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.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)