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Monday, January 22, 2007

Columbia, S.C. (Jan. 19, 2006) - Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Mullen watches as Army drill sergeants fire weapons at the Battle Simulation Center at Ft. Jackson. Mullen was visiting Sailors conducting two-week Individual Augmentee training before they deploy to areas of Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait or the Horn of Africa. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley

Playing Nice When We're At War

As you know if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, I've been a strong advocate of a "gloves off" philosophy of dealing with the enemy. However, since I lack the personal military expertise to really analyze the recent incarnations of the Rules of Engagement for our troops, I've held off on taking a good look at them.

Fortunately, Herschel Smith, over at The Captain's Journal, has been doing so.

In his most recent installment, Smith speaks with Milblogger T.F. Boggs about the R.O.E.'s, and the very real ramifications that second-guessing can have in the field. Below is some of what Sgt. Boggs had to say when he spoke with Hugh Hewitt recently:
We did what we were supposed to do, but we faced hours of paperwork when we had just gotten off the road for twelve hours. We faced paperwork, we got to face questions, we got to go see the commander, we got to do all of this stuff, and we were just doing our job. So the next time we go out, we second-guess. Was that the right thing to do? What should we do? We don’t want to do paperwork now, so do we let this guy go?


Do the Iraqi people understand and take advantage of the disabilities imposed on the American fighting men?

Oh yea – the enemy in particular. I told this story earlier – if you guys were listening – about the IED, the one who let the IED off, the two other guys that were on the motorcycle. This guy just claimed ignorance, like he was dumb. He was wandering around like he was stupid; he doesn’t know anything. We swipe him for explosives, he comes up negative, supposedly. We let the guy go. The guy walks off, and two days later, comes back – let’s another bomb off.

There's lots more. Read the full post, and catch up on the previous installments, here.

As I've repeatedly acknowledged, I have no direct military experience. But you don't have to in order to understand that the enemy doesn't play nice. Hobbling our military isn't going to win us any friends; those who hate us will hate us anyway.

Losing in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the greater War on Terror is unacceptable. The consequences would be unspeakable. So why aren't we fighting to win?

The media is quick to point out that many Americans do not approve of the way the war has been run, or of the war in general. But one question that has not been asked is why people disapprove.

How many of those who disapprove of the way the war has been run disapprove because we are not being aggressive enough? How many disapprove because we are following Rules of Engagement that hamper the ability of our troops to do what they need to?

With the "surge," supposedly, are supposed to come "more aggressive" Rules of Engagement. Some recent actions have been promising, but I'm not convinced yet that we really mean what we say. What really concerns me are the things I didn't hear in the President's most recent speech.

What I want to hear is: "Gloves off. We are coming for you, and we're not going to apologize for doing it. We're not going to arrest our troops for killing you. We're not going to stop chasing you because of what building you run into. Your days are numbered, and there's nowhere you can hide that we can't find you. We are the United States of America, and our troops are better than anyone else at killing the enemy. You're going to find out exactly how good at that we are. From this day until your last on earth - which will be soon - you will not know a single night's peaceful sleep."

Bottom line is that our troops on the ground are fighting this to win it, and their leadership owes them the backbone to do the same.

GROUND SECURITY — Guam Army National Guardsman Spc. Vince Fejeran provides security on the ground as a C-130 Hercules flies a low altitude pass on its way back to Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, after delivering passengers and cargo to a 4,500-foot dirt strip runway in southern Ethiopia. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Scott Wagers

New Schools Open in Mushahidah

Sunday, 21 January 2007
Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342

RELEASE No. 20070121-14
Jan. 21, 2007
1st BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs

MUSHAHIDAH, Iraq – It has been said that fostering education is one of many steps toward improving safety and stability for Iraq’s future—its children.

The Soldiers of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment helped the city of Mushahidah, Iraq, get one step closer to this goal by opening three new schools within the city Jan 15.

The Soldiers assisted with opening a girl’s elementary school, a girl’s secondary school and a boy’s elementary school.

“This project is an example of the close partnership we have with the Mushahidah city council to create a secure, safe and stable environment in Mushahidah,” said Capt. Adrian Spevak, the Co. B, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment commander and a native of Allentown, Pa., during the ribbon cutting ceremony for the girls’ schools. “It is an honor and privilege to be here for the ceremony, and I look forward to continuing our close relationship with future projects.”

Just as Spevak said he was excited to see the children have a new place to go to school, the Mushahidah city council members said they were also very excited.

“This is a great example for the projects in this area,” said Shiek Naif Moutlak, the chief of the city council. “We thank the coalition for all they have done and hope for other projects in the area to help the people.”

And helping people is what makes all the hard work worth while.

“We have been working for six months to get the school to a good standard for the kids,” said Capt. John McGowan, the Company C, 414th Civil Affairs Battalion commander and a native of Birmingham, Ala. “By working with the Iraqi government, we have made a better place for the students to go to school.”

While the council members and the Soldiers celebrated the ribbon cutting, McGowan had chance to talk to a few people at the school.

“By being here talking to the students, I know that they are very happy to have a better place to go school,” he continued. “And the teachers are happy to have a good place to go to work and teach from.”

The newly opened schools are a great improvement from the old schools the children were attending, according to McGowan.

“The children now have classrooms with new desks and unbroken windows,” said McGowan. “They also have new school supplies that they may not have had without the help of the coalition partnership.”

Before leaving the girl’s secondary school, Spevak stepped into one of the classrooms to talk to the students.

“I am honored to be here to help make this school a better place,” he told the girls. “It is definitely a privilege to look into the eyes of tomorrow’s leaders in Iraq.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT MULTI-NATIONAL DIVISION – BAGHDAD PUBLIC AFFAIRS NCO IN CHARGE, MASTER SGT. DAVID LARSEN BY E-MAIL AT: DAVID.J.LARSEN@US-DOT-ARMY-DOT-MILThis email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it ; OR BY PHONE AT COMMERCIAL: (914) 822-8174, OR IRAQ NA: 011-964-790-192-4675.

DEPLOYMENT — A Marine assigned to the "Death Rattlers" of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323 load equipment onto a conveyer in preparation for a scheduled deployment aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis. U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Leah Allen

In Today's News - Monday, January 22, 2007

Quote of the Day
"A US commitment to the defense of the oil resources of the gulf,
and to political stability in the region
constitutes one of the most vital
and enduring interests of the United States."

-- Conclusion of US Senator Henry Jackson's
Energy and Natural Resources Committee, 1977

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Bombs kill at least 78 people in Baghdad
Iraqi PM Drops Anti-American Bodyguards
Five U.S. Troops Killed; Iraqi Officials Say Gunmen in Karbala Attack Impersonated Americans
Christians, Muslims flee Baghdad

Operation Enduring Freedom
Taliban to Open Schools in Afghanistan
Afghan women step into commerce

Homeland Security / War on Terror / Hamas-Hezbollah Happenings
Suicide car bomber kills 3 Pakistani troops
Troops fire on Mogadishu protest, kill 3: witness

Other Military News
Hanoi agrees U.S. ships join search for servicemen (FINALLY! This is good news)
Israel chooses new army chief: reports
Anti-missile shield not aimed at Russia - U.S.
McCain casts doubt on Gen. Casey as U.S. Army head

Religion of Peace??
Video shows Egypt prisoner's humiliation

Worldwide Wackos
Chavez to U.S.: 'Go to Hell!' - Venezuelan president slams American officials (You first, Hugo)
Iran to Test-Fire Missiles in Military Exercises
MP says Iran bars 38 atomic inspectors: agency - Video
U.S. sees "basis for progress" in N.Korea talks

Politics / Government
Clinton Leads Pack on First Day as Candidate
Clinton confident in her 2008 prospects
Senators seek support for Iraq resolution
New Mexico Gov. Richardson to Run in '08
Bush to Push Energy Fixes in Address
Poll: Most think country on wrong track

In the Courts / Crime and Punishment
Police, Feds Scour Chicago For Abducted Kids, Mom and Kidnapper
Report: Devlin Too Ashamed to Call Parents
Report: Devlin Too Ashamed to Call His Parents
NY Post: Hornbeck's Biological Father Was a Convicted Sex Offender
Prison Inmates Outliving People on Outside
Questions in Jungle Gal's Return - PHOTOS
L.A. Vows Gang Crackdown After 2 Kids Die
Brits ID Suspected Killer of Ex-Spy

Science / Nature
Snowstorms Kill 11 in 3 States - PHOTOS
Pollution said destroying pre-Aztec Mexican ruins
Rare snow storm surprises Arizona

Michigan Man Builds His Own Flying Saucer
Jaywalking historian causes stir

Other News of Note
Colts, Bears Set for Super Bowl - STORY
Co-Pilot Lands Plane After Pilot Dies in Midair

Fox News
Grounded U.K. Ship Losing Cargo - VIDEO

Reuters: Top News
EU's Solana urges fast government talks in Serbia - Video
EU undeterred by Serb hardliners' poll lead - Video
Australian PM coy on reshuffle in election year
Are you a giver? Brain scan finds the truth
IBM renews Microsoft rivalry with new Web software
Microsoft could launch Zune in Europe by end 2007
Users fuel news at Germany's Bild
News confirms suspicions of breast cancer survivor
Ancient medicine all the buzz in modern China
"Heroes" grows Web power
Guy Ritchie lined up for ABC "Suspects"
Oil climbs toward $53
Futures inch higher; earnings on tap
InterContinental shares rise on bid talk
Yen hits fresh lows as carry trades rule
Nikkei hits 9-month high as Olympus, brokers rise
Themes for 2007 and beyond
On the radar: Boomer stocks
Pfizer profit jumps on sale of consumer unit
Sun to tap Intel as additional chip supplier
Citigroup to buy ABN AMRO Mortgage Group
IBM renews Microsoft rivalry with new Web software
U.S. probe hammers online gaming shares
Philips profits rise, ups dividend to match peers

AP World News
No party emerging to govern Serbia
Source: Sun to use chips from Intel
Whitaker describes struggles as an actor
DiCaprio: I'm no 'piece of cute meat'
More students shun cafeteria junk food
Can Beckham appeal to L.A. Hispanics?
Parents turn against birthdays gone wild
Mexico: No U.S. pressure in extraditions
Report: NYC may lose top financial spot
Man kills self, wife in parking lot
Obituaries in the news
Embry-Riddle battered, but flying again
Princeton plans no tuition hike
Unique Cobra brings $5.5M at car auction
DT: China's Test Pollutes Space
Op-ed: Mom Meets President Bush
Blog: Roggio Back in Iraq
One Medic's View of the War
Advisors: Can Drinking Water Kill You?'s Top "Love and War" Movies

CENTCOM: News Releases

Training comes to a close in exercise for Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa - podcast
Liveblogging: Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Mission Rehearsal Exercise 07-1 USJFCOM hosts first-responder focused modeling and simulation demonstration event

Department of Defense
Eikenberry: U.S. Commitment Will Live On in Afghanistan - Story
Stability & Security in Iraq Report (pdf)
For Top News Visit DefenseLink

Training Teams Teach Iraqis to Run Operations - Story
Married Couple Dedicated to Serving in Iraq - Story
Soldiers Visit Iraqi School-aged Children - Story
Flight Surgeon in Iraq Treats Injured Local Child - Story

U.S., Iraqi Medical Experts Meet, Share Ideas
U.S. Official Talks Economics with Iraqi Leaders
Iraqi Army Boot Camp Trains New Recruits
Forces Shut Down Known Terrorist Group

Volunteers Spark Warmth at Burn Center
U.S. Air Assets Support Strike in Afghanistan
U.S. Air Force Engineer Helps Afghans Rebuild
Afghans Graduate From Agricultural Course

Marine Trains U.S. Embassy Troops in Djibouti

Renewal In Iraq
Iraq: Security, Stability
Fact Sheet: Progress and Work Ahead
Report: Strategy for Victory in Iraq
Iraq Daily Update
This Week in Iraq
Multinational Force Iraq
State Dept. Weekly Iraq Report (PDF)
'Boots on the Ground' Audio Archive
Weekly Reconstruction Report (PDF)
Iraq Reconstruction

Afghanistan Update

Fact Sheet: Budget Request
Fact Sheet: War on Terror
Fact Sheet: Terror Plots Disrupted
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar

Ansbach Aschaffenburg Berlin Berlin-Tempelhof Berlin/Schonefeld Bremerhaven
Darmstadt Frankfurt Frankfurt/Main Freiburg/Breisgau Garmisch
Garmisch-Partenkirchen Geilenkirchen Gelnhausen Giessen Kitzingen
Hanau Am Main Heidelberg Mainz Mannheim Nurnberg Stuttgart Trier
Wiesbaden Wurzburg


Agana Agana Heights Agat Andersen AFB Asan Barrigada

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut
An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Kadena Air Base Okinawa Tokyo Yokohama

Baler Radar Site Catanduanes Radar Site Manila

South Korea
Cheju Upper/Radar Chonju Chunchon Inch'on Kunsan Masan Mokp'o
Osan Pusan Seoul Suwon Taegu Taejon Tonghae Radar Site Ulsan Yosu

* If you're deployed, and want to see your location's weather listed here, please email me! *

Today in History
0871 - Battle at Basing - Danish invasion army beats Ethelred of Wessex
1371 - King Robert II Stuart of Scotland crowned
1510 - Jews are expelled from Colmar, Germany
1517 - Turks conquer Cairo
1528 - England & France declare war on Emperor Charles V
1575 - English queen Elizabeth I grants Thomas Tallis & William Byrd music press monopoly
1584 - Parts of Switzerland adopt Gregorian calendar (& parts in 1812)
1588 - Pope Sixtus V decrees "Immense aeterni" (Reformed curia)
1673 - Postal service between New York & Boston inaugurated
1689 - Lord Halifax becomes Speaker of English House of Lords
1689 - Prince Willem III calls English parliament together
1690 - Iroquois tribes renew allegiance to British against French
1758 - Russian troops occupy Königsberg, East Prussia
1760 - Battle at Wandewash, India - British troops beat French
1771 - Spain cedes the Falkland Islands to Britain
1775 - Marshal Oscar von Lubomirski expels Jews from Warsaw, Poland
1798 - Coup of Midderigh
1813 - Americans capture Frenchtown, Canada
1814 - 1st Knights Templar grand encampment in US held (NYC)
1817 - English freighter Diana sinks off Malaysia
1831 - Charles Darwin takes his Bachelor of Arts exam
1837 - Earthquake in southern Syria kills thousands
1862 - Confederate government raises premium for volunteers from $10 to $20 (approximately $400 today)
1863 - Union General Burnside's "Mud March"
1873 - Britain's SS Northfleet sinks at Dungeness, England - 300 die
1879 - James Shields (D) elected US senator from Missouri after previously serving as US senator from Illinois & Minnesota; Zulus attack a British Army camp in Isandhlwana, South Africa
1881 - Ancient Egyptian obelisk "Cleopatra's Needle" erected in Central Park (NYC)
1890 - José Marti forms La Liga (Union of Cuban exiles) in New York City, NY
1901 - After 63 years, England stops sale of Queen Victoria postage stamps series & begins King Edward VII series
1905 - "Bloody Sunday" - Russian demonstrators fired on by tsarist troops
1918 - Ukraine proclaimed a free republic (German puppet)
1924 - Baldwin government resigns in England
1925 - Albania Republic proclaimed under President Achmed Zogu
1926 - Belgian chief of staff General Maglinse quits
1931 - French government of Steeg falls
1932 - British Anglicans & Old-Catholic church merge
1936 - French Laval government falls
1939 - Uranium atom 1st split, Columbia University
1941 - 1st mass killing of Jews in Romania; British/Australian troops capture Tobruk from Italians
1942 - Japanese air raid on Rabaul, New Britain
1943 - Joint Chiefs of Staff determine invasion in Sicily for July 10th; Temperature rises 49ºF (9ºC) in 2 minutes in Spearfish SD
1944 - Battle of Anzio (Italy); Allies stopped on the beach
1945 - Burma highway reopens; Heavy US air raid on Okinawa
1946 - US President sets up the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency)
1947 - KTLA TV channel 5 in Los Angeles CA (IND) begins broadcasting (1st commercial TV station west of Mississippi)
1949 - Chinatown telephone exchange closed
1951 - Fidel Castro ejected from a Winter League game after beaning batter
1955 - Norwegian government of Einar Gerhardsen forms
1956 - 30 die in a train crash in Los Angeles
1957 - Israeli forces withdraw from the Sinai Penisula; Mad Bomber (George P. Metesky), accused of 30 explosions, is arrested
1959 - USAF concludes less than 1% of UFO's are unknown objects
1960 - Coal mine of Johnburg caves in - 417 die; French President De Gaulle escapes assassination attempt by General Massu
1964 - World's largest cheese (15,723 kg) manufactured, Wisconsin; Kenneth Kaunda becomes premier of North-Rhodesia (Zambia)
1965 - US launches TIROS 9 weather satellite
1968 - Apollo 5 launched to Moon; unmanned lunar module tests made
1969 - Orbiting Solar Observatory 5 launched into earth orbit
1970 - 1st commercial Boeing 747 flight (Pan Am), New York to London in 6½ hours
1973 - Roe vs Wade US Supreme Court legalizes some abortions; US, North & South Vietnam & Vietcong sign boundary accord
1975 - Landsat 2, an Earth Resources Technology Satellite, launched
1976 - Bank robbery in Beirut nets $20-50 million (record)
1980 - Dissidents Andrei Sacharov & Jelena Bonner banished to Gorki
1982 - 75% of North America is covered by snow
1983 - 2nd flight readiness firing of Challenger's main engines; 22 seconds
1985 -30ºF (-34ºC), Mountain Lake Bio Station, Virginia (state record)
1985 - Cold wave damages 90% of Florida's citrus crop
1986 - Ghorbanifar 1st suggests diversion of cash to contras, says North
1989 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakstan/Semipalatinsk USSR
1992 - Space Shuttle STS-42 (Discovery 15) launches into space; Princess Sarah Ferguson wears paper bag over her head on airline ride
1994 - 5.5 earthquake strikes Sumatra
1995 - A Palestinian bomb attack in Beit Lid, Israel, kills more than 20
1997 - Space Shuttle Atlantis Returns to Earth
1998 - STS 89 (Endeavour 12) launches into orbit; World League of American Football becomes NFL East

1440 - Ivan III the Great, Russian czar (1462-1505)/conquered Lithuania
1561 - Francis Bacon England, statesman/essayist (Novum Organum)
1571 - Robert Bruce Cotton, English antiquary, politician
1655 - Geleyn Evertsen, Lieutenant-Admiral (Zealand)
1826 - Confederate General M(Merriwether) Jeff Thompson
1858 - Frederick Lugard, British captain/baron (Congo)
1865 - Friedrich Paschen, German physicist
1874 - Wincenty Witoz Galicia, PM of Poland (1920-21, 1923, 1926)
1875 - Bonifacius C. de Jonge, Governor (Dutch East Indies)
1877 - Hjalmar Schacht president of German Reichsbank/minister of Economics
1890 - Fred M. Vinson 13th Chief Justice of US Supreme Court (1946-53)
1892 - Marcel Dassault (Bloch), French airplane builder
1898 - Ross R. Barnett lawyer/(Gov-D-MS, 1960-1964)
1906 - Willa B. Brown (Coffey), first African-American woman to get a commercial pilot's license
1909 - Lev D. Landau, Russian physicist (Nobel 1962); (Sithu) U Thant, 3rd UN Secretary-General (1962-72)
1928 - Birch Bayh (Senator-D-IN, 1963-1981)
1935 - Pierre S. Du Pont IV (Governor-DE, 1977-1985)
1937 - Eden Pastora Gomez, Nicaraguan contra leader
1943 - H. James "Jim" Saxton (Representative-R-NJ, 1984-present)
1949 - Rein P. Hummel, Dutch MP (PvdA)
1955 - Thomas David Jones, PhD/Astronaut (STS 59, 68, 80, sk 98)
2179 - Hikaru Walter Sulu (character on Star Trek)

1336 - Louis III, last Earl of Loon
1552 - Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, beheaded for treason
1581 - Seerp Galama, Dutch nobleman/military/politician, at 52
1798 - Lewis Morris, US farmer Declaration of Independence signer, at 71
1799 - Horace B. de Saussure, Swiss physicist/geologist/alpinist, at 58
1850 - Vincenzo Pallotti, Italian saint, at 54
1879 - Anthony Durnford British Colonel, in battle; George Shepstone, British political affiliate, in battle
1901 - Victoria (Alexandrine), Britain's Queen (1837-1901), at 81
1909 - Richard A. C. E. Erlenmeyer, German chemist, at 83
1922 - Benedictus XV (Giacomo Markies D. Chiesa), pope (1914-22), at 67
1923 - Max Nordau (Südfeld), German physician/zionist leader, at 73
1942 - Reimond Tollenaere, leader Flemish National Front, at 81
1969 - Judy Garland, singer/actress (Wizard of Oz), of an overdose at 48
1973 - Lyndon B. Johnson, President (1963-69), at his Texas ranch at 64
1979 - Ali Hassan Salameh [Abu Hassan], killed by car bomb; believed to have helped mastermind massacre of 1972 Munich Olympics athletes
1982 - Eduardo Frei Montalva, President of Chile (1964-70), at 71
1987 - R. Budd Dwyer, Pennsylvania State Treasurer, facing prison for conspiracy & perjury, shoots himself to death at a televised news conference
1988 - Georgi M. Malenkov, Russian premier (1953-55), at 86
1992 - Ali Amini, PM of Iran (1961-62)
1994 - Irving B. Kahn, inventor (teleprompter), at 76
1995 - Mahmoud Sayed Selim, Egyptian Muslim leader, shot to death at 29; Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, mother of President John F. Kennedy, at 104
1996 - Edward Thomas, historian/intelligence expert, at 77; Yisrael Eldad, extremist politician, at 85
1997 - Wally Whyton, musician/broadcaster, at 66

Reported Missing in Action
The following USN personnel reported MIA when their S2D was shot down:
Forman, William S. (MN); pilot

Frenyea, Edmund M. (CA); crew

Sennett, Robert R. (CA); crew

Templin, Erwin B. Jr., (TX); crew

Also reported MIA this day in 1966:
Grissett, Edwin R.,Jr., USMC (TX); KIC December, 1969 - remains returned June, 1989

Ross, Douglas A., US Army (CA); KIA - remains returned/ID'd March, 1998

Jones, Diane, Civilian; released from Quang Ngai February, 1974

Markham, James M., Civilian; returned from visit December, 1974

Quinn, Judge Sophie, Civilian; released from Quang Ngai February, 1974 - detained twice (1974 and April, 1975)

Benoit, Charles, Jr., Civilian; returned from visit December, 1974