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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.)