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.
At least 22 Taliban killed in Afghanistan: ministry -- [AFP]
More than 20 Taliban were killed in a massive operation in western Afghanistan, the interior ministry said Wednesday, as the United States considers sending more troops to battle a worsening insurgency.
Taliban activity has been intensifying in recent months as foreign troops and their Afghan counterparts concentrated efforts on insurgent hotspots such as southern Kandahar and Helmand provinces.
Suspected US Missile Strikes Kill 12 Militants in Pakistan -- [VOA News]
Two suspected U.S. missile strikes in Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal region bordering Afghanistan killed at least 12 militants Tuesday.
30 Afghan Civilians Killed as Packed Bus Hits Bomb Outside Kandahar -- [The Times]
At least 30 Afghan civilians were killed and 39 wounded yesterday when their packed bus hit a roadside bomb outside the southern city of Kandahar. The dead included ten women and seven children. Afghan authorities blamed the Taleban, and the bombing underscored the grave dangers faced by a civilian population as the eight-year-old conflict between the insurgents and the US-led NATO forces turns increasingly violent.
Top US Official at UN Afghan Mission Will Not Return to Post -- [VOA]
U.N. officials say the top American serving in the U.N. mission to Afghanistan will not return to his post, following a dispute over how to handle fraud allegations in the country's disputed presidential election. ... Afghan election officials are recounting a sample of the votes from the disputed
UN fires top US official at UN in Afghanistan -- [AP]
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon fired the top American official at the U.N. mission in Afghanistan on Wednesday after a widely publicized dispute with his boss over how to deal with widespread fraud charges in the country's presidential election
Not Many ... but Much: ANGLICO Marines Help U.K. Hold Northern Post -- [DVIDS]
The evening began with a small group of U.S. Marines and U.K. soldiers gathered around a campfire of dimly-lit candles and a teapot boiling over a small fire.
They talked among themselves for a few hours about girlfriends and wives back home...Random explosions from IEDs and small arms fire attacks have become a part of life for those manning CP North.
"We wait to get shot at," said U.K. Lance Sgt. Lee Davis, a vehicle commander with Number IX Company of the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards. "We get shot at, then we wait some more until the next time."
Defense Dep't: Help for troops threatened by IEDs -- [AP]
The Defense Department says the U.S. military has started shipping new equipment to Afghanistan to help troops cope with the increasing threat of improvised explosive devices there....
US under Obama could slide into military dictatorship, says Gore Vidal -- [Times]
In an exclusive interview with The Times, Vidal, 83, reveals that he regrets switching his allegiance from Hillary Clinton to Mr Obama during last year's campaign to secure the Democratic presidential nomination.
"I was hopeful," he said of Mr Obama. "He was the most intelligent person we've had in that position for a long time. But he's inexperienced. He has a total inability to understand military matters. He's acting as if Afghanistan is the magic talisman: solve that and you solve terrorism."
America should leave Afghanistan, Vidal said. "We've failed in every other aspect of our effort of conquering the Middle East or whatever you want to call it."
Obama to meet high-powered aides for Afghan review -- [AFP]
US President Barack Obama gathers an array of high-powered advisors Wednesday to begin a sweeping Afghan strategy review that will culminate in a fateful decision on whether to escalate the war.
Obama has called his most formidable military, political and national security aides to the secure Situation Room of the White House, to brainstorm the way forward as he mulls sending thousands more US troops into battle.
Obama to NATO: Afghanistan is not just 'an American battle' -- [The Oval]
After meeting with the leader of NATO, President Obama said today it is "absolutely critical" to destroy al-Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan and that the job does not belong to the United States alone -- while volunteering nothing about when he might decide whether more U.S. troops are needed.
"This is not an American battle," Obama said. "This is a NATO mission as well."
It's up to Obama to decide on Afghanistan -- [Reuters]
If President Barack Obama decides to send 30,000 to 40,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, he will be doing it against the advice of some advisers and leading Democrats in Congress.
Obama's national security team launches a series of closed-door meetings on Tuesday to reassess U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. Obama first wants to determine the proper way forward for U.S. forces in Afghanistan before considering whether more troops should be sent. Any decision is weeks away. "This isn't going to be finished in one meeting.It's not going to be finished in several meetings," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.
What Obama won't say about the Afghan war today, at least publicly -- [LA Times]
"Here's the entire Obama transcript. But notice anything missing here? No more mention of the original 9/11 bad guys, the Taliban. No mention either of defeating them. And no more mention of making it safe for democracy to flourish in Afghanistan.
Bite of a Big Green Dill Pickle -- [The SandGram]
Last month I wrote about the challenges facing Afghanistan. It's not even the problems we face as a military over there, but what it will take to change that place. I hate to say it, but the Russians are probably sitting down each day, laughing at the U.S. because they are wearing the tee-shirt "Been there and done that" as they too tried to tame the wild wild west.
What Happened to Us? -- [The Quatto Zone - in Afghanistan]
"Blunt," "dire" and "gloomy" were words commonly used to describe General McChrystal's leaked assessment, which together with the resource recommendation submitted to defense officials Friday was interpreted largely as an effort to limit President Obama's strategic options to conducting an expanded counterinsurgency campaign.
Pedro Inspired the Vikings -- [Michael Yon]
"These things we do that others may live" is the current motto of the US Air Force combat search and rescue team, or Pedro as they are called when deployed to Afghanistan. They fly into the battlefield with their smooth Pave Hawk helicopters and evacuate the wounded infantry soldiers and Marines. On a recent evacuation of two Danish soldiers in the middle of a battle with the Taliban, the Viking ancestors made a memorable difference to the 129th American Air Force Pedros crew.
It was a hot day in June even though it was still early in the morning. The traditionally dry heat of the southern Afghan desert, combined with the humidity of the green vegetation known as the Green Zone around the Helmand River, made the Danish infantry soldiers from the Danish Royal Husars drip with sweat as they patrolled in the green fields with heavy equipment and body amour. The squad, also known as Charlie Coy, soon got engaged in a heavy battle with Taliban fighters.
Eid Mobarak 2009 -- [3rd Time, New Country - in Afghanistan]
As far as mentoring goes, it has been an easy week since I last posted to this blog. Ramadan ended on Sunday, with three days of Eid that started on Sunday. I have included some pictures from the Eid celebration at NMH on Sunday. My team of mentors met up with leadership of NMH, MPRI mentors, and a select few of the ANA leadership. After meeting up at NMH
Orphanage visit -- [Afghanistan My Last Tour - in Afghanistan]
...Despite going to the orphanage, our security was paramount. We would have gunners in the armored HMMVWs along with security on the roof. The rest of the participants would stay armed and interact with the children.
Library ribbon cutting ceremony -- [Afghanistan My Last Tour - in Afghanistan]
It was another 0430 hrs wake up and we trudged our gear up to the parking lot and prepared our armored vehicles for today's mission. ...We met up with the rest of our team and walked over to ANA land. We had one small problem though. Several weeks ago my team submitted paperwork to have food furnished with the ceremony. My team was informed to pick up the food that morning. Apparently the contractor's supervisor did not sign off and approve the food distribution. So he denied the request. This sent my team scrambling for an alternative plan. We decided to use some project funds and the ANA went off the post to purchase some fresh fruit and drinks. This would have been embarrassing for our ANA colonel since the ANA General and guests would be attending.
A much-needed update -- [Desert Bound - in Afghanistan]
I've arranged for Good Morning America to come out and cover the battalion. I can't give exact dates, but I will be posting the dates that they will be shooting live the day or morning of the shoots. Keep an eye out for it, you'll probably see some Soldiers you know on the show!
Afghan Mi-35 Pilots Once Again Patrol the Skies -- [ISAF]
The Afghan National Army Air Corps recently reached a milestone with the completion of the Initial Operations Capability Mi-35 attack helicopter program.
Kunar government, PRT bringing education, development to province -- [PRT-Kunar - in Afghanistan]
In the hot Afghanistan sun beneath a UNICEF tent, Mara Wara District children are watching their future being built. Provincial Reconstruction Team-Kunar engineers visited the Lahor Dag School construction site Sept. 28 to evaluate the progress and craftsmanship of the school that will house hundreds of area children.
The school is part of the provincial government's plan to increase the number of schools in the province to educate their children, while providing an additional benefit of generating jobs.
The rules murdering our troops -- [Ralph Peters]
These ROE are a cave-in to the Taliban's shameless propaganda campaign that claimed innocents were massacred every time our aircraft appeared overhead. (Afghan President Mohammed Karzai and our establishment media backed the terrorists.)
The Taliban's goal was to level the playing field -- to deny our troops their technological edge. Our enemies more than succeeded.
And what has our concern for the lives of Taliban sympathizers accomplished?
Reason #36 why Americans don't understand anything anymore: Ralph Peters -- [Flit]
People are starting to notice Ralph Peters is an embarassment to the entire profession of arms, not to mention anyone who fancies themselves a military intelligence officer. I've been saying so for, oh, years.
Afghanistan and Obama -- [Abu Muqawama]
By the way, did any of you read this trash? Spencer says most of what needs to be said but not all. I'm not going to start hitting below the belt, and coming as I do from the field of strategic studies, I believe those who have never seen combat nonetheless might have a lot of intelligent things to say about conflict. But all I'm saying is that if you're going to write sentences like "Gen. Stan McChrystal conformed to the Obama Way of War by imposing rules of engagement that could have been concocted by Code Pink," you better, in light of Gen. McChrystal's own curriculum vitae, have a glittering combat resume of your own. If you have never, in fact, been to war yourself, you might want to be a bit more measured in your criticism.
FORCES AVAILABLE FOR AN AFGHAN TROOP INCREASE -- [ISW]
This document describes the American forces available for deployment to Afghanistan as ground-owning brigades in the coming year. It begins by detailing American brigades currently in Afghanistan, followed by brigades with orders to deploy and then provides details on brigades available for deployment in late 2009/early 2010.
You Don't ALWAYS Have to Escalate -- [Registan]
...I still believe that the war in Afghanistan remains worth fighting. And I share ISW's belief that it can and should be fought better. But I also want to fight it with an eye toward its end state--something missing from the ISW reports. Similarly, there are cases where escalating force simply does not make sense--for example, when the premise of all your reports is that soldiers are being deployed with no strategic intent, shouldn't that indicate that adding more soldiers is not, in fact, the solution?
And thus ...
It is Time to Lead, Follow, or get the hell out of the War -- [Bouhammer]
Back in April the Administration announced a strategy for Afghanistan . Nobody really knew what that meant except it was going to focus on giving $5 million dollars a year to Pakistan for 5 years, and was supposed to surge in civilian experts. Of course the surge of military that happened in the spring was already planned for by the previous administration. Also, the surge of civilian experts never happened. A few months later we see the General that had been in charge get fired and forced to retire because he was not the right man for the job. We then see GEN McChrystal and Rodriguez get put into place as the "best guys for the job". As soon as he was put into place, McChrystal was ordered to do a comprehensive 60 day review to define what is needed to succeed in Afghanistan . That review was sent to CENTCOM and the Pentagon on August 30th. Today is Sept 30th and now we are hearing a meeting will happen today with the President, VP, SecState, CJCS ADM Mullen, CENTCOM CDR GEN Petreaus, and of course GEN McChrystal via secure video.
Off To Afghanistan ! -- [Military Observer - Andrew Lubin]
It's actually quite simple; if you want to write accurately about what's happening in Afghanistan, you need to go there, spend some time, ask a lot of questions, and get out in the field with our Marines and soldiers as they're working all three blocks of the 3-Block War. Will that make me an expert? No, but it'll enable me to understand more of the shifting dynamics of a war where friends, enemies, and even our NATO have different perceptions and vastly different goals as to what "we" all want to accomplish.
And through the magic of the internet, I'll be able to share it with you.
I'll be spending the next five week in Afghanistan.
General Says Iraq Troop Reductions May Quicken -- [NY Times]
The senior American commander in Iraq said Tuesday that he could reduce American forces to 50,000 troops even before the end of next summer if the expected January elections in Iraq went smoothly.
...Gen. Ray Odierno, said he had already ordered some service members and equipment diverted from the Iraq mission to Afghanistan, in particular surveillance aircraft and units known as "combat enablers,"
US to send home 4,000 more troops from Iraq -- [AP]
...A Defense Department official confirmed Odierno planned to announce at the House hearing that he is reducing the number of brigades in Iraq, as has been long expected.
In his eight-page statement, Odierno cited data showing that the monthly number of attacks in Iraq have dramatically dropped over the last two years -- from more than 4,000 in August 2007 to about 600 last month. He also said that far fewer al-Qaida and foreign fighters remain in Iraq, and most of those who are left are criminals and disenfranchised Iraqis who have been recruited by what Odierno described as a "small ideological core" of insurgents. Despite cautious optimism, Odierno's outlook of the nation he called an enduring U.S. interest was far from rosy.
He predicted several looming problems as U.S. troops prepare to end combat missions by September 2010 and leave Iraq at the end of 2011. They include:...
War is economics by other means, part III -- [Wings Over Iraq - in Iraq]
In a previous post, we discussed the difficulties which faced the fledgling Iraqi economy--one of the vital, yet underlooked, components of a secure Iraq. In that particular article, I noted that foreign investment in Iraq is minimal, that a good portion of the work force is part of the Iraqi police and Army (and thus, don't create revenue), and that oil prices have dropped considerably, which affects the amount of money available to fund the security forces (and thus, keep the insurgency at bay, and to employ potential insurgents in legitimate jobs).
Iraqi Journalists Fear for Safety as US Exit Nears -- [Stars and Stripes]
Muhammad Khalil looks warily to the quickly approaching day when US Strykers rumble out of his dust-blown desert compound for the last time. He fears it may be a deadly change. Khalil is neither a member of the Iraqi Security Forces nor a high-profile politician, but he works in one of the most dangerous professions in Iraq: journalism. "Right now if you write an article against someone powerful, he could send someone to come kill you in the night," said Khalil, the manager of the Diyala Media Center, an affiliate of al-Iraqiya, a national television network set up after the fall of Saddam Hussein. The Diyala Media Center's plight is repeated all over Iraq, as US forces draw down.
Who Fights This War? -- Flight Medic -- [In Iraq Now (at 56) - in Iraq]
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - "I am never nervous on the flight out," said Staff Sgt. Cynthia Dalton, describing her experience as a flight medic in Iraq . "I go over every possible scenario in my mind. But when we touch down, I just go." Dalton , who is assigned as a flight medic to the 2nd Battalion, 104th Aviation Brigade, part of Task Force Keystone, said her first rescue mission in Iraq was the hardest. It was a vehicle rollover in bad weather. One Soldier was dead at the scene, two more were badly injured. She and the other medics at the scene treated the Soldiers as much as they could and then loaded them on their Black Hawk helicopters for transport to the nearest emergency medical facility. "Both Soldiers made it," she said. "But after a mission like that I am really hard on myself. I can see why people burn out. I go over everything I could possibly have done differently. We did our jobs, but it always seems like there is something I could have done different or better."
Iraq's once restive Diyala enjoys uneventful Muslim feast for first time since U.S. invasion -- [Azzaman]
The once restive and violent province of Diyala, of which Baaquba is the capital, has enjoyed an uneventful Muslim feast for the first time since ... more 27/09/2009
FEMA, Guard rush to American Samoa to help victims -- [Washington Times]
A team of U.S. first-responders is speeding to American Samoa aboard a Coast Guard plane to help with the aftermath of an earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 100 people in the South Pacific region, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Wednesday.
...The FEMA team will join National Guardsmen who will assist in rescue-and-recover efforts -- including restoring power and cleaning up the heavily damaged southern part of island, which is coated in mud and filled with debris, including boats and overturned cars.
Tsunami advisory map for the California coast -- [Los Angeles Times]
The National Weather Service has issued a tsunami advisory for California coastal areas after a 7.9 earthquake in American Samoa.
IRAN: Secret nuclear plant broke transparency law, says IAEA chief -- [Los Angeles Times]
The head of the United Nations nuclear enforcement agency said Wednesday that Iran violated transparency laws when it failed to notify international ...
In Dispute With Iran, Path to Iraq Is in Spotlight -- [New York Times]
To many Americans, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell's February 2003 speech to the United Nations on Iraq's unconventional weapons was powerfully persuasive. It was a dazzling performance, featuring satellite images and intercepts of Iraqi communications, delivered by one of the most trusted figures in public life. Then a long and costly war began, and the country discovered that the assertions that Iraq possessed illicit weapons had been completely unfounded. Now the United States' confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program is heating up, with the disclosure last week that the Iranian government is building a second uranium enrichment complex it had not previously acknowledged. The question is inevitable: Is the uproar over the secret plant near Qum another rush to judgment,...
Swiss ambassador meets detained Americans in Iran -- [Xinhua]
Switzerland, which represents US interests in Iran, was allowed on Wednesday to meet three Americans who were detained for straying across
OPEC supply cushion offsets Iran oil worry -Kuwait -- [Reuters]
OPEC's spare capacity would lessen the impact on oil prices of any disruption to Iran's oil supply if the dispute over Tehran's
US Concerned About China's Military Modernization -- [Voice of America]
October 1, 2009 is the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China, and the nation's armed forces will take part in a massive program celebrating the Communist Party's takeover in 1949. US officials have carefully watched China's efforts to modernize its military in recent years and are concerned it could pose a threat to America's military power in the Pacific. For more than a decade, China has been rapidly modernizing the People's Liberation Army. And US officials have expressed concern about how Beijing might use its expanding military power.
China Preparing "Substantial" Economic Aid to North Korea -- [GI Korea]
Well so much for any claims that China is going to punish North Korea with real sanctions:
China Stabs Obama (and America) in the Back on North Korea -- [One Free Korea]
I've been skeptical of reports, most of them directly from the ChiCom propaganda mill, that China was cooperating with U.N. sanctions against North Korea. So after a brief flurry of displays of cooperation, here is what the statistical record tells us:
Must Read: North Korea Contingency Planning and U.S.-ROK Cooperation -- [One Free Korea]
Although it seems to have genetic origins in plenty of other things I've read by Lankov, Noland, etc., combining and updating some already excellent works only makes the Asia Society's / U.S.-Korea Institute's final product even better. I'll quote the executive summary and let you read the rest on your own
U.S. pulls out troops from Philippine project site -- [Reuters]
The United States pulled out its servicemen from a project site on a remote island in the southern Philippines on Wednesday, a day after two navy engineers were killed in a landmine attack.
Pirate Attacks on the Rise off Somalia -- [Defense Talk]
Pirate activity has increased recently off the coast of Somalia with four attempted attacks occurring on motor vessels in the Gulf of Aden since Sept. 19.
Success Against al-Qaeda Cited -- [Washington Post]
U.S. and international intelligence officials say that improved recruitment of spies inside the al-Qaeda network, along with increased use of targeted airstrikes and enhanced assistance from cooperative governments, has significantly reduced the terrorist organization's effectiveness.
Al Qaeda takes multiple hits from US forces -- [Christian Science Monitor]
In September, Al Qaeda took losses in Somalia, Indonesia, and Pakistan.
In Somalia, US Special Forces in attack helicopters swooped over a deserted track of land, targeting and killing a leading militant associated with Al Qaeda. Days later, an American-trained anti-terrorism squad in Indonesia corned and killed Southeast Asia's most wanted terrorist. And in recent days, American soldiers have waded deep inside the jungles of the Philippines alongside their Philippines counterparts, providing logistical support in a military operation that neutralized several bases of the Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group.
Taken together, the incidents show how the US has stepped up the global fight it has been waging for the last eight years and is pairing its intelligence and special operations teams alongside the militaries of foreign governments. But...
...and rumors of war -- [Greyhawk]
There's certainly much good news in this report regarding our ability to infiltrate, track, target, and "surgically strike" al Qaeda (or other terrorist groups, we presume). Obviously such efforts should be carried on. But regardless of the degree of faith we want to put in those efforts (even if it's enough to overlook annoying and certainly explainable details like "Barrett's remarks stood in contrast with an assessment he made in June...") nothing here stands as an argument against full commitment to other concurrent efforts. Confidence is a good thing (I've learned not to underestimate American soldiers, for example) but the odds of looking back with regret on a decision to put all our eggs in any one basket remain high.
But what an amazing cultural shift is described here: ...
Al Qaeda Bombers Learn from Drug Smugglers -- [CBS News]
Al Qaeda has developed a new tactic that allows suicide bombers to breach even the tightest security, as CBS News correspondent Sheila MacVicar reports.
To get his bomb into this room, Abdullah Asieri, one of Saudi Arabia's most wanted men, avoided detection by two sets of airport security including metal detectors and palace security. He spent 30 hours in the close company of the prince's own secret service agents - all without anyone suspecting a thing.
How did he do it?
Taking a trick from the narcotics trade - which has long smuggled drugs in body cavities - Asieri had a pound of high explosives, plus a detonator inserted in his rectum.
NY Terror Suspect Pleads Not Guilty -- [AP]
An Afghan immigrant pleaded not guilty Tuesday to planning a New York terrorist attack with bombs made from beauty-supply chemicals - a purported plot authorities say was assisted by at least three accomplices whose whereabouts and level of involvement haven't been revealed. "The conspiracy here is international in scope," Assistant US Attorney Jeffrey Knox told a federal judge in Brooklyn. Najibullah Zazi, wearing a blue jail smock, never spoke and showed no emotion as his lawyer entered the plea in a packed courtroom. He was ordered held without bail. "You get the impression he's a nice guy, don't you?" defense attorney Michael Dowling told the reporters afterward.
Dear Soldiers' Angels... -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
I just wanted to say thank you. I was WIA on XX Sept 09. When I got to Bagram airfield in Afghanistan, there was a Purple Heart/ Soldiers Angels bag in my ICU room when I woke up.
It is so nice to know that after what I saw, what I did, and what me and my crew went through, there were people who already had us in mind. I sleep with the fleece blanket I got, the hygiene bag was wonderful, especially since mine burned to the ground with my vehicle.
Wounded in Afghanistan - Our Heroes Need Our Help! -- [Soldiers' Angels]
The work of Soldiers' Angels reaches all the way into one of the first places a wounded soldier stops on the way home. Receiving a backpack from Soldiers' Angels when they wake up at Bagram, Afghanistan means so much to them. Roger Godskesen, who does amazing work in support of the wounded and those who care for them, sent out a clarion call for help this week.
Beware the Partisan Organization which claims to speak for veterans -- [Burn Pit]
...Although Votevets claims to be the "leading progressive, pro-military organization of veterans" they are not actually a veterans organization as defined by Congress and set forth by the IRS. Even VoteVets themselves have admitted that only about 5 percent of their members are veterans of the GWOT. And even those are somewhat suspect. In fact, as Mothax discussed in his stolen valor piece, at least two VoteVets spokespeople used in television commercials have been proven to have either made up their military records entirely (Rick Duncan/ Strandlof) or vastly inflated their experiences (Josh Lansdale.) While every organization is capable of being infiltrated by phonies, it is unconscionable that an organization would use a guy in TV commercials who claimed to have had a finger shot off and a plate in his head when simple visual inspection revealed no scars.
A Message for the Troops from the FDNY -- [Daily News]
I just got this email from a dear friend of mine, Paul Brown, who is a New York City firefighter:
I was hoping you would pass along a message. Anytime you hear anything from the troops regarding public support, please remind them of the FDNY.
No matter what occurs, there is a group of over 12,000 firefighters who support our service people unwaveringly. Most of us view the military like our big brothers who went to take care of a bully who bloodied our noses. There is nothing we wouldn't do for them.
After 39 Years, Soldiers Cited for Heroism -- [NY Times]
A reunion of soldiers had a special meaning this year after their unit unveiled a presidential citation for a rescue mission in Vietnam in March 1970.
Maine neighbors honor Bush with Navy anchor -- [AP]
Former president and World II naval aviator George H.W. Bush has been honored by some of his neighbors in Kennebunkport. The group unveiled a Navy anchor and a plaque that thanks him for his service as president and for being a good neighbor....
Military to get mandatory swine flu shots soon -- [AP]
U.S. military troops will begin getting required swine flu shots in the next week to 10 days, with active duty forces deploying to war zones and other critical areas going to the front of the vaccine line, a top military commander said Tuesday.
What is a Milblog, and Why Should You Care? -- -- [BlogWorld 2009]
LaughingWolf Aside from being asked what a blog is, the next question that comes up in talking with people -- even other bloggers -- is "What is a milblog?" That's a good question.
Milblogs are blogs about the military, or topics of interest to the military, by those associated with the military. There are several "types" of milblog, most of which will be represented in the milblog track on Thursday at BWE.
No, Milblogs Are Not PAO or Propaganda -- [BlogWorld 2009]
In response to something offline, I wanted to add to what I said yesterday.
While some PAO's blog, and the Department of Defense is starting to blog and engage in social media, milblogs are not PAO operations. The milbloggers do have to register with their command, which can consist of telling their superior they are blogging to something a bit more formal in writing. That said, they do not have to get their content reviewed or approved by public affairs (PAO).
At Fort Bliss (it was better in Iraq) -- [Life at Joint Base Balad - home from Iraq]
...the days after our initial rest-day were spent at the SRP site (Soldier Readiness Processing). We were doing our out-processing and de-mobilizing. Basically this entails sitting through 4 hours of briefings, and then making sure our finances are correct, calculating final pay and our military separation date (as well as issuing DD 214's), being medically and dentally checked, and turning in body armor. Here is a view of the SRP site, which is in a big circus-style tent on Fort Bliss:
DELAWARE: Biden to welcome home soldiers, including son -- [Delmarva Daily Times]
AP • September 30, 2009 Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to speak at a welcoming ceremony today in Dover for the roughly 110 soldiers of the Delaware
Biden to welcome son home from war -- [Richmond Times Dispatch]
Vice President Joe Biden will welcome home his son, and the other members of the 261st Signal Brigade, as they return to Delaware from Iraq.
Soldiers get big welcome home in Salina -- [KSN-TV]
SALINA, Kansas - Tuesday, 140 Kansas National Guard soldiers returned home after a year-long deployment in Iraq. The brigade is based in Wichita,
Welcome Home Troops! -- [Central Illinois Proud]
PONTIAC - Across the state, approximately 200 soldiers from the Illinois National Guard 33rd Infantry Combat Team returned home Monday.
Newly signed state bill establishes 'Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans ... -- [Lake County News]
Arnold Schwarzenegger signed AB 717, which establishes an annual "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day" on March 30. Jose G. Ramos, who founded the Welcome
Without Bush, media lose interest in war caskets -- [Washington Examiner]
Remember the controversy over the Pentagon policy of not allowing the press to take pictures of the flag-draped caskets of American war dead as they arrived in the United States?
...The situation was pretty much the same when caskets arrived on Sept. 5, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 22, 23 and 26. There has been no television coverage at all in September.
The media can cover arrivals only when the family gives its permission.
...But these days, the press hordes that once descended on Dover are gone, and there's usually just one organization on hand. The Associated Press, which supplies photos to 1,500 U.S. newspapers and 4,000 Web sites, has had a photographer at every arrival for which permission was granted. "It's our belief that this is important, that surely somewhere there is a paper, an audience, a readership, a family and a community for whom this homecoming is indeed news," says Paul Colford, director of media relations for AP.
Iranian Commando Training For TV Reporter -- [MEMRI Blog]
Colonel: "Hello, welcome. How are you?"
Reporter: "Fine, thank you."
Colonel: "Please sit down."
Reporter: "To tell you the truth, I'd like to accompany the paratroopers and the special forces. You may find this funny, but I would like to hang out with the guys, to undergo a parachuting course, and to jump with a parachute."
Voice of reporter: "From the outset, I could see in the eyes of the Commander of the 65th Brigade - or the Commander of the Army Rangers - that I was probably on the wrong track."
Colonel: "It is difficult, but we will do our best so you can prepare your TV report."
[...] Voice of reporter: "We began the commando training under supervision of the master, Haghshenash. One could call Haghshenash the father of the Iranian commando."
Haghshenash: "Make an effort!"
Voice of reporter: "The self-defense training was just the beginning, but the beginning of the commando training became the end for me..."
Instructor: "Come forward!"
Reporter: "Alright, alright."
Instructor: "Come forward! Come on!"
Reporter gets knocked to the ground by the instructor
"Ow! I broke my leg, I broke my leg!"
Commander: "Everybody here has broken something a couple of times. We welcome you for joining us."
Ambulance leaves the scene, with the reporter on board
The Military's Overlooked Brain Trust -- [The American Prospect]
As the debate over the best course of action to take in Afghanistan heightened last week, I was in a unique setting to consider the implications. As part of a workshop on media and the military at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas and Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, I was one of about 25 journalists who were given the opportunity to experience the military, meet soldiers, and even get a taste of life "inside."
The resounding message from Army leadership? "We've changed."
Overlooked Brain Trust....No, Not At All! -- [A Major's Perspective]
Within the article, the author argues that the Military still has two distinct challenges facing it, and that we have neglected and are woefully missing the point on them. Ms. Martin, however, has completely missed the point as to how the Military functions.
She argues that Military Officers will not engage in public discourse about National Strategy and Policy. That we are still locked into our old mindset of not joining the debate on what the United States should do about situations like Afghanistan and Iraq.
...Ms. Martin, with all due respect...
Rather Case Against CBS Dismissed; Rather's Lawyers to Ask for Review -- [TVNewser]
The New York State Supreme Court's Appellate Division has thrown out Dan Rather's $70 million lawsuit against his former employer, CBS Corp. "We find the complaint must be dismissed in its entirety," reads the decision. The Appellate court found that the motion court "erred in denying the defendants' motion to dismiss the claims for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty."
Military Facebook pages: Being there is not enough -- [Armed and Curious - in Iraq]
Today a growing number of military units and organizations have an official presence in social media and especially on Facebook. Unfortunately, it seems that most organizations just seem to think that being there is good enough. Their fan pages are nothing more than a place to push the same news releases and self congratulatory comments.
...A recent top 10 list by Federal Computer Week (http://bit.ly/2IbbUY) showed that the Marines come in number 2 with 83,000 fans and our Army page has over 49,000 fans. But with well over 300 million users on Facebook those numbers are quickly dwarfed as a measure of success. Even more so when you consider that the Chocolate Chip Cookies fan page weighs in with 1.46 million fans. (Dr. Mark Drapeau points out the fallacy of numbers of fans as a measure of success much better than I could in his excellent post http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/09/fallacious-celebrations-of-fac.html )
The entire US Army has well over 1 million members. ...
Hunt on for Facebook user after presidential death poll -- [Times]
Poster asked if Barack Obama should be killed, a federal crime, and attracted more than 700 responses before being pulled
New Facebook game lets you join Al Qaeda, commit terror acts -- [Infidels Are Cool]
You can also join the "counter-terrorists" and fight Al Qaeda, but still, this one's not going to go over so well...
US Congress quietly approves fast tracting Super Bunker Buster Bomb -- [Report on Arrakis]
Congress has quietly approved to fast track the deployment of the BGU-57A/B or Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP). The Pentagon plans to rush the deployment of 10 BGU-57A/B "bunker buster" bombs by June 2010.
Newsmax columnist: Military coup "to resolve the 'Obama problem' " is not "unrealistic" -- [Media Matters/Newsmax]
There is a remote, although gaining, possibility America's military will intervene as a last resort to resolve the "Obama problem." Don't dismiss it as unrealistic.
America isn't the Third World. If a military coup does occur here it will be civilized. That it has never happened doesn't mean it wont. Describing what may be afoot is not to advocate it.
Is today Military Dictatorship Day? -- [Hot Air]
Newsmax actually ran this as a column, not a blog post. It's a lunatic fantasy straight out of Greek theater. In those days, when mediocre tragedians wrote plots so complicated that they couldn't resolve them through character interaction, the Deus ex machina (loosely, the Flying God Machine) would deposit a new actor portraying one of the Greek pantheon onto the stage to sort out the mess. Perry fantasizes about a military takeover that would be the world's most powerful Deus ex machina, mainly out of political laziness:
Newsmax removes column that called for military coup to resolve the 'Obama problem.' -- [Think Progress]
In a column published on the right-wing site Newsmax yesterday, John L. Perry writes that a military coup against President Obama is possible. Newsmax appears to have taken down the column from its website this morning. Media Matters has archived it, however:
General Silence -- [ThreatsWatch - Steve Schippert]
In An Alternate Universe, Biden Is An Insurgency Expert and Petraeus & McChrystal Are Selling Snowcones
...Meanwhile, Vice President Biden's 'plan' from the Naval Observatory perches on how to prosecute the effort in Afghanistan gets more attention than the actual experienced military commander fighting the fight. Surely Biden gets more face time with the president than once in 70 days. I would much prefer he take another slow train ride to Deleware than attempt to craft a plan on an issue and conflict in which he is inept and thus unqualified to construct. no matter what office and title he holds.
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