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.
Updating - Refresh for updates.
View From A Gunner's Turret -- [Afghanistan my last tour - in Afghanistan]
It has been awhile since I have crawled up in the gunner's turret and took on the responsibility of a gunner. On today's mission, this was my position...
Pentagon Revamps Afghanistan Deployments -- [Yochi Dreazen/Wall Street Journal]
WASHINGTON--The Pentagon is revamping the way it deploys troops to Afghanistan, putting in place a new system that will return units to the same parts of the country so they can develop better regional expertise and closer relationships with local Afghan power brokers.
10 More Dari Phrases (Nice to know) -- [Your experience may vary - in Afghanistan]
One of my most popular posts is one from a while back on Dari Phrases You Need to Know. In case it's not obvious, this is the sequel: Ten phrases that can take you beyond the "minimum essential" and into the "nice to know"...
Home Depot, it ain't! -- [Mob2009 Blog - in Afghanistan]
Anyway, today I went to the local tool market here in Kabul. Like I stated earlier in my blog, that in Kabul they group all the stores into the same area. So, if you want meat, go to Butcher Street. If you want chicken, head over to Chicken Street. If you want flowers, head over to Flower Street. Today, I went to Tool Street!
Now, I didn't get the same spiritual feeling that I get when I walk into a Home Depot or Lowes, but I knew I found my "home away from home."
Gates: Guarded Optimism About Afghan War -- [Voice of America]
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday he is guardedly optimistic about the U.S.-led military campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared at a Senate hearing in support of the Obama administration's request for additional funding for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Afghanistan Troop Level to Eclipse Iraq by Midyear -- [Defense News]
This summer will mark the first time since 2003 that the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan will overshadow the American presence in Iraq, the top U.S. military officer told Congress today.
Driving the eclipse is the 30,000-troop surge President Barack Obama announced for Afghanistan in December, roughly a third of which is in place, and with 18,000 of the additional forces expected to be in Afghanistan by late spring as troop levels in Iraq continue to drop.
A Bit of This 'n' That -- [Ramblings from a painter - in Iraq]
We have some rather large organizational changes that are supposed to happen on April 1st. That's one week away, and you would think that we would know what those changes would be by now. You would be wrong.
Ayad Allawi, once seen as a U.S. puppet, returns to the center of Iraqi politics -- [Washington Post]
Allawi and his political coalition won Sunni support in part because he is considered less sectarian than other Shiite leaders and was not in office during the vicious sectarian bloodletting that marked the first two years of Maliki's tenure.
Allawi Wins Most Seats in Iraqi Elections -- [NY Times]
A secular coalition led by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi won the most seats in Iraq's parliamentary elections, narrowly edging out Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, who angrily denounced the results as fraudulent.
Mr. Allawi won 91 seats in Iraq's 325-seat Parliament, to Mr. Maliki's 89 seats, according to results released Friday by Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission.
Treaty Advances Obama's Nuclear Vision -- [NY Times "News Analysis"]
The treaty that the two sides hope to finalize as early as Friday will require hundreds of nuclear weapons to be shelved or destroyed, still just a fraction of the formidable arsenals maintained by the former cold war adversaries. But perhaps more important than the numbers is the tangible evidence of a new partnership with Russia and momentum toward a revamped nuclear security regime.
Binyamin Netanyahu humiliated after Barack Obama 'dumped him for dinner' -- [Time (UK) Online]
For a head of government to visit the White House and not pose for photographers is rare. For a key ally to be left to his own devices while the President withdraws to have dinner in private was, until this week, unheard of. Yet that is how Binyamin Netanyahu was treated by President Obama on Tuesday night, according to Israeli reports on a trip viewed in Jerusalem as a humiliation.
S.Korean ship sinking, North attack suspected: report -- [Reuters]
SEOUL (Reuters) - A South Korean naval vessel with more than 100 aboard was sinking on Friday in waters near North Korea and Seoul was investigating whether it was hit in a torpedo attack by the North, South Korean media said.
Broadcaster SBS said many South Korean sailors on the stricken vessel were feared dead.
S. Korean ship fires at unidentified vessel -- [Reuters]
SEOUL, March 26 (Reuters) - A South Korean naval ship fired at an unidentified vessel to the north on Friday after a South Korean naval vessel began sinking, the Yonhap news agency reported.
South Korean navy ship 'sinking near North' -- [BBC]
The South Korean government has convened an emergency meeting, according to the officials...
In January, North Korea fired artillery into the sea near the disputed maritime border, as part of a "military drill". South Korea returned fire, but no injuries were reported.
The following month, North Korea declared four areas near the sea border to be naval firing zones, according to the South Korean military, and deployed multiple rocket launchers close to the frontier.
S. Korean ship sinking; torpedo strike feared -- [MSNBC]
In recent weeks, North Korea has said it was bolstering its defenses in response to joint South Korean-U.S. military drills that were held this month.
Earlier Friday, North Korea's military warned South Korea and the United States of "unprecedented nuclear strikes" over a report the two countries plan to prepare for possible instability in the totalitarian country.
However the North routinely issues such warnings and officials in Seoul and Washington react calmly.
Military on alert as SKorean ship sinks near North -- [AP]
The military, meanwhile, moved to strengthen its vigilance near the maritime border, the site of three bloody naval clashes between the warring Koreas. The divided peninsula remains in a state of war because the three-year Korean conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, in 1953.
Commander, Troops Support Korea Tour Plan -- [Defense News]
With tour normalization, assignments to South Korea will be more like assignments to Germany, Japan or other overseas installations. Single servicemembers typically will serve two-year tours, and married troops who bring their families will stay for three years...
Ultimately, Sharp said, the number of command-sponsored tours in South Korea is expected to reach about 14,000, based on the fact that about half of U.S. servicemembers assigned there are married.
Swift Justice? -- [The Volokh Conspiracy]
Gabriel Schoenfeld points out in the Weekly Standard that the administration's nominee to be general counsel of the Army, Solomon B. Watson IV, was general counsel of the New York Times when it broke the story of the Treasury's program to uncover terrorist financing.
Watson has drawn fire for his role in allowing the disclosure of that program.
Army Warns of Internet Romance Scams -- [DoD Family Matters Blog]
"We are seeing a number of scams being perpetrated on the Internet, especially on social, dating-type Web sites where females are the main target," said Chris Grey, CID spokesman.
In particular, women should be suspicious if they begin a relationship on the Internet with someone claiming to be an American soldier and find that within a matter of weeks, the alleged soldier is asking for money or marriage, said Grey.
The criminals frequently pretend to be U.S. servicemen and usually claim to be serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, said Grey. The perpetrators often will take the true rank and name of a soldier who is honorably serving his country somewhere in the world, marry that up with some photographs of a soldier pulled off of the Internet, and then build a false identity before starting to prowl the Internet for victims.
Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans -- [Google News roundup]
This Sunday has been designated Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day. Numerous events around the country are planned.
VA tests system for electronic disability claims -- [AP]
Without a system overhaul, the VA estimates that by 2015, that backlog of disability claims will increase tenfold to about 2.6 million. Those with service-connected injuries already wait an average of about five months to have a claim processed, and there are frequent complaints about lost paperwork and inaccuracy...
It's expected to grow primarily because Shinseki in October made it easier for potentially 200,000 sick Vietnam veterans who were exposed to the Agent Orange herbicide to receive service-connected compensation. Under his watch, the VA has also said it will take a second look at the rejected claims of sick Gulf War veterans.
Special Abu Muqawama Q&A: Six Questions for Matt Gallagher -- [Abu Muqawama]
I think you all know by now how much I loved this book and how much I am encouraging readers of this blog to buy it. I liked Kaboom so much, in fact, that I forced Matt to answer some questions...
The place to nurse your MilBlog Conference hangover -- [Matt Gallagher/Kaboom: A Soldier's War Journal]
I'll be at the Arlington Barnes & Noble, on Sunday, April 11, at 1 p.m. I'll give a short talk, do a reading, and sign personalized copies for anyone interested...
I'm greatly looking forward to the MilBlog Conference - it'll be my first (insert consummate e-virgin joke here) - and in addition to the rock solid list of speakers and panels they have set up, there's that whole ability to eat, drink, and be merry with people I've only known digitally up to now.
A Soldier's Story -- [Bing West/The Wall Street Journal Book Review]
Matt Gallagher served as an Army platoon leader in Baghdad during a 15-month deployment in 2007-08, and in that time, writing under the name "LT G," he entertained online readers with an irreverent blog called "Kaboom." His posts--originally intended for family and friends before a wider audience took notice--captured the comic insanities that are an inevitable aspect of life within the military leviathan. The Army pulled the plug on the blog in June 2008 after Mr. Gallagher posted an account of how he had turned down a promotion to a staff position in order to stay with his men--or, rather, he mentioned that news as part of a hilarious rant about Army injustices, pitch-perfect for the millennium generation, and it reverberated through the military ranks. Unfortunately, his battalion commander lacked a sense of humor and banished the lieutenant to another combat unit, one delighted to make use of his leadership. Thus did Mr. Gallagher avoid being shipped to the rear.
Now he is writing again, having left the Army last year. "Kaboom" is based on his blog but composed without superiors looking over his shoulder.
...Mr. Gallagher is too modest, and too ironic, to tout his own accomplishments, so I'll do it for him...
Pentagon rebukes general for opposing repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell' law -- [Stars and Stripes]
Defense Secretary Robert Gates sharply reprimanded the three-star general who commands the U.S. Army in the Pacific on Thursday for publicly advocating against the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" law restricting gays in the military.
Pentagon Changes 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Enforcement -- [DoD news release]
On Feb. 2, Gates announced he'd ordered a review to understand the implications of a possible repeal of the 17-year-old law that bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. President Barack Obama has called on Congress to repeal the law.
The initial 45 days of that review, he said, produced findings that "would enforce the existing law in a fairer and more appropriate manner" and are supported by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen and Vice Chairman Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright and the service chiefs...
The changes include:
-- Only a general or flag officer may separate an enlisted member believed at the conclusion of an investigation to have engaged in homosexual conduct. Under previous policy, a colonel -- or for a captain in the Navy and Coast Guard - could order separation.
-- A revision in what's needed to begin an inquiry or a separation proceeding. Information provided by a third party now must be given under oath, "discouraging the use of overheard statements and hearsay," Gates said.
-- Certain categories of confidential information -- such as information provided to lawyers, clergy and psychotherapists -- no longer will be used in support of discharges. Information provided to medical personnel in furtherance of treatment, or to a public-health official in the course of seeing professional assistance for domestic or physical abuse also is excluded, as well as information obtained in the process of security-clearance investigations, in accordance with existing Pentagon policies.
Military curbs 'don't ask, don't tell' policy on gays -- [LA Times]
"These changes represent an important improvement in the way the current law is put into practice, above all by providing a greater measure of common sense and common decency," Gates said.
In announcing the new procedures, Gates took the first major step of a yearlong process. For the rest of the year, a task force will study what the military will need to do to repeal the ban and, for the first time, accommodate people of varying sexual preferences.
Partners of gay troops to get benefits, too? -- [Navy Times]
If gay service members are allowed to serve openly, the military will face another tough question: Should gay partners be entitled to military benefits?
...Benefits for married service members include college tuition for a spouse and the right of a spouse to be at a wounded service member's bedside. Spouses also have access to military health care and commissaries worldwide, and married service members receive better housing and even extra pay when they go to war.
The ticket to qualifying for those benefits is a marriage certificate.
First, we hang the lawyers -- [From my position... on the way!]
These days, the teachers at Langley High School in McLean, Virginia are teaching an interesting view of the Great Depression 1929-1940.
Fullbore Friday -- [Cdr Salamander]
How much do you really know what is happening to your children in school, especially when it comes to history?
History and Parents; the cornerstones of a free society.
...Throw in bias and ignorance with malice in a teacher - what your children are fed will shock you.
Just ask the students at Langley HS...
Langley High Teaches Revisionist History -- [A Soldier's Perspective]
Langley High School in McClean, VA, is studying the Depression. As part of their curriculum, this image was shown to students during a "graded discussion" on how McDonald's is trying to take over the world.
Mc Iwo Jima- Lefty BS at Virginia HS -- [Uncle Jimbo/Blackfive]
Every time you think the America-hating left can't burrow any deeper into their own excrement, they prove us wrong. Some left wing butthead teacher at Langley HS in Virginia has decided that this image is appropriate to learn the children about the military-fast food complex.
A Teacher? The Hell It Is -- [Laughing Wolf]
Being that this is the modern public education establishment, I am willing to bet that nothing happens to this person. That the leadership of the school will circle the wagons, attack the kids and parents, and otherwise cry about how misunderstood they are and that academic freedom is at stake--what a load of crap.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)