September 10, 2008

From the Front: 09/10/2008

News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

In their own words:
A Battlefield Tourist: Haqqani Network Getting Hammered; Counterattacks in N. Waziristan - Over the past two weeks, the Haqqani terrorist network has been under a daily assault, in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, causing heavy fighting to erupt in North Waziristan. It comes on the heels of a US missile strike against the network’s top madrassa facility and now militant fighters loyal to the family are counterattacking. Geo TV reports Taliban fighters attacked two Pakistani army camps; one in Miramshah and one in Mir Ali. The Long War Journal is reporting that up to 150 Taliban took part in the attacks and that the fighting is ongoing. US sources tell The Long War Journal that the attacks in Pakistan are more symbolic than anything and speculated a larger respopnse could be in store for US troops operating in eastern Afghanistan. (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Haqqanis attack Pakistani forces in North Waziristan - The Haqqani Network responded to yesterday's airstrike on the family's religious seminary by striking at Pakistani security forces in North Waziristan. The attacks occurred as news that al Qaeda's commander in Pakistan and 14 other operatives were killed in the strike on the Haqqani family. Taliban fighters under the command of the Haqqani family attacked military bases in Miramshah, the administrative seat of North Waziristan, and Mir Ali, Geo TV reported. Several Taliban units, estimated at between 75 and 150 fighters, conducted the strikes, a US intelligence official told The Long War Journal on the condition of anonymity. Heavy fighting has been reported after Pakistani forces repelled the attacks. Casualty reports for either side are not available, and the fighting is said to be ongoing. (READ MORE)

Matel-in-Iraq: Beer - I suffered from Red Sky, which prempted my trip for a bridge opening in Baghdadi, so I was just thinking about and remembering times past and people gone. It can be a little melancholy, but remembering family gatherings also brings along many good memories and some interesting insights. At my family gatherings, we always had lots of beer. I don't suppose that comes as much of a surprise in a German-Polish Milwaukee family. Drinking Beer is a tradition in my family. I have been drinking beer since just a little before it was legal for me to do that. (BTW - in those days Schlitz was the leading beer. It soon went downhill as they fooled around with the brewing process. Now Schlitz is owned by Pabst and they are bringing back the old Schlitz formula.) As I travelled around, I learned to appreciate different sorts of beer. The Germans have a superb Beer culture, but the Belgians have a wider variety of beer and the Czechs are the world's most dedicated beer lovers. (READ MORE)

Rocinante's Burdens: Day 82, Morale - Military commanders have long believed that morale is important to the performance of soldiers in combat. There are many factors in this and psychologists have filled libraries with studies on the topic. Morale is the impact of the soldier's emotional state on his ability to perform his duties. It is not just good or bad. It is every emotion that the human mind can subject itself to. It is also unique for every person who experiences it because every person is unique. It determines the will to live, to fight, to endure, to be a functional member of a team and to win. In most cases, the outcomes of battles are decided by morale and not by calculations of logistics or firepower. The battle ends when one side stops fighting. Watching one's friends all get killed is bad for one's morale and makes one more likely to flee than fight. (READ MORE)

News from the Front:
IA, Macedonian Rangers take weapons off streets of Baghdad - BAGHDAD – Iraqi Army soldiers and Macedonian Rangers attached to Multi-National Division – Baghdad, uncovered weapons caches in Baghdad Sept. 9. While on patrol the Macedonian Rangers discovered a cache north of Baghdad at approximately 2:30 p.m. The weapons included two inert 550 French-manufactured air-to-air missiles and a 185 mm high-explosive projectile. (READ MORE)

SoIs lead IA to caches near Al Jabour - CAMP STRIKER, Iraq – Sons of Iraq led Iraqi Army soldiers to three small caches in the Al Jabour area Sept. 5. Soldiers from 2nd Company, 2nd Battalion, 55th Brigade, 17th Iraqi Army Division found the caches approximately 18 kilometers south of Baghdad. The caches contained of three boxes of 14.5 mm rounds, five anti-tank mines and two 57 mm mortars. (READ MORE)

MND-B Soldiers, ISF find IEDs, arrest criminals in Rashid (Baghdad) - FORWARD OPERATING BASE FALCON, Iraq – Iraqi Security Forces, operating in southern Baghdad’s Rashid district, defeated improvised-explosive devices and arrested criminals Sept. 9. Iraqi National Policemen of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Brigade, 2nd National Police Division, reported a homemade bomb made of a two-liter bottle of nitrate rigged with a timer to Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers at about 11:20 a.m. (READ MORE)

Shulla receives much needed facelift - BAGHDAD – The Government of Iraq has begun sponsoring multiple projects in the northwestern Baghdad neighborhood of Shulla to improve essential services and quality of life. One of the most prominent projects is a sewage line repair project and market revitalization taking place within Shulla. They are currently excavating a trench on a road to make a series of repairs on the sewage pipe. They are also giving the market along the road a “facelift.” (READ MORE)

MNSTC-I DCG and IA general visit Kirkuk to discuss training measures - Kirkuk, Iraq – The Deputy Commanding General of Multi National Security Transition Command - Iraq and Staff Lt. Gen Hussain, Joint Headquarters Deputy Chief of Staff for Training, met with leaders at the military training base in Kirkuk on a battlefield circulation trip Aug. 26. The purpose of the visit to the site, known as the K-1 Regional Training Center, was to discuss the tightening of training standards for Basic Combat Training. (READ MORE)

Soldiers Reopen Road, Stimulate Business in Iraqi Market - BAGHDAD — News of the grand reopening of Aden Street on the Suk Shelal Market in the Shaab neighborhood here was greeted with great enthusiasm from the public. Many shop owners said the increase in vehicular traffic will be good for their stores, since many more individuals will see the marketplace. (READ MORE)

Soldiers Help Fedaliyah Farmers Feed Water Buffalo - BAGHDAD — Agriculture began more than 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East. Today it is still a primary economic activity of the people of Iraq. While many U.S. commanders at every level focus on electricity and sewer improvements throughout the city of Baghdad, Capt. David Bestow, is focused on helping the farmers of Fedaliyah in the New Baghdad area feed their jammous – Arabic pronunciation for domesticated water buffalo – used by locals primarily for milk and meat. (READ MORE)

Insurgent facilitator seized in Oruzgan province - BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (September 9, 2008) - Afghan National Security forces with support from Coalition forces detained a suspected insurgent and heavy weapons facilitator today in the Tarin Kot District of Oruzgan province. The suspected facilitator is a former Afghan National Police checkpoint commander and is accused of supplying insurgents in Oruzgan province with heavy machine guns and rockets, as well as aiding suicide bombers. (READ MORE)

Haqqani network targeted in Khowst province - BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (September 9, 2008) – Coalition forces detained two suspected militants while targeting the Haqqani terrorist network during an operation in Khowst province, Monday. The operation targeted a suspected Haqqani militant in Mando Zayi District, who is suspected of coordinating with other Haqqani subcommanders who carry out IED attacks. The targeted militant was detained during the operation. (READ MORE)

Coalition forces search compound in Kapisa province - BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (September 8, 2008) – Coalition forces searched the compound of a suspected Taliban subcommander in Kapisa province, Sunday. The compound, located in Tag Ab District, is a known safe haven for foreign fighters moving into Afghanistan. Coalition forces searched the compound targeting a suspected Taliban subcommander intelligence suggested had been there recently. (READ MORE)

Party leaders blast Taliban remarks on Canadian election - Canadian party leaders are talking tough in reaction to Taliban claims that insurgents have stepped up their attacks on Canadian troops in Afghanistan in an attempt to influence the Canadian election. The militant group wants the next government to stop sending troops to Afghanistan, a Taliban spokesman told CBC News on Tuesday. (READ MORE)

Dutch defense minister does not rule out longer mission in Afghanistan - Dutch Defense Minister Eimert van Middelkoop has spoke of the possibility of keeping some Dutch troops in Afghanistan after the Dutch mission expires in 2010 as planned. (READ MORE)

Pak, Afghan decide to hold a joint jirga after Eid - Islamabad, Sept 10 : Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that a joint 'jirga' between Pakistan and Afghanistan will be held soon after Eid, ostensibly to resolve the issues relating to the Pak-Afghan border area. Afghanistan has time and again accused Pakistan of fanning terrorism into Afghanistan from across the border (READ MORE)

Taliban tells next Canadian PM to abandon US - As Canadians get set to elect a new government next month, the Taliban has asked the next prime minister to stop following the US and pull his troops out of Afghanistan. Warning Canada not to follow the US any more, Taliban spokesman Qari Muhammad Yussef Tuesday said: 'Yes, I know that the election is being held in Canada. That is why our attacks on Canadians have increased. My suggestion for the next prime minister is to withdraw Canadians from Afghanistan.' (READ MORE)

Taliban threaten to kill kidnapped recruits - KOHAT: Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Darra Adamkhel chapter, on Tuesday threatened to kill the kidnapped police recruits one by one if the government did not accept their demands. Talking to this correspondent by telephone from an undisclosed location, the spokesman for the local Taliban Amjad said they had kidnapped nine police recruits from the Khyber Agency when they were on their way to the Police Training Centre, Hangu, a week ago. (READ MORE)

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