the last few years, many airpower theorists advocated for the creation of a more air-centric approach to counterinsurgency (COIN) warfare. They point to modern airpower successes as the central component in military strategies, such as
Troops met with warm welcome at CFB Comox -- [Comox Valley Record]
On Thursday, outside of 7 Hangar, home of the 407 Demons, families counted the minutes till their loved ones stepped off the plane, which had flown from ...
AP Slips Bush Derangement Syndrome Into Farrow Death Notice? -- [Stop the ACLU]
Mia Farrow's brother, artist Patrick Farrow, committed suicide Tuesday, June 16. As expected, on the following day the Associated Press released a wire story about the incident. But, the odd thing about the short recount of the Farrows's lives and the account of the discovery of Patrick's lifeless body is that that the AP found some reason to slip in an attack on George W. Bush into the story. Worse, the AP used the fact of a U.S. soldier's death in Iraq as a vehicle to slam the past president. What did BDS have to do with the Farrows, Patrick's death, and a report on the same?
It's started -- [Defence of the Realm - British]
Already, the media is second-guessing the Iraq inquiry, with The Times leading the fray.
Of four questions posed by defence editor Michael Evans, however, only one relates to the occupation, confirming that the media is going to be obsessed with the run-up to the war, rather than the occupation.
Legendary CBS journalist Walter Cronkite reportedly gravely ill -- [Chicago Times]
FROM STAFF REPORTS -- Legendary CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite, 92, long known as the "Most Trusted Man in America," is gravely ill, according to multiple CBS News sources and published reports.
The Washington Post fires its best columnist. Why? -- [Salon]
One of the rarest commodities in the establishment media is someone who was a vehement critic of George Bush and who now, applying their principles consistently, has become a regular critic of Barack Obama -- i.e., someone who criticizes Obama from what is perceived as "the Left" rather than for being a Terrorist-Loving Socialist Muslim. It just got a lot rarer, as The Washington Post -- at least according to Politico's Patrick Gavin -- just fired WashingtonPost.com columnist, long-time Bush critic and Obama watchdog (i.e., a real journalist) Dan Froomkin.
Google translates Persian -- [The Official Google Blog]
Today, we added Persian (Farsi) to Google Translate. This means you can now translate any text from Persian into English and from English into Persian -- whether it's a news story, a website, a blog, an email, a tweet or a Facebook message.
Senate Approves War Funding Bill After Obama Presses Democrats -- [Washington Post]
The final version of the $105.9 billion bill, which provides funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through Sept. 30, largely backs Obama's strategy ...
F-22 back in Defense Bill -- [BlackFive - Uncle Jimbo]
...This is good news for anyone who thinks owning the skies is a good thing. We may not have any real competition up there right now, but both the Russians and the Chinese are developing new birds and I don't think ignoring that would have been wise.
Boxer scolds Army General for not calling her "Senator" -- [Christian Science Monitor]
Ever wonder what Eric Cartman might sound like if he was in Congress? Wonder no more... California Senator Barbara Boxer is a Senator. And if you don't acknowledge it, she'll demand you acknowledge it. Even if you're a General in the United States Army.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
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.
RCT-6 engineers demilitarize former Coalition outposts in Ramadi -- [Fightin 6th Marines-VOX - in Iraq]
Combat engineers from 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marines, Regimental Combat Team 6, gathered their vehicles to take part in an ongoing mission to remove barriers from the city streets and outlying areas of Ramadi, Iraq, June 09, 2009.
June 15, 2009 -- [S4 at War - in Iraq]
I've made an effort to delegate as much of my job down to the Company XOs in my BN. Because of our reliance on Patrol Bases we are spread out which makes it difficult for me to effectively coordinate their individual logistical requirements.
Post R&R Rut -- [The Writings of a Man's Man - in Iraq]
...It started a few days ago while out on patrol on the streets of Baghdad with one of my Iraqi National Police counterparts, a fellow Lieutenant. He said that it was his birthday that day and that, "he wanted to stop and get some felafels to celebrate." I've had plenty of food with Iraqis so far in this deployment and none of it has hurt me so far so I don't know if it was the felafel (which was in fact quite delicious) or
Donation Overload -- [Sour Swinger - in Iraq]
I want to talk about all the donations received so far that are going to the kids and thank everyone for their support. I've received more then I ever thought.
...If anyone would still like to send supplies for the children of Iraq, post a comment saying so and I'll shoot you an email with my mailing address. Once again, thank you to all back at home ...
Iraqi farmers' market opens for business -- [BlackHawk - 172nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team - in Iraq]
After two years of planning and building, the Central Euphrates Farmers' Market is now open for business after a grand opening ceremony here
U.S. Soldiers Train Iraqi Female Security Volunteers for Police Assistance Work -- [MNF-I]
Loud chatter filled the room as ten women from the Daughters of Iraq (DoI) gathered...
War in Afghanistan -- [Soldier's Angels - Medical Support]
One of our medics in Afghanistan works in a hospital, and mentioned the patients they see who are children. I offered to have our "Operation Outreach" team send toys, games, clothing and shoes for them. The answer will stay with me...
The toy issue.....got time for a story?.....the nurses used to load up kids in the hospital with toys, the family and child said their goodbye's and left the facility. A week later, the whole family was killed.....there was an informant in their community that knew the child was treated by the American's by the toys the child brought home
Kidnapped children being used for suicide bombing in Pakistan -- [KUNA]
A Pakistani Federal Minister Monday said that militants were using kidnapped children as suicide bombers across the country.
Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik talking to newsmen here said that the militants were buying innocent children for few hundred thousand rupees and using them to carry out suicide attacks.
Militants burn down school -- [China View]
Anti-government militants set on fire a primary school in the relatively peaceful Baghlan province, north of Afghanistan, a local official said on Monday. "The armed rebels attacked and burned down the primary school of Abdul Wadoud Shahid in Khost-o-Faring district Sunday night," police chief of the district Abdul Ahad told Xinhua. The militias moreover pasted night letters on the walls of the school, threatening parents not to send their girls to school
Risk -- [Embedded in Afghanistan...]
...The risk of death in this conflict is much lower than in conflicts from the past, but all the same everyone expects everyone else to be doing their part. And the knowledge of this expectation is what makes it hard for me when I can't get my ANA to do more than 4 or 5 patrols in a week. When I see the US Army here going out everyday, and often more than once a day, while my Afghans play volleyball, it makes it a little hard to feel proud of the job I'm doing with them. At times I'm almost ashamed at the scheduling meetings when I tell the Army guys that the ANA are taking another day off for "religious classes". We do what we can here to get them to work more, but overcoming the attitude of the culture in general towards work is tough...
Propaganda -- [Embedded in Afghanistan...]
Since the recent grenade attack in the not-too-distant city of Asadabad, we've been making the effort to get out into all the local villages to put out our own version of the events. It seemed pretty clear from the start that the attack was done by someone not an American. However
2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade in Afghanistan -- [Deployed Troops]
U.S. Marines from the 2nd MEB, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines watch as a helicopter takes
of from the landing zone at forward operating base Golestan in Afghanistan's
Farah province Thursday, June 11
My vacation back to Afghanistan part one -- [SandGram]
...When I called him up, mind you this was around May 12th, the small chat turned to his next tasker; put together a trip to Afghanistan for an assessment of their prison systems. Well, as the boss calls it, "Cops, Courts and Corrections" which is a huge task considering ...
Afghan presidential campaign opens -- [Afghan News]
...Fahim was a commander in the Northern Alliance -- of which rival candidate Abdullah was also a key leader -- that helped oust the Taliban in 2001. Fahim is expected to help deliver ethnic Tajik votes from Afghanistan's north, but he has already drawn heavy criticism from rights groups and a top U.N. official.
The Afghan government, the U.N. and the U.S. and NATO militaries are working to provide enough security so Afghans from the snowcapped mountains in the north to the unending deserts in the south may cast votes.
Presidential Election Campaigning Begins in Afghanistan -- [Voice of America] Afghanistan has begun its two-month campaign season for a presidential election to decide who will lead the country for the next five years.
Al Qaeda commanders reported killed, wounded in Pakistan -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Qari Zia Rahman may have been killed in Bajaur, and Tahir Yuldashev is thought to have been wounded in South Waziristan
Congress Orders New Uniforms for Afghanistan -- [Bouhammer]
"Congress is about to order new combat uniforms for troops in Afghanistan after hearing complaints that camouflage that was fine in Iraq doesn't work so well in a mountainous and often muddy environment."
Aussie Yellowcake for China and Russia -- [Jawa Report]
The Australian government is finalizing negotiations with both China and Russia to sell billions of dollars-worth of yellowcake uranium for use, ostensibly, in electric power generation only.
Rallying for Iranian democracy -- [Glenn Reynolds]
THEY'RE rallying for Iranian democracy in San Francisco tonight.
UPDATE: Video: Iranian-Americans protest in Chicago.
What Just Happened? -- [Michael J. Totten]
Nearly lost in all the media coverage of protests and people power in Iran is what one faction of the divided Iranian regime establishment just did to the others....
Tehran Threatens Bloggers, 'Deviant News Sites' -- [Danger Room]
Iran's fearsome Revolutionary Guard is warning bloggers and local websites to remove any materials that "create tension" -- or else. It part of a larger crackdown on media of all types, as the Tehran regime attempts to control the information battle surrounding the pro-democracy "Green Revolution" there.
Attempted Iran media clampdown meets Internet age. -- [AP]
"Iran clamped down Tuesday on independent media in an attempt to control images of election protests, but pictures and videos leaked out anyway -- showing how difficult it is to shut off the flow of information in the Internet age." You could write a book about this stuff. . . . But nation-states are still tough opponents.
Obama refuses to 'meddle' in Iran -- [BBC]
...Mr Obama said he believed Iranian voices should be heard, although he added that he did not want to be seen to be "meddling". "It is not productive,
U.S. State Department speaks to Twitter over Iran -- [Reuters]
The U.S. State Department contacted the social networking service Twitter over the weekend to urge it to delay a planned upgrade that could have cut daytime service to Iranians, a U.S. official said on Tuesday.
Iran Isn't the Only Country Rioting -- [Registan]
While all the focus is on Iran's street riots over a possibly-rigged election, let us turn our attention to U.S. ally The Republic of Georgia. Georgia, if you recall, was embroiled in a nasty little border war with Russia this past August, and was pretty successful in pinning much of the blame on Russia's "aggression."
Korean War II: North Korea warns US of 'thousand-fold' military action. -- [AP/FOX News]
North Korea warned Wednesday of a "thousand-fold" military retaliation against the U.S. and its allies if provoked, the latest threat in a drumbeat of rhetoric in defense of its rogue nuclear program.
US May be Within N. Korea Missile Range in 3 Years, Official Warns -- [Los Angeles Times]
North Korea may be able to overcome technical difficulties and assemble a missile capable of hitting West Coast cities within three years, a top Defense Department official said Tuesday, but it is unlikely to be able to deliver a nuclear warhead in that time frame.
US Urges 'Robust' Push on North Korea -- [Wall Street Journal]
President Barack Obama on Tuesday called on the international community to crack down on North Korea's weapons-proliferation efforts, highlighting the administration's challenge in getting key countries such as China and Russia to implement the tough United Nations sanctions agreed to last week.
Disjointed Security Threats are New Normal, Commander Says -- [Defense Link]
The threats that face the United States are more amorphous today than at any time in history, and the commands responsible for defending North America must maintain vigilance, Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart said here today. "People believe we are getting back to something like normal after Sept. 11," .... "I will tell you that that normal will never return."
GOP: no trust for Barack Obama on torture photos -- [Politico]
Heading into a critical vote, House Republicans are unified against the $106 billion war supplemental bill, saying because they don't trust ...
E-Mail Surveillance Renews Concerns in Congress -- [New York Times]
The National Security Agency is facing renewed scrutiny over the extent of its domestic surveillance program, with critics in Congress saying its recent intercepts of the private telephone calls and e-mail messages of Americans ...
Military Lawyers Can Still Defend Detainee - [AP/Washington Post]
Military lawyers can defend a Guantanamo Bay detainee in federal court against charges that he participated in the bombing of two US embassies in Africa, a federal judge said Tuesday, as long as the lawyers' superior officers approve. US District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan urged the government to try to determine within a week whether Marine Col. Jeffrey Colwell and Air Force Maj. Richard Reiter would be permitted to defend Ahmed Ghailani. Both were in the courtroom. "I don't see any reason I would not grant their permission to appear,"
Thanks from Afghanistan -- [Soldier's Angels - Medical Support]
Today I received your letter of good will; thank you for your kind words of support. Before I go any further, I would like to tell you about our facility here. We are a NATO facility, the hospital is managed by the UK and US jointly, staffed by the US, UK, Estonian, Danes, and civilian volunteers. The total staff is 200, and we treat everyone, to include local nationals and ANA (the Afghan National Army) in their quest for freedom. Our job here is simple; treat, care, and honor the wounded warrior. But after the bandages have been applied, pain stopped, and the chaplain gone; most of the troops look kinda lost...not sure of what or how to...
Soldiers Angels Web Surfing -- [Hooah Wife - Kathi]
Sadly, part of the reason for the recent lack of blogging on my part has been because the Soldiers Angels Living Legends Team (of which I'm the Co-Leader)
has been far more busy than we would wish to be, supporting the families of our Fallen Heroes. The Living Legends Team supported the families of 36 Fallen Heroes in the month of May, 25 Fallen in Iraq and 11 Fallen in Afghanistan.
Then and now: Army Captain continues career 20 years after retirement -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Then and now: Army Captain continues career 20 years after retirement
This guy was serving on active duty before almost everyone over here was even born and he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the 1990s!!! He retired from the National Guard and when he came back on active duty his rank was Captain. It feels very odd to have this 60 year old Grandpa calling me Sir and saluting. He's very sweet and everyone teases him about his nickname of "OCIA" which means, "Oldest Captain in the Army."
Army's 'suicide watch' report is spineless -- [SWJ - Robert Haddick]
The Pentagon's public affairs office has a new monthly report: a tally of the Army's suicides.
This new report, issued on June 11, listed Army suicides (confirmed and potential) by soldiers on active duty and reservists not on active duty for May, April, and for 2008 and 2009 year-to-date. By implication, the Army intends to release monthly updates of its suicide statistics, joining other regular statistical releases such recruiting and retention and mobilized reservists.
Episode #43 - LTG Chiarelli -- [You Served]
Lieutenant General Peter W. Chiarelli, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army, will talk about Army mental health and suicide prevention efforts.
Has the U.S. solved the urban combat problem? -- [SWJ - Robert Haddick]
Near the end of his presentation last Thursday at the annual CNAS conference, General David Petraeus contrasted the 2008 battle for Sadr City with the 2004 battles for Fallujah. General Petraeus left the impression that if a U.S. commander is given a sufficient quantity of "enablers," especially in the form of overhead surveillance assets, the U.S. will dominate urban terrain nearly as easily as it dominates open terrain.
...But is General Petraeus's implied assertion correct?
Good Times, Bad Times -- [In Iraq Now (at 56) - home from Iraq]
...I also got some bad news from Iraq. Another soldier from our unit went home a few days before I did. His daughter was just born and he got to be there. But the happy occasion turned to mourning when his new daughter died suddenly. It happened Saturday while I was traveling. The wake is tomorrow afternoon in Altoona PA about 3 hours away, so I should be able to attend. It's good that he could be home for his family, but so sad that his leave from Iraq would be marked with tragedy.
DFW Airport marks anniversary of its "Welcome Home a Hero" program -- [Bizjournals]
According to D/FW, 10000 volunteers have greeted 1700 flights since the start of the program in 2004, welcoming home 300000 troops. "The Welcome Home A Hero
REHOBOTH BEACH: Museum lecture titled "Welcome Home" for Vets -- [Bethany Beach Wave]
The presentation highlighted the letters received by Ms. Lynch when, as a reporter for the News Journal, she asked troops from Delaware who were fighting...
False AP report: Obama did NOT say that Iran must respect voters' choice -- [Flopping Aces]
Obama's comments were mushy, yes, but at least he said the most important thing, according to AP: He said it's up to Iran to determine its own leaders but that the country must respect voters' choice. Why then have reputable people continued to pass harsh judgment? And why would AP paraphrase what would have been Obama's key statement? Turns out Obama said no such thing...
Collusion -- [Confederate Yankee]
Many of us on the center-right, however, find the increasingly incestuous relationship between the media and a President very alarming. Some are going so far to suggest that such a relationship a significant threat to our Republic. The reason for such concern is simple: a media so enthralled with a politician (or group of politicians) has cannot perform the watchdog role that is required of it in a free nation.
$106 Billion Bill Passes in House -- [Washington Post]
The House passed yesterday a $106 billion bill that funds the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through September, as Democrats backed President Obama despite their misgivings about his strategy in Afghanistan.
On that war funding bill vote -- [This Ain't Hell...]
One of our commenters, Another Disgrunted IVAW "member" wrote last night;
Looks like 170 Republicans voted against the troops today. Why do they hate us? They send us to war and don't want us to have the necessary equipment to win the wars.
A quick look through the news turned up the reason why so many Republicans voted against the bill like this...
Obama seeks to 'give government new powers to seize key companies'... -- [LA Times]
The plan would give the government new powers to seize key companies whose failure jeopardizes the financial system, as well as creation of a watchdog agency to look out for consumers' interests.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
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.
Today in Baghdad -- [Canon Andrew White - in Iraq]
...One of my close colleagues who we had brought to Copenhagen in 2008 for one of our Religious / Political leader meetings (this meeting focused on minorities in Iraq), the leader of Sunni block in parliament, had been assassinated as he left the Mosque today with four of his guards.
His name was Sheikh Harith Al Obeidi. He was not just a colleague, he was a friend.
Could the Murder of an Iraqi Lawmaker Kick Off a New Insurgency? -- [Christian Science Monitor]
Despite efforts by Iraqi officials to tamp down the repercussions of the assassination of a leading Sunni lawmaker on Friday, members of Hareth Obeidi's party say the attack shows that Iraqi security forces are unable to maintain security ahead of the scheduled withdrawal of US forces and warn it could reignite sectarian violence.
Cowardice -- [Far From Perfect - in Iraq]
It all started early in the morning in a busy market of a town near here. A market usually patrolled and guarded by the Iraqi Police. A market where the police usually prevent vehicles from entering so that an occurrences of violence wouldn't happen. For some reason, this particular morning no IPs were to be found according to the reports. A man in non-traditional clothing drove his vehicle into the busy market, parked it, and walked away. A few minutes later his vehicle exploded, wounding more than 70 and killing 29 people - including women and children. Innocent people going about their daily lives.
Was this a strike against coalition forces? No, none were anywhere close.
US Marines will exit Iraq by spring of next year -- [Christian Science Monitor] Richard Gen. James Conway, commandant of the Marine Corps, said Thursday that all but a handful of the 16,000 Marines in Anbar would be out of the country in less than a year.
"We think in the spring of 2010 that [Marine commander Maj. Gen. Richard Tryon] will close the door, turn out the lights, and end Marine Corps presence in Iraq," General Conway told an audience of veterans at the National Press Club in Washington.
In Mosul, Iraqi army not ready to take over from U.S. forces -- [McClatchy News]
MOSUL, Iraq -- The Iraqi army colonel glowered at his newest captain. Looking small and lost in his oversized new uniform, the captain conceded that he was an untrained civilian who'd been sent to Iraq's most violent city by one of the political parties in Baghdad that's vying for control of the country's security forces.
Referendum on SOFA Could Boot US from Iraq in 2010 -- [Stars and Stripes]
As the US military continues its slow withdrawal from Iraq, the Iraqi people face a decision that might force those efforts into overdrive. A referendum scheduled for July 30 would give Iraqis the chance to vote for or against the Iraqi-US security agreement that calls for all American troops to leave Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011.
Iraq, US set up joint command center -- [PRESS TV]
Iraq and the US have set up a joint command center to coordinate operations after the US forces withdraw from Iraqi cities and towns at the end of June.
Basra airport hotel handed over to Iraqis -- [Aswat Al Iraq]
BASRA / Aswat al-Iraq: The hotel of Basra International Airport on Monday was handed over to the Iraqi civilian authorities by the...
Short Clips Of Iraqi Children -- [Sour Swinger - in Iraq]
These are short clips of some of my encounters with the kids here.
These kids started horse playing with each other. Unfortunately, by the time I got my camera out they had stopped. This neighborhood is in fact very well off and the richest area I've seen to date.
Killing Kids For The Cause -- [Strategy Page]
Terrorist groups are not getting many foreign volunteers anymore. The popularity of Islamic terrorism, in the Moslem world, has sharply declined over the last few years, and with that ...
Woke Up Quick -- [Afghani Kush - in Afghanistan]
How's it going out in the real world? Things are slow here, it seems like our action weeks seem to go in cycles, a few weeks of non stop action then a few weeks of bone crushing boredom. I appreciate the down time and the slower mission pace after we get into a few fights, but after a while ...
Familiar Conversation of Interest -- [Notes from Iraq - in Iraq]
...After our chuckle, the Iraqi Army officer asked, "You have a big, nice house? Or do you rent?" "Oh, I own my house, and it is nice, but what you have to understand about Americans is that only a small percentage own their house outright." He looked puzzled at this. "See, I really own about 20% of my house, and I pay a bank every month, as I slowly buy the rest." His eyebrows raised, as he heard the translated, and I explained further, "I could not buy it outright."
His interest was definitely perked. "I have heard of banks. Tell me about them, please. You mean that you just ask for money and you can buy a car or start a business?"
I don't think I will live this down... -- [Wings Over Iraq - in Iraq]
Recently, my parents were able to send me a copy of the issue of Rolling Stone Magazine which featured an article about Small Wars Journal....Naturally, the bright pink cover of Rolling Stone and the picture of a mostly naked woman covered only with bubbles got everyone's attention.
Another officer: Dude, are you looking at porn?
Me: Oh, actually, the reason I got this magazine was because there's an article in here about Small Wars Journal--which is a great professional publication which focuses on counterinsurgency.
An amazed stare broke out on the officer's face as he eyed the cover of a magazine which featured a chick clad only in a bubble bikini.
Think Houston is hot? -- [My Point of View - in Iraq]
We arrived here in Baghdad in early February. The weather was nice then...cool. Now, it's a virtual oven out there. The photo above was taken today in a covered area...shaded. 118...in the shade. The colors represent our heat category chart. It's over 100 everyday now. Osman, our in-house interpreter/translator, told me this is just the beginning.
Taliban dupe boy, 12, into planting bomb -- [Telegraph]
On his face is an angelic smile, in his pocket a blood-stained 50-rupee note. Ishaq Khan, a 12-year-old schoolboy, was given the money - equivalent to just 40p - to carry a bag to a spot in a busy bazaar in Kohat, a town in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. As he walked away, the bag exploded,...
Hope With Change -- [Kudzu's Wandering... - in Afghanistan]
That being said a lot has changed since my last posting. A new commander is in charge here in Afghanistan and scandals involving our use of air strikes have cropped up.
Speaking of air strikes. I feel it important to ...
Haarvard professor serves in Afghanistan -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Here's a nice story for the Army's birthday: A Harvard professor who is serving his second deployment in Afghanistan.
...Now back in Afghanistan with the 3rd Brigade of the 10th Mountain Division, Parker - ever the professor - dreams of ways to turn the counterinsurgency fight into a science
Sandblasted! -- [Desert Bound - in Afghanistan]
...For the almost 700 Soldiers here, there are only about half a dozen Airmen. There are a few Explosive Ordnance Disposal Airmen here and some Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (the guys that coordinate air strikes etc.).
Life on the FOB: To give you an idea of how things are here; we are all staying in 12-man tents.
Rose Garden -- [Afghanistan My Last Tour - in Afghanistan]
...MSG Abdullah is a very unique ANA soldier. Prior to joining the ANA he actively fought against the Taliban. Then he decided to join the ANA to make a difference for his country. He is a proud soldier and truly believes in taking care of the soldiers. He is bothered that his country still differentiates by a person's nationality. He doesn't care if a soldier is Tajik, Pashtun, or Hezara.
TV Report: US Duped into Attack -- [Wasington Times/AP]
A British television report to be broadcast Monday says American forces who killed scores of people last August in Azizabad, western Afghanistan, attacked the village on the basis of false allegations inspired by a blood feud with a neighboring community. An hourlong, in-depth documentary, previewed by the Associated Press and to be broadcast by Channel 4, includes scenes from a Herat provincial court trial in which...
UN Official Calls for Review of American Raids - [New York Times]
In unusually firm remarks, the chief of the United Nations mission in Afghanistan said there was an "urgent need to review" the Special Operations forces here. The official, Kai Eide, called the political costs of civilian casualties from special operations raids "disproportionate to the military gains," and said the Special Operations forces needed to become "more Afghanized."
US Shifts Practice on Afghan Captives -- [Wall Street Journal]
The Pentagon is revamping its detention policies in Afghanistan, borrowing practices from Iraq that are designed to rehabilitate detainees by teaching them moderate Islam, literacy and vocational skills. Senior US military officials said the new approach is meant to separate extremist Afghan detainees from more moderate ones.
Pakistan says offensive against Baitullah Mehsud imminent -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
The governor of the Northwest frontier Province said the military will launch a "comprehensive and decisive operation" as the military evaluates the request. Airstrikes launched in Bannu, Arakzai, and Bajaur.
Iran on Fire (Continuously updated [and W/Video]) -- [Michael Totten]
...Hundreds of insurrection photos are uploaded right here on Twitter.
Haaretz is now reporting that Mousavi has been arrested. Yesterday's report turned out to be false, but maybe this one is accurate. Who knows? We're in the fog of "war" here.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sounds like Baghdad Bob right about now: "It was a free and healthy election," he said.
"Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenei, the real power in Iran, sounds even more like Baghdad Bob than Ahmadinejad. He said the "election" was "an artistic expression" of "the joy and excitement of a nation." Good grief.
Iranian Courage -- [Threats Watch - Steve Schippert]
This is borne out today in the popularity of Mrs. Mousavi's outspokenness on women's rights during this campaign, and the resultant record turnout for the vote, and the (so far) wide-spread and brave protests to an election once again stolen.
When Iran's women have decided it is time, their men will rise with them.
Today, the second day of protest after the election, will determine momentum and what is to come - or not come - of the people's revolt. Will it be revolution, or will it be the reassertion of dominance by a regime which fears its own people more than any American or Israeli weapon?
Message From Mousavi -- [The Daily Dish]
Via my contacts at the Farsi-speaking BBC, a telephone plea:
I AM UNDER EXTREME PRESSURE TO ACCEPT THE RESULTS OF THE SHAM ELECTION. THEY HAVE CUT ME OFF FROM ANY COMMUNICATION WITH PEOPLE AND AM UNDER SURVEILLANCE. I ASK THE PEOPLE TO STAY IN THE STREETS BUT AVOID VIOLENCE
NKorea warns of nuclear war amid rising tensions -- [MY Way]
North Korea's communist regime has warned of a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula while vowing to step up its atomic bomb-making program in defiance of new U.N. sanctions.
USS Cole CDR Lippold Statement On Future of Yemeni GITMO Detainees -- [Military Families United]
Washington, DC - Kirk S. Lippold, Former USS Cole Commander and Senior Military Fellow at Military Families United, released the following statement concerning the recently reported news that the Obama Administration is nearing a deal to send a considerable portion of the estimated 100 Yemeni detainees at Guantanamo Bay to Saudi "terrorist rehabilitation centers."
"The impact of turning Yemeni detainees over to either Saudi Arabia or Yemen is an unacceptable compromise to our national security. Saudi Arabia has proven ineffective in rehabilitating terrorists...
Out of Guantánamo, Uighurs Bask in Bermuda - [New York Times]
Almost exactly seven years after arriving at Guantánamo in chains as accused enemy combatants, and four days after their surprise predawn flight to Bermuda, four Uighur Muslim men basked in their new-found freedom here, grateful for the handshakes many residents had offered and marveling at the serene beauty of this tidy, postcard island.
Terrorist can sue over torture memos -- [MSNBC/AP]
First time a government lawyer has been held potentially liable for abuse -- SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A convicted terrorist can sue a former Bush administration lawyer for drafting the legal theories that led to his alleged torture
NEFA Foundation: New Video From American Al-Qaida Spokesman Adam Gadahn -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The NEFA Foundation has obtained a new video recording of most wanted American Al-Qaida spokesman Adam Yehiye Gadahn, titled "Let's Continue our Jihad and Sacrifice."
Dear As-Sahab: Please Take Away Adam Gadahn's Microphone -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Late yesterday, Al-Qaida's official media wing--the As-Sahab Media Foundation--released yet another meandering, half-baked video message from American Al-Qaida member Adam Gadahn, formerly of Los Angeles, California. Gadahn--who perhaps at best can be described as an arrogant, pasty-faced computer nerd--has nonetheless become a key spokesman for Al-Qaida over the past five years.
Who Are You Calling Rambo? -- [Newsweek - PaulRieckhoff]
...As one of the 1.8 million veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I worry every day that people do not see combat veterans as who we are--brave, committed patriots--but rather as damaged or dangerous.
...This disconnect can have real consequences. In polls, employers often say they don't know what skills veterans can bring to their company. More than 11 percent of vets who served after 9/11 are out of work.
Acadiana Children are True Patriots -- [Soldiers Angels LA]
Our very own Vickie Franco, USCG and Angel since 2003 has done an exceptional job with keeping children involved in helping our Troops and Veterans. Here is her story in her own words.
Reservists Home Vandalized -- [BlackFive - LW]
Read what reservist and ER nurse Arleen Agosto of Florida was called home to find while she was at Ft. Eustis caring for our wounded. Clean-up and repair alone will probably be more than $15,000.00 and it is unclear if her insurance will cover the clean-up and disinfection, nor how much of the items stolen will be covered.
'Mindless' Basic Training Gets Some Smarts -- [Politics Daily - HT:SWJ]
When seasoned combat soldiers began returning from the war to help train new recruits here, the first thing they did was to stop training for what the Army called "convoy live fire.'' Nobody actually does that in Iraq or Afghanistan, they explained.
..."Today the enemy is always changing his tactics, his operations. We can't give soldiers mindless solutions. They have to think.''
Home -- [In Iraq Now (at 56) - home from Iraq]
At 5pm yesterday, my daughters picked me up at Harrisburg International Airport, just 57 hours after I showed up at the passenger terminal at Tallil Air Base. Since we gained 7 hours, the trip actually took 64 clock hours. But my leave did not start until one minute after midnight today, so I have only used 18 of the 360 hours (15 days) of leave.
NJ guard soldiers welcomed home from Iraq -- [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Corzine was handed a New Jersey flag that flew over Iraq and he told the Guard members that he "couldn't be more proud" of their service.
Meditations on the Way of the Warrior and COIN -- [Mongo's Montreaux - in Iraq]
I stumbled on this Atlantic review/article by Robert Kaplan. Anyone who wants to meditate on COIN and the nature of those who wage this type of war should read the article in full. ...One important point in the article (ie, a point that validates one of my recurring themes) is it ably demonstrates the unavoidable friction between the warrior and the bureaucracy.
THIS IS WAY-WAY OVER THE TOP -- [Gateway Pundit]
CBS compares Iran's Holocaust denier, womens right's abuser, America-hating radical to George W. Bush.
Just makin' $hit up!" the Jon Soltz Story -- [This Ain't Hell...]
Jon Soltz is
Gen. Wesley Clark's designated attack doggie the executive director of Votevets.org.
...I would now take several hours dismantling all of your expert testimony before the House and Senate as the Military and Veterans expert you are, but alas, THAT SEEMS TO BE THE ONLY TESTIMONY YOU'VE SUBMITTED. If I happen to be wrong, I look forward to reading your cogent analysis on other issues.
...Why is this post so angry? Why so much venom towards VV and Jon in particular? Because this guy has used the death of our brothers and sisters to create a phantasmical windmill that he can joust with to the delight of his acolytes on MSNBC, Daily Kos and Huffington Post. And frankly, it is goddamneddisrespectful.
Obama's Pick to Be Army's Top Lawyer Withdraws -- [FOX News]
President Obama's pick to be the Army's top lawyer withdrew after failing to disclose Fannie Mae as his former employer in a document submitted as part of his nomination process.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
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.
Former U.N. Weapons Inspector Duelfer Talks to Iraqi Daily 'Al-Zaman' -- [MEMRI Blog]
Charles Duelfer, a former deputy chief of U.N. inspectors of WMD in Iraq (1993-2000), has said that ministers in the Saddam Hussein government had told him that the country's chemical and biological weapons may have saved Baghdad from invasion by U.S. forces after the defeat of the Iraqi forces in Kuwait in 1991.
Stick A Fork In My Soup...It's Done -- [Mongo's Montreaux - in Iraq]
External Transition Teams are a case study in a good idea poorly (or at least, not comprehensively) executed. All of SFC Sheeran's criticisms of the use and abuse of Transition Teams are accurate, and anyone who has spent a little time on a TT could probably add to the litany. External Transition Teams are (or were) a good idea, but they are going away. This is because the building and employment of Transition Teams contained flaws in the original concept that ultimately proved fatal, both to the mission and to the TT entity itself. The two primary flaws were a failure to factor in military culture and an incomplete mission analysis.
Highlanders protect mental health -- [The 34th Red Bull Infantry Division : Highlander]
Soldiers in the U.S. Army do not suffer only physical injuries while deployed. Since 2003, leaders have increased mental health concern care for their troops.
Soldiers don't have to go it alone when dealing with any mental health issues that arise.
..."Currently the CSC sends a psychologist and tech out to (area operating bases) once or twice a month, working closely with command and medical assets out there to help Soldiers utilize that availability," said Ackman.
Contractors experiencing some of same mental health problems as soldiers in Iraq -- [IN - Iraq]
Baghdad- The ratio of soldiers to contractors in Iraq is one-to-one. Since the beginning of Iraq war it's been widely reported that the Defense and State Departments have hired contractors, deployed and billed by contracting companies, to do everything from wash soldiers clothes to advising senior level Iraqi ministry officials.
And Now Back to Introduction to Pre-COIN 101-- [Greyhawk]
Okay, here's the complete quote that appears only in part here. To clarify what I'm about to relate: although I was in Iraq in 2007, when I use "we" in the following, I mean United States forces.
I may be wrong - but there seems to be some fundamental misunderstanding of COIN in general and "protecting the population" at play here.
The idea that those are somehow efforts that don't involve killing bad guys and blowing things up is wrong. I know this is obvious to 90% of the people who comment here, but there's also a growing number of people seeking understanding of this newfangled "COIN" business who may be under the impression that it's some sort of bloodless warfare - and some may scan these comments for illumination. If you aren't among that number skip this rest of this.
Robbing Peter to Pay Paul... -- [Wings Over Iraq - in Iraq]
Martin van Creveld's "Culture of War" discusses, among other things, the education of a warrior in ancient and modern times. He brings up an interesting point about the advanced service schools of various militaries throughout the world.
...Despite great high-profile leadership at the Combined Arms Center, many feel that positions at military education courses still have a stigma.
Doctrine...a clarification -- [S4 at War - in Iraq]
My liberal use of the word "doctrine" has been called to my attention. Perhaps a re-deployment order isn't doctrine the same way Battle Drill #4 is but what is the definition of doctrine?? Seriously, I've tried to find a good definition and have found:
Beeeesssssss -- [The Stone Report - in Iraq]
In my last post, I talked about the Diwaniya Agricultural High School. The US State Department gave them a grant to purchase bee hives so students can learn how to manage hives. The State Department also helped this school start its fish hatchery. They are involved in helping this school because Diwaniya Province is largely agriculture
Piracy Thrives In Iraq -- [Sour Winger - in Iraq]
...The movie shops even have collections that make you wonder why the entertainment industry doesn't follow suit. ...You may ask, as do I, how is this possible? Of course your how is probably how they can achieve such low prices and get movies out while they are still in theater. That's easy. My how, is how the Army allows this and why the MPAA, RIAA, Gaming Industry, etc haven't raised a law suit! Granted its a different country who is concerned about more important things then international copyright laws, but its blatant piracy found on...(this is the key point) American installations. American installations that not only provide a building to use but power to run said shops.
Minor Construction -- [Ramblings from a painter - in Iraq]
...I finished up a briefing today on a major new initiative that might be coming our way. "Might be" is the operative word. Since I work in the "Development & Plans" branch, I get to do planning for a lot of different projects that may or may not happen. This one involves a lot of construction projects all around the country, and I've been addressing how we're going to issue contracts and then manage them.
A Meeting of Governors -- [MNF-I]
Two governors of neighboring regions both working for the continued improvement of the nation of Iraq, met for the first time with the goal of improving relations between their provinces.
The Journey Home Begins -- [In Iraq Now (at 56) - in Iraq]
It's getting close to 9pm so the temperature here in Kuwait is just dipping below 100 degrees. It was only 113 today when we arrived at 1pm, but the body armor and helmet we are required to wear for the flight from Iraq to Kuwait make it feel even warmer. An hour after we arrived we were allowed to turn the body armor in at a storage warehouse so we don't have to wear it here.
Do Not Send a Spy Where a Civilian Can Go. -- [The 34th Red Bull Infantry Division : For Your Eyes Only]
...The 34th ID OSINT team is comprised of two intelligence analysts and four Arabic linguists. Local media outlets are monitored in order to provide a comprehensive open source report to the Commanding General. It is emerging as a critical part of the intelligence shop as U.S. forces drawdown in Iraq.
Bahrain Base Building Boom -- [Strategy Page]
June 11, 2009: The U.S. is expanding its naval base in the Persian Gulf nation of Bahrain. The navy has taken over the Mina Salman port, which transferred all commercial operations to the new Khalifa bin Salman port two months ago. The navy is leasing 70 acres of waterfront space at Mina Salman. At the capital, the navy has an acre at the port there, and 42 acres at a nearby base.
US Marines out of Iraq by spring 2010 -- [One Marine's View]
Conway said there are currently 16,000 marines in Iraq and that the reduction of the force would accelerate after legislative elections scheduled for January 2010.
He played down a resurgence of violence in Iraq in recent weeks, but acknowledged a residual Al-Qaeda presence in some areas.
Inside the Surge -- [Outside the Wire]
LTC Jim Crider has published a report on his experience as a battalion commander in 2007-08 in Baghdad. I was with Crider's 1/4 Cav. in early May 2007.
When I was with them they were just begining to understand counter insurgency and from what I saw in the fall of 2009, Crider and the follow-on unit got it right.
Download the full report here . I'll be reading it on the plane tomorrow.
For a little visual flavor of what Crider is talking about, watch this.
Seabees Embark on "Bread and Benches" Mission in Iraq -- [Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 24]
Sailors of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 24 (NMCB 24), while on a recent project in Baghdadi, Iraq, were able to take a break from their task at hand to experience some of the local culture and promote goodwill between the Iraqi people and Coalition Forces.
Aided by an interpreter, the Seabees visited a local flat bread bakery. The bakery operated by local citizens. What made the bakery unique was that it had been built into the side of a Hesco barrier wall.
Insurgent tactics: Population intimidation -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
From one of the medics SA supports in Afghanistan. Many of the patients our medics treat are local children.
"Please, thank [the members of Soldiers' Angels], but I would not like to start collecting toys, in fear that someone will try to "sneak" one to a child... "
Why is this medic worried about giving Afghan children toys?
Hey folks -- [Afghani Kush - in Afghanistan]
We had another mission yesterday. An overnighter that ended up lasting... oh about 18 hours, pretty awesome if you ask me. I think in totality I ended up with almost 36 hours of no sleep.
Petraeus: Afghanistan attacks at high -- [CNN]
The top U.S. general, David Petraeus, painted a bleak picture of Afghanistan's immediate future, saying insurgent attacks have risen to record levels not seen since 2001.
U.S. Commander in Afghanistan Is Given More Leeway -- [NY Times]
The new American commander in Afghanistan has been given carte blanche to handpick a dream team of subordinates, including many Special Operations veterans, as he moves to carry out an ambitious new strategy that envisions stepped-up attacks on Taliban fighters and narcotics networks.
The extraordinary leeway granted the commander, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, underscores a view within the administration that the war in Afghanistan has for too long been given low priority and needs to be the focus of a sustained, high-level effort.
The General's War -- [Neptunus Lex]
As the violence in Iraq diminishes and something like a civil society emerges, the main effort shifts to Afghanistan, which is all to the good. The fact that the effort there is being labeled as General Stanley McChrystal's War may not be:...
New US general heads to Kabull -- [AP]
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates introduced McChrystal, whose Army fatigues stood out in a room full of business suits and dress uniforms. The general will ...
Bomb kills senior Pakistan cleric -- [BBC]
A leading anti-Taliban cleric has been killed in a suspected suicide bomb attack at his Islamic religious school in the Pakistani city of Lahore.
The explosion struck the Jaamia Naeemia madrassa around the time of Friday prayers, killing Sarfraz Naeemi, who often spoke out against militants.
Do Or Die Time For The Taliban -- [Strategy Page]
The influx of American troops is showing up throughout southern Afghanistan. Areas that had long been dominated by the Taliban, or pro-Taliban tribes, are now being raided by American troops. U.S. intelligence forces arrived before the combat troops, and the increased reconnaissance and electronic monitoring effort produced a more detailed picture of who the Taliban were, where they lived and what they were up to.
US Marines fan out across dangerous Afghan south -- [AP]
Teams of builders worked through dust storms Monday to expand a base for a brigade of U.S. Marines now fanning out across southern Afghanistan to change the course of a war claiming American lives faster than ever before.
US Plans To Invest More In Afghanistan's "Information War" -- [Nasdaq]
The U.S. plans to devote more money and manpower to the " information war" in Afghanistan as North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led forces try to counter an aggressive media campaign by Taliban insurgents, officials said Friday.
U.S. and NATO officials increasingly see public relations, or "strategic communications," as crucial to turning the tide against the insurgents, who have proven adept at spreading their message through radio, the Internet and mobile phones.
Strategic Importance of a Peshawar Hotel -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The attack on the Pearl Intercontinental Hotel in Peshawar was a major attack that will have important implications for the counter-insurgency in Pakistan. This is an issue that could have a ripple effect felt worldwide.
Russians Outfox U.S. in Latest Great Game -- [WSJ]
..."Basically Russia sees the crisis as an opportunity to increase its influence in the post-Soviet space," said Nikolai Zlobin, analyst for the Center for Strategic Studies in Washington, D.C., who meets regularly with Russian officials. "They think this is the right time to act."
Moscow has already delivered more than $300 million of a $2.1 billion aid package to Kyrgyzstan it promised Mr. Bakiyev when he announced he was evicting U.S. troops from the base.
Heavy turnout predicted as Iranians vote -- [Breitbart/AP]
Iranians packed polling stations from boutique-lined streets in north Tehran to conservative bastions in the countryside Friday with a choice that's left the nation divided and on edge: keeping hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in power or electing a reformist who favors greater freedoms and improved ties with the United States.
304 Polling Stations Ready for Iranian Expats -- [Press TV]
Iranian expatriates go to 304 polling stations worldwide to elect the next president as polls already opened nationwide on Friday morning.
Iranians can vote in more than 45,000 polling stations nationwide, while 304 polls will receive Iranian expatriates in almost 130 countries including Britain, the UAE, Russia, China, Japan, and Syria.
The Iranian Circus (cont.) -- [Michael Leeden]
Only a fool, or the ultimate insider, would try to predict the outcome of the elaborate passion play-aka "elections"-now being staged in Iran. But clearly the hatred an awful lot of Iranians harbor for the regime is now being played out in the streets of Tehran and, most likely, many other cities across the country. Reporters in Tehran are using very strong language to describe the anti-regime demonstrations:
UN to Vote on New North Korea Resolution Friday -- [Voice of America]
The UN Security Council has scheduled a meeting for Friday morning to vote on a draft resolution that would expand sanctions against North Korea for conducting an underground nuclear test and a series of short-range missile tests. The draft condemns North Korea's tests as a violation of previous UN resolutions and imposes additional sanctions, including cargo inspections, a total arms embargo, and stronger financial sanctions.
Gates Urges Orderly Reduction in NATO's Kosovo Force -- [Defense Link]
With NATO defense ministers having agreed to reduce the alliance's military presence in Kosovo from 14,000 to 10,000 troops by the year's end, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today urged that the reduction take place as an organized process. On the first day of an alliance defense ministers conference here, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer announced the force reduction today
CIA: Pakistan Assault May Help Nab bin Laden - [Washington Times/AP]
The CIA believes Osama bin Laden is still in Pakistan, and the spy agency is hoping to close in on him as that country's military cracks down on the northwestern tribal area where he is thought to be hiding. CIA Director Leon E. Panetta told reporters after a speech on Capitol Hill on Thursday that finding bin Laden remains one of the CIA's top priorities. "I guess one of our hopes is that as Pakistani military moves in, combined with our operations, we may have a better chance to get at him," Mr. Panetta said. The CIA has increased the number of officers and has recruited agents, or locals who provide information, in Pakistan, Mr. Panetta said.
Qaida says out of food & arms in Afghanistan -- [Reuters]
ISTANBUL: The leader of al-Qaida in Afghanistan has said the militant group was short of food, weapons and other supplies needed to fight against foreign forces in his country, a website linked to the terrorist organization said. "In Afghanistan, we have a severe supply deficit.
Al Qaeda Moving from Pakistan to Somalia and Yemen -- [Jawa Report]
Well we knew that was coming. Al Qaeda in Somalia and Yemen, on both sides of the Bab al Mendab an international shipping choke point, is a bad prospect. Numerous ships from the NATO anti-piracy fleet are patrolling the waters. Maritime attacks are the hallmark of Yemeni al Qaeda.
Obama Gives Up on Resettling Cleared Guantanamo Detainees in U.S., Officials Say -- [Washington Post]
Administration Gives Up on Bringing Cleared Inmates to U.S., Officials Say -- The Obama administration has all but abandoned plans to allow Guantanamo Bay detainees who have been cleared for release to live...
Escaping Torture: A Man's Journey to U.S. Soil -- [Family Security Matters]
The Iranian regime's drive for nuclear weapons and support for terrorism are cornerstones of its foreign policy. But for Iran's political dissidents - many of whom are currently languishing in Iranian prisons - the regime's domestic agenda is just as dangerous. Ahmad Batebi managed to escape the beatings and torture and make his way to America. He sat down with CBN News recently to share his story.
Stop Mirandizing Terrorists -- [Washington Times]
Osama bin Laden, you have the right to remain silent. You have the right to an attorney, and if you cannot afford one, an attorney will be provided. Do you understand these rights? Well, we don't. During a visit to Afghanistan, Rep. Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican, witnessed captured foreign fighters being read Miranda warnings. The Justice Department says this is done "to preserve the quality of evidence obtained." The practice began during the Bush years when congressional challenges to the administration's detainee policy required building criminal cases using "clean" evidence that could stand up in US courts. This looks like a creeping return to 1990s counterterrorism practices that failed to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks.
"Nothing Replaces a Daddy" - Lt. Col. Oliver North -- [One Marine's View]
The following story is an excerpt from Lt. Col. Oliver North's new release, American Heroes: In the Fight Against Radical Islam
PTSD Radio show this Saturday -- [Hooah Wife - Greta]
UPDATE: Scroll down for my video promo
Update: My show sponsor is Reed Medical Education and they are hosting a PTSD/TBI conference @PTSDconference on Twitter
Name of conference: Complexities and Challenges of PTSD and TBI:
Beware the Secret Flaming Space Balls -- [Greyhawk]
...and incoming bolides:
A recent U.S. military policy decision now explicitly states that observations by hush-hush government spacecraft of incoming bolides and fireballs are classified secret and are not to be released, SPACE.com has learned.
Squad-sized 'Super Units' May Best Confront Hybrid Warfare -- [Defense Link]
The US military is studying how to improve smaller-unit capabilities to better confront enemies who practice irregular or conventional warfare, or both, a senior US military officer said here today. The studies are part of US Joint Forces Command's National Program for Small Unit Excellence initiative, Army Maj. Gen. Jason K. Kamiya, chief of the Norfolk, Va.,-based command's joint training directorate, and the commander of its Joint Warfighting Center, told reporters at a Pentagon roundtable meeting. Senior US military leaders believe that highly trained, smaller units would be better able to battle future foes that practice irregular warfare, Kamiya said, as well as enemies that wage hybrid warfare, a combination of irregular and conventional warfare.
Pentagon Orders Massive Bunker-Busters for Underground WMD -- [Danger Room]
North Korea may be readying another nuclear test -- one of many reasons why the Pentagon is stepping up efforts to blast open hardened bunkers, packed with weapons of mass destruction. It's a tricky problem; to do it, you need something out of the ordinary. Which is why the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency has an ambitious goal of developing a bunker buster five times as strong as the current models by the end of the year, and ten times more powerful by 2013. They're doing it with a combination of improved guidance, "novel payloads"... and much bigger bombs.
Despite Army Order, Some Bases Still Ban Facebook, Twitter (Updated) -- [Danger Room]
Just because the Army gives an order doesn't mean everyone follows along. In mid-May, the Army told its network managers to stop blocking Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and other social media sites, after years of preventing them from being accessed on military posts. But so far, compliance has been uneven, troops and Army civilians tell Danger Room.
Unique camaraderie forged by troops downrange lasts far beyond deployment -- [Stars and Stripes]
"These guys grabbed me and we hauled ass into a building," he said. "These guys are high speed as hell. They'll protect me in any situation. I was confused during my first deployment and these guys were on it.
"I felt completely confident that I would get through that night," he said. "No issues."
Welcome home -- [The Times of Trenton]
Easier to visualize, by far, are the gestures of respect and appreciation, the warm welcome home, each one of these soldiers deserve. ...
A Hero's Welcome: Romans line streets to honor and welcome home ... -- [Rome News Tribune]
An honor guard saluted their fallen comrade, and Jordan's family stepped forward to tearfully welcome their loved one home. Jordan, who served with the ...
Why Doesn't the Media Show these Pictures? -- [Soldiering On - in Iraq]
In recent weeks we've heard the Media lament President Obama's wise decision NOT to release any more photographs of Abu Ghraib and other possible cases of detainee abuse. ...President Obama made an excellent decision. The Media (mainly MSNBC, that bastion of insanity) however decries this lack of transparency and calls for the pictures to be released. This is the same Media that can hardly find a good thing to say about the men and women of the US Military.
Boumediene vs Rather -- [Greyhawk]
If you're like me you thought Dan Rather had faded into the sunset once he was booted from CBS after featuring forged documents in a story questioning President Bush's Air National Guard service.
But it turns out Dan got himself a cable Tee Vee gig - and he just scored a scoop: an interview with recently freed Guantanamo inmate Lakhdar Boumediene.
"Told Ya So" - 89 year-old shooter "confirms DHS report" -- [Greyhawk]
Fox News reporter Catherine Herridge just announced that the shooting at the Holocaust Museum - allegedly by an 89-year old WWII veteran - confirms a recent DHS report regarding the threat posed by extremist veterans.
Shepard Smith adds "They [DHS] saw the signs, now it has begun". Smith keeps hammering on that angle...
The Big Hate -- [NY Times]
...There is, however, one important thing that the D.H.S. report didn't say: Today, as in the early years of the Clinton administration but to an even greater extent, right-wing extremism is being systematically fed by the conservative media and political establishment.
Media Liberals Don't Talk Murder? Think Again -- [NewsBusters]
If your liberal friends are brazen enough to declare that not only do Fox News and Limbaugh and Hannity and Ingraham and Levin encourage "domestic terrorism" with their "militia-style" rants, but they also claim "media liberals don't traffic in irresponsible talk of murder and violence and terrorism," here's just a fraction from our Notable Quotables archives that ought to put a stop to it:
Abuse Photos Part of Agreement on Military Spending -- [NY Times]
Congressional negotiators reached tentative agreement on Thursday on a $105.9 billion spending measure that would provide money for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan through September but would drop a ban ...
U.S. occupies GM, establishes secure 'Green Zone' -- [ScrappleFace]
The U.S. occupation of General Motors, following a 'shock and awe' lightning-speed takeover, began this week with the appointment of a new provisional administrator, and establishment of a secure 'Green Zone' in the heart of Detroit.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
Car Bomb Kills Dozens in Southern Iraq -- [Associated Press]
A car bomb ripped through a market district Wednesday in a mainly Shiite area in southern Iraq, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens, officials said. The blast is the latest in a series of high-profile explosions that have raised concerns about a resurgence of violence as the US military faces a June 30 deadline to withdraw from urban areas in Iraq.
EXCLUSIVE: Iraqi judge releasing U.S. contractors -- [Washington Times]
Three Americans arrested in connection with the killing of a contractor in Baghdad's Green Zone are being released Wednesday, said their attorney Timothy M. Haake.
..."We really don't know why they were arrested yet," Mr. Haake said.
...Mr. Haake said an Iraqi judge essentially acts as a grand jury in deciding whether to pursue charges against U.S. contractors arrested.
Benefits of Army Doctrine -- [S4 at War - in Iraq]
Its 0130. I just spent the past five hours partaking in the age old tradition of meticulously scouring documents and changing another unit name to my own-that and a few dates and locations. But, at the end of it I was left with my redeployment plan. So while a strict adherence to doctrine might make us overall less flexible and make it more difficult for the military as an organization to learn, it makes it overwhelmingly easy to plagiarize documents from other units, regardless of whether or not they are a different Battalion in the same Brigade or an entirely different Brigade from an entirely different Division. I also...
Terp Retirement and Taawalee -- [Notes From Iraq - in Iraq]
Today, we dropped off Mister Z and picked up his replacement, Chris. Also, I stumbled over an Iraqi past time: taawalee. KC and I explained to Mister Z the night prior how we were returning him to the linguist management company and why. We were rather direct about how it had nothing to do with him as a person but everything to do with his age and resulting mobility. Z responded by telling us a story about how his father...
KBR is Much More Than What is on the News -- [In Iraq Now (at 56) - in Iraq]
Before I was here in Iraq, my association with the initials KBR was with whatever bad news was reported about insider contract deals and some sort of shady arrangement that had Dick Cheney in the background like the Emperor in "Star Wars."
But here in Iraq, KBR are the initials on the red ID tag lanyards of the people that are behind all the good stuff for soldiers here at Tallil Ali Air Base.
Security Transition Command Makes Progress in Iraq -- [MNF-I]
Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq is working toward its mission to assist the Iraqi Interior Ministry in generating a professional and credible police force, one of the command's deputy commanders said June 8. The command also is helping the ministry develop institutional capacity to acquire, train, develop, manage, sustain and resource those forces, said Army Maj. Gen. James Milano, deputy commander of the MNSTC-I's interior affairs directorate, in a Pentagon news conference via satellite from the International Zone here.
Iraq Moves Ahead With Vote on US Security Pact - [New York Times]
The Iraqi government is pressing ahead with plans to hold a national referendum on the Iraqi-American security agreement - a measure likely to lose if put to a popular vote with the outcome that American troops could be forced to leave as early as next summer, nearly a year and half ahead of schedule. Under the security plan agreed to by the two governments last year, American combat troops must withdraw from the cities by the end of this month and all American troops must be out of Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011. Passage of the agreement was contingent on the approval of several other measures, including ...
Kindle Accessories -- [Wing Over Iraq - in Iraq]
...How does it handle the heat? It's held up remarkably well. Granted, I don't leave it in the sun all day long, but it can easily take a good hour or so outside in the heat. I usually try to keep it in a backpack with a few sealed bottles of cold water close by to provide some coolant for it, just in case I have to be outside for a while.
It can take a good amount of punishment, just don't deliberately
The beginning of the end has, it seems, arrived. -- [Bad Dogs and Such - in Iraq]
We're all up at the Big Base, since we loaded out our big shipping boxes this morning for redeployment. No - we're not actually close to redeploying yet, but it seems as though the boxes will be handcarried by gnomes from Iraq to the US, so it's going to take a while.
May he rest in peace -- [Desert Bound - in Afghanistan]
As we stood at attention, rendering the last salute to this fallen comrade, I couldn't help but think about the sacrifice we all make to keep our countries safe -fighting to bring stability to this war-torn country.
But at that moment, it didn't matter what country we represented or what uniform we wore -- the brave men and women I stood next to were joined in unison to pay respects to this man and others before him.
Iranian weapons getting through to Taliban -- [Telegraph]
Heavy weapons are continuing to stream across the Afghan border from Iran despite Barack Obama's attempts to enlist Tehran's help in fighting the insurgency, officials have said.
Taliban Suspected in Attack on Pakistan Hotel -- [Wall Street Journal]
At least 11 people were killed and about 50 wounded in the city of Peshawar, in northwestern Pakistan, when a bomb-laden vehicle exploded at a hotel popular with foreign dignitaries and international relief workers. Witnesses and employees of the Pearl Continental Hotel said several gunmen shot their way past guards at the hotel's main gate Tuesday night before the vehicle broke into the hotel compound and exploded. Some gunmen also entered the premises from the back wall.
A Trip to Gardez and a Visit with the Marines -- [Free Range International - in Afghanistan]
...As I mentioned in my last post I do not really know what our mission in Afghanistan is. We are engaged in a counterinsurgency war but confine the troops to large FOB's which directly contradicts our counterinsurgency doctrine. Our troops do not have sustained meaningful contact with local Afghans, cannot provide any real security to them, and due to Big Army casualty policies are forced to ride around in large multimillion dollar MRAP's where they are subject to IED strikes which they cannot prevent because they do not control one meter of ground outside their FOBs.
FRI on Paktya -- [Registan]
Tim Lynch just got back from Gardez, and while I think he undersells the charm of the city a bit, his main point is beautifully spot-on: Gardez is the heart of one of those areas where there has been a U.S. presence for years, yet when an ODA team sets up shop in a nearby district, they are the first real permanent Western presence in that entire area. The Loya Paktya area--consisting of Paktika to the south, Khost in the east, and Paktya in the northwest--is about 12,000 square miles of nastiness, or about 1/4 the size of Virginia. There are over a million people in the three provinces. Yet
Why Do We Need Metrics? -- [Bill and Bob's Excellent Afghan Adventure]
Leaders, whether military or civilian, will strive to affect the measurable factors that they are measured against. Military officers begin their rating process by completing an "OER Support Form," or Officer Evaluation Report Support Form, in which they tell their boss what they are going to achieve during the rated period. The results of the OER affect their promotions... they mean money and career progression. ...No one will set themselves up for failure. While we all agree that we are engaged in a fight against insurgents, we do not all agree on how to measure success or failure in such an environment.
We haven't all bought off on the appropriateness of the doctrine to actually fight against the insurgents, hence the COINdinista vs COINtra struggle.
This blog has pointed numerous times to the necessity to hold commanders accountable for their effects on success or failure during the time they spend in theater.
CNAS Releases Afghanistan Study -- [Captain's Journal]
...The idea that those are somehow efforts that don't involve killing bad guys and blowing things up is wrong. I know this is obvious to 90% of the people who comment here, but there's also a growing number of people seeking understanding of this newfangled "COIN" business who may be under the impression that it's some sort of bloodless warfare - and some may scan these comments for illumination. If you aren't among that number skip this rest of this.
Yet another review ordered of Afghan policy -- fifth this year -- [McClatchy]
...The Defense Department announced Monday that Gates has ordered the new U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, and his deputy, Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez, to submit a review of the U.S. strategy within 60 days of their arrival in Afghanistan.
Lord of the Flies -- [Afghanistan Shrugged - in Afghanistan]
The Cougar MRAP rumbles to a stop. The trailing dust cloud washes over the vehicle temporarily obscuring the outside world to us. The AC is broken and the group stuffed into the armored behemoth is sweating profusely, you can see it soaking through the sleeves and collars of our uniforms. Underneath our vest is worse. I feel it dripping down the back of my pants, not a pleasant feeling.
Taliban chief, 16 militants killed: US military -- [Breitbart]
The US-led coalition said Wednesday it used a precision air strike to kill a Taliban commander with reported links to Iran's Revolutionary Guards and up to 16 militants with him in western Afghanistan.
Insurgent throws grenade into crowd (Video) -- [USFOR (facebook) - in Afghanistan]
B-roll of unmanned aerial footage of an insurgent grenade attack in Asadabad, the provincial capital of Kunar in eastern Afghanistan. Scenes include U.S. Soldiers with the crowd, the explosion and the crowd dissipating after the explosion. According to U.S. military sources, three coalition troops and five innocent Afghan citizens are confirmed as wounded in the blast.
The Romanians head home from Iraq -- [Castle Argghhh!!!]
Camp Dracula will never be the same, now that the Red Scorpions are leaving. Thanks for the help, guys!..."It's hard to say farewell to a trusted partner," Jacoby said. "Few have been as committed to freedom of the Iraqi people as the Romanians, and I extend my thanks, as it's been an honor to serve with them here in Iraq."
BREAKING:Shooting At Washington Holocaust Museum -- [WJZ]
The person pulled out a weapon and shot a security guard. Another security guard returned fire hitting the alleged gunman. A third person has also been...
Russia has info on NKorea missile launch plan: -- [Breitbart]
The Russian military has information about a planned ballistic missile launch by North Korea, a senior military source was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency. "We have certain...
South Korea Plans To Invade The North -- [Strategy Page]
June 9, 2009: South Korea has made public what many have suspected for several years now. If North Korea attacks, South Korea is prepared to go north and attack, or invade, their neighbor. This is no surprise to those who have been observing the South Korean armed forces development
United Against Nuclear Iran Releases Video -- [Gateway Pundit]
Yesterday United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) announced the launch of its first television advertisement, "Unclenched Fist" which will run nationally for several weeks on CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC and will be accompanied by online advertising.
The ad urges all Americans to send a message to the Iranian government that a nuclear-armed Iran is unacceptable.
Terror Names Linked To Doomed Flight AF 447 -- [Sky News]
Two passengers with names linked to Islamic terrorism were on the Air France flight which crashed with the loss of 228 lives, it has emerged.
...There is a possibility the name similarities are simply a "macabre coincidence", the source added, but the revelation is still being "taken very seriously".
Al Qaeda -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Abu Haakim, a bodyguard for Osama bin laden, was killed, possibility during fighting against Coalition forces in Afghanistan, according to a martyrdom release published by Elif Media on Turkish jiahdi websites. The statement was not clear about the circumstances of Abu Haakim's death.
Al-Qaida's No. 3 in Afghanistan Sent Begging for Cash, Again -- [Counter Terrorism Blog]
The NEFA Foundation has obtained a new audio message from Shaykh Mustafa Abu al-Yazid (a.k.a. "Shaykh Saeed"), during which Al-Qaida's No. 3 in charge desperately begs for cash donations in order to fund continuing jihadi operations in Afghanistan...
Obama Unloads Uighur Terrorists On Palau For $200 Million -- [Gateway Pundit]
What a bargain!
...Team Obama made a deal with the island country of Palau to take the Uighur terrorists... For $12 million a pop.
And, these are supposed to be the "good" Gitmo terrorists(?)
Guilty! Guilty! Guilty! -- [Jawa Report]
Ex-Georgia Tech student Syed Haris Ahmed found guilty of conspiring to provide material support to terrorism in U.S.
Al Qaeda Playbook In Action -- [Strategy Page]
Al Qaeda websites contain advice, and discussion, of how to use indignation and protests against "invasion of privacy" and "disrespect for Islam" to get Western counter-terror organizations to stop using such informants.
But there is still an extensive informant network within Moslem communities all over the United States.
Recruitment Shooting Suspect Doesn't Think Killing Was Murder -- [FOX News]
A Muslim convert charged with fatally shooting an American soldier at a military recruiting center said Tuesday that he doesn't consider the killing a murder because U.S. military action in the Middle East made the killing justified.
Loot! -- [Castra Praetoria - in Iraq]
Loot, loot, loot. We like getting stuff in the mail. No doubt about it. I know Marines that would rather take a kick to the junk than not get anything at mail call. Our poor mail clerk has been threatened with physical violence and accused of purposely hoarding mail
by brownie starved by Marines and Sailors who haven't even received so much as a card from home.
Tysons Corner ad shocks Vietnam vets -- [The Examiner]
"We honor the First Amendment, just like most newspapers do," Farbstein told The Examiner before the mall said it would have the ads removed. "It's a freedom of speech issue." ..."We are responding to the Fund's request and are moving quickly to remove this advertisement," she said. "The ad design, which was developed as an evolution of the long-standing Tysons Corner Center campaign 'Where the Stores are,' was not intended to emulate any representation of the Memorial Wall."
Veterans, however, were horrified. "That the Wall be exploited for a buck is hateful,"
The U.S. Loses Three Brigades -- [Strategy Page]
June 10, 2009: Despite major combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. Army is going through a major reorganization. The end result will increase the number of combat brigades from 33 to 48 (now reduced to 45 because of budget cuts). This required the transfer of over 40,000 people from combat-support jobs to the combat brigades.
Twofer -- [Adventures of a Former Detailed Recruiter]
News about recruiting has been pretty light. There has been no repeat of the "Army enlisting Felons" stories of years past. Instead the DoD puts out the monthly press release saying that all the services have exceeded their missions and they are ignored.
...Two HRAPs being shot, and one being killed, is going to be overshadowed by the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in KS. Dr. Tiller was a lightening rod who was involved in one of the most controversial medical practices in our nation. His murder outside his church by some nutjob is a natural magnet for media attention. I had come to accept that violence against recruiters is perfectly acceptable though. After all, they're only recruiters. The murderer of this Soldier was motivated by the exact same hatred and close-mindedness that motivated Tiller's murderer. And while Tiller's death has elicited euologies from everyone who can get near a microphone, a Soldier being gunned down in his hometown drive-by style by a guy who just wanted to kill a Soldier will be unremarked upon by the same people ignoring the continued success of Army Recruiting.
3/8 welcomed home from Afghanistan -- [II MEF]
They had been waiting for months, and now - they just had a few more moments.
Help welcome home final flights of 1st Cav, 4th ID troops ... -- [Killeen Daily Herald]
The public is also urged to welcome back the troops at Victory Corner, the corner of US Highway 190 and Clarke Road. Those interested are asked to be in ...
Organizers want entire community to help welcome Guard Troops home -- [WJBD Online]
Plans are starting to be made for the return of the Salem National Guard unit from Afghanistan at the end of July or the first part of August
The domestic media and Afghanistan news -- [This Ain't Hell...]
Uncle Jimbo at Blackfive writes that the British media isn't afraid to report that Afghan border police are regularly intercepting heavy weapons shipments from Iran;
...Of course, the American media is reluctant to report such news, lest they tip the Obama applecart a hair. So just like in the Clinton days we have to rely on foreign media. But the Associated Press is willing to encourage the specter of blame on American soldiers for an grenade attack on a crowd which had assembled around a disabled miltary vehicle.
Respectfully Raped by the Taliban -- [Jawa Report]
Dutch leftist journalist Joanie de Rijke went to Afghanistan last November where she was kidnapped and repeatedly raped by the Taliban.
She said that they did horrible things to her but they were respectful. "They are not monsters," de Rijke said. Since her original reported intent was to conduct a sympathetic interview of the Taliban, it appears that even a brutal sexual mauling couldn't deter her from that goal.
NYT: 'Caring' Obama Has bin Laden on the Run -- [NewsBusters]
Message: Obama cares about Muslims. And he's got Osama bin Laden on the run by wisely fighting the war not militarily, but ideologically, unlike George Bush.
That's the bottom-line finding in Rod Nordland's piece from Baghdad for the New York Times Sunday Week in Review story on Obama's speech to Muslims in Cairo
Is Liberal Media Bias a Greater Threat Than Terrorism or Recession? -- [FOX News - Noel Sheppard]
"The greatest threat to America is not necessarily a recession, or another terrorist attack. The greatest threat to America is a liberal media bias."
So said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) last week as he announced the creation of a new Media Fairness Caucus, telling NewsMax, "If the American people can't get good information, can't get the facts, and can't make good decisions, then we simply don't have a viable democracy."
Left, Right Press Obama on War Funds -- [Washington Post]
A bill to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has turned into a major legislative challenge on Capitol Hill, as members press President Obama from the left and the right on a number of fronts: the logistics of closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, the release of photos showing abuse of detainees and a proposed loan to the International Monetary Fund.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
Special Dispatch from Ali Air Base - A Higher Calling -- [Lt. Col. Richard J. Hughes, 407th Air Expeditionary Group Deputy Commander]
It's 115 degrees Fahrenheit, and we're in the shade of an aircraft silhouette. The wind is blowing steadily at about 25 knots (29 mph). It's like standing in front of a giant hair dryer. The weather forecaster says there are gusts up to 35 knots (41 mph). The wind is sending a steady stream of sand and dust whipping across the Ali Base flightline into the faces of Airmen and Soldiers alike. There is silence, except for the wind.
Yet, we stand, at attention in two straight lines beginning at the ramp of a C-130 Hercules. We're waiting to render honors. We ignore the heat, the wind and the sand. We are humbled by the presence of one of our countrymen.
When I have your wounded? These days its When I have your Disease Non-Battle Injury. I guess that's a good thing. - [Far from Perfect - in Iraq (Tweet)]
Playing The Make You Smile Game -- [Sour Swinger - in Iraq]
For one of our missions, we went to a different units AO (Area of Operation). First time for us in that town. Its a really bad section so we had to present a harder appearance. Like usual kids showed up to see what they could get from us. Due to the area, we couldn't afford to let our guard down to converse with the children. Instead we shooed them away. This is always hardest for me. You literally have to be a jerk else they think you're joking. You play hard ball from the start and they will respect and listen to you.
Well these 4 little kids..
Beach vacancy in Baghdad? -- [Sorority Soldier - in Iraq]
Thinking of taking a vacation? Why not Baghdad, Basra or anywhere else in Iraq? If you're brave enough to escape the mundane, Iraq is waiting to welcome you with open arms...
Sleepless in Samarra? Haditha Floats? Tikrit Going on Tal'Afar? -- [Wings Over Iraq - in Iraq]
Sex and Romance. In evolutionary psychology, it's cited as one of the basic driving forces in human behavior. It's a factor in every social structure, even those in counter-insurgency environments. With that said, I came across two articles this past week regarding male-female relationships in Iraq.
A Cast of Characters -- [Ramblings from a painter - in Iraq]
What kind of person would you expect to find working in Iraq? Soulless military guys who say "hooah" and salute everything that moves? Mysterious guys wearing aviator sunglasses who have no sense of humor? A little guy with an unplaceable accent who's selling AK47's by the truckload? An overcoiffed news reporter trying desperately to make a name for him/her self? Well, no doubt those people are out there somewhere, but...
Back to Kalsu -- [The Stone Report - in Iraq]
After spending a fun filled week with the 34th ID, I traveled back to FOB Kalsu, Iraq. A quaint little military outpost South of Baghdad. The 172nd Infantry Brigade Public Affairs shop lacks a broadcaster in theater. The office I work for, Multi-National Division -- South grants CPT Jim Gaffigan the use of a broadcasting asset. This time around it's me. It's been a pretty eventful week so far.
Coalition Forces move out of Outpost in southeastern Mosul -- [MNF-I]
The closing of Combat Outpost Rock located in southeastern Mosul marked a significant milestone for U.S Coalition forces serving in the capital of Ninewa Province.
AF flight surgeons hand over training mission to Iraqis (Al Muthana) -- [MNF-I]
As U.S. forces withdraw over the next year, the Iraqi Air Force will assume new missions and responsibilities in accordance with the Security Agreement.
One such mission is the Aero-Medical training of flight medical technicians, also known as "flight medics".
Children used to carry out attacks -- [MNF-I]
A teenage boy was seen throwing a grenade at a combined patrol of Iraqi police and U.S. Soldiers, Thursday in the town of Hawijah, approximately 30 kilometers west of Kirkuk city in northern Iraq.
The grenade failed to detonate, and the suspect fled into the mix of local shops, but the incident is part of a growing trend of children carrying out attacks on Iraqi security and U.S. forces in the province.
A High-Priced Media Campaign That Iraqis Aren't Buying -- [Washington Post]
"The millions spent on this is wasted money," Ziyad al-Aajeely, director of Iraq's nonprofit Journalistic Freedom Observatory, said as he flipped through a recent edition of Baghdad Now. "Nobody reads this."
U.S. military officials and contractors have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on billboards, pamphlets and TV and radio airtime in Iraq over the past six years to burnish the U.S. military's image, ...
Another Longest Day -- [NY Times - California National Guardsman - in iraq]
This is my job: Standing behind a machine gun in an up-armored truck. The squad escorts trucks between bases, and then back again. It isn't kicking in doors or training the Iraqi Army. We don't charge into firefights to save someone's bacon like cavalry in the Old West. We just drive down miles of road, waiting for someone to try to kill us.
..."I.E.D., I.E.D., I.E.D.!" comes over the radio. Then I hear an explosion. I swivel to see a black cloud hanging over where the front of the convoy should be,...
Victory In Iraq -- [Newsweek]
...This was not Barack Obama's war. But it might well turn out to be his greatest legacy to the Arab world. Ambassador Ryan Crocker ended his distinguished stint in Iraq with these fitting words: "In the end, how we leave and what we leave behind will be more important than how we came."
Victory in Iraq Obama's Legacy? -- [Flopping Aces]
I warned over a year ago that Dems would try and claim victory as their own!
We haven't heard much about Iraq lately. Probably because we won in 2008 and the story was no longer interesting. But it is nice to see some in the "news" media finally realize how very wrong their defeatist attitudes in 2006 and 2007 were.
Army Chief: U.S. Could Be In Iraq 10 Years -- [CBS News]
Says Pentagon Is Planning For Long-Term Troop Capability Despite Agreement To Withdraw By 2012
Armed group leader compares Obama to Napoleon -- [Aswat al-Iraq]
A leader of an armed group in the province of Salah al-Din likened U.S. President Barack Obama, when he addressed the Muslim world from Cairo, to Napoleon Bonaparte, when he delivered a speech at al-Azhar Mosque feigning respect to Islam after occupying Egypt at the end of the 18th century.
..."Obama's address was a new strategy to keep humiliating the Arab and Muslim rulers. I don't see a change in U.S. policies," he added.
5 Americans may stand trial in Iraq in fellow American's slaying -- [Los Angeles Times]
Iraqi security forces have arrested five US contractors in the death of Jim Kitterman, a Texan who owned a construction company. Kitterman was found stabbed ...
Legal News: Five U.S. Contractors Held in Slaying of James Kitterman (comments)
The latest reports on this was that the guys were all CTU folks, to include the owner Don Feeney. Which is kind of odd, especially when it is reported that Don Feeney was good friends with James Kitterman, supposedly.
What bothers me about the MSM coverage on this is that they are already demonizing these guys with how they report it, and they haven't a clue about the real deal.
In limbo -- [Desert Bound - in Afghansitan]
Another day, still no flight.
...I've met the Army unit I'll be attached to. They are from Colorado. They have a reporter coming out to visit them and see where they'll be living. I'll be escorting him around and helping him get some stories. The unit has been extremely helpful and I'm looking forward to working with them.
What is an ETT anyway? -- [Embedded in Afghanistan... - in Afghanistan]
ETT stands for Embedded Training Team. We refer to the members of the team as ETTs. As for what we are...well, we're generalists. As ETTs we have to have wide variety skills. One needs to be able to troubleshoot a .50 cal machine gun as well as have the cultural sensitivity to communicate with local elders in such a way as to not piss them off.
7,000 Marines Join Fight In Afghanistan -- [CBS News]
Some 7,000 new U.S. troops ordered to Afghanistan by President Obama are fanning out across the country's dangerous south on a mission to defeat an increasingly violent Taliban insurgency.
Report: Tora Bora Front leader captured in Peshawar -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Anwarul Haq Mujahid, the son of famed mujahedeen commander Yunis Khalis, is reportedly in Pakistani police custody and is being interrogated. The report has not been confirmed.
Tribes target Taliban in Dir after mosque bombing -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Locals killed 17 Taliban fighters and attacked their homes after Friday's deadly suicide attack at a mosque that killed more than 40 people.
Pakistanis turn backs on 'erring' Taliban -- [BBC]
As the fighting between the Taliban militants and Pakistani army becomes a war for the soul of Pakistan, Mohammed Hanif thinks the Taliban may have already lost one crucial battle.
Four 101st soldiers earn Silver Stars -- [Army Times]
Four soldiers from 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, received the Silver Star on May 28 for their actions in Afghanistan.
...The soldiers, from 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, at Fort Campbell, Ky., were in Afghanistan from March 2008 to April 2009, DeMartino said. Here are their stories:
Afghans, Kyrgyz may discuss leaving US base open -- [AP]
A high-ranking Kyrgyz official says the Central Asian nation's president may meet with Afghan leader Hamid Karzai to discuss the
Air mobility maintains the fight in Afghanistan -- [Bagram Air Base]
Being in a fight is easy; it is having the ability to stay in the fight until you win that is the hard part. This is especially true in the new type of war being fought by the coalition forces in Afghanistan where the enemy's strategy is to outlast the resolve and sustainment capability of U.S. and coalition forces.
7 Jun 09 -- [Military Consciousness - heading to Afghanistan]
...it's been a long time, but now I am gearing up to head back to Afghanistan again this fall-this time it's a 6 month tour....another month of Army training at Ft. Dix, NJ....basically the same stuff I went thru at Ft. Bragg back in 07-I guess they cut out a lot of the BS and are focusing on the main skills needed for combat....I found out I will be sent out to a Fire Base-kinda like a FOB but smaller, and I will be working with Special Forces teams...of course, my main mission is to be
More bodies found from Air France crash -- [CNN]
RECIFE, Brazil (CNN) -- Seventeen bodies have been recovered from last week's crash of an Air France jetliner off the South American coast, according to Brazil's military.
NKorea sentences 2 US journalists to 12 years jail -- [Washington Post]
A North Korean court sentenced two U.S. journalists to 12 years in a labor camp Monday, as the government of Kim Jong Il continued to ratchet up tension with the United States and its neighbors.
North Korea Sentences American Journalists to Twelve Years of Hard Labor -- [One Free Korea]
...The first thing that comes to mind is the face of Euna Lee's four year old daughter.
The second is Hillary Clinton's ludicrous call for bloggers to do what the State Department has failed to do. It is the State Department itself that ought to tell us exactly how and where the North Koreans seized these woman, starting with what their cameraman, Mitch Koss, reported. Tell us what truth there is to rumors that the North Koreans intentionally lured these women into captivity. Tell us whether the North Koreans kidnapped them from China, as they did to the Reverend Kim Dong Shik before they killed him, and before Barack Obama falsely promised to demand his freedom.
Well, well, well... Lebanon's Elections: Winners and Losers -- [Abu Muqawama]
So what does it mean? Well, my initial thoughts on some winners and losers:
Working With "Agent 123″ -- [Blue Crab Boulevard]
...Gwen Myers, aka Agent 123, used to work for me at the Cleveland Park Bookshop around the period 2000-2002.
I was floored. Gwen was a very nice person, who was quiet without being exactly soft-spoken. She was a big part of the backroom work that went on the bookshop, and we were very concerned for her when she suffered a small heart-attack after working there for awhile. That she would have been helping her husband spy for Cuba would have struck me as being about as plausibe as saying
The VA and Prosthetics -- [This Ain't Hell...]
Today I saw a gentleman on my Metro wearing a CIB, and so, as usual, I compliemented him on his choice of lapel accoutrement and told him I have one as well. And I thanked him for his service. We started talking, and only then, being the observant chap that I am did I notice that his left hand was missing, and he instead had a hook. Further discussion with him revealed we had some common acquaintences. This gentleman was Fred Downs, formerly of the 4th Infantry Division, now the head of the VA's Prosthetics Division.
Anyway, our mutual friend told me to look up a video of him on 60 Minutes, and I did so. And I want to share it with you now. This kind of thing is exactly why I defend the military and VA medical systems when they deserve it.
PTSD show this Saturday -- [Kiss my Gumbo - Greta]
I can't tell you how anxious I am for my radio show this Saturday. I'm so anxious, I am promoting it on Monday instead of Thursday. Why? Well, because I want people to listen as this is probably my most important show yet. This Saturday from 9-10 AM central time on WIST AM 690 out of New Orleans or live from your computer, I will have host a PTSD roundtable with 3 experts from the Southeast Louisiana VA Health Care System.
Hijab-Wearing Muslim Fanatic Crashes Ceremony For US Soldier Murdered In Arkansas Terror Attack -- [Gateway Pundit]
A hijab-wearing Muslim woman crashed the Remembrance Ceremony of the first successful homeland terrorist attack since 9/11. Pvt. William Long was murdereed and Pvt. Quinton I. Ezeagwula was wounded by Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad this week at an Army recruiting center in Little Rock, Arkansas.
This angry Muslim fanatic showed up at the remembrance ceremony and screamed anti-American and anti-Semitic remarks at the protesters:
Love You More Than You Know: Mothers' Stories About Sending Their Sons and Daughters to War -- [Soldiers' Angels Network]
In these stories, 45 mothers of U.S. service men and women open their hearts and share what it feels like when your son or daughter leaves home to fight a war.
A Deception, and a Reluctance to Ask Questions -- [NEW YORK TIMES]
The thick-muscled man with close-cropped hair who called himself Rick Duncan seemed right out of central casting as a prop for a Democratic candidate running against Bush administration policies last fall.
...Yet, except for his first name, virtually none of his story was true. In reality, he was Richard G. Strandlof, a charismatic drifter with a history of mental illness and petty crimes who had moved from Montana to Nevada to Colorado, assuming different names and identities along the way.
NEW JERSEY WELCOMES HOME HUNDREDS OF SOLDIERS RETURNING FROM IRAQ -- [WMGM]
... of the New Jersey National Guard since World War 2. The state is planning an official welcome home ceremony for all the troops,...
Vindication -- [Bouhammer]
...Yesterday it was announced that IED attacks are up 80% over last year and we just entered the month of June. The real heavy duty fighting has not even started yet.
Well speaking of Gen Petraeus, he was recently on NPR talking about how the attack in Farah province last month was not as bad as reported by the MSM or stated by the corrupt Afghan government. He repeated, with facts what GEN McKiernan stated just days after the attack about the inflated numbers by the Afghans and the MSM.
Supreme Court Turns Down Challenge to 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Policy -- [Washington Post]
Supreme Court turns down challenge to "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military.
Deny, Denigrate, Obfuscate, Ignore. The Creed of the Anti-War "Veterans" Organizations -- [This Ain't Hell...]
The Rick Duncan/Strandlof affair is just the latest in a long line of irresponsible behavior on the parts of both IVAW and VoteVets. This post will analyze that history with regard to IVAW, and ...
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
Baghdadians welcome Obama's pledges on Iraq -- [Aswat al-Iraq]
A number of Iraqi citizens from the city of Baghdad welcomed the promises made by U.S. President Barack Obama about the withdrawal of his forces from Iraq during his speech to the Islamic world on Thursday.
Fares al-Qeissi, 32, from al-Shaab neighborhood in northeastern Baghdad, voiced belief that the most important thing in Obama's speech was the U.S. intention to pullout troops from Iraq according to the security agreement signed between the two countries.
However, he expressed fear that Obama would not implement his pledges.
Much To Die For -- [Strategy Page]
While the U.S. wants to get all its combat troops out of Iraq by the end of 2011, the Iraqi government is asking for some combat troops to be kept longer. The Iraqis also fear Sunni Islamic terrorists, who continue to receive support from neighboring Sunni Arab nations like Syria and Saudi Arabia. Iran also threatens to unleash Shia radical militias again.
US military reports 2 US troop deaths in Iraq -- [AP]
The US military on Friday reported two American troop deaths in Iraq, including a soldier who was killed in a grenade attack north of Baghdad
Nagl, Gentile and the Axe -- [Wings Over Iraq - in Iraq]
There is a great debate in the military regarding what types of threats we should train our forces to fight. Many, such as General David Petraeus and retired Lt. Col. John Nagl believe that we should train our forces to fight counterinsurgencies. Their championing of the Counter-Insurgency (COIN) strategy has given their camp the name "The COINdinistas".
Others, such as West Point History Professor Lt. Col. Gian Gentile, believe that the Surge Strategy did little to improve security in Iraq, and that the US military is ill-equipped to meet conventional threats on the battlefield.
Someone in this picture got a medal the other day... -- [Wings Over Iraq - in Iraq]
...and it's not me.
I came across a pair of military working dogs who were honored for their service in Iraq, and will soon be going back to their homes. They received the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service in Iraq.
"New" Interpreter -- [Notes from Iraq - in Iraq]
Readers might remember that a short while ago one of our interpreters suddenly quit, as in he wanted to go home that minute. Now, a few weeks later, we have a new terp, and he is not at all what we were expecting.
Mister Z is 76 years young.
Romanian contingent ends Iraq deployment -- [AP]
Romania's small military contingent ended its deployment in Iraq on Thursday, reducing the US-led coalition to three countries.
Colbert to broadcast 4 shows from Baghdad -- [AP]
Stephen Colbert will broadcast four shows next week from Baghdad, where he says he'll be "Bob Hoping" it for the troops.
USforA Tweets 6 hours ago
Afghan & coalition forces raided a compound in Helmand overnight, detaining seven with suspected ties to Taliban operations
Triage: The Next 12 Months in Afghanistan and Pakistan -- [Abu Muqawama]
I was hoping to roll out the new CNAS report on Afghanistan and Pakistan with the new and improved Abu Muqawama. ...In the meantime, digest the new report -- authored by me, Dave Kilcullen, Nate Fick, and Ahmed Humayun -- on Afghanistan and Pakistan that will be formally released next week.
When I arrived at CNAS, I was a bit hesitant to lead the team working on this report. As you all know, I last served in Afghanistan in 2004 and have spent most of the past five years in the Arabic-speaking world. One of the great things about developing expertise about one region of the world, though, is that when you look at new regions, you more quickly -- to borrow a favorite phrase of Donald Rumsfeld -- know what you do not know.
Al Qaeda operatives targeting Pakistani leaders -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Al Qaeda has transferred seven operatives from the Iraq theater to target senior Pakistani leaders. The targets of the planned attacks are President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani, General Kiyani, and other senior military officers, cabinet ministers, and provincial leaders. The seven operatives, who were behind
US Troops Work to Quickly Train Afghan Forces Ahead of Election -- [Stars and Stripes] From his vantage point behind the firing line, Staff Sgt. Joshua Winchester watched the awkward men in their fresh, new uniforms let loose a fusillade of bullets from their AK-47s that, more times than not, missed the targets at the far end of the range. It was an unsteady display coming at a critical time. The Kabul police force is hiring thousands of new recruits ahead of presidential elections in late August, and American mentors are working urgently with Afghan National Police colonels to quickly train them.
Leading From The Rear. -- [Afghani Kush - in Afghanistan]
As some of you know we've been doing a fair bit of fighting lately. Both on our home turf and also in another FOB. FOB Baylough is north of us a good bit on a route filled with IED's. It's a pretty big hotspot and we go up there from time to time to help them out or conduct a big operation. Now the fight that made the news above is just one of the six firefights we got into while we were up there last time. ...The weird part was the people we were actually fighting, they were wearing full body armor, speaking arabic, russian and a few other non native languages. They popped smoke to cover their retreat, and that was only after we pounded them for hours. These guys were not the usual taliban we fight around here.
BASE NEWS: Afghanistan's security void -- [Washington Times]
... The new plan for Afghanistan released by Mr. Obama promises to fully man the ANP advising mission, and that is a good start. Yet the ANP needs much more attention as it provides the local guarantor of security - especially in the absence of the ANA - while still having law enforcement responsibility.
The Afghan National Police is more than a police force; it is the key to sustaining local security in Afghanistan.
India's Military Battles Taliban Anxiety -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Originally published as "Indian Army Reacts to the Taliban Threat," Terrorism Monitor, (Jamestwon Foundation) Volume: 7 Issue: 15, June 04, 2009.
I just published one article on the Indian army's reaction and prepardness for the impending Taliban threat.
And take your Jomini with you! (Updated) -- [Abu Muqawama]
Michael Cohen asks: Over at abu muqawama, Andrew Exum makes an audacious claim about the proper metric for success in Afghanistan. In responding to a WSJ article about the military's growing use of body counts to measure succes in Afghanistan
Mambo # 3 -- [Bill and Bob's Excellent Afghan Adventure]
...Basically, he thinks that anyone who opposes the application of COIN principles is a wise man. Again, his fear is that it will work, and will then become a cornerstone of national policy abroad. So, in the meantime, he tries to talk everyone out of using it, forecasting defeat. He claims that it is not in our strategic interests to stabilize the government of Afghanistan and that of Pakistan. He asserts that we should, in the next 12-24 months, kill as many Taliban and al Qaeda as we can and then pull out, sending instead a few civilians...
Yakdand Mission - Back Safely -- [Afghanistan My Last Tour - in Afghanistan]
Today's Mission: Escort humanitarian assistance (HA) to a staging area and then the next morning deliver it to the awaiting villages in the Yakdand Mountains. This time we weren't taking any unnecessary chances and enlisted some additional firepower from the ANA. The ANA lead the convoy up through the mountains and valleys to our first staging area. As the convoy thundered up the mountains it created blinding clouds of dust. At times visibility was limited to a foot and you had to trust your senses that the HMMVW's tires remained on the road. Otherwise certain death would follow if you slipped off the edge.
US Afghan troops 'not permanent' -- [BBC]
The US has no intention of keeping its troops in Afghanistan and does not want any permanent military bases there, President Barack Obama has said.
A Half-Dozen Gargantuan Bases -- [Captain's Journal]
...Even many of the Army SOF are base-bound except for their forays into the wild via helicopter rides to the next raid. Some Army are doing it right (e.g., the Korangal Valley), as are the Marines in Helmand. But the gargantuan bases are an obstacle to success in Afghanistan. Empty them. Send the Army on dismounted patrols, open vehicle patrol bases, smaller FOBs, and combat outposts. Get amongst the people.
Thoughts on the Change of Command in Afghanistan -- [Registan]
A reader living in Kabul sent me a long, very thoughtful email about the changeover between General McKiernan and General McChrystal. He's quite deeply worried that this portends the creation of an MNC-A, an Afghan version of the Multi-National Corps, Iraq, in both command structure and intent (several people have speculated this is why a new general has been sent to Afghanistan, and why McChrystal has been promoted).
Indeed, the big concern he raised is whether or not the war is being "Americanized."
Taliban Stir Rising Anger of Pakistanis -- [New York Times]
A year ago, the Pakistani public was deeply divided over what to do about its spreading insurgency. Some saw the Taliban militants as fellow Muslims and native sons who simply wanted Islamic law, and many opposed direct military action against them. But history moves quickly in Pakistan, and after months of televised Taliban cruelties, broken promises and suicide attacks, there is a spreading sense - apparent in the news media, among politicians and the public - that many Pakistanis are finally turning against the Taliban.
Embedded in Afghanistan... [Embedded in Afghanistan - in Afghanistan]
...I've been on a large base and on one of the smallest - where I am now is somewhere in between, and so far I like it. The pic shows our base from up on a hill we climbed yesterday.
Brazil military: Debris in ocean 'not' from Air France Flight 447 -- [Seattle Press]
Brazil's Defense Ministry has announced that debris it pulled from the ocean Thursday did not belong to Air France Flight 447, which went missing over the Atlantic on Monday.
World's Muslim Media React To Obama Speech -- [Radio Free Europe]
The speech U.S. President Barack Obama gave to the Muslim world from Cairo University on June 4 made headlines from Morocco to Indonesia. RFE/RL correspondent Abubakar Siddique takes a look at what the Muslim press had to say.
Making Life Miserable For Pirates -- [Strategy Page]
The success of the Somali pirates (who have gotten over $50 million in ransoms so far) has encouraged pirates, and potential pirates, worldwide. The publicity given to the tactics of the Somali pirates has educated larceny minded boat owners worldwide.
Lawyer: Shooting suspect radicalized in Yemen -- [Army Times]
..."Here comes the FBI, who may be able to help this guy or save his life, and then they leave and then he's got to go back in with these hardened terrorists. He's got to survive, how do you live with that?" Hensley said. "He absolutely feels that the FBI and anyone else associated with the United States government left him to the wolves, that's for certain."
For Gitmo's detainees, no place to go -- [Washington Times]
States refuse to take suspects
President Obama isn't finding any takers in the U.S. to house the terrorism detainees now being held at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Slap in the Face -- [Wife of a Wounded Marine]
Today doesn't feel as insane. I think I just needed to let the initial craziness out. I think we know the right people to make sure he gets the correct ratings, which makes me feel so much better. I looked through his paperwork yesterday afternoon. There were injuries that got left out. Things that other people have gotten rated. We reminded the person doing his medical board to add the paperwork for his other injuries MULTIPLE times and they still failed to do it. It's so ridiculous. On top of that... The VA gave him a hefty percentage for Traumatic Brain Injury. Which is good. The Military, however, claimed he could have had mental problems before and because they can't rule that out, they will not rate him.
Remember How He Lived -- [Knottie's Niche]
So often over the past month people have dwelled on how Pokey died. Yes he died in combat serving this country. But in doing so they have forgotten how he lived. Those who knew Pokey have only to take the time to remember who he was. His smile, his laughter, his bizarre sense of humor.
AF retiree sending 28,000 pizzas to troops -- [From my Position...]
A retired Air Force master sergeant who last year sent more than 2,000 pizzas to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan is planning to up the ante this Independence Day.
June 25: www.troopathon.com; Update: Send support to families of targeted Arkansas troops -- [Michelle Malkin]
On June 25th, Move America Forward will be holding our 2nd annual "Troop-a-thon" titled "Honor their Service."
This cutting edge live webcast event brings together talk radio hosts, megastars of film and television, musical guests, journalists, military and Gold-star families, pro-troop groups and many more.
DVA Press Release Correction -- [You Served]
The DVA recently released an inaccurate press release about TBI and treatment options. Check out this reply from Dr. R.W. Van Boven:
I write to inform you of misinformation released by the DVA to the media that warrants attention and accountability on behalf of the Public and Veterans that your organization serves. The DVA gave a misleading and inaccurate news release on June 3, 2009, entitled "VA enhancing Brain Injury and Recovery Lab for veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries [TBI]."
Laia makes it to her new home -- [This Ain't Hell...]
You may remember that last week we found out that arrangements were being made to ship back to the States from Iraq, Laia, the dog which belonged to Major Steven Hutchison, the Vietnam veteran who was killed in Iraq last month.
Thanks to an observant reader, I can report that Laia is with her new family;
Another phony Marine -- [This Ain't Hell...]
Phoenix police are looking for a fraud named John W. Rodriguez who awarded himself a Silver Star and a Navy Cross. His fraud fits between Rick Duncan and Jesse MacBeth because although he doesn't have the vast experience of 44 days in service of MacBeth, he at least took the ASVAB battery of tests once - which puts him a leg up on Duncan.
10-Minute Leadership Course -- [Jules Crittenden]
From the man who brought Iraq back from the bloody brink.
Gen. David H. Petraeus at Harvard's 2009 commissioning ceremony for ROTC cadets and midshipmen in Harvard Yard.
Obama's Gramps: Gazing skyward on D-Day in England -- [Washington Post]
Dunham, who died 17 years ago, was the Kansas-born grandfather with the outsized personality who helped to fill the hole in the future president's life created by the absence of Obama's Kenyan father. Sgt. Dunham's war years have been something of a mystery, the details of dates and places lost with the passage of time. The units that he served in were unknown even to the White House.
But a life-size portrait emerges from interviews and records unearthed by The Associated Press. On D-Day, documents place him at Stoney Cross, England, in the 1830th Ordnance Supply and Maintenance Co., Aviation.
We can't shoot down missile defense -- [BlackFive - Uncle Jimbo]
I was on a conference call yesterday with Newt Gingrich and Bill Fortschen sponsored by FDD on the topic of missile defense. The danger posed by a number of our enemies due to the missiles they already have, and the obvious problems with North Korea and Iran attempting gain significant capabilities were discussed.
Welcome home, division -- [The Leaf Chronicle]
The community was thrilled with the 101st Airborne Division's official return home on Thursday and congratulates it on a job well done.
101st Commanding General Maj. Gen. Jeffrey J. Schloesser and Command Sgt. Maj. Vincent Camacho landed at Fort Campbell on Thursday morning and participated in the colors ceremony. The event marked the last return of more than 18,000 soldiers from the 101st and other tenant units that had redeployed over the last six months.
More NJ troops returning home from Iraq -- [Philadelphia Inquirer]
New Jersey is planning an official welcome home ceremony on June 12 that will include a parade of the troops through downtown Trenton.
Is NPR Skipping Over the Murder of Private William Long? -- [Newsbusters]
Just like audio offered on the National Public Radio website, NPR transcripts in Nexis do not include top-of-the-hour newscasts. But a quick Nexis search finds there is no mention of the Monday shooting of Private William Long at a Little Rock recruiting station by a Muslim convert. I searched for "William Long," "army private," and "Little Rock."
Meanwhile, Nexis lists NPR has aired seven full stories or interview segments on the Sunday shooting of late-term abortionist George Tiller.
Obama intel nominee involved in 'torture' -- [Press TV]
Barack Obama's pick for a top intelligence post at the Homeland Security Department has ties to the CIA's 'torture' program, says a congressional aide.
Exclusive: Mudd Withdraws as DHS Intelligence Chief (Updated) -- [CQ Politics]
The White House confirmed this afternoon it was withdrawing Phil Mudd from Senate consideration to be the Department of Homeland Security's intelligence chief.
Mudd, a career CIA employee who is currently the head of FBI counterterrorism, said the choice was his.
Clinton Call on Obama's Speech Includes Jihad Advocate -- [The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT)]
On the eve of a Democratic primary election in Virginia, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has handed a public relations bonanza to an Islamist candidate who has praised Palestinians for choosing "the jihad way" to liberation.
Esam Omeish is considered a dark-horse candidate in the Virginia House of Delegates District 35 race. The primary is Tuesday.
On Thursday, Clinton invited Omeish to participate in a national conference call to discuss President Obama's Cairo speech aimed at repairing America's image with Muslims. In that speech, Obama made clear demands for Hamas to renounce violence and recognize Israel's right to exist
So Sorry...-- [Yankee Mom]
Statement from the White House on Army Privates William Long and Quinton Ezeagwula: (TMG editor's note - 3 days after)
...Contrast this with the statement made immediately (within 24 hours) after the news of the late-abortion doctor's murder:
He isn't "shocked and outraged" that a convert to Islamofascism murdered an American soldier, wounded another and intended to kill as many as possible???? Sorry, but "deeply saddened" just doesn't cut it for me. No way. No how.
Besides, Obama only made a statement about this at all after many requests from the press. Guess it didn't fit in with his agenda of pacification for those of Islam sensibilities in the speechifying-in-Muslim-countries tour he's on.
Democrats postpone action on war bill -- [Politico]
Worried by their prospects in the House, Democrats postponed final action on a nearly $100 billion wartime spending bill until next week so as to buy more time for talks among lawmakers and the return of President Barack Obama from overseas.
Speaker Pelosi Shuts Down Reporter-- Still Won't Answer Questions About CIA -- [Gateway Pundit]
Speaker Pelosi said the CIA were liars and "lied all the time" a couple of weeks ago. She still won't apologize. And, she doesn't watnt to talk about it either.
She just wants the whole thing to go away.
Daily Presidential Tracking Poll -- [Rasmussen Reports]
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows that 34% of the nation's voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-four percent (34%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of 0. That's the highest level of strong disapproval and the lowest overall rating yet recorded (see trends).
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
Iraq, Afghanistan, War, Terrorism, Military, Politics, Media, MilBlogs, Dawn Patrol, Mudville
Finally Attacked -- [Sorority Soldier - in Iraq]
I knew it was only a matter of time before we got attacked. It's been so quiet, too quiet for Iraq. So there we were, driving home from dinner at Echo's (the restaurant on post, run by a Dutch Christian organization). There were about 8 of us in the Tahoe and we were headed back to the tent. We were jamming out and singing - I can't remember what song but if I had to guess I'd say it was "Stay" by Lisa Loeb; that's been the popular one lately. We passed a car on the side of the road and pulled up to the gate. The Brit on guard ran up to the vehicle to check IDs. He was working on getting his armor on and told us the alarms were going off. ...
The Chapel Menu is as Long as the Chow Hall Menu -- [In Iraq Now (at 56) - in Iraq]
The Chapel here at Tallil can't cover every spiritual practice, no organization can, but they try. The first service on the Sunday morning schedule is Orthodox, I have not been to the service, but I believe the Romanian unit provides the priest. Next in rapid succession are traditional Protestant, Catholic, contemporary Protestant, Latter Day Saints, and then repeat services are held in the evening.
On Friday Muslim and Jewish services are available...
Support units in Iraq bound for Afghanistan -- [Stars and Stripes]
Another small contingent of Army soldiers is on its way from Iraq to Afghanistan, military officials said Tuesday.
Select troops from the 46th Engineer Combat Battalion will be sent to Kandahar province as the 31st Concrete Team ..."After moving three units from Iraq to Afghanistan earlier this year, the Pentagon acknowledged that more Army units with specific "enabling skills" could be shifted as the U.S. military seeks to provide forces for a promised escalation of troops this year.
New Envoy Faces an Iraq of 2 Minds About US -- [New York Times]
Among Iraqis there are two conflicting views of America's policy now: the American military is leaving too soon, or the American military is not ever going to leave. Persuading its friends of continued American support while convincing its skeptics that the Americans really will go is the conundrum faced by the recently installed American ambassador, Christopher R. Hill. He takes office at a time of profound change in the American footprint here,
Iraq refuses two Shi'ite pilgrim flights from Iran -- [Reuters]
Iraq refused entry on Tuesday to two flights from Tehran carrying Iranian pilgrims to visit Iraqi Shi'ite Muslim holy sites,...
U.S. commander says Iraqi forces will face challenges -- [Aswat al-Iraq]
U.S. Brigadier-General Keith Walker, commander of U.S. teams embedded with Iraqi forces, said that security challenges will face the Iraqi forces after the withdrawal of the U.S. troops from the cities by the end of next June.
"There are security challenges still facing the Iraqi forces' work despite the upgrade of the latter's capabilities in implementing security and military missions, but ...
Cav Soldiers Responsible for Security in The Town of Jisr Diyala -- [Newsblaze]
The 'Pacesetters' of Battery B brought the 'Hot Steel' Soldiers of Battery A to the town of Jisr Diyala to meet the town council and National Police leaders here
Tweeted Monday -- [Far From Perfect - in Iraq]
Working back to back 48hr rotation. Too much flying, too little sleep.
Videos: Conexes Conexes Conexes -- [Sour Swinger - in Iraq]
These all revolve around the conexes. I lost count of how many times we had to unpack then repack these blasted things.
When word came down we were moving to Camp Liberty, we had a ton of packing to do. We found ourselves spending days packing UPBs (Unit Packed Box) and loading conexes.
Equipment, skill of Afghan insurgents improves -- [Army Times]
FORWARD OPERATING BASE LAGMAN, QALAT, Afghanistan -- U.S. troops reported a fierce firefight May 28 against Farsi-speaking insurgents who wore body armor and "Kevlar helmets" and used smoke grenades. The U.S. soldiers killed an estimated 35 insurgents and suffered no casualties, but say the battle demonstrated the increasing sophistication of some guerrilla groups here. ...U.S. troops reported a fierce firefight May 28 against Farsi-speaking insurgents who wore body armor and "Kevlar helmets" and used smoke grenades. The U.S. soldiers killed an estimated 35 insurgents and suffered no casualties, but say the battle demonstrated the increasing sophistication of some guerrilla groups here.
Leading From The Rear. -- [Afghani Kush - in Afghanistan]
But saying NO MORE than the article in the Army Times I'll try and give you a little bit of a run down. We were pushing into a valley about six kilometers north of the FOB when we started to get hit, both mounted and dismounted. ...The weird part was the people we were actually fighting, they were wearing full body armor, speaking arabic, russian and a few other non native languages. They popped smoke to cover their retreat, and that was only after we pounded them for hours. These guys were not the usual taliban we fight around here.
Bomb kills six Afghans, including two children: govt -- [The Nation]
... the six Afghan civilians including two children inside, the interior ministry told a foreign news agency. It was not immediately clear if the bomb was ...
20 Taliban hideouts busted in Haripur - [The News]
People in the Haripur district of Hazara are actively helping the police and intelligence agencies to tackle the Taliban, pinpointing their hideouts, 15 to 20 of which have already been busted. A large number of militants running away from Swat have come to the Hazara Division, especially the Haripur district, but they are not finding sympathisers among the local population.
Stay issued in Bagram detainee habeas case -- [BlackFive - Uncle Jimbo]
A US District Court judge had previously ruled that three detainees being held at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan can challenge their detention using US courts and Habeas Corpus motions. This continued intrusion of the judiciary into an area where the Constitution and our history have never seen them having a role has been put on hold. The same judge has stayed his ruling as the Obama administration appeals this decision.
U.S. Looks for Saudi Help in Afghanistan, Pakistan -- [ABC News]
US Wants Saudi Help in Afghanistan, Pakistan. ... As Obama Visits Saudi, U.S. Looks to Kingdom for Help in Afghanistan and Pakistan ...
Locals Wary Of U.S.-Afghan Patrol Program -- [NPR]
...In this dangerous enclave, a U.S. Special Forces team and the Afghan government are trying to create a neighborhood watch program that many officials say is vital to securing Afghanistan.
US general warns over Afghan war -- [BBC]
On Tuesday, Gen McChrystal told senators: "If defeating an insurgent formation produces popular resentment, the victory is hollow and unsustainable."
He added: "This is a critical point. It may be the critical point. This is a struggle for the support of the Afghan people. "Our willingness to operate in ways that minimise casualties or damage - even when doing so makes our task more difficult - is essential to our credibility," he said.
Report finds airstrike errors in Afghanistan -- [New York Times]
Official says civilian deaths could have been reduced if rules followed
The report represents the clearest U.S. acknowledgment of fault in connection with the attacks. It will give new ammunition to critics, including many Afghans, who complain that U.S. forces too often act indiscriminately in airstrikes, jeopardizing the mission by turning the civilian population against U.S. forces and the Afghan government.
Uncertainty Clouds British Report of Taliban Leader's Death -- [New York Times]
A helicopter strike killed "one of the most dangerous Taliban leaders" in southern Afghanistan, British military officials said Tuesday, but a local government official said the target might have been a lower-level fighter with the same name. The strike occurred Monday, British officials said, when an Apache helicopter shot the Taliban leader, Mullah Mansur, as he was traveling with two others by motorbike. "We know it's him," one official said. The Taliban commander organized several recent attacks, including one last month that killed two British soldiers in the south, the official said. The British defense secretary, John Hutton, also expressed certainty, releasing a statement on the killing that said "Mullah Mansur was the heart of the insurgents' attempts to kill and injure British and NATO troops in Afghanistan and his presence brought misery to innocent Afghan civilians."
Vehicle Recovery Videos -- [A Year In The Sandbox - in Afghanistan]
This one happened pretty soon after we got here. We were checking out a water tank that was being built just outside of Jalalabad and the driver got the truck stuck in some mud. The commander was standing next to me and I asked him...
Task Force Bayonet Air Assaults for Longbow III -- [Combined Joint Task Force - 82 - in Afghanistan]
JALALABAD, Afghanistan (June 2, 2009) - For the third time in a year, an air assault mission in the Laghman province of northeastern Afghanistan provided humanitarian aid and coordinated information-exchange efforts between locals and ISAF leaders concerning ongoing counterinsurgency operations in the area.
Tall Tales And The 10,000 -- [Strategy Page]
NUCLEAR, BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL WEAPONS
Pakistan, in response to criticism that its nuclear weapons are vulnerable to terrorist attack, reported that it had 10,000 security personnel safeguarding its 60 nuclear warheads, and nuclear weapons production facilities. The U.S. has worked quietly with the Pakistani government, to improve the security of these nuclear weapons.
Bomb threat on Air France flight -- [Momento 24]
The airport safety delayed an Air France flight this evening before departring for Paris immediately after the company received a bomb threat over the phone at the airport of Ezeiza.
Expert: Air France black boxes may never be found -- [AP]
FERNANDO DE NORONHA, Brazil -- Military planes and ships struggled through high seas and heavy winds Wednesday and found more debris from an Air France
As Obama Begins Trip, Arabs Want Israeli Gesture -- [New York Times]
Saudi Arabia -- President Obama arrived here on Wednesday afternoon, opening a five-day trip to try to improve relations between the United States and the Muslim world and push for progress in settling the Arab-Israeli conflict.
"Don't Speak: What We Don't Want to Hear in Obama's Muslim Speech" -- [FOX News]
...An apology is precisely what an Egyptian blogger and member of the Muslim Brotherhood has demanded the president deliver. "The war on Islam by your predecessor President George Bush was repugnant to both the Arab and Muslim people, who continue to be misrepresented, and are all examples of the suffering to which the U.S. has turned a blind eye," wrote AbdulRahman Mansour in Al-Arabiya newspaper on Saturday. Guantanamo detainees also await an apology, he added, urging the president to disavow America's "Islamophobia.".
America the dutiful -- [Belmont Club]
Six hours ago, Le Monde quoted Barack Obama as saying that the US is one of the largest Muslim countries on the planet...
North Korean Nukes Nullified -- [Strategy Page]
Recent North Korea tests of a long range ballistic missile (that can reach parts of western North America), and a second test of their nuclear weapons, doesn't change the strategic situation with the United States. That's because of the American GBI (Ground Based Interceptor) system. The GBI is a 12.7 ton ballistic missile that delivers a 140 pound "kill vehicle" that will intercept a ballistic missile before it begins its descent into the atmosphere.
The Iranian Election Circus -- [Michael Ledeen]
Ahmedinejad is getting a run for his money. What's behind it?
Syria to Allow Visit of U.S. Military Leaders -- [Washington Post]
Insurgency in Iraq Is Topic at Hand
Wreckage Confirmed as Air France Plane -- [Washington Post]
Brazilian search planes located a three-mile path of wreckage in the Atlantic Ocean that officials said came from an Air France jetliner, dashing any lingering hopes for the survival of the 228 people aboard.
Three Baumholder soldiers dead, two hurt in autobahn crash -- [Stars and Stripes]
All five soldiers recently returned from Iraq; alcohol believed to play role in crash
Purported bin Laden tape slams U.S. role in Pakistan -- [CNN]
Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden purportedly issued another statement Wednesday, saying U.S. policy in Pakistan has generated "new seeds of hatred and revenge against America."
ARKANSAS' LONE JIHADIST: HOW ALONE IS HE? -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Here we have a new case of an individual U.S. citizen who committed an act of terror in the name of his ideology (Government officials have called it inaccurately a "political and religious motive") against U.S. military targets. Do we see a pattern here? Are we witnessing a repeat and copycats? In fact, as we review several previous cases, from the Miami cell case, to the Fort Dix Six, the Georgia two, the New York Four, the Virginia Paintball network, and many other cases, we're witnessing the surge of a phenomenon we have been warning about.
Al Qaeda Beheads British Hostage in Mali -- [FOX News]
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Wednesday that a Briton held captive in Mali has probably been killed by Al Qaeda terrorists.
A statement issued in the name of Al Qaeda on an Internet site frequently used for extremist messages said the captive, Edwin Dyer, was killed on Sunday.
List of U.S. Nuclear Sites Inadvertently Posted Online -- [Washington Post]
A U.S. document containing sensitive details about hundreds of civilian nuclear sites across the country was posted online Monday, an apparently inadvertent security breach that had federal officials scrambling yesterday to remedy the mistake.
Al Qaeda Eyes Bio Attack from Mexico - [Washington Times]
US counterterrorism officials have authenticated a video by an al Qaeda recruiter threatening to smuggle a biological weapon into the United States via tunnels under the Mexico border, the latest sign of the terrorist group's determination to stage another mass-casualty attack on the US homeland. The video aired earlier this year as a recruitment tool makes clear that al Qaeda is looking to exploit weaknesses in US border security and also is willing to ally itself with white militia groups or other anti-government entities interested in carrying out an attack inside the United States, according to counterterrorism officials interviewed by The Washington Times.
Sancrawler PSA: Abdullah al-Nafisi is a Blowhard -- [Jawa Report]
These aren't the biological weapon's smuggled over the Mexican border you're looking for. ...Seriously, al-Nafisi is a ranting professor from Kuwait. His lectures on the Muslim Brotherhood and other subjects are often used by al-Qaeda and its supporters. But if you ask me the speech just a lot of al-Nafisi spewing forth hot air.
Through "Adopt-a-Soldier" program, families open hearts to strangers -- [WWLTV]
...Greta Perry heads the Louisiana chapter of Soldier's Angels, the non-profit group that sponsors the 'Adopt-a-Solider' program. "It's amazing to feel that somebody back home, they don't know, loves them and cares enough for them to send them packages and take the time to write them handwritten letters," said Perry.
The advocacy group is in serious need of people willing to adopt a soldier. Right now, according to Perry, about 500 troops are on a waiting list for the program.
Bayer Healthcare + Defense Commissary Agency + AAFES = Soldiers' Angels Support -- [Soldiers' Angels Network]
Bayer Healthcare has teamed up with the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) and the Army Air Force Exchanges (AAFES) to support Soldiers' Angels,
Your Girls Need a Hook Up!! -- [USO Girls]
One of our troop's favorite things to receive at the gate, as you can imagine, are neck pillows for the long flight they have ahead of them. The pillows are about $20 from a store at the airport and we are lucky enough to have a couple of church sewing groups that make the pillows for the soldiers but we need some more help, we need someone with a sewing circle hook up!
The Army is a Tweeting -- [Bouhammer]
The U.S. military in Afghanistan is launching a Facebook page, a YouTube site and feeds on Twitter as part of a new communications effort to reach readers who get their information on the Internet rather than in newspapers, officials said Monday.
Army Announces BCT Stationing Decision -- [U.S. Army Blog]
Hard news at its finest, and not our typical blog fodder, but this is information important to our internal audience, as well as our affected communities. The story behind the story is the number of meetings, internal debates and discussions that go into announcements like this. Behind every stationing decision in our military is a careful study of how it will affect our Soldiers, and their families.
The secretary of the Army announced today that in accordance with the President's budget, the Army has halted the plan to build three additional brigade combat teams (BCTs) at Fort Bliss, Texas, Fort Carson, Colo., and Fort Stewart, Ga. This decision will not affect the Army's authorized end strength of 547,400.
Claiming the Predators are Illegal -- [Murdoc Online]
Predator Drones Could Face Legal Challenges From Human Rights Advocates. Human rights activists at odds with President Obama over his recent national security decisions are indicating that they might legally challenge the U.S. military's use of Predator drones
3/8 to return this week -- [Lejeune Deployed]
The final elements of 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment are scheduled to return Thursday from a seven month deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The battalion served as the ground combat element of the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force - Afghanistan and conducted counter-insurgency operations in southern Afghanistan, working with Afghan National Security Forces and local leaders to support security and legitimate governance, according to information from 2nd Marine Division.
Last Iron Fist combat soldiers arrive home from Iraq -- [Ministry of Defense]
The final combat troops from 20th Armoured Brigade (known as the Iron Fist) to leave Iraq arrived home in Munster, North Germany, on Saturday where they were greeted by overjoyed...
bad guys civilians -- [Abu Muqawama]
...Yesterday's hearings on Capitol Hill were kind of important, right? I mean, the confirmation of a controversial new commander for the war in Afghanistan should have attracted as much attention as the Spring 2007 hearing with General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker, right?
The U.S. Senate thought so as well and reserved three tables for the media. One of those tables -- one -- was actually filled. Two bloggers and a clutch of print media were present. That was it.
Plan of Attack -- [The New Republic]
Bob Woodward versus the White House.
In early May, White House Counsel Greg Craig circulated a memo inside the West Wing. Part of a series of memos on protocol, it explained how to deal with writers researching books and articles on the White House. (Craig's unsurprising instructions: Clear interview requests with the press office.) While the memo didn't mention any journalists by name--and while there are currently no fewer than half a dozen major reporters under contract to write books about the nascent Obama presidency and the 2008 campaign, any of whom could conceivably end up embarrassing the administration--there is one person in particular the White House is undoubtedly nervous about: Bob Woodward.
Since the inauguration, the Washington Post legend has been quietly reporting a new book on the Obama White House.
Dahr Jamail knows as much about the military as I do Alpaca farming -- [This Ain't Hell...]
Dahr, you are possibly the worst reporter of all time. Seriously, you can't even get rudimentary facts right. I mean, we always knew you were dishonest, but now you've entered the ranks of truly incompetant. Ergo, I am here to endeavor to help you, since as another TAH Target Alum noted, we may call you all names, but we still demand you contact us first, before you engage in yet another charlie foxtrot.
I should have known better -- [Wings Over Iraq - in Iraq]
Recently, I responded to a request for an interview from a reporter from the Army Times regarding TaskForceMountain.com . I composed my thoughts on the forum, and wrote them down in a statement for the reporter. I made the mistake of assuming that, since my fellow milbloggers and favorite professional journals are exploring the possibilities of Web 2.0 in 4th Generation Warfare, that the Army Times would want to do so as well.
I should have realized that this was, in fact the Army Times, and that I shouldn't expect them to be interested in in-depth defense policy analysis.
John McHugh, the new Army Secretary -- [This Ain't Hell...]
President Obama has picked a new Secretary of the Army, Republican Congressman John McHugh;
EXCLUSIVE: IRS files $800,000 lien on '04 Kerry campaign -- [Washington Times]
The IRS filed the lien in the District of Columbia earlier this year, claiming that a previous attempt to collect the money was unsuccessful. "We have made a demand for payment of this liability, but it remains unpaid," the tax filing stated.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
Kurdistan starts export of crude oil -- [AMENAFN - Aswat Al-Iraq]
Iraqi official: Crude oil export in Kurdish area to officially ... Preparations were finalized to officially export crude oil from the Iraqi Kurdistan region's oilfields to the Turkish port of Ceyhan as of Monday...
Maliki vows to execute Halabja perpetrators -- [Alsumaria Iraqi Satellite TV Network]
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki pledged the relatives of the victims of the 1988 chemical attack in the Kurdish town of Halabja, in which about 5,000 Kurds were killed, that ...
391st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion Hands Over Reins -- [DVIDS]
The 391st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion transferred authority to the 264th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion during a ceremony...
Walls Come Tumbling Down -- [DVIDS]
Just as American teenagers hang out with friends on a hot summer night, Iraqi teenagers were doing the same, May 28, except their entertainment was watching Soldiers from the 46th Engineer Combat Battalion, (Heavy), 225th Engineer Brigade tear down barriers blocking a popular street in central Baghdad.
The Asset - Another Iraqi Hero In Need -- [BlackFive]
Below is a story that took four months of investigative work. It's about an Iraqi that is American at heart...
According to a source, "Recently, The Asset learned that he is losing his teaching contract at Camp Pendleton in August, leaving him faced with no income, with his Iraqi wife and kids back in Sweden, and him without a country..."
Iraq's celebrity traffic cop -- [CNN]
CNN's Phil Black meets the Baghdad traffic cop who has become a local hero and television celebrity.
The horror -- [Bad Dogs and Such - in Iraq]
Look what was in my CHU.
Of course, it was alive when it first zoomed by my head. Now I'm afraid of my CHU, since insects that large make my soul shudder.
Ah, Diplomacy -- [Grim - in Iraq]
...Change has certainly come to Baghdad. And it appears that includes the U.S. Embassy, where they are holding what the invitation says is the first-ever U.S. Embassy Gay Pride Theme Party next Friday at Baghdaddy's, which is the embassy employee association's pub.
VIDEO: RAF Regiment leaves Iraq -- [Minister of Defense]
After six years of protecting the Contingency Operating Base (COB) at Basra International Airport and after completing their final patrol, the RAF Regiment came home from Iraq
It's Getting Harder For Americans To Die In Combat -- [Strategy Page]
...So far this year, there have been 83 deaths in Iraq, compared to 314 in 2008 and 904 in 2007 (the peak year for these deaths). In the last eight months, U.S. troops in Iraq have had more to fear from accidents, disease and stress, than enemy action.
Officials: Mass abduction by Taliban in Pakistan -- [AP]
Taliban militants ambushed a convoy of vehicles carrying at least 400 students, staff and relatives from a boys' school Monday, taking dozens -- possibly hundreds -- captive in northwestern Pakistan, officials said.
Police were negotiating for the captives' release following the brazen abduction -- part of a string of militant actions in Pakistan's tribal belt that the army believes is partly aimed at distracting the military from its offensive against the Taliban in the Swat Valley.
Chapter 3: Culture (Lesson 3A: Chai and the Pashtunwali -- [A.L.L. = Afghan Lessons Learned for Soldiers]
Here is a description, in detail, the uniquely Afghan experience of having chai.
A leadership recently in Afghanistan was telling its Soldiers not to drink chai. Don't listen to stuff like that; it will have you insulting people left and right.
Upon acceptance of an invitation, there is a bustle of activity as you are ushered to the place where the chai will be shared...
The Bad News Bears -- [Embedded in Afghanistan... - in Afghanistan]
Today's firefight lasted 2.5 hours. Which I know sounds crazy until I explain how it goes sometimes. We're driving down the road in an 8 vehicle convoy when we take a few shots from the ridgeline maybe 800 meters away. So we stop and start returning fire in the vicinity of where it was coming from. An Army convoy happened to be right in front of us, so they coordinated artillery and mortars on the enemy positions. But
Marines vs Taliban -- [Defense Tech]
One of my Marine buddies from 2-5 sent this to me. I thought I'd share it.
A large group of Taliban fighters is moving down a ravine in the Korengal Valley, in southern Afghanistan, when they hear a hoarse voice call from behind a sand-dune in a mocking tone, "Yo, muj, did you know that one Marine Marine is better than ten of you smelly Talib?"
Insulted to the quick (though he did indeed smell), the Taliban commander sent ten of his best men over the rocky hill, whereupon a gunbattle broke out immediately. ...
JI proposes four-nation bloc -- [Daily News]
KARACHI: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Pakistan Chief Munawar Hassan has proposed that a bloc comprising Pakistan, Iran, China and Afghanistan is needed against the United States of America (USA) and NATO.
Afghanistan: the Good and the Bad -- [Abu Muqawama]
...As far as I am concerned, Chris Cavoli has it right and the well-meaning gang in Afghanistan now is misguided. In the context of a counterinsurgency campaign -- which we can all agree we're engaged in -- enemy body count is a poor metric. Civilian body counts are a better metric -- the fewer civilians dying, the better. In our soon-to-be-released paper from CNAS on Afghanistan and Pakistan, we will have an entire chapter dedicated to metrics you can use ...
Army fury at refusal to bolster Afghan campaign -- [The Independent]
Britain's most senior military commanders have warned Gordon Brown that unless he sends more troops to Afghanistan Britain will lose credibility with its American allies, The Independent has learnt.
Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force - Afghanistan: Bridge to Marine Corps' Future in Afghanistan -- [DVIDS]
Called to action with only a couple months of notice, a unit was needed to fill an important and time-critical role.
Just to tide you over -- [Afghani Kush - in Afghanistan]
Larger post coming soon folks. Just too tired to write anything up.
But here you go, we did make the news...
Reclaiming the Ring Road -- [Captain's Journal]
...We have long recommended the securing of that bad stretch of what is otherwise called Highway 1, especially from Kandahar to Kabul. Logistics is a nightmare on this road, and many hired Afghanistan drivers have perished at the hands of the Taliban.
Have a Manas kind of day -- [Desert bound - in Afghanistan]
...Manas Air Base is nice. It serves as a crucial hub for troops and supplies heading in and out of Afghanistan. Unfortunately, Manas AB is closing soon. I've linked an article talking about the closure at the bottom of this post.
Framing the Threat -- [Registan]
So Philip Smucker just conducted a "three-month investigation of al-Qaeda's activities, from Nuristan in the north to Paktika in the southeast," and based on this investigation concludes, "bin Laden's terror network - working through Afghan and Pakistani partners - is present in almost every Afghan and Pakistani province along the fluid border areas between the two countries."
Well, yes. But how is this new information? It's not really, except at the margins.
Military recruiter killed in Ark shooting -- [AP]
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- One Army recruiter was killed Monday and a second was wounded in a shooting at a recruiting office, and a suspect was arrested, police said.
Police Lt. Terry Hastings said the recruiter was shot when a man in a black SUV opened fire on the office in west Little Rock at about 10:30 a.m.
The vehicle was stopped on Interstate 630 a short time later and a suspect was taken into custody.
Koreans Flock to U.S. Army -- [One Free Korea]
It's certainly an improvement on how the Army was received in Korea when I was there. For everyone who says "Yankee Go Home," someone else says, "and take me with you:"
Missing Air France jet 'hit by electric fault' -- [CNN]
An Air France plane missing over the Atlantic with 228 people aboard reported electrical problems in stormy weather before it lost contact, the airline said Monday, describing the incident as a "catastrophe."
North Korea May Test Another Missile -- [New York Times]
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Monday that North Korea may be preparing to launch another long-range missile that ...
Iranian Defense Minister: Not All Our Military Capabilities Are Known -- [MEMRI Blog]
In describing Iran's military power, and in particular the Sejil 2 surface-to-surface missile, Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar stated that Iran was not revealing all its capabilities, but only some of them.
Israel warns Iran could have nuclear bomb by year-end -- [Xinhua]
JERUSALEM, June 1 (Xinhua) -- Iran could have enough fissile material for its first nuclear bomb by the end of this year, an Israeli intelligence official
Secretary Gates in Singapore -- [Michael Yon - in Singapore ]
One matter that you will see in the press is that North Korea is the elephant in the room. Secretary Gates has made it clear that we have no intention of rewarding bad behavior, as we have done in the past with North Korea. Many readers seem to hold a special disdain for President Obama, and I actively campaigned for McCain, but I get the feeling that Obama is tougher and proving wiser than many people seem to think. I do not detect that we are slinking away from North Korea. It seems as though we are going to have some sort of showdown, which hopefully will all be through diplomacy. I heard Secretary Gates say that a nuclear armed North Korea is not in the cards.
A Closer Look at the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Forces -- [Renew America]
Protecting America against terrorist attack are the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Forces, or JTTFs, our nation's front line fighting terrorism: JTTF (much like their prey the terrorist) they consists of small cells of highly trained, locally based, passionately committed volunteers. However, in the case of JTTF they also have professional investigators, analysts, linguists, SWAT experts, and other specialists from dozens of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies from all over the U.S.
According to the FBI when it comes to investigating terrorism, they do it all: ...
AIG, Sharia and Uncle Sam -- [WaPo]
A federal judge in Michigan has declined to dismiss an ex-Marine's lawsuit that insurance giant AIG is using tax dollars to promote Islamic Sharia law and charities that may be funneling money to terrorist organizations.
Just when you thought the government's massive bailout of AIG couldn't get more complicated or controversial.
Guantánamo terrorism trial moved to New York -- [MiamiHerald]
... the Pentagon has dropped war-crimes charges against a Tanzanian captive here who will instead face a civilian terrorism trial in New York City.
Charity drive, mentoring and new dog -- [Afghanistan My Last Tour - in Afghanistan]
Thanks to everyone for their interest in supporting the troops. I personally don't need anything, but know of others who would appreciate a care package. So as I travel to these outposts, I will record the name/address/needs of these individuals. These guys need the items the most. But in the future, I want to start a charity drive for poor village children who lack the most basic necessities, i.e., soap, toothbrushes, pens, paper, crayons, etc. This is the mission that is near and dear to my heart.
Update on OPERATION: VAMPIRE PINK -- [Afghanistan Shrugged - in Afghanistan]
An update to the status of OPERATION: VAMPIRE PINK. We now have a pink ladies version of the T-shirt, along with ACU Sand and black. So, go out to the Ranger Up site and pick one up showing your pride for those that supported you or those that you proudly support. You deserve it and it supports a great cause!
Forgotten Soldiers receive burial with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Follow up to this story: Buffalo Soldier, Vietnam Medic, and WWII Sailor will finally come home to Arlington
General Rick Sanchez Calls for War Crimes Truth Commission -- [Huffington Post]
In front of a packed audience tonight at the Times Center in New York City, General Ricardo Sanchez, the former commander of all coalition forces in Iraq, called for a truth commission to investigate the abuses and torture which occurred there.
...I interviewed General Sanchez after the event and asked him to elaborate on why he felt the US needed such a commission. "For the American people to really know what happened, " he replied, "...this was an institutional failure, a personal failure on the part of many...."
"If we do not find out what happened," continued the General, "then we are doomed to repeat it."
The event tonight was moderated by Rachel Maddow and featured General Sanchez, Vince Warren, exec director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and Ron Suskind, the author and reporter.
Come out to welcome home our troops in Woodbury -- [NJ.com]
If you'd like to help welcome home the GIs, be outside the armory by 6 pm Bring a flag. wave it and make some noise to let them know you're proud of them ...
Troop Greeters Welcome Public To BIA -- [WABI]
During that time, they've greeted more than 800-thousand troops as they've come home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Sunday, the troop greeters welcomed members
The Violence Declines While The Headlines Persist -- [Strategy Page]
You'd never know it from reading the headlines, but wars continue to decline worldwide. However, the conflicts that kill the most people (like Congo) get the least media coverage. Reporting tends to be distorted by the need to attract eyeballs, and revenue. For years, Iraq was portrayed as a disaster until, suddenly, the enemy was crushed. Even that was not considered exciting enough to warrant much attention, and that story is still poorly covered by the mass media. Same pattern is playing out in Afghanistan,...
Lisa Ling Begins Media Blitz to Win Release of Her Sister Laura and friend Euna Lee -- [GI Korea]
It appears that Lisa Ling who has been keeping a low profile in regards to the hostage taking of her sister Laura Ling and fellow journalist Euna Lee, has finally decided to use her celebrity to advocate for the release of both women:
Carl Webb; the IVAW deserter who didn't desert -- [This Ain't Hell]
As most of my regular readers know, there's turmoil churning around the ranks in the Iraq Veterans Against the War. Although it's a result of many things, the most contentious point of the turmoil is between the regular patriotic members who merely oppose the war and the members who want the IVAW to become a tool of the International Socialist Organization - just a facade of veterans to lend some legitimacy to the entire socialist movement. The most vile and despicable member of IVAW, Carl Webb, belongs to that second group.
The Obama flip-flops you don't know -- [Politico]
Since winning the election, President Barack Obama has famously flip-flopped on many of the major issues that he championed on the campaign trail. But did you know he's also flip-flopped on a myriad of less publicized issues?
Ted Rall: Obama should resign -- [The State Journal-Register]
...Obama is useless. Worse than that, he's dangerous. ...I refer here to Obama's plan for "preventive detentions." If a cop or other government official thinks you might want to commit a crime someday, you could be held in "prolonged detention." Reports in U.S. state-controlled media imply that Obama's shocking new policy would only apply to Islamic terrorists (or, in this case, wannabe Islamic terrorists, and also kinda-sorta-maybe-thinking-about-terrorism dudes). As if that made it OK. In practice, Obama wants to let government goons snatch you, me and anyone else they deem annoying off the street.
Preventive detention is the classic defining characteristic of a military dictatorship.
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