Welcome to the Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of information on war and other topics - from the MilBlogs and various sources around the world.
Always updating - refresh for updates.
The press, the shakeup & a TV moment -- [Afghani Dan - in Afghanistan]
Yesterday I attended a press conference in the morning, and by evening was shown on Afghan television channels alongside three of my colleagues. In between, the Minister of the Interior (whose department held the unrelated-but-later-much-quoted conference) tendered his resignation...
Back to the departure of Minister Atmar, while trying to steer clear of the politics involved: I think it's unfortunate, and not just because he's the only key government figure who I've personally witnessed in action. He was presiding over enormous improvements in the training of national police, gendarmarie, border patrol, highway patrol and other units, and it seemed he was making progress in curbing the rampant corruption that impedes progress for the people everywhere...
The Heat Is On -- [Free Range International - in Afghanistan]
It is 88˚ Fahrenheit during the day in Jalalabad making this the coolest start to summer in memory. Unfortunately the number of security incidents in Jalalabad and around the country have started climbing like the temperature normally does. Yesterday, for the first time since a one-off attack in 2008 the villains struck at the U.S. army inside Jalalabad City...
Marines face continued ambushes around Marjah -- [Dan Lamothe/Marine Corps Times]
With the sun dropping lower on the baked horizon, two squads of Marines pushed north into the countryside here, uncertain what dangers were ahead.
Stepping out May 24 from Combat Outpost Reilly, the Marines knew a firefight was possible. The night before, insurgents used 82mm mortars and accurate sniper fire to repel a 100-man force of British troops from a nearby village, the Marines said. Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., planned to patrol a few miles farther north than normal, an experiment to see how stiff resistance was in another part of Helmand province.
The answer came at 6:11 p.m., nearly two hours after the second of the two squads left the wire...
Marjah: 'It's like a petting zoo in hell' -- [Dan Lamothe/Marine Corps Times Battle Rattle blog]
Marines on patrol regularly pass sheep, goats and cattle grazing through the area....
Not long after a group of Kilo Company 3/6 Marines we were traveling with east of Marjah were ambushed, I was surprised to see a 6-year-old girl slit the throat on a chicken, assumedly to prepare it for dinner. Five minutes later, she stepped on her pet dog's head to keep it from moving as Marines patrolled by...
NATO death toll hits 24 in June -- [AP/Washington Times]
Two American troops were killed by a roadside bomb and a British soldier was fatally shot on patrol Tuesday, raising the NATO death toll in Afghanistan to two dozen in little more than a week.
The bloodshed spiked ahead of a major NATO operation in the Taliban's southern heartland. U.S. commanders have warned of more casualties as the alliance gears up to clear Kandahar, the biggest city in Afghanistan's south and the former headquarters of the Taliban.
Afghanistan Strategy Shifts to Focus on Civilian Effort -- [Rod Nordland/NY Times]
The prospect of a robust military push in Kandahar Province, which had been widely expected to begin this month, has evolved into a strategy that puts civilian reconstruction efforts first and relegates military action to a supportive role...
NATO helicopter shot down in Afghanistan -- [AP/Army Times]
A NATO helicopter was shot down in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing four troops, the alliance said.
The helicopter was brought down by hostile fire in volatile Helmand province, NATO said in a statement. It gave no other details.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi claimed responsibility on behalf of the insurgents, saying militants shot down the helicopter with two rockets.
Gates: Progress in Afghan war must come this year -- [AP/Stars and Stripes]
Public support for the war in Afghanistan will evaporate unless the nations leading the fight against insurgents can show by the end of this year that the eight-year war is not locked in stalemate, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday.
"All of us, for our publics, are going to have to show by the end of the year that our strategy is on the track, making some headway," Gates said ahead of meetings with NATO allies long weary of the war.
In Afghanistan's North, Ex-Warlord Offers Security -- [NY Times]
MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan -- In a country still gripped by war, the families picnicking around the azure-domed shrine in the central square here are perhaps the clearest sign that this northern provincial city has distinguished itself as one of the most secure places in the country. An estimated one million people visited Mazar-i-Sharif for Afghan New Year celebrations in March and in the weeks after without incident.
It helps, of course, that Mazar-i-Sharif and the surrounding Balkh Province lie far from the Pakistani border and the heartland of the Taliban insurgency in southern and eastern Afghanistan. But there is something else that sets Mazar-i-Sharif apart, almost everyone here agrees, and that is the leadership of the provincial governor, Atta Muhammad Noor.
Afghans burn pope effigy over proselytizing claims -- [AP/Stars and Stripes]
MAZAR-E-SHARIF, Afghanistan (AP) -- ...U.S.-based Church World Service and Norwegian Church Aid deny spreading Christianity. The government suspended them last week while investigating allegations in an Afghan television report.
More than 1,000 people marched Tuesday in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, demanding organizations that proselytized in Afghanistan be banned.
The crowd roared approval as protesters doused the effigy of the pope in kerosene and lit it.
They shouted: "Death to America! Long Live Islam!"
Flight Home & Scary Questions -- [Kandahar Diary - in Afghanistan]
...Significantly, I've begun thinking about why I'm there and whether the whole thing is worth it. Is there any point in my being there? Do we make a difference and is Afghanistan worth it all? Frankly, right now, I answer 'no' to all of the above. I just can't see the point. The country is a basket case - always has been and always will be. It seems to me the government does not have popular support, and Karzai spends more time criticising the West and 'reaching out' to the Taliban than he does prosecuting the war. Warlords run the country and pose as significant a risk to overall stability, and to the security of my convoys, compound and men, as the Taliban. Everyone knows what will happen to this place when the west pulls out - at best, continued fighting as warlords and their factions vie for power and, at worst, all-out civil war. I'm no expert but I simply cannot imagine a scenario that includes a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan.
It just seems to me, right now, that it's all a gigantic waste of time, money and lives...
I'll be signing off for a while. ...
Tough Questions -- [Knights of Afghanistan - in Afghanistan]
The anonymous author of Kandahar Diary asks some tough questions of himself and his mission while waiting for a long-anticipated leave flight home...
I confess to thinking the same thoughts all too often...
Ice Cream Music -- [Knights of Afghanistan - in Afghanistan]
During the summer months in Kabul, street food is available in large quantities on many major roads. In addition to the fixed stalls and shops, wandering vendors push carts of fruit, vegetables and nuts through every neighborhood. Some of the more ubiquitous vendors are the ice cream men...
I'm considering buying all of his ice cream tomorrow in exchange for him leaving the neighborhood permanently. Failing that, I may finally crack and shoot him...
Destination Kabul -- [Ismene/A Handful of Dust]
...Afghanistan, in particular, with its stunning landscapes has much to offer the Himalaya/Karakorum trekking crowd. Sign me up for September!
Still, I think that opening a B&B in Kabul might be a bit premature. Beyond the obvious problems of the security situation (nobody wants his adventure holiday to turn into an actual adventure), I think that the underlying cultural forces which have fuelled the conflicts in the Middle East and Central Asia will prevent a mass tourist industry from gaining a foothold anytime in the near future. Nobody likes to say it - and liberal academics like me are not supposed to say it - but...
Epic Taliban Fail -- [Starbuck/Wings Over Iraq]
These are the people that have been resisting invaders since Alexander the Great? I've seen better coordination and tactical prowess from ROTC cadets.
Iraqi Kurds seek help to halt Iranian incursion -- [Reuters]
The Kurdish regional assembly unanimously adopted a memorandum calling on the Iraqi government, the United Nations, the United States and other powers "to press Iran to stop its bombardment of Iraqi border villages and to end its occupation of a position inside Iraqi Kurdistan."
...Iranian forces frequently clash with rebels from the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which took up arms in 1984 for an ethnic homeland in southeast Turkey.
Iran considers the PJAK a terrorist group.
Iranian troops building fort in Iraq -- [Los Angeles Times]
A small Iranian force crossed into the Kurdish-controlled region of northern Iraq on Thursday after a bomb attack that killed several Iranian soldiers. The assault was carried out by the Party for Free Life in Kurdistan, an Iranian Kurdish militant movement based in northern Iraq that is known by its Kurdish acronym, PEJAK.
About 35 Iranians remained behind, in an area near the Perdunaz border crossing, and have since been observed building a fortified structure high on a mountain, said the Kurdish regional government's defense spokesman, Jaber Yawer.
From a nearby Kurdish observation post, two bulldozers, alongside a small tank, can be seen digging fortifications.
Iran also retaliated with artillery strikes, which last week killed a 14-year-old girl. There was renewed shelling of the area Tuesday, but most civilians have fled the area and no one was killed, Yawer said...
Iran denies pursuing Kurds over Iraq border -- [Reuters]
On Wednesday, Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region demanded the central government in Baghdad take steps against an incursion into its territory by Iranian forces. A Reuters witness saw Iranian soldiers manning a small position some two kilometres (1.2 miles) inside Iraqi Kurdistan.
In a report by Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency, Ambassador Hassan Kazemi-Qomi denied such military manoeuvres...
U.N. Is Set to Vote on Iran Sanctions -- [NY Times]
The United Nations Security Council is scheduled on Wednesday to impose new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, taking aim at the financial might of the Revolutionary Guards Corps as well as Iran's military and nuclear industries with the addition of 41 enterprises to the blacklist.
U.N. Security Council Passes New Sanctions Against Iran -- [NY Times]
The United States, moving firmly away from the Obama administration's previous emphasis on wooing Iran, pushed through a new round of United Nations sanctions against the nation on Wednesday...
The new sanctions, a modest increase from previous rounds, took months to negotiate but still did not carry the symbolic weight of a unanimous Security Council decision. Twelve of the 15 nations voted for the measure, while Turkey and Brazil voted against and Lebanon abstained.
Beyond the restrictions imposed by the sanctions themselves, the vote sets stage for harsher measures that the United States and the European Union have promised to enact on their own once they had the imprimatur of the United Nations. European leaders are likely to discuss new measures at a summit meeting this month...
Susan E. Rice, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, said the body had "risen to its responsibilities" by approving the measure, and that "now Iran should choose a wiser course."...
Mexico anger high as US Border Patrol kills teen -- [AP]
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico - Mexicans are seething over the second death of a countryman at the hands of U.S. Border Patrol agents in two weeks, an incident near downtown El Paso that is threatening to escalate tensions over migrant issues.
U.S. authorities said Tuesday a Border Patrol agent was defending himself and colleagues when he fatally shot the 15-year-old as officers came under a barrage of big stones while trying to detain illegal immigrants on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande...
Administration Delays Release of Report Tying Meth to Mexico -- [NY Times]
In an apparent effort to minimize diplomatic turbulence with the Mexican government, the Obama administration has been delaying for weeks the release of a Justice Department report that describes a "high and increasing" availability of methamphetamine mainly because of large-scale drug production in Mexico.
The report, obtained by The New York Times, is called the 2010 National Methamphetamine Threat Assessment by the National Drug Intelligence Center of the Justice Department...
Methamphetamine Threat Assessment -- [U.S. Department of Justice/National Drug Intelligence Center]
Russia Urges Global Struggle Against Afghan Heroin -- [Voice of America]
Speaking at an international anti-drug forum in Moscow, President Medvedev issued a call for a common global fight against narcotics, saying the entire world is threatened by drug-producing countries, especially those that make hard drugs - narcotics that are more addictive and damaging.
He said Afghanistan does not have the resources for a breakthrough in the fight. He said ongoing efforts by various international organizations, including the United Nations, NATO and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, are not enough...
Mr. Medvedev told the forum that nearly one-million people under the age of 35 have died around the world in the past eight years from Afghan heroin. Russia's federal drug control agency says the country loses about 30,000 people to heroine abuse each year...
The United Nations says Afghanistan cultivates 92 percent of the world's opium poppies...
Russian-Afghan trade needed in fight against drug trafficking -- [Ria Novosti]
Bilateral trade and economic cooperation between Russia and Afghanistan could reduce drug trafficking from the war-torn state, a deputy Russian economics minister said on Wednesday.
"We think that besides military and political efforts, a whole complex of measures are needed to develop the Afghan economy," Igor Manylov told the international anti-drugs forum in Moscow.
Communities bid Guard armories farewell -- [USA Today]
The closing of the small, aging facility and many like it across the USA is the result of shifting demographics, tight state budgets and changes in the way America's citizen soldiers are being trained and deployed, says Sgt. Katherine Perez, a National Guard public affairs officer.
More than 100 armories nationwide have closed or been targeted for closing in the past five years -- many in smaller communities -- and more are closing this year, USA TODAY research found. Some are being replaced by larger joint Army National Guard, Army Reserve and Air National Guard Readiness Centers.
U.S. hopes to share prison with Afghanistan -- [Los Angeles Times]
The Obama administration wants to retain the ability to hold terrorism suspects from other countries at its largest prison in Afghanistan, even after it hands control of the facility to the Afghan government next year, according to U.S. officials.
If Afghan officials agree, it would give the administration a place to interrogate terrorism suspects captured in countries such as Somalia or Yemen. President Obama made a high-profile pledge to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after taking office last year. But that would leave the administration without a lockup for those suspected of plotting attacks against the United States...
JROTC guy for... -- [Jules Crittenden/Forward Movement]
So ... JROTC guy for govenor. If someone as politically inept and tone-deaf as Deval Patrick has been for the last four years can leap to the head of that race, how hard could it possibly be? How about JROTC guy for Congress? Worcester is currently represented by U.S. Rep. James McGovern, D-Caracas. Heck, JROTC guy for president. What, you have a better idea? What, you think some guy with virtually no political experience no one's ever heard of before can't do it?
Army Fires Top Two Administrators Over Mismanagement of Arlington Cemetery -- [Fox News]
Army Secretary John McHugh has fired the top two officials overseeing Arlington National Cemetery over allegations of mismanagement, including burying a service member's body on top of another, Fox News has confirmed...
Innocent until Proven Guilty -- [Bouhammer]
"The Army said Friday that Spc. Jeremy Morlock had been charged with three counts of premeditated murder and one count of assault."
...To read this and especially to write about it is very tough. As a soldier it is tough to see other soldiers even be accused of it. However I have a personal connection to Jeremy's family and in fact I know this soldier and knew him as a young boy. His family has been through a lot already and this does not help...
Family, friends welcome Lewis-McChord soldiers home -- [NWCN.com]
It was an early morning homecoming in Tacoma for hundreds of soldiers.
About 300 soldiers from two battalions of the 3rd Stryker Brigade returned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord around 5:30 a.m.
...This is their third tour of Iraq since 2003. Their last deployment was in 2006-07, which involved hard combat that lasted 15 months. This time, their area of operations was in the Diyala Province, which is a quieter area.
About 1 in 10 Iraq veterans develops a serious case of PTSD, researchers say -- [L.A. Times]
It's well known that combat takes a toll on the mental health of soldiers -- for instance, studies of people who served in the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have found that those who experienced combat were two to three times more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder than their counterparts who remained out of harm's way. But studies have been less consistent in determining how many soldiers develop PTSD and other mental health disorders after deployment.
So a group of experts from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command examined 13,226 anonymous surveys completed by veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom...
Junger's War , Review by Karaka Pend -- [Small Wars Journal]
That is one question Junger, nor the soldiers of whom he writes, seems capable of answering. In the end Junger poses the question to the nation these men serve: how do we welcome home men who long for a bullet-stained combat outpost? How does one heal from that wound? (Excellent comment thread here.)
The Vet Question -- [Greyhawk/MVG]
...the question any company in America should be asking isn't "golly - should we hire vets?" It's "how soon can you start?"
But again, if you don't ask those questions, someone else will.
Army Leak Suspect Is Turned In, by Ex-Hacker -- [NY Times]
...So the former renegade, who in 2004 pleaded guilty to hacking into the internal computer system of The New York Times, did something he had not expected when Specialist Manning first contacted him: He turned him in.
On Monday, the Department of Defense announced that Specialist Manning, of Potomac, Md., had been arrested and was under investigation...
In the interview on Monday, Mr. Lamo said he had contacted the Army about Specialist Manning's instant messages because he was worried that disclosure of the information would put people's lives in danger. He said that Army investigators were particularly concerned about one sensitive piece of information that Specialist Manning possessed that Mr. Lamo would not discuss in more detail.
"I thought to myself, 'What if somebody dies because this information is leaked?' " he said.
In Twitter messages on Monday, Wikileaks denounced both Mr. Lamo and Kevin Poulsen, a co-author of the lengthy Wired Threat Level blog post, as "notorious felons, informers & manipulators" and said that "journalists should take care."
...Mr. Lamo said he had promised the F.B.I. he would testify against the specialist. "I'll keep my word, but I won't do it happily," he said. "I hope that his parents can forgive me. I'm sorry about what happened to their boy. But I was backed into a corner ethically."
In Twitter messages on Monday, Mr. Lamo continued the theme. "I outed Brad Manning as an alleged leaker out of duty," he said in one. "I would never (and have never) outed an Ordinary Decent Criminal. There's a difference."
In another Twitter message, Mr. Lamo said: "I know what it's like to be 22, scared, and in shackles too. I've been there. I hope none of you ever have to make a choice like this."
After Mr. Lamo pleaded guilty to hacking into The New York Times -- he had also hacked into Yahoo, WorldCom and Microsoft -- he was sentenced...
"Hysteria" vs. Inability to Read -- [Cassandra/Villainous Company]
Here's a suggestion for Mr. Smith: if he feels the need to respond at such length to a post which only mentions him tangentially, he would do better to read it carefully. That might help him avoid making a lot of accusations that, given what I actually said, seem... how shall I say it?... a bit overwrought...
Iraq/Afghanistan fatigue in the book industry -- [Matt Gallagher/Kerplunk]
About once a week, I receive an email from an enterprising writer looking to publish his (or her) war tales from Iraq or Afghanistan, seeking advice on how to accomplish such a goal. Of those that share some selections, most really are excellent - after nine or so years, a lot of insanity has ensued that needs to be shared with the larger world.
The problem though, is the marketplace is "fatigued with Iraq and Afghanistan stories." (I could attribute this quote to about ten different people in the publishing or literary industry). And for everyone not named Sebastian Junger (whose book, WAR, I loved) it can be a struggle to get the right people to read their manuscript, let alone purchase it.
The obvious question is - why is the marketplace fatigued? It's certainly an indictment on American society in general, but that's nothing new. In times of economic turmoil, people don't tend to like being reminded that others are suffering far more than they are...
Human Rights Watch Film Festival -- [Small Wars Journal]
Via e-mail from Sterling Yee of Human Rights Watch:
The Human Rights Watch Film Festival returns to New York, 10-24 June. This year we are proud to present two astounding documentaries that focus on the obstacles the Afghan citizens and US military face during times of war and rebuilding...
The State of COIN 2010 -- [Andrew Exum/Abu Muqawama]
It seems as good a time as any, then, to write a "State of COIN" post, which I have been meaning to do for quite some time. When this blog started, in February of 2007, counterinsurgency was very much in the ascendant, but the U.S. community studying it was still improbably small given the nature of the wars the U.S. military was fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. So very much has changed in the years since. For one, this blog is now less about counterinsurgency and more about national security and the Middle East (and Central and South Asia) more broadly. For another, counterinsurgency and its defenders are no longer the plucky underdogs in the national security community.
A few weeks ago, I was at USIP listening to the secretary of state speak with Hamid Karzai, and Sec. Clinton, at one point and in response to a journalist's question, went on at length about the theory and practice of counterinsurgency operations. It struck me then - but not for the first time - that the things theorists and proponents of counterinsurgency had wanted in 2005 have largely come to pass...
The Heat Is On -- [Free Range International - in Afghanistan]
Talking with the American soldiers is always a treat for me. Paratroopers from the 101st are now in charge of RC East and they seem to be a confident, cocky bunch which is exactly the right attitude. One of the sergeants told me they get out all the time doing COIN which he describes as talking to and being friendly with the people instead of hunting down and killing bad guys. He said their pre-deployment training stressed that the Afghan people generally remain friendly towards Americans which he said he didn't really believe until he saw us pop out of the crowd wearing casual western clothes; smiling at and joking with the men around us as we passed through. I told him to always smile warmly when greeting Afghans and to learn four cuss words and two mullah jokes in Pashto. Those modest skills will make him a hero wherever he goes as long as he stays out of the Korengal and Pech valleys in Kunar Province. He thought that was a great heads up and laughed and laughed as he told his buddies the sage advice I had imparted to him. I love being around good infantry and these guys have the look of world class fighters.
Here is the thing; the soldiers, through no fault of their own, really aren't doing COIN...
The CENTCOM Af-Pak Conference: Lessons from a Failed Military Conference -- [Anonymous/Abu Muqawama]
Over the last two days we posted reports on CENTCOM's AF-PAK COE conference at a friend's blog under the collective pseudonym "The Conference Guys." In doing so, we learned that some people closely associated with that blog were, like us, government employees (the blog is remaining officially nameless). We became concerned that our posts might put them in an awkward position, so we used another venue: Ghosts of Alexander. The following post is our last from the conference, and gives some overarching takeaways concerning U.S. Military outreach to non-military parties, as opposed to the more specific and substantive critiques in our previous posts.
So some of us got together and talked about the reports we've been posting about CENTCOM's Afghanistan-Pakistan Center of Excellence (COE) conference in Tampa. We couldn't help but notice that we've painted a pretty bleak picture of the Army's attempt to leverage the expertise of academia, NGOs, think tanks, and other non-government sources to help address various aspects of the Central Asian conflicts.
Serving Pork Chops at a Bar Mitzvah: Some Thoughts on Aid in COIN Operations -- [Colonel Gary Anderson/Small Wars Journal]
Just as a mid-term election in the United States can force an American president (as well as Congress) to change course, many American soldiers and State Department civilian officials in Afghanistan believe that a large number of local successes against the Taliban will force change within the Karzai regime - that Karzai and the national government will feel pressured by rising local stars to reform from the bottom up.
Until then, the most our tactical commanders and Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) leaders can do at the local / tactical level is use combat power to provide security and buy time for the Afghans to create effective security mechanisms and use aid in a way that best enhances the COIN fight by convincing the population that there is a viable alternative to what the Taliban offers...
Gobar Gas -- [Greyhawk/MVG]
Or can more bullshit save Afghanistan?
I heard Mike Yon mention this during his call-in from Afghanistan to the milblogs conference, and was hoping to hear more. More is here.
Americans tend to think big, and Afghanistan needs more little things. In Afghanistan we need more thinking like this.
New Cyber Chief: Cyberspace Must Become a National Security Priority -- [defense.gov]
The command will lead the day-to-day defense of all military networks, support military and counterterrorism missions and, under the leadership of the Department of Homeland Security, assist other government and civil authorities and industry partners.
Alexander, who is also the director of the National Security Agency (NSA) and chief of the Central Security Service, said that protecting cyberspace is a national security priority and that the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command will represent the intersection of military, intelligence and information-assurance capabilities.
Recently, a Cyber Joint Operations Center was established to combine the existing staffs of the Joint Functional Component Command for Net Warfare and the Joint Taskforce Global Network Operations.
U.S. Cyber Command also gained service elements that will act as the boots on the ground in support of its mission. These include the Army Forces Cyber Command, the Marine Forces Cyber Command, the 24th Air Force and the Navy's 10th Fleet, Fleet Cyber Command.
Broadening Horizons: Climate Change and the U.S. Armed Forces -- [CNAS Report]
Broadening Horizons is an edited volume featuring four chapters and a capstone piece that explores the dual pressures of climate change and energy on each U.S. military service and combatant command and offers a road ahead to improve the country's ability to promote national security in the face of a changing climate. Authors include CNAS Senior Military Fellow Commander Herbert E. Carmen, USN, CNAS Bacevich Fellow Christine Parthemore and CNAS Research Assistant Will Rogers.
Broadening Horizons: Climate Change and the U.S. Armed Forces
By Commander Herbert Carmen, USN, Christine Parthemore
and Will Rogers
Climate Change and the Maritime Services
By Christine Parthemore
Climate Change and America's Air Forces
By Will Rogers
Climate Change and U.S. Ground Forces
By Christine Parthemore
Climate Change and the Combatant Commands
By Commander Herbert E. Carmen, USN, Christine Parthemore
and Will Rogers
Sustaining Security: How Natural Resources Influence National Security -- [Christine Parthemore, Will Rogers/CNAS Report]
In the 21st century, the security of nations will depend increasingly on the security of natural resources, or "natural security." Countries around the world rely on the availability of potable water, arable land, fish stocks, biodiversity, energy, minerals and other renewable and nonrenewable resources to meet the rising needs and expectations of a growing world population. Yet the availability of these resources is by no means assured. This report - authored by Christine Parthemore and Will Rogers - points to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Mexico and Yemen as examples of how natural security challenges are directly linked to internal stability, regional dynamics and U.S. security and foreign policy interests...
'Lying face to face -- [New Britain Herald]
A member of Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's staff, himself a former major and judge advocate in the U.S. Marines, is calling Blumenthal a liar and disgrace to the Marine Corps for representing himself repeatedly as having served in Vietnam.
Richard Hine, state assistant attorney general and New Britain resident, told the New Britain Herald Tuesday that Blumenthal had lied about his service in Vietnam at least five times. Hine has worked for Blumenthal for more than 20 years but said he felt he had to come forward after Blumenthal's recent actions.
"This has to do with integrity, has to do with qualifications for office and with a very personal conversation back in January or February, 1991," he said.
Surrounded by the mementos of his own life as a Marine, Hine said what Blumenthal did went against the code of being a Marine... (Via)
Jim DeMint gets the kind of opponent candidates dream about -- [Dave Weigel/The Washington Post]
In 2008, the South Carolina Democratic establishment supported attorney Michael Cone for the thankless task of taking on Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). He raised almost no money and lost, in a massive upset, to an even-lesser known candidate named Bob Conley -- a supporter of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) who managed to alienate most of his party with hardline conservative stances.
You'd think the local Democratic Party would avoid a disaster like that this year. Vic Rawl, a former state legislator, was not the party's first choice -- he raised about $230,452 and looked set to be the party's sacrificial lamb against Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.). He just went down by a 16-point margin to Alvin Greene. Who is Alvin Greene? A 32-year-old unemployed army veteran who paid the filing fee to run then promptly disappeared. When reached by Corey Hutchins to talk about his campaign, on the suspicion that he was a Republican plant, Greene was incoherent.
Senate candidate facing obscenity-offense felony -- [Ed Morrissey/Hot Air]
Dave Weigel called Alvin Greene the "the kind of opponent candidates dream about," but he didn't know the half of it. Jim Geraghty noted that the new Democratic nominee to run against conservative stalwart Sen. Jim DeMint in South Carolina hadn't filed any paperwork with the FEC on fundraising, but perhaps he just didn't want to get in any more trouble with the law than Greene already faces. The Democratic nominee isn't just "wholly unserious" -- the AP reports that he's been charged with a felony obscenity offense that could get him five years in prison...
I guess this eliminates the whole family-values campaign, then?
S.C. Dems ask Senate nominee to withdraw after felony charge -- [The Hill]
Less than 24 hours after Alvin Greene's surprise win in the South Carolina Democratic Senate primary, the state party has asked him to withdraw from the race because of a pending felony charge...
The party said that as of Wednesday afternoon it had not received a response from Greene.
...Greene stunned observers Tuesday when he won the nomination. He raised no money and put up no campaign website but beat former four-term state lawmaker Vic Rawl 59 percent to 41.
Retrospective -- [Karaka Pend/Permissible Arms]
...The above photograph is from a Foreign Policy article on Afghanistan (Kabul) in the '50s and '60s.
That's the stark difference of fifty years...
USS Constitution Hosts Wounded Warriors During Battle of Midway Ceremony -- [Boston Maggie]
BOSTON (NNS) -- In recognition of the observance of the Battle of Midway, approximately 125 Wounded Warriors from all five branches of the military joined the crew of the USS Constitution for a morning at sea June 4.
"Today we honor Navy history, celebrate past victories at sea and recognize the sacrifices service members have made, and continue to make, in support of our ongoing fight for freedom," said Capt. Key Watkins, program director of Navy Safe Harbor, the Navy and Coast Guard's Wounded Warrior program...
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