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Suicide attackers killed in Afghanistan -- [CNN]
Two suicide attackers, dressed as women, stormed a relief agency in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday and were killed by police before they could detonate their explosives.
US kills 8 terrorists in 2 new airstrikes in North Waziristan -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
The US launched a strike in the village of Hamzoni and another in Datta Khel, the second there in two days.
S.N.A.B.U. = Situation Normal All BAF-fed Up -- [Afghanistan My Last Tour - in Afghanistan]
After 2 hours of driving and being bounced around on the Afghan highways like a ping-pong ball, we arrived at our destination. Originally we were planning to drive on to
BAF and then off-load the Humvees. But when we found out about the mountain of paperwork and coordination required to escort our ANA counterparts on the installation, we opted to off-load outside the base and drive them the remainder of the way.
Post Office Doesn't Like Me -- [Afghanistan My Last Tour - in Afghanistan]
Imagine it's your first day on the job and you are responsible for picking up the mail and incoming packages for the camp. You visit the main post office and in a wooden bin they have a stack a mail of that hasn't been picked up in awhile. Then you ask the question "Is there any other mail?" The clerk has this sheepish grin and leads you out back to a metal storage container. Inside the container, there are hundreds of boxes marked with your camp's address. As you examine the boxes closer, you notice most of these boxes are marked for a SMSgt Rex Temple at your camp. You have never met this person and your vehicles don't have enough spare room to haul all of these packages.
Danger Room Explainer: Outsourced Intel in Afghanistan -- [Danger Room]
When is intelligence really intelligence, and when is it merely "atmospherics"? It may sound abstract, but it goes to the heart of a New York Times scoop about a defense official who apparently set up an off-the-books intelligence operation in Afghanistan.
On Monday, the Times ran a story about Michael Furlong, the Defense Department official being investigated over an ad hoc spy ring. The piece raised more questions than it answered, and Washington Post intelligence columnist David Ignatius is now filling in some of the blanks.
In a column today, Ignatius distills the story. "Under the heading of 'information operations' or 'force protection,' he writes, "the military has launched intelligence activities that, were they conducted by the CIA, might require a presidential finding and notification of Congress. And by using contractors who operate 'outside the wire' in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the military has gotten information that is sometimes better than what the CIA is offering."
Ignatius also unpacks some of the curious semantics around this..
Swift, Silent, and Deadly - [David Bellavia]
If you see or hear us before doom comes on you we are either giving you a chance to surrender or screwing up. Just because you don't see or hear anything DOES NOT mean that nothing is happening. With this news media the best news you can hear is deafening silence. That means that the job is getting done without friendly or civilian casualties. They won't tell you about the dead bad guys or successful operations like the LIONESS PROGRAM where WOMEN MARINES contribute to the overall success. That program has gotten little or no press because it empowers Muslim women giving them a voice through AMERICAN Woman WARRIORS. In Iraq this resulted in the taming of Al Anbar and crazy sounding things like the Cows for Widows program and cooperation of Wisconson Dairy Companies in Iraq. Never heard of any of that? Imagine that. Turn off March madness and maybe you'll get a clue
Iraq Votes - Part VI -- [MEMRI]
The Elections Commissions announced yesterday the results of 79% of the votes counted. The results delivered a big surprise showing Ayad Allawi's Al-iraqiya slate ahead of Prime Minister Al-Maliki's State of Law by a few thousand votes. This is not much given that the counting of the votes is still going on, but the State of Law has already asked for a recount, particularly in the Province of Baghdad claiming fraud.
The fact, however,...
Mission Accomplished: Astroturfing Baghdad -- [Danger Room]
Lots of strange press releases land in my inbox, but the first line of this one stood out: "The world leader in artificial turf is proud to announce that the first artificial turf sports field in Iraq for the U.S. Government has been installed at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad."
Allies everywhere feeling snubbed by President Obama -- [Washington Post]
The contretemps between President Obama and Israel needs to be seen in a broader global context. The president who ran against "unilateralism" in the 2008 campaign has worse relations overall with American allies than George W. Bush did in his second term.
Chahar-Shanbeh Souri -- [Planet Iran]
People are chanting a new message to Obama saying: "Hossein, Hossein, stop trying to talk to our murderers!"
If bin Laden is found, he'll be killed, Holder says -- [AP]
Holder: If bin Laden found, he'll be killed -- Osama bin Laden "will never appear in an American courtroom," Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. told House members at a hearing Tuesday. -- "Let's deal with the reality here,"
ACLU files lawsuit for information on US Predator program -- [Threat Matrix]
The American Civil Liberties Union has followed up its Freedom of Information Act request that was filed in January seeking information on the US Predator program. Today, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the the Defense Department, the State Department, and the Justice Department, demanding enforcement of its January request for information on the program. The full press release release from the ACLU is..
Army Suicides Grow, but This Soldier Was Saved -- [Politics Daily]
...Alone in his barracks room at Forward Operating Base Rustamiyah, Sanders, a soft-spoken young man with a pleasant demeanor, seized his M-4 carbine, put the barrel under his chin, squeezed his eyes shut and pulled the trigger.
When Sanders pulled the trigger of his loaded carbine, there was only a light click. Horrified both at what he had done and what he had failed to do, Sanders tore open his weapon, searching frantically to find why it hadn't fired. He quickly identified the reason: no firing pin.
At that moment his roommate, Spec. Albert Godding, walked in. "Where's my firing pin -- I don't have a firing pin!'' Sanders yelled, terrified that he'd misplaced that critical piece and would get in trouble for losing it. "And how,'' Godding asked gently, "did you discover it was missing?'' When Sanders realized what had happened -- that Godding was worried enough that he'd removed the firing pin ...
Silver Star Winner Reprimanded for Afghan Battle -- [ABC]
Three Army officers have received letters of reprimand for failing to prepare adequate defenses for a combat outpost in Wanat, Afghanistan, where a mass Talibanattack in July 2008 resulted in the deaths of nine soldiers and 27 wounded, Defense Department officials confirmed to ABC News.
"These are essentially career-enders," said a military official of the letters of reprimand.
Two Defense Department officials said the actions are not yet final because the review that led to the letters of reprimand is still ongoing and the three officers have a period of time to respond and request reconsideration of the disciplinary action.
Among the three officers receiving the letters of reprimand is Capt. Matthew Myer, the company commander of the unit attacked at Wanat, who was awarded the Silver Star for his brave actions in repelling the attack.
Making today matter -- [Soldiers Angels Germany]
From Chaplain Campbell of Warrior's Sanctuary:
Last weekend while my wife and I were returning from a quick shopping trip we saw some flashing lights on the other side of the freeway. Not from a police car or a fire truck. The flashing lights were from large "Am Buses" transporting our wounded warriors to Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Navy Medical Center at Bethesda.
And it got him to wondering,
Arrrrrrmy Training, SIR! -- [This Ain't Hell]
I'm sure you've all read that the Army, for some stupid reason, is changing basic training. Their reasons are specious and indicative of why Army training was changed thirty years ago.
...The Army wants to do away with the endurance running and focus on some sort of short distance sprints and zig-zagging. Dicksmith seems pleased about. I'd remind the Army and dicksmith that endurance running builds soldiers' immune systems and their aerobic capacity - improving their overall internal health. Do away with distance running and you're going to make the force less effective.
Bushrod honors were not misplaced -- [Fredericksburg.com]
Jermon Bushrod's return to King George after his Super Bowl victory resulted in some letters that I feel were way off mark ["Football players aren't 'heroes,' King George," Feb. 26].
Mr. Bushrod is a millionaire, no doubt. He also happens to be one of the most humble, respectful gentlemen you will come across.
He's a local boy who has done good and provides a positive role model for our kids. He deserves accolades for all his accomplishments and the example he sets.
To compare him and his welcome home to our troops in harm's way displays an agenda or maybe a misguided avenue to express a point.
As a 24-year military veteran, I certainly had no issue with the fanfare in which Mr. Bushrod was welcomed home. Nor, do I suspect, did any of my fellow service members, active or not. Maybe a more powerful message would come from a letter expressing a desire to read more of the positive stories involving our troops, instead of the dirty laundry.
They're Coming Home! -- [KBND]
We are going to have four welcome home celebrations. One in Portland, one in Bend, one in Medford, and one in the Eugene Springfield area.
It's just some ribbon. -- [From my Position...]
American Idol is one of the Mrs.' guilty pleasures. While I watched it tonight, I was treated to Andrew Garcia, a talented performer, singing something. I can't remember what, however, because I was way to interested in why he was wearing a series of ribbon devices on his pocket. One of those medals is the Army commendation medal. The others I haven't bothered to look up yet.
Social Media Sites Provide Morale Boost, Official Says -- [Defense Link]
A newly introduced Defense Department social media policy opens doors that can provide a morale boost for families and troops serving in a war zone, a senior official who helped to design the policy said this week.
GE and Ronald Reagan: The Mutual Gift That Keeps On Giving -- [Politics Daily]
As part of a one-year celebration to honor the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's birth, General Electric will run ads honoring the 40th president's legacy -- and will donate $10 million to The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library
The Petraeus briefing: Biden's embarrassment is not the whole story -- [Foreign Policy Blog]
The Mullen briefing and Petraeus's request hit the White House like a bombshell. While Petraeus's request that CENTCOM be expanded to include the Palestinians was denied ("it was dead on arrival," a Pentagon officer confirms), the Obama administration decided it would redouble its efforts -- pressing Israel once again on the settlements issue, sending Mitchell on a visit to a number of Arab capitals and dispatching Mullen for a carefully arranged meeting with the chief of the Israeli General Staff, Lt. General Gabi Ashkenazi. While the American press speculated that Mullen's trip focused on Iran, the JCS Chairman actually carried a blunt, and tough, message on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: that Israel had to see its conflict with the Palestinians "in a larger, regional, context" -- as having a direct impact on America's status in the region. Certainly, it was thought, Israel would get the message.
Israel didn't. When Vice President Joe Biden was embarrassed by an Israeli announcement that the Netanyahu government was building 1,600 new homes in East Jerusalem, the administration reacted. But no one was more outraged than Biden who, ...
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