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.
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).
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