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.
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3 ISAF troops killed repelling Taliban assault in Kandahar -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Three ISAF soldiers and five civilian workers have been killed while repelling a Taliban terror assault on a police compound in the provincial capital of Kandahar.
The Taliban launched a coordinated, complex attack on an Afghan National Civil Order Police headquarters in Kandahar city yesterday in an attempt to overrun the compound, ISAF reported in a press release.
Hero hit by bullet ... spits it out again -- [The Sun]
TOUGH soldier Luke Reeson was hit in the face by a Taliban bullet - and SPAT it out. He then yomped two miles to base, carrying his heavy kit, for treatment .
Minus A Leg, Still On A Mission In Afghanistan -- [NPR]
apt. Dan Luckett of the Army's 101st Airborne Division is assigned to one of the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan, the Zhari district just north of Kandahar city, where Taliban attacks are common. He goes on patrols, lifts weights in his spare time and is second in command of his company.
That may not sound unusual.
What is unusual is that Luckett is a double amputee, after injuries he received in combat in Iraq in 2008. Recovered and fit, he's now in Afghanistan as part of the U.S.-led military effort to take control of Kandahar province and drive out the Taliban.
Twinkle Twinkle -- [Kandahar Diary - in Afghanistan]
There's no doubt things are hotting up. Our convoys are being hit every day by IED and ambushes - often, combined. The bad guys seem to be moving in larger groups and, to us, it seems that they are operating with virtual impunity on certain sections of Hwy 1, in particular in the vicinity of Hawz-e Madad where we can guarantee running an ambush as the convoy passes through the gardens that border the road. We've lost four KIA in that 10km stretch in the past week alone...
Our stats came out last night and make for interesting reading. The three that stood out for me are insurgent ambushes have risen while our convoy damage / destruction has fallen, at the same time as our ammo expenditure has declined...
On Patrol in Karamanda -- [Weekly Standard - Bill Ardolino - in Afghanistan]
Scenes from the war in Afghanistan.
A dozen Marines streamed from Patrol Base Griffin about two hours after dawn on Thursday, July 1, descending a rocky gravel slope leading straight into the village of Karamanda. The Americans were joined by two Afghan police officers, two Afghan soldiers, an interpreter, and a black bomb-sniffing dog named Bandit. The men walked in rigid single-file "Ranger formation," each mimicking the footsteps of the person to his front to minimize the chance of stepping on a pressure plate IED. They moved in relative silence broken by greetings to villagers, occasional commands, and the odd joke. "Frankie," a young Afghan interpreter from Kabul, began to tunelessly sing a song.
Petraeus' First Big Afghanistan Gamble:
Militias Local Cops -- [Danger Room - Spencer Ackerman]
Ever since the Sunni insurgents of Iraq's Anbar Province broke from al-Qaeda in 2006, the U.S. has strained to find a way to replicate the move in Afghanistan. With remarkable frequency, senior U.S. military officers have approached Hamid Karzai's government and ask if they can set up some structure outside of the formal Afghan army and police to get local auxiliaries to pick up the security slack. And each time, the Karzai government balked, fearing an entrenchment or acceleration of Afghanistan's warlords, power brokers and militias. Until now.
General David Petraeus has persuaded Karzai to set up a new force to supplement Afghan soldiers and police...
Elusive Game in Afghanistan -- [At War]
The sniper encounters started in late May, in Paktika's Yahya Khel district. On patrols near the insurgent-dominated village of Palau, Company A, of the Third Battalion, 187th Infantry, took sporadic but accurate fire, seemingly from marksmen more skilled than the average insurgent.
NYTBattalion intelligence overheard Afghans talking about foreign fighters in the village. A few days later, ...
Afghanistan OKs new local defense forces -- [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
KABUL, Afghanistan • After intensive discussions with NATO military commanders, the Afghan government approved on Wednesday a program to establish local defense forces around the country, to help remote areas thwart attacks by Taliban insurgents.
The NATO-backed program, which will be supervised by the Interior Ministry, will pay salaries to the members of these new forces, an inducement that could aid recruitment.
Nonetheless, the Afghan government's agreement to establish the program represents a concession by President Hamid Karzai, who had resisted it.
Officials: Afghan villagers repel insurgents -- [Afghanistan Crossroads]
Kabul, Afghanistan -- Villagers in eastern Afghanistan repelled an insurgent attack Tuesday, an incident that left an Afghan civilian and "numerous" Taliban dead, the NATO-led command said.
...The event is one in a series of examples of villagers withstanding and repelling insurgent attacks, including the successful defense of a village in the Gizab district in southeast Afghanistan in April that resulted in several insurgent deaths and four arrests, the statement said.
U.S. senators voice doubts on Afghanistan plan -- [Reuters]
The Obama administration has not done enough to explain its goals for the war in Afghanistan, including what its exit strategy will be, U.S. senators said on Wednesday.
Malaysia makes first deployment to Afghanistan -- [AFP]
KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia will make its first military deployment to Afghanistan Thursday, sending a unit of medical personnel as ties with the United States ...
Iranian-backed Shia terror group remains a threat in Iraq: General Odierno -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Hezbollah Brigades has imposed an "increased threat" over the past several weeks, the US' top commander in Iraq said. The terror group remains tied to Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Commander in Iraq Warns of Attacks on U.S. Bases -- [NY Times]
Gen. Ray Odierno, the commander of United States forces in Iraq, said Tuesday that Iranian-backed Shiite militias might increase attacks on American military bases this summer as thousands of American soldiers begin leaving Iraq.
Car Bomb Kills 6 in Northern Iraq -- [Voice of America]
Iraqi officials say a car bomb targeting a police patrol has killed six people and wounded at least 11 more in a city north of Baghdad.
Iraqis Take Control of Last US Prison in Iraq -- [Voice of America]
The United States has handed over control of its last military prison in Iraq to Iraqi officials. US military officials transferred control of ...
Iraq: US hands over Tariq Aziz, other detainees -- [Breitbart]
The U.S. this week handed over nearly 30 former members of Saddam Hussein's inner circle, including the longtime international face of the regime, Tariq Aziz, officials said Wednesday.
The announcement comes a day before U.S. authorities are to transfer authority of Camp Cropper, the last American-run detention facility to the Iraqi government.
To Iraq....Again -- [Outside the Wire - JD Johannes - in Iraq]
Just when I think I'm out...I get an assignment to cover Iraq. But since the assignment is to cover the 1st Infantry Division as part of a project for the Cantigny First Infantry Division Museum, I couldn't say no.
The Headquarters of the 1st Infantry Division--The Big Red One--is running the United States Division--South out of Basra.
I flew from Kabul to Dubai on Kam airlines and stayed the night at the Holiday Inn Express Airport. I'm becoming an authority on the H.I. Expresses of Dubai, so far I like the Airport one the best. I flew Emirates Airlines to Kuwait and then took a Blackhawk from the military transit point Contingency Operating Base Basra.
Iraq's Imperiled Modern Art -- [At War]
If a blog about war seems an unlikely place to see photographs of paintings and sculptures, consider this. In May, the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment of the Third Infantry Division organized an art exhibition with a black-tie opening night in Dora, still one of Baghdad's most troubled neighborhoods, if less troubled than before.
In Muthanna Province, the provincial reconstruction did something similar awhile back, commissioning paintings by Iraqi women that made their way to the State Department in Washington for a brief exhibition this spring.
Obama Plan Outlines Reductions in U.S. Nuclear Arsenal -- [Washington Post]
The Obama administration's 20-year plan for the U.S. nuclear arsenal would reduce the number of deployed and stored warheads from 5,000 to a range of 3,000 to 3,500 and significantly increase spending on the complex that maintains them, according to newly disclosed documents.
Iran: Nuke Scientist? What Nuke Scientist? -- [Danger Room]
Shahram Amiri, the maybe-nuclear scientist who was maybe kidnapped by the CIA, has landed in Teheran. Now come the denials about what he actually did and who he actually was.
Apparently dressed in the same white shirt and tweed sportsjacket from his calm-academic YouTube video, Amiri held a press conference at Imam Khomeini Airport after de-planing to say he rejected what he described as a $50 million bribe not to come home.
Nuclear Scientist Receives Hero's Welcome in Iran -- [Voice of America]
Iranian researcher Shahram Amiri arrived home in Tehran Thursday to a hero's welcome, amid further allegations that he had been abducted by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) -- a claim that Washington strenuously denies. He had spent more than a year in the United States, at one point saying in a video posting that he was studying in Arizona of "his own volition."
Iranian government television has played a series of webcam interviews with him in recent weeks, each containing new and conflicting tales about his alleged abduction in Saudi Arabia, last year.
Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denied the charges, saying that he was "free to leave," as he had been "free to come," in the first place.
Russia Urges Iran to Explain Nuclear Program -- [Voice of America]
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev is calling on Iran to explain its nuclear program and to fully cooperate with the international community.
Martyrdom tape of failed Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad released -- [Long War Journal]
A martyrdom videotape of failed Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad has appeared today on the Al Arabiya news channel. The videotape shows Shahzad wearing a black turban, Pakistani clothes, and a military-styled vest. He is seen holding an AK-47 and is often seen reading from the Koran.
In the tape, Shahzad said he is "getting revenge for the killing of Baitullah and Zarqawi, and for all the weak and oppressed and martyred among the Muslims," Arif Rafiq, the president of Vizier Consulting and editor of the Pakistani Policy Blog told The Long War Journal. "Shahzad says jihad is an integral part of Islam and emphasizes the need to spread Islam worldwide."
...Shahzad said the war against the West and countries that are insufficiently Muslim has only just begun.
Petraeus wants Taliban in Pakistan on terror list -- [AP]
The new military commander in Afghanistan and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee are urging the State Department to add to its terrorist list some Afghan insurgent commanders who operate from hiding places in neighboring Pakistan.
Commander of NATO forces Gen. David Petraeus wants some leaders of the Haqqani network added to the list, a senior U.S. Defense official in Washington said Wednesday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in order to describe internal administration discussions.
On Tuesday, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., urged the State Department to take the same action. Levin is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Both asked for sanctions against the al-Qaida-linked group, led by Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son Siraj. The Haqqani network launches attacks against U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan from the Waziristan tribal region in Pakistan.
Support Cooking with the Troops! -- [causes.com]
Mission: Provide aid, comfort, and support to U.S. and Allied Troops, their families, and caregivers.
Build-A-Bear Workshop Salutes U.S. Troops by Donating over $144,000 to the USO -- [MarketWatch (press release)]
"We are thrilled with the results which will help the USO Charter Centers continue to support our troops!" Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. is the only global
As a Brigade Returns Safe, Some Meet New Enemies -- [NY Times]
..."Being back in garrison is what we don't do well, because since 9/11 it seems we've spent more time deployed than at home," Lt. Col. David Wilson said.
As the United States military continues to reduce the number of troops in Iraq -- to 50,000 by Sept. 1 from about 85,000 now -- it has begun to shift some focus to the home front in an effort to ensure a smooth transition for soldiers, a move prompted by lessons learned from returning veterans who have struggled to adjust to lives away from war.
Leaders of the Fourth Brigade said its problems had not only been deeply embarrassing, but had revealed institutional ignorance about combat stress and traumatic brain injury that forced the unit to use a holistic approach not typically associated with the military as it confronted its issues.
How the U.S. Army's Diann Traina and other young military personnel are getting ripped off--and what's being done to help them Red, White, and Scammed -- [VeteransPlus]
.S. Army Spc. Diann Traina signed a contract, took out a loan, and traded in her pickup to buy the sedan at a dealership in Fayetteville, N.C., right outside the gates of Fort Bragg. What she didn't know was that the dealer had taken out a loan against his inventory and didn't actually own the vehicle he sold her. Spc. Traina was never able to get the title to the BMW, so when the dealership shut down soon afterward, she was stuck--without a car and with an $11,000 debt. In the meantime, she had been deployed to Iraq, leaving her helpless to do much about it.
Like thousands of service members engaged in fighting America's battles overseas, Spc. Traina had encountered a foe here at home. Young, inexperienced, and often drawing their first paychecks, enlisted men and women are easy marks for sleazy car dealers, insurance scammers, predatory lenders, and identity thieves. So pervasive are the rip-offs--and so troubling the debt incurred by military personnel as a result--that U.S. Department of Defense officials recently labeled the situation a threat to national security. "You don't want them distracted while they're out on the front lines," says Clifford L. Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. "But they will be if they're worrying about what's going on at home."
Kids today... too violent for the military? -- [Greyhawk]
I've read (and believe) studies demonstrating the majority of American youth are unfit for service based on physical fitness or education levels, criminal records (some related to violent acts) and other considerations. And I've seen unrelated claims that exposure to violent media - movies, games, music - serves to indoctrinate youth into some sort of "military mindset."
But I believe this is the first time I've encountered this intriguing thought: the military should take steps to reverse some of that media conditioning:
Scottsdale Man Who Posed as Marine Found Guilty -- [Fox News]
A bench warrant has been issued
A Scottsdale man accused of posing as a U.S. Marine has been found guilty. John Rodriguez was charged with 13 counts, including fraud and forgery.
Rodriguez didn't show up to his court date and a jury quickly found him guilty.
Police say he wore a uniform and ribbons indicating he'd been awarded the prestigious Navy Cross and Silver Star.
Rodriguez even tried to postpone a court date by claiming he was going to be deployed to Iraq.
Gay ex-officer to testify against military's ban -- [AP]
If the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy were lifted today, Mike Almy would not think twice about returning to the Air Force.
300 Fort Gordon Soldiers Return Home From Iraq -- [WJBF-TV]
300 troops arriving home after an 11 month deployment to Iraq, ... Brice Maygreen, Home from Iraq: "He said welcome home, I'm grateful that I could be here
VA eases PTSD claim process -- [Fort Leavenworth Lamp]
Currently, VA decision makers are required to confirm that a noncombat veteran actually experienced a stressor related to hostile military activity
New hopes for women veterans making claims for PTSD benefits -- [WTKR]
Christine Brooks is a Navy veteran who says she suffers from PTSD, including painful headaches that make it hard to sleep. She's been trying to receive PTSD
The Hunter Becomes the Hunted (A Nigerian Scam) -- [A Soldier's Perspective - CJ]
I've been covering these military dating scams for a number of years from the early days when the emails were simply "you won a kabillion dollars in an internet lottery". The latest buzz that seems to be working for the Nigerian Scammers has been to use photos and images of troops to perpetrate their scams. With two long wars going on and respect for troops at a high, they have found a willingly ignorant society to scheme money from. That doesn't make the victims idiots or stupid; they don't understand the military and just want to help. Often time, they fall in love with the image of man in the photos. Unfortunately, in my experience almost every Soldier used in these scams is already married, which breaks their hearts.
The Past Bites The U.S. Army In The Ass -- [Strategy Page]
...The main problem with COIN is that the American armed forces takes it for granted. U.S. troops have been defeating guerilla movements for centuries. Through all that time, COIN has been the most frequent form of warfare American troops have been involved with. But COIN has always been viewed as a minor, secondary, military role. It never got any respect. Even the U.S. Marine Corps, after half a century of COIN operations, were glad to put that behind them in the late 1930s. All that remained of that experience was a classic book, "The Small Wars Manual," written by some marine officers on the eve of World War II. That book, which is still in print, contained timeless wisdom and techniques on how to deal with COIN operations, and "small wars" in general. Much of the work the army has done in the last five years, to revise their manuals, could have been done just by consulting the Small Wars Manual. In some cases, that's exactly what was done.
The basic truth is....
British-Designed 'Bulletproof Custard' Liquid Armor Is Better than a Kevlar Vest -- [Instapundit]
Smart Phones Go To War -- [Strategy Page]
Three years ago, the iPhone, a very popular smart phone design, went on sale. Since then, over 300 million iPhones, and similar "smart phones" have been sold. Some of the most eager buyers of this technology have been American soldiers.
...The effort to deliver a useful MSP was long seen as a lost cause. But the demand is strong, and growing. The Department of Defense, and especially the army, is increasingly addressing the need for smart phones that can do things the troops need. Money is being spent to create military apps, and troops are encouraged to write these apps. It's not just training and electronic documents, but doing calculation heavy battlefield chores, like navigation, intel analysis and mission planning. The demand is growing, and so is the supply.
Let the games begin! -- [The Armorer]
The DoD fires the Administration's opening salvo in Budget Chicken with Congress. You young'uns may not have seen too much of this in your lifetimes, but it was pretty much a staple during the 80's and early 90's.
July 14, 2010 - Because Congress has yet to pass a supplemental funding bill, the Defense Department must start taking measures to ensure uninterrupted war operations, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said today.
If Congress doesn't act on the fiscal 2010 request for supplemental war funding, Defense Department employees may not get paid, Morrell said during a news conference.
Illinois Mayor violates Stolen Valor Act; files defamation suit to silence opponent...
-- [Burn Pit]
In September of last year, I wrote a piece on The American Legion's Burn Pit blog about anti-war phony Marine Rick "Duncan" Strandlof, whose tales of surviving 9/11 at the Pentagon (and whose injury during the Battle of ...
Politics and the Military -- [At War]
There have been several articles recently which have portrayed the military as a force that has become dangerously politicized. In April, Mother Jones magazine featured a cover story entitled "Age of Treason," with a picture of a U.S. Army soldier.
The article went on to discuss the Oath Keepers, an organization that has ties to the Tea Party movement, and how some service members are involved with the group.
Additionally, there have been persistent rumors about and calls for Gen. David H. Petraeus to consider a run for the presidency. All of this, compounded with the Rolling Stone article about Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, would probably lead the everyday observer to believe that indeed the military has become politicized.
Bruce Ackerman, a law professor at Yale, asserts in The Los Angeles Times that "Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's criticism of Obama administration officials symbolizes an accelerated partisanship of the officer corps."
My Biggest Mistake in the White House -- [WSJ - Karl Rove]
Failing to refute charges that Bush lied us into war has hurt our country.
Seven years ago today, in a speech on the Iraq war, Sen. Ted Kennedy fired the first shot in an all-out assault on President George W. Bush's integrity. "All the evidence points to the conclusion," Kennedy said, that the Bush administration "put a spin on the intelligence and a spin on the truth." Later that day Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle told reporters Mr. Bush needed "to be forthcoming" about the absence of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Thus began a shameful episode in our political life whose poisonous fruits are still with us.
...At the time, we in the Bush White House discussed responding but decided not to relitigate the past. That was wrong and my mistake: I should have insisted to the president that this was a dagger aimed at his administration's heart. What Democrats started seven years ago left us less united as a nation to confront foreign challenges and overcome America's enemies.
Two Years Ago Today 9 Brave Men Gave Their Lives For Our Nation at Wanat, Afghanistan. Many other lives were changed forever. -- [From Cow Pastures To Kosovo]
As the two year "anniversary" of the Battle of Wanat" approached I kept wondering what I could write to honor the fallen and encourage the wounded and survivors. Nothing I write is enough but I want to remind anyone who reads here about these men and ask everyone to NEVER FORGET those who have died in service to this nation and those who are trying to heal from the emotional scars of seeing their brothers-in-arms be taken away from this earth.
Along the Sacred Road -- [Greyhawk]
More combat action from Lt Churchill in a moment, but first, a brief description of the terrain where our battles took place:The outpost, surrounded by soaring mountains on all sides, was isolated and hard to defend. "It felt like we were living in the bottom of a Dixie cup," one of Brown's soldiers said.
The "Dixie cup" reference probably gave it away - that's actually a modern description of Camp Keating, which (until it was abandoned following a Taliban attack last year) "along with two other outposts,
RIP Vernon J. Baker -- [This Ain't Hell]
The Washington Post reports that the sole liveing African American MOH recipient of WWII has left us.
First Lt. Vernon J. Baker, 90, an Army infantryman who, more than 50 years after the end of World War II, became the only surviving African American to receive the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the war, died July 13 at his home near St. Maries, Idaho.
The article goes on to describe Lt. baker's actions agaionst the Germans in Italy. It reads like something out of a movie:
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