Monday, December 29, 2008

Where 'the boys' are ...

We know the DoD experimented with drugs to de-militarize enemy soldiers by fiddling with their sexual drives, but apparently, violent, prolonged, nation-building exercises require sexual-dominance, of a sort (via FoxNews, December 29th, Brit Hume):

Tactical Change

The CIA has found a new tool in the War on Terror after it encountered a problem in rewarding those who help in the fight against terrorists in Afghanistan. The CIA had been giving cash and weapons to those who helped, but that was causing problems.

Speaking on condition of anonymity to The Washington Post, one agent said, "If you give an asset $1,000, he'll go out and buy the shiniest junk he can find and it will be apparent that he has suddenly come into a lot of money" — which sometimes got them killed.

So the CIA did something — well, less obvious: It gave tribal elders Viagra. The Post quotes one agent who says, "Whatever it takes to make friends and influence people — whether it's building a school or handing out Viagra."

Officials say Viagra is not given to younger leaders, but aging village patriarchs are easily sold on a pill that can "put them back in an authoritative position."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mini Battlefield Digest: Afghanistan, Week 43, Year OEF+7

Battlefield News, Afghanistan

The "news" from Afghanistan is almost all grim.

There are not enough boots on the ground to secure the country. In COIN-speak, that means that the battle will either be lost or fought to a standstill, right?

Al-qa'ida, elements of Pakistan ISI, and Iran are all implicated, alongside the flourishing drug trade, as enablers of the ongoing conflict. A political "resolution" seems well on the horizon, with both sides dug in deep, in hopes of the elusive "win".


Political Developments and Major Campaign Resource Shifts

  • Roggio: The prime minister of Canada said he intends to pull all Canadian forces out of Afghanistan by December 2011. The Taliban said attacks have been stepped up to influence Canada's election. -Wednesday, September 10, 2008
  • Roggio: A senior Taliban commander said Iran is supplying EFPs to the terror group. -Monday, September 15, 2008
  • Roggio: The Taliban welcomed Canada's decision to withdraw by 2011. The Taliban have killed 720 police officers in the past six months. -Tuesday, September 16, 2008
  • Roggio: The US defense secretary said three more combat brigades will be available to deploy to Afghanistan by the spring of 2009. -Tuesday, September 23, 2008
  • Roggio: The Governor of Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province said the US must negotiate with the Taliban, the Haqqanis, and Hekmatyar. Six policemen were killed in attacks in Kabul province. -Wednesday, September 24, 2008
  • Roggio: President Karzai requested Saudi Arabia assist with opening peace negotiations with the Taliban. -Tuesday, September 30, 2008
  • Roggio: The Taliban refused to negotiate with the Afghan government. "We reject an offer for negotiation by the Afghan's puppet and slave President Hamid Karzai," Mullah Baradar said. The US notified Pakistan of an airstrike near the Afghan-Pakistani border. -Friday, October 3, 2008
  • Roggio: The senior US general in Afghanistan said more troops are needed immediately. -Wednesday, October 1, 2008
  • Roggio: A leaked report by the British Ambassador in Kabul claims US strategy is wrong and the war is as good as lost. -Wednesday, October 1, 2008
  • Roggio: A leaked Spanish report said Pakistan's ISI provided arms, IEDs, and other support to the Taliban. -Wednesday, October 1, 2008
  • Roggio: Germany has extended its mandate to operate in Afghanistan by 14 months. -Tuesday, October 7, 2008
  • Roggio: A battalion of French troops reportedly oppose being deployed to Afghanistan. Germany's foreign minister wants the country's commandos withdrawn. -Saturday, October 4, 2008
  • MCT: Though under-staffed, multi-national forces are making progress in Afghanistan, the former commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan told the Beaufort Rotary Club during a luncheon Wednesday. -Thursday, October 16, 2008

COIN: Actions, Reactions, Counteractions, etc.
  • Roggio: A 100-man Czech special forces team unit is operating outside of NATO command. -Thursday, September 4, 2008
  • Roggio: The US defense secretary apologized for recent airstrikes that caused civilian casualties. NATO seeks to implement rules to decrease civilian casualties. -Wednesday, September 17, 2008
  • Roggio: The US is re-evaluating its Afghan war strategy. -Thursday, September 18, 2008
  • Roggio: Russia warned it would cut off NATO's air bridge to Afghanistan if countries did not stop "hostile" policies toward Moscow. -Thursday, September 18, 2008
  • Roggio: Australian forces accidentally killed a district leader and several of his men in Uruzgan province. -Thursday, September 18, 2008
  • NPR: When a new administration takes over in January, it will inherit the challenging and overlapping problems of Afghanistan and Pakistan, two countries that are critical to U.S. national security. -Friday, October 17, 2008
  • RTTNews: In what could be disturbing news for the government of President Hamid Karzai, the former mayor of Afghanistan's Herat province is now the most powerful local Taliban commander, media reports said. -Friday, October 17, 2008
  • Canwest : Another senior government official has been shot dead in Kandahar city, fuelling a new fear in the troubled area as Taliban assassins increasingly target Afghans linked to the government and foreign organizations. -Wednesday, October 15, 2008
  • Roggio: The US Army closed down a combat outpost in the Gowardesh Valley in Kunar province. The US secretary of defense said negotiations with some elements of the Taliban is possible. -Thursday, October 9, 2008
  • theherald: The ratio of dead to wounded for British soldiers fighting in Afghanistan is approaching loss levels not seen since the Second World War, The Herald can reveal. -Wednesday, October 15, 2008
  • Roggio: The Pakistani military fired on two US helicopters operating along the border inside Afghan territory in Khost province. Pakistan claimed the helicopters crossed the border, flew over a Paksitani outpost, "returned fire and flew back." -Thursday, September 25, 2008
VIOLENCE: Tactical Developments
  • Roggio: The Taliban freed 118 Afghan laborers who were kidnapped last week in Farah. -Friday, September 26, 2008
  • Roggio: A battalion of French troops reportedly oppose being deployed to Afghanistan. Germany's foreign minister wants the country's commandos withdrawn. -Saturday, October 4, 2008
  • Roggio: The Afghan government denied reports it conducted peace talks with the Taliban in Saudi Arabia last month. President Karzai's brother denied accusations that he is involved in Afghanistan's heroin trade and threatened to sue The New York Times. Spanish military intelligence said Iran offered to shelter Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. -Monday, October 6, 2008
  • AP: An Afghan official says a suicide bomber in northern Afghanistan has killed two German soldiers and five children. The governor of Kunduz province, Mohammad Omar, says two other German soldiers and two children were wounded... -Monday, October 20, 2008
  • IRNA: Taliban insurgents pulled some 50 passengers off a bus in southern Afghanistan and beheaded as many as 30 of them after accusing them of being soldiers traveling in civilian clothes, Afghan officials said. -Monday, October 20, 2008
  • AFP : A British aid worker was shot dead in the Afghan capital on Monday in a killing claimed by the Islamic Taliban militia which accused her organisation of "preaching Christianity" -Monday, October 20, 2008
  • Reuters: Taliban insurgents killed 25 Afghan civilians, including a child, after firing on one bus and seizing control of another in the southern province of Kandahar, a local police chief said on Sunday. -Sunday, October 19, 2008
  • BBC: A woman has been arrested on charges of kidnapping three children. Giving details to Afghan Islamic Press [AIP] about this, Mr Abdol Rauf Ahmadi, the spokesman for Security Command of police in west zone, said that the police detained... -Sunday, October 19, 2008
  • AFP: The car bomb exploded at the gates of a base which is run by Italian troops in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) with some Spanish soldiers also stationed there. "We did have casualties - just wounded,"... -Saturday, October 18, 2008
  • AFP: A suicide car bomb exploded outside a base of the NATO-led military force in Afghanistan's western city of Herat, wounding several troops, the alliance said. -Saturday, October 18, 2008
  • AP: Five Afghan immigrants enslaved a teenage girl they brought to the United States, with some forcing her to do chores and one beating and sexually assaulting her, according to a federal indictment unsealed this week. -Saturday, October 18, 2008
  • abc.net: Afghan locals say women and children were among civilians killed in an air attack by international forces in the country's south. Locals say that 25 civilians were killed in the attack in the Nad Ali district of Helmand province. -Thursday, October 16, 2008
  • Denverpost: In a bow to public outrage over a recent spate of U.S.-led airstrikes in Afghanistan that resulted in more than 100 civilian deaths, NATO officials have ordered commanders to try to lessen their reliance on air power in battles with insurgents... -Thursday, October 16, 2008
  • Reuters: Twenty-two Taliban insurgents and six Afghan policemen were killed in overnight clashes in the south of the country, provincial authorities said on Wednesday. -Wednesday, October 15, 2008
  • AP: Five Afghan scholars visiting the University of Washington to work on their master's theses were reported missing after failing to show up for training sessions, university officials said. -Wednesday, October 15, 2008
  • BBC: At least 18 Taliban militants have been killed while attacking a police checkpoint in the southern Afghan province of Helmand, officials say. Police say dozens of insurgents took part in the attack - the second major assault on Lashkar Gah this week. -Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Economic Developments, Reconstruction, and General Good News

[this space purposely left blank because of lack of de-classified, systematic data]

Monday, October 20, 2008

Casualty List - September 2008, Afghanistan


MONTHLY CASUALTY LIST: ISAF-AFGHANISTAN

------Name, AgeSrv BranchCountry

Rank, Unit

Location; Circumstance of Death
Gary J. Vasquez, 33U.S. ArmyRound Lake, IL
Sergeant 1st Class, 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group
Yakhchal; 29-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Richard G. Cliff Jr., 29U.S. ArmyMount Pleasant, SC
Captain, 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group
Yakhchal; 29-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Jamie S. Nicholas, 32U.S. ArmyMaysel, WV
Sergeant 1st Class, 170th Military Police Company, 504th Military Police BN 42nd Military Police Brigade
Yakhchal; 29-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
William E. Hasenflu, 38U.S. ArmyBradenton, FL
Sergeant, 1st Squadron, 61st Cavalry Reg, 4th Brigade Combat Team, (Air Assault) 101st Airborne Division
Jaji District; 28-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - small arms fire
Alessandro Caroppo, 23Italian ArmySan Pietro Vernotico-Italy
Caporal Maggiore, all'8° reggimento Bersaglieri
Herat; 21-Sep-08; Non-hostile - natural causes
Matthew J. O'Bryant, 22U.S. NavyDuluth, GA
Cryptologic Technician Third Class Petty Officer, Navy Information Operations Command Maryland
Islamabad; 20-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - bomb
Rodolfo I. Rodriguez, 34U.S. Air ForceEl Paso, TX
Major, 86th Construction & Training Squadron
Islamabad; 20-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - bomb
Bruno G. Desolenni, 32U.S. ArmyCrescent City, CA
Captain, Joint Forces Headquarters, Element Training Team, Oregon Army National Guard
Kandahar; 20-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Joseph F. Gonzales, 18U.S. ArmyTucson, AZ
Private, 1st BN, 26th Infantry Reg, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
Korengal Valley; 20-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Nathan M. Cox, 32U.S. ArmyWalcott, IA
Staff Sergeant, 1st BN, 26th Infantry Reg, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
Korengal Valley; 20-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Jerome C. Bell Jr., 29U.S. MarineNew York
Sergeant, 2nd BN, 7th Marine Reg, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force
Farah province; 19-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Brandon W. Farley, 30U.S. ArmyHaworth, OK
Staff Sergeant, 1st BN, 26th Infantry Reg, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
Able Monti (died at Bagram Airfield); 18-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - small arms fire, RPG
James L. Wiley, 46U.S. ArmyNorth Bend, OR
Lieutenant Colonel, 27th Brigade Combat Team, New York Army National Guard
Bagram Airfield; 18-Sep-08; Non-hostile
Joshua W. Harris, 21U.S. Air National GuardRomeoville, IL
Sergeant, 2nd Battalion 122nd Field Artillery, Illinois Army National Guard
Gerdia Seria; 17-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Bruce E. Hays, 42U.S. Army National GuardCheyenne, WY
Captain, Wyoming Joint Forces Headquarters, Wyoming Army National Guard
Gerdia Seria; 17-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Jason A. Vazquez, 24U.S. ArmyChicago, IL
Staff Sergeant, 2nd Battalion 122nd Field Artillery, Illinois Army National Guard
Gerdia Seria; 17-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Mohsin A. Naqvi, 26U.S. ArmyNewburgh, NY
1st Lieutenant, 1st Battalion, 11th Infantry
Gerdia Seria; 17-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Nicky Mason, 26British ArmyAveley-UK
Lance Corporal, 2nd Battalion the Parachute
Kajaki (near), Helmand province; 13-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - Explosion
Jason Lee Rawstron, 23British ArmyClayton-Le-Moors, Lancashire-UK
Private, 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment
Forward Operating Base Gibraltar (Helmand province); 12-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - small arms fire
Michael W. Murdock, 22U.S. ArmyChocowinity, NC
Private, 1st BN, 6th Field Artillery Reg, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
Bagram Airfield; 11-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire
John Wayne Marcum, 34U.S. NavyFlushing, MI
Senior Chief Petty Officer, Naval Special Warfare Development Group
Eastern Afghanistan; 11-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire
Jason Richard Freiwald, 30U.S. NavyArmada, MI
Chief Petty Officer, Naval Special Warfare Development Group
Eastern Afghanistan; 11-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire
Michael Slebodnik, 39U.S. ArmyGibsonia, PA
Chief Warrant Officer, 2nd BN, 17th Cavalry Reg, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)
Forward Operating Base Nagil; 11-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - enemy fire at aircraft
Gary O'Donnell, 40British ArmyEdinburgh-UK
Warrant Officer Class 2, 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment Royal Logistic Corps
Musa Qaleh (Helmand province); 10-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Eichmann A. Strickland, 23U.S. NavyArlington, WA
Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class, Combat Service Support Det. 36
Afghanya Valley; 09-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Jesse Melton Iii, 29U.S. MarineRandallstown, MD
Captain, Headquarters Battery, 12th Marines, 3rd Marine Division
Parwan Province; 09-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Nicholas A. Madrazo, 25U.S. MarineBothell, WA
1st Lieutenant, Combat Logistics Battalion 37, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force
Parwan Province; 08-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Jos Ten Brinke, 21Royal Dutch ArmyBerkelland-Netherlands
soldaat der eerste klasse, 41 pantsergeniebataljon
Baluchi Valley (near Patrol Base Qudus, near Tarin Kowt), Uruzgan province; 07-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Scott Shipway, 36Canadian ArmySaskatoon-Canada
Sergeant, 2nd Battalion of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
Panjwai district (Kandahar province); 07-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Marques I. Knight, 24U.S. ArmySan Juan Capistrano, CA
Specialist, 1st BN, 26th Infantry Reg, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
Aliabad; 06-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - small arms fire
Michael R. Dinterman, 18U.S. ArmyLittlestown, PA
Private, 1st BN, 26th Infantry Reg, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
Outpost Restrepo, Kunar Province; 06-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire
Vincent C. Winston Jr., 22U.S. ArmySt. Louis, MO
Private, 2nd BN, 2nd Infantry Reg, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
Afghanistan; 04-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Justin James Cupples, 29British ArmyCounty Cavan-UK
Ranger, 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment
Sangin (Helmand Province); 04-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Chadwick James Horn, 21Canadian Armyn.a.-Canada
Private, Second Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
Zhari district (Kandahar province); 03-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - Rocket fire
Michael James Alexander Seggie, 21Canadian ArmyWinnipeg-Canada
Corporal, Second Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
Zhari district (Kandahar province); 03-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - Rocket fire
Andrew Paul Grenon, 23Canadian ArmyWindsor-Canada
Corporal, Second Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
Zhari district (Kandahar province); 03-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - Rocket fire
Gregory A. Rodriguez, 35U.S. ArmyWeidman, MI
Sergeant 1st Class, K-9 unit - 527th Military Police Co, 709th Military Police BN, 18th MP Brigade
Ana Kalay; 02-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - small arms fire


SRC: ICASUALTY.ORG

Casualty List - September, Iraq

MONTHLY CASUALTY LIST: MNF-IRAQ

-------Rank, NationalitySrv BranchCountry

Rank, Unit

Location; Circumstance of Death

Christopher A. Bartkiewicz, 25U.S. ArmyDunfermline, IL
Private 1st Class, 2nd BN, 6th Infantry Reg, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division
Baghdad (northern part); 30-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - small arms fire

Christopher T. Fox, 21U.S. ArmyMemphis, TN
Specialist, 1st BN, 68th Armor Reg, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
Adhamiyah; 29-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - small arms fire

Jamel A. Bryant, 22U.S. ArmyBelleville, IL
Private 1st Class, 40th Engineer BN, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division
Baghdad (Southeast of); 27-Sep-08; Non-hostile - vehicle rollover

Ronald Phillips Jr., 33U.S. ArmyConway, SC
Staff Sergeant, 3rd BN, 7th Infantry Reg, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division
Bahbahani; 25-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Michael J. Medders, 25U.S. ArmyElyria, OH
Captain, 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment
Jisr Naft; 24-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - suicide bomber

Thomas J. Brown, 26U.S. ArmyShelton, VA
1st Lieutenant, 2nd BN, 6th Infantry Reg, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division
Salman Pak; 23-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - small arms fire

Matthew J. Taylor, 25U.S. ArmyCharleston, SC
Staff Sergeant, 2nd BN, 30th Infantry Reg, 4th Brigade Combat Team, (Light Infantry) 10th Mountain Division
Baghdad; 21-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - small arms fire

Corry A. Edwards, 38U.S. Army National GuardKennedale, TX
Chief Warrant Officer, 2nd BN, 149th Aviation, 36th Combat Aviation Brigade, Texas Army National Guard
Tallil; 18-Sep-08; Non-hostile - helicopter crash

Daniel M. Eshbaugh, 43U.S. Army National GuardNorman, OK
Sergeant, 2nd BN, 149th Aviation, 36th Combat Aviation Brigade, Oklahoma National Guard
Tallil; 18-Sep-08; Non-hostile - helicopter crash

Anthony L. Mason, 37U.S. Army National GuardSpringtown, TX
Sergeant, 2nd BN, 149th Aviation, 36th Combat Aviation Brigade, Texas Army National Guard
Tallil; 18-Sep-08; Non-hostile - helicopter crash

Julio C. Ordonez, 54U.S. Army National GuardSan Antonio, TX
1st Sergeant, 2nd BN, 149th Aviation, 36th Combat Aviation Brigade, Texas Army National Guard
Tallil; 18-Sep-08; Non-hostile - helicopter crash

Brady J. Rudolf, 37U.S. Army National GuardOklahoma City, OK
Chief Warrant Officer, 2nd BN, 149th Aviation, 36th Combat Aviation Brigade, Oklahoma National Guard
Tallil; 18-Sep-08; Non-hostile - helicopter crash

Michael E. Thompson, 23U.S. Army National GuardHarrah, OK
Corporal, 2nd BN, 149th Aviation, 36th Combat Aviation Brigade, Oklahoma National Guard
Tallil; 18-Sep-08; Non-hostile - helicopter crash

Robert Vallejo Ii, 28U.S. Army National GuardRichland Hills, TX
Not reported yet, 2nd BN, 149th Aviation, 36th Combat Aviation Brigade, Texas Army National Guard
Tallil; 18-Sep-08; Non-hostile - helicopter crash

Darrick D. Wright, 37U.S. ArmyNashville, TN
Captain, 926th Engineer Brigade
Baghdad; 17-Sep-08; Non-Hostile - Illness - Heart Attack

Leonard J. Gulczynski I, 19U.S. ArmyCarol Stream, IL
Private 1st Class, 610th Engineer Support Company, 14th Engineer BN, 555th Engineer Brigade
Baghdad; 17-Sep-08; Non-hostile - vehicle accident

Sidney J. Marceaux Jr., 69U.S. ArmyBeaumont, TX
Colonel (Chaplain), Warrior Transition Brigade
Walter Reed Army Medical Center; 14-Sep-08; Non-hostile - illness

Ralph J. Marino, 46U.S. ArmyHouston, PA
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army Central Command
Camp Buehring; 14-Sep-08; Non-hostile - illness

Wesley R. Durbin, 26U.S. ArmyHurst, TX
Sergeant, 3rd BN, 7th Infantry Reg, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division
Tunnis; 14-Sep-08; Non-hostile - shooting incident

Darris J. Dawson, 24U.S. ArmyPensacola, FL
Staff Sergeant, 3rd BN, 7th Infantry Reg, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division
Tunnis; 14-Sep-08; Non-hostile - shooting incident

Daniel R. Sexton, 53U.S. ArmyWentzville, MO
Sergeant 1st Class, 164th Military Police Company
Balad (Joint Base Balad); 10-Sep-08; Non-hostile

Jordan P. P. Thibeault, 22U.S. ArmySouth Jordan, UT
Private, 1st BN, 6th Infantry Reg, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division
Balad (FOB Hammer); 05-Sep-08; Non-hostile

Bryan R. Thomas, 22U.S. ArmyBattle Creek, MI
Private 1st Class, 1st BN, 66th Armor Reg, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
Baghdad (eastern part); 04-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Kenneth W. Mayne, 29U.S. ArmyFort Benning, GA
Sergeant, 1st BN, 66th Armor Reg, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
Baghdad (eastern part); 04-Sep-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Patrick W. May, 22U.S. ArmyJamestown, NY
Private 1st Class, Division Special Troops Battalion, (Light Infantry) 10th Mountain Division
Baghdad; 02-Sep-08; Non-hostile

Friday, June 06, 2008

Gates Restores Air Force Accountability

In a bold and smart move, Gates removed the top two at the Air Force, sending a powerful signal that any culture of complacency was over. The timing was set by the completion of a far-reaching investigation.

He may be one of the best Sec Defs in a long, long time.

He's been showing a quiet, powerful competence, day after day after day.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Nothing Good Will Come of This

story from TIME magazine on ... 'medical morale'?

Monday, June 02, 2008

Ug. Get them home

...before this gets out-of-hand ugly:

drop-weapons


This is the worst kind of poison, not in general, but in particular, right?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Lebanon, Failed State, Goes On Failing

Lebanon continued it's odd-ball trajectory, on the "brokered agreement" that made national politics captive to the freak-show Hizb'allah, who got "veto" authority.

Hizb'allah of course exercised military "veto" authority against the government, in the ill-timed final showdown that lead to the current surrender of the opposition parties.

Naturally, Nasrallah's propaganda team is out promising not to do exactly what they did, namely to use their "resistance army" against the government. Thugs know thuggery ...


Lebanon's new president got a red carpet welcome Monday, but was quickly thrust into the political thicket as Hezbollah's leader warned against any efforts to disarm his Iranian-backed guerrilla group. -AP

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Sec Def

One of the few good things about the job of SecDef. We forget he left his nice civilian job ... unwillingly, sometimes. Here shown at Virginia Military Institute graduation.


Separately, amphibious assualt ain't what it used to be:

Monty Python and the Royal Marines

IF you are in the right mood, there is this on how to chump your mates.

Life imitates art (NSFW - a small bit of nudity):


Sunday, May 11, 2008

U.S. Embassy Publishes Photo Of Schools We Aren't Building

At the last hearings, everyone announced (while I cringed) that the US was no longer involved in building schools and the like. The Iraqis are supposed to be paying. (As you know, the Pakistani government has been notoriously corrupt in funding hundreds, if not thousands, of 'paper schools').

It made this picture of our non-involvement involvement leap out. If there is some type of involvement, this ought to be it, I think. Lasting memorials to the US's presence are important 'physical memories', especially if they are good ones! Of course, Rumsfeld didn't want to pay for much construction on US dime at all... another failure in his GOP-ideology conception of the GWOT, I guess.

Anyway, whatever the case, they should get their story straight in Washington.

Details:

On April 21st members of the PRT traveled for the first time via military convoy ... deep into the province to perform two ribbon-cutting ceremonies marking the completion of local civic engagement projects. The 82nd Airborne will assume “strategic overwatch” or backing up of local Iraqi security forces for Muthanna province on May 23rd. The PRT hopes to create an atmosphere of trust and respect with the local Iraqis as the 82nd is introduced gradually to the province.

According to PRT Team Leader Paul O’Friel, “When local Iraqis see that the entirety of the American presence in Muthanna -- civilian and military alike -- is working to improve their lives through new roads and schools, medical care for the most rural communities, and innovative support in the agricultural sector, then the province will be a safer place

The Reluctant Warrior

"My War":

Many people believe that the draft ended the Vietnam War. I'm convinced that reinstating the draft would definitely end this war.
...
But now, thanks to not enough Americans volunteering for military service, I now have to worry about my picture appearing on the second or third page of my hometown paper with the words, "it was his second deployment" in my obituary.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Cell Phone "War" is Over

Hizb'allah won.

Lebanon's Cell Phone War

Communications have always been a key element of war, from maps and pidgeons to satellites.

For political violence groups like Lebanese Hizb'allah, the government has moved against their propaganda, intelligence, and command-and-control network in one stroke, by disabling their cell-phone network and ejecting a mole at an information hub (the airport).


Then came the telephone crisis: Last weekend, Walid Jumblatt, leader of Lebanon's Druze minority and an archenemy of Hizballah, accused the militant Shi'ite party of maintaining its own private telephone network, and of using security cameras to monitor Beirut airport with the possible aim of staging attacks or kidnappings. On Tuesday, the government followed up with an edict declaring Hizballah's telephone network "illegal and unconstitutional." It also launched an investigation into the alleged monitoring of the airport, and dismissed airport security chief General Wafiq Shuqeir, on suspicion of opposition sympathies.

....

More recently, Hizballah has dug trenches for fiber-optic cables in the mainly Christian and Druze Mount Lebanon district and in north Lebanon, according to Marwan Hamade, the Lebanese minister of telecommunications. "It was confined to one or two small areas before and we overlooked it as part of their internal communications. But now it's spread all over Lebanon," Hamade told TIME.

TIME, Nicolas Blanford

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Humanity and Grief In Time of War

Do the sum of small victories in the Long War weigh greater than the sum of all tragedies?

Rumsfeld famously asked the question about whether we were killing, capturing, or deterring more terrorists than were being "created". How does one weigh the positive interactions between the armed forces and the enormous tragedies that connected with them being required?

A soldier's quest to save Iraqi, Afghan interpreters

The results are small-scale, so far.

Over a year after they first sought to escape Iraq, Walid and two other interpreters who worked with Faler have arrived with their families. They all live near him in Oregon now. He brings their kids to doctor's appointments, takes them shopping, helps open bank accounts for them, and tries to find them jobs.

A married couple from Afghanistan, facing homelessness in San Francisco, contacted Faler last year. He convinced them to move to the cheaper environs of Oregon and helped them find odd jobs, pay the rent for a few months, and took them to Wal-Mart to buy household basics. Now the couple is on the East Coast and self-supporting.

Official Report on Karzai Attack - Inside Job

Two government officials involved (low level) and a cell rolled-up. Taliban ... not implicated in the official report, so much.

They should hurry-up and give him a Nobel Prize. He may not live much longer ... so many of his close friends have been blown-up or machine-gunned already.

Why Christopher Hitchens Deserves to Be Read

Mosque attack in Yeman, forcing ... harding of lines. Sermons about ... how to fight...

The mosque attack came a day after the Yemeni military announced that seven of its soldiers had been killed and blamed Houthi supporters for it. Even before Friday’s attack, more government troops had been expected to be deployed to the area.

In the past few days, the war-ravaged governorate has experienced numerous blasts and ambushes against troops, leaving more than 10 security soldiers dead. According to political analysts, such incidents may mean an end to efforts by the Qatari mediation team, which is seeking reconciliation between the Yemeni government and Houthi supporters.

Having realized that a previously formed mediation committee failed to do its job in Sa’ada, the authority ordered forming a new presidential mediation committee a few days ago in an effort to contain the escalating turmoil.

Such repeated incidents offer strong indicators of a fifth Sa’ada war between government troops and Houthi loyalists, primarily since Bin Salem Mosque was bombed and the authorities launched a massive arrest campaign against Houthis.

“While the mosque belongs to the Zaidi sect, Salafi extremist Askar Bin Zueil, who leads thousands of Salafi volunteers coming from various Yemeni governorates to fight with Houthis, claims that the victims were Salafis. These Salafis operate according to orders given by Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar, commander of the northern military flank,” a source told the Yemen Times.

The source added, “In giving his Friday sermons, Zueil attempts to convince Zaidis to abandon their sect and stop supporting Abdulmalik Al-Houthi’s fight with the army.”

All of Iraq in One Story

A fascinating story.

Almost every line is an allegory for what is going on in Iraq right now, with some notable exceptions. Even the "imagery" of being a city-within-a-city, etc., "works".

"Troops mass as attack on Mosul looms"

It's going down:

Azzaman, May 3, 2008

The government is massing troops for an imminent attack on the northern city of Mosul, the interior minister said.

The minister Jawad al-Bolani said the government has deployed “elite units” in the city, home to nearly three million people and currently one of the most violent places in the country.

U.S. troops will assist with aerial bombardment, logistics and artillery. U.S. marines will intervene if necessary.

The battle to overtake Mosul is billed as the ‘last’ major offensive Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki intends to launch to bring the country under control.

Mosul is now a bastion of al-Qaeda whose fighters have been under extreme pressure from the so-called Sahwa (Awakening) Council, a newly formed militia of Sunni tribesmen financed by the U.S., in other Sunni-dominated areas.

Weekly Casualty Lists: Week 19, Yr OEF+7

Two infantrymen from the Georgian national army this week. Another journalist this week.

Within the violence, the assault on Sahwas ("awakening") members continues (again, we have no systematic information from the USG, so ...). Iranian Coastguard makes the list for the first time I can recall. Beheadings in ... Anbar. Sadly, U.S. airstrikes show up noticeably. Mass graves out of the new this week...

IBC reports for April:

April Total: 1,334, including 66 children; 136 civilians were killed by US Forces.

With some luck (and free time) an update of enemy casualty lists.

WEEKLY CASUALTY LIST: MNF-IRAQ

-------Rank, NationalitySrv BranchCountry

Rank, Unit

Location; Circumstance of Death

Name Not Released YetNot reported yetn.a.
Not reported yet, Multi-National Force - West
Anbar Province; 06-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire

Name Not Released YetU.S. Armyn.a.
Not reported yet, Multi-National Division - North
Ninewah Province; 06-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire

Giorgi MargievGeorgian Armyn.a.-Georgia
Lieutenant, 13 Battalion of 1st Infantry Brigade
Diyala Province; 02-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Zura GvenetadzeGeorgian Armyn.a.-Georgia
Corporal, 13 Battalion of 1st Infantry Brigade.
Diyala Province; 02-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Corey L. Hicks, 22U.S. ArmyGlendale, AZ
Private, 1st BN, 66th Armor Reg, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
Baghdad (eastern part); 02-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Name Not Released YetU.S. Marinen.a.
Not reported yet, Multi-National Force - West
Al Anbar Province; 01-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Name Not Released YetU.S. Marinen.a.
Not reported yet, Multi-National Force - West
Al Anbar Province; 01-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Name Not Released YetU.S. Marinen.a.
Not reported yet, Multi-National Force - West
Al Anbar Province; 01-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Name Not Released YetU.S. Marinen.a.
Not reported yet, Multi-National Force - West
Al Anbar Province; 01-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Jeffrey F. Nichols, 21U.S. ArmyGranite Shoals, TX
Specialist, 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Reg, 4th Brigade Combat Team, (Light Infantry) 10th Mountain Division
Baghdad (central); 01-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack (VBIED)

Chad A. Caldwell, 24U.S. ArmySpokane, WA
Staff Sergeant, 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment
Mosul; 30-Apr-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Andrew. R. Pearson, 32U.S. ArmyBillings, MT
Captain, 1st BN, 22nd Infantry Reg, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
Baghdad (southern part); 30-Apr-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Ronald J. Tucker, 21U.S. ArmyFountain, CO
Specialist, 1st BN, 22nd Infantry Reg, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
Baghdad (southern part); 30-Apr-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Lawrence D. Ezell, 30U.S. ArmyPortland, TX
Sergeant 1st Class, 71st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group
Baghdad (northern part); 30-Apr-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

WEEKLY CASUALTY LIST: ISAF-AFGHANISTAN

------Name, AgeSrv BranchCountry

Rank, Unit

Location; Circumstance of Death
Michael Starker, 26Canadian Armyn.a.-Canada
Corporal, 15 Field Ambulance Regiment
Pashmul region, Zhari district (25 kg west of Kandahar); 06-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire
Ratu Babakobau, 29British Armyn.a.-UK
Trooper, Household Cavalry Regiment
Naw Zad district - Helmand Province; 02-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Radim Vaculik, 29Czech ArmyHluk-Czech
Praporc√É­k (Chief Warrant Officer), 102. pruzkumn prapor, 102 Reconnaissance Battalion
Logar province; 30-Apr-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

WEEKLY CASUALTY LIST: IRAQI CIVILIAN, counted by large event


WEEKLY CASUALTY LIST: JOURNALISTS IN IRAQ

Counted Civilian Casualties: 171 this week.


Tuesday 6 May: 18 dead
Baghdad: 3 die in clashes, Abu Dshir; mortars kill 3 at Khulani intersection; gunmen assassinate academic; 3 bodies.
Diyala
Wajihiya: roadside bomb kills Sahwa member.
Salahuddin
Tikrit: suicide car bomber kills 4 at restaurant.
Ninewa
Mosul: gunmen kill 2 policemen; roadside bomb kills policeman.
Monday 5 May: 24 dead
Baghdad: US air strike kills 6, Sadr City; US air strike kills 5 (inc. child with parents), Amil; rocket kills 2, Rasheed; 4 bodies.
Kirkuk
Kirkuk: roadside bomb kills policeman.
Ninewa
Mosul: gunmen storm building, kill 3 women; gunmen kill 1 civilian in the street; body found.
Babil
Hilla: gunmen kill former Baath commander.
Sunday 4 May: 25 dead
Baghdad: roadside bomb kills traffic policeman, Yarmouk; roadside bomb kills another civilian; gunmen kill academic, Al Adel; US bombing kills 5, including 3 children, Sadr City; 3 bodies.
Diyala
Wajihiya: roadside bomb kills 1 Sahwa member.
Khanaqin: raodside bomb kills child.
Salahuddin
Balad: bomb kills 2 women.
Ninewa
Mosul: gunmen kill journalist; gunmen kill 2 civilians in separate incidents; roadside bomb kills 1; 3 bodies.
Basra
Al Fau: 3 fishermen killed by Iranian coastguard.
Saturday 3 May: 27 dead
Baghdad: roadside bomb kills 1, Al-Shurta; US air strike kills 3 boys; 4 bodies.
Ninewa
Mosul: gunmen kill 2 policemen; roadside bomb kills 1; 1 body found.
Salahuddin
Shirqat: child is killed by mortar.
Diyala
Khanaqin: child is killed by bomb; communist party member is shot dead.
Anbar
Rumana: 12 beheaded bodies are found (believed to be policemen and Sahwa members abducted earlier).
Friday 2 May: 9 dead
Baghdad: mortar kills 1, Salhiya; 3 bodies.
Diyala
Muqdadiya: gunmen kill 2 Sahwa members.
Anbar
Aqur Quf: car bomb kills 3 relatives (son, brother and nephew) of Sahwa member.
Thursday 1 May: 65 dead
Baghdad: US air strikes kill 2 women and 2 children, Sadr City; car bomb kills 9 civilians, including a child, Camp Sara; 5 bodies.
Diyala
Balad Ruz: suicide bombers kill 45 at wedding, including the bride and groom.
Kirkuk
Hawija: bicycle bomb kills 2.
Wednesday 30 April: 12 dead
Baghdad: 2 die by US fire, Abu Dsheer; 1 killed by mortars, Rahmaniya; 4 bodies.
Kirkuk
Al-Abbasi: roadside bomb kills 2 Sahwa members.
Wassit
Kut: gunmen kill woman at home.
Salahuddin
Tikrit: 2 bodies found.
NameDate
Circumstances
Sarwa Abdul-Wahab04-May-08
Gunmen killed a woman journalist during a botched kidnapping attempt Sunday in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, police, and family said. Sarwa Abdul-Wahab, 36, worked as a lawyer defending journalists' rights and freelanced Kurdistan Reporters News Agency.

src: MNF-I, MNF-A, journalists from icasualties.org; Iraqi Civiilan: iraqbodycount.org; Afghan events from Bill Roggio, other sources

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Arafat Used to Steal Gas, Now Hammas Does it

TODAY IS IT "GAS SHORTAGES", TOMMORROW WE'LL BE HAVING SADDAM-ERA BABY PARADES


The head of the Palestinian Authority's gas agency confirmed Tuesday that Hamas gunmen had raided the Palestinian side of the Nahal Oz fuel terminal, stealing at least 60,000 liters of fuel meant for the Gaza power station in order to fill their own vehicles.

- JPost

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Not since the war in the Pacific ...

...the VA has added 3,700 mental health professionals in the last two years.-LA Times

Saturday, April 19, 2008

FARC a Predictor of Taliban vis-a-vis Drugs?

A well composed story:

It has been 44 years since the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia group, or Farc, began its fight to overthrow the Colombian government.

The Farc, which says its armed struggle against the government is based on a search for social and economic justice, found natural support among the country's rural poor.

But in recent years the movement has faced decline.

...


Pablo, who deserted from the Farc four years ago, says he became disenchanted after his fellow fighters got involved in Colombia's drug trade.