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18 Killed, 100 Wounded in Iraq Bombings -- [VOA]
Iraqi officials say a series of bombings killed at least 18 people in Baghdad and Ramadi Tuesday, three weeks after Iraqi forces formally assumed security responsibilities in urban areas. Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman General Abdul Karim Khalaf told VOA that Iraqi forces can handle their security duties without the assistance of the U.S. combat troops that withdrew from the cities on June 30.
Never Forget -- [Sorority Soldier - in Iraq]
Last night, Stone, TyTy, Vaughn and I covered the memorial service for the three soldiers killed here on the 16th. They were killed by indirect fire (used to refer to mortars, rockets, etc.) They were all attached to the 34th Military Police Company, 2 were MPs and 1 was a medic. Spc Carlos Wilcox was 27, Spc Daniel Drevnick was 22 and Spc James Wertish was just 20. They were all from Minnesota. The memorial was packed and if I had to guess, I'd say 700 people attended the service. I set up a stationary shot on the speakers and Stone roamed around to get crowd shots and cutaways. I couldn't keep my composure for the entire thing and ended up shedding more than a few tears. There are three parts of the ceremony that always get me:
ISI: It Was The Jihad Fighters in Iraq Who Defeated the U.S. Military and Made It Withdraw -- [MEMRI Blog]
In a July 19, 2009 communiqué, the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) ridicules the Iraqi government and attributes the U.S. troop withdrawal from major Iraqi cities to the steadfastness of the jihad fighters, saying that they "have made the U.S. army taste death and the bitterness of defeat" and forced it to realize that a U.S. military victory in Iraq is now "an unattainable dream." The communiqué, which was posted on the Islamist website Al-Faluja, also again condemns the Sunni resistance organizations that did not join the ISI, for attempting to "harvest the fruits" of the jihad.
Specter of Give-and-Take Looms Over Maliki's Visit -- [WaPo]
Iraq would like the United States to provide more economic support, help resolve problems with some of its neighbors and - when asked - assist in combating the myriad security problems it still faces. Otherwise, it would like the Americans to leave it alone. For its part, the Obama administration wants Baghdad to stop the sectarian disagreements that continue to impede economic and political progress, show a little more public respect for US sacrifices on its behalf and start behaving like a normal, oil-rich democracy.
(Part 2) How is Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki connected to Saddam Hussein?
2009 July 21 -- [Iron Camel - in Iraq]
When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, this was Maliki's cue to return to Iraq. In 2005, he was elected to the National Assembly during the transitional period of the Iraqi Government; as well as being the senior Shia member of the group that drafted the newest Iraqi Constitution. Subsequently, in 2006, he was elected Prime Minister of Iraq; In an interesting twist of fate, on the 30th of December, 2006, PM Maliki signed the death warrant for Saddam Hussein, stating "Our respect for human rights requires us to execute him".
For those of you reading this that have a tough time defining irony, this is a good example.
Iraqi Military: No Need for US Troops' Help in Security Mission -- [VOA]
The Iraqi military and security forces are saying they have not needed to call upon US troops, since their pullback from Iraqi cities on June 30, and they have also denied US requests to conduct raids. The Iraqi military is becoming increasingly self-reliant, in the words of its commanders, since the withdrawal of US troops from Iraqi cities and towns.
Afghanistan moves troops to south, clashes in north -- [Reuters]
Afghanistan is repositioning forces to the south after complaints too few are involved in major U.S. and British offensives against the Taliban, officials said on Wednesday, even as clashes erupted in the north.
URGENT- Live Reports from Gardez Bombings -- [Bouhammer]
PJ Tobia has talked to Scott Kesterson who as many of you know is in the Gardez area. Scott gave PJ a live description from on the ground of what happened in Gardez today.
Gardez was one of 3 cities in eastern Afghanistan where Government buildings were simultaneously attacked.
UPDATE of Gardez Situation from Scott Kesterson -- [Bouhammer]
...Eight suicide bombers attacked Gardez today. Two detonated themselves, four were killed by Afghan forces before being able to detonate their suicide vests, and two escaped. The Afghan forces performed brilliantly. They received intel early in the day and were able to minimize the damage from the attacks. Unfortunately, four Afghan soldiers were killed in the process, but civilian casualties were minimal to none. Following the attacks, ...
Fighting Back: Jawa vs Taliban Propaganda Machine Round 10 *sticky* (PWNED!) -- [Jawa Report]
Update: Both websites listed in this post have been removed!
Did you know the Taliban are online? Did you know that American corporations provide essential services to the Taliban? Did you also know that you can help fight the Taliban?
The following post documents several of the Taliban's official websites and the companies that illegally facilitate them. It then turns to a popular yet unofficial English language website that is used by Taliban supporters in the US and Canada to spread propaganda produced by the internationally outlawed organization. Finally, we instruct the reader on what they can do to help fight the Taliban online.
U.S. bombs poppy crop to cut Taliban drug ties -- [CNN]
The U.S. military bombed about 300 tons of poppy seeds in a dusty field in southern Afghanistan Tuesday in a dramatic show of force designed to break up the Taliban's connection to heroin.
The U.S. military bombed about 300 tons of poppy seeds in a dusty field in southern Afghanistan Tuesday. 1 of 2 The air strike occurred mid-day in Helmand province and was observed by CNN's Ivan Watson, who is embedded with the U.S. Marines operating in that province.
The military dropped a series of 1,000-pound bombs from planes on the mounds of poppy seeds and then followed with strikes from helicopters.
Pakistan: Now or Never? -- [Reuters - Joshua Foust]
The virtues of doing nothing: Why focusing on Afghanistan's opium makes the opium problem worse
What Is Going on in the Poppy Fields of Afghanistan? -- [Registan - Joshua Foust]
The U.S. Air Force just declared a major victory in the war on drugs in Afghanistan because it bombed a big pile of bagel toppings.
Afghan, US forces repel coordinated Taliban suicide assaults -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Afghan and US forces repelled coordinated Taliban assaults in two major cities in eastern Afghanistan. Suicide bombers armed with rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles attacked government installations and a US base in the cities of Gardez and Jalalabad. Eight Taliban fighters and six Afghan security personnel were reported killed in the failed attacks.
Ordnance Expert on Taliban IEDs (VIDEO) -- U.S. Marines in Helmand province and coalition forces in many parts of Afghanistan face a growing threat from improvised explosive devices laid by Taliban fighters. An ordnance expert explains why the bombs are so lethal.
Success with First Mentoring Contact -- [Doc H's International Adventure - in Afghanistan]
I have been out at a nearby training facility for the past few days. Ostensibly we went there to provide follow on immunizations for ANP recruits, but I knew better.
Pentagon Seeks to Overhaul Prisons in Afghanistan -- [NY Times]
A sweeping United States military review calls for overhauling the troubled American-run prison here as well as the entire Afghan jail and judicial systems, a reaction to worries that abuses and militant recruiting within the prisons are helping to strengthen the Taliban.
Clearance Granted: Coming Clean -- [Afghan Quest - in Afghanistan]
Today, I got a chance to have my "in-brief" with my new boss, a Colonel who is the Director of the CTC-A, or Counterinsurgency Training Center - Afghanistan. It took a week to catch fifteen minutes or so of his free time. He has none, and so what I got was stolen. The conversation went well. Among other things, I am clear to blog. One thing: Don't ever think that I speak for the CTC-A. I don't. I speak for myself and myself alone. See the disclaimer for details. CTC-A would fall under at least one of the covered entities that I do not speak for. That being said, I've got to say that I'm mui impressed with the curriculum here. I am surrounded by people who get it. Many are former advisors. Evangelists all, our job is to help my Army, and and armies of our allies and the Afghans, and governmental organizations of all of the above...
A Simple Question -- [The Quatto Zone - in Afghanistan]
if air strikes harm the chances for coalition success, why do the Taliban (not otherwise hesitant to harm civilians to further their ends) seem intent on ending those strikes rather than promoting more of them? For example, the Taliban group that claims to hold a recently captured American soldier is now demanding an end to "air strikes in Ghazni province's Giro district and Paktika province's Khoshamand district," according to the Associated Press. Why do this unless air power represents a significant threat to the organization? And while it's clear that the Taliban try to provoke strikes that will cause civilian casualties, it's unclear whether this tactic is designed to whip up popular rage or encourage restrictive rules of engagement that will grant insurgents more breathing room. The answer is probably both.
Pakistan Objects to US Expansion in Afghan War -- [NY Times]
Pakistan is objecting to expanded American combat operations in neighboring Afghanistan, creating new fissures in the alliance with Washington at a critical juncture when thousands of new American forces are arriving in the region. Pakistani officials have told the Obama administration that the Marines fighting the Taliban in southern Afghanistan will force militants across the border into Pakistan, with the potential to further inflame the troubled province of Baluchistan, according to Pakistani intelligence officials.
Exclusive: Missing US Soldier May Be in Pakistan -- [ABC News]
The US soldier kidnapped by Taliban forces in Afghanistan may have been taken across the border to Pakistan, complicating efforts to obtain
U.S. fears North Korea nuclear ties to Myanmar -- [Reuters]
The United States is concerned about the possible transfer of nuclear technology from North Korea to military-ruled Myanmar, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday.
Noted NY Terror Supporter Harassing Family of American Hostage -- [Jawa Report]
The New York Taliban and Osama bin Laden supporter formerly known as Joseph Cohen, Yousef al-Khattab, claims he has called the family of American hostage Bowe Bergdahl.
Saudi Efforts to Combat Terrorist Financing -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
This past week, Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner traveled to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for his first official visit to the Middle East since assuming his current position. Although in many respects the Obama administration is off to a bumpy start with Saudi Arabia, Geithner praised Saudi efforts in combating terrorist financing, which is a significant departure from statements made by senior Treasury officials in recent years. His remarks in Riyadh were more than just empty praise, reflecting the broader view in Washington that the Saudis are finally beginning to make progress on this important front.
Strong Partners Against Terrorism -- [Wall Street Journal - Eric H. Holder Jr., Janet Napolitano]
The threat of terrorism is still very much alive. All law enforcement agencies--and indeed all Americans--must remain vigilant. We recognize that within our
Terrorism is back in business -- [Jakarta Post]
It acquires international dimensions in which Indonesia needs to cooperate with other countries in combating terrorism.
Terrorism in Indonesia has nothing to do with Afghanistan -- [Crikey]
In other words, the solution of Islamist terrorism in Indonesia lies in Indonesia, rather than Afghanistan. How could it possibly be otherwise?
A Chance Encounter in Afghanistan -- [ABC News]
Three years ago ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff suffered a severe brain injury in a roadside IED attack in Iraq. He was flown to a military hospital in Balad, about 50 miles north of Baghdad, Iraq, where the medical team there saved his life.
... change in schedule landed Woodruff at a military hospital at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. This hospital and others like it are seeing a growing number of doctors, nurses and medics who first served in Iraq and ended up to Afghanistan.
Coincidentally, two of the men who saved Woodruff's life in 2006 are now working in Afghanistan saving others.
New El Paso County court tailored to handle war fallout -- [The Denver Post]
Thousands of American combat troops are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with serious physical and mental injuries, and many of them run into trouble with the law. A new court that will open in El Paso County next month is designed to provide returning veterans accused of felonies with an alternative to the conventional justice system, which is not always sympathetic to combat-related brain injuries and stress disorders.
Maj. Cook On BTR show tonight Discussing his position/situation -- [American Infidel]
Rules of Engagement and the devastating effect they are having on our
military's ability to effectively gain their objectives with successful missions and defend our nation. Rule of Engagement issues are believed to have been the
reason for the 2005 deaths of 19 Navy SEALS in the Hindu Kush from which
Marcus Luttrell emerged as the only survivor.
What To Do With The Wild Men -- [Strategy Page]
The U.S. Army, overwhelmed with new recruits, and existing troops wanting to stay in, is eliminating nearly all re-enlistment bonuses for the rest of the fiscal year (which ends in September). Earlier this year, the army sharply cut back on its enlistment, and re-enlistment bonus program, mainly because the economic recession reduced the competition recruiters get from civilian employers, the army still pays well for those with rare skills. In general,
California Soldiers Return Home -- [MADISON]
More than 270 soldiers with the 1498th Transportation Company received a big welcome home Saturday in Long Beach, Ca.
Twittering the War -- [Weekly Standard]
An AP story which ran Sunday covering the crash of an American jet in Afghanistan, apparently from mechanical causes, contained a significant detail about the way U.S. military spokesmen are doing business:
"As the Colonel said on his Twitter site" is not something you hear frequently in the armed forces, not yet, anyway. But it constitutes a potentially very positive development: harnessing the power of commonly available and popular communications technologies to speed the delivery and increase the audience of the military's message. Of course, al Qaeda and the Taliban have been doing this for years.
Senate Votes to Kill F-22 Fighter Program -- [BusinessWeek]
Military officials and some politicians warn of negative military implications, particularly a loss of US technological knowhow.
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