Private Thomas D. Costello, laid to rest in Arlington after 91 years in the French countryside

World War I doughboy who was fell in action but was listed as MIA for the last nine decades. Private Thomas D. Costello of New York City was killed in action in France near a place called Bois de Bonvaux. His remains were located by a private MIA foundation who searches in France for the missing. As chance would have it, when they found the remains there was an official US government MIA team in the area looking for a missing in action soldier from a World War II tank engagement, so they were able to bring their high tech sensors and skills into recovering Private Costello. His descendants attended the funeral, though they did not even know the story of him being missing. Said his relative (Frisbie):

…had no idea he was a relative until he was contacted about two years ago by a Pentagon genealogist, said he believes that Costello was his great-great uncle. But the distance of the connection “doesn’t matter,” Frisbie said. “He’s a fallen soldier, and if I can honor him, that’s great.”
The French embassy also sent their military attache to attend the funeral and say thank you on behalf of the French people. You can see the video below. The US spends nearly $105 million a year on finding missing troops. The CNN article on this story also has some interesting quotes from the family.]]>

Who is the Afghan Revolutionary Front?

ARF? Ok, obviously they aren’t directed at the English-speaking world. The Animal Rescue Foundation can get away with it, but…whatever.

The Afghan Revolutionary Front claimed responsibility for a bomb scare in Paris this morning. The sticks of dynamite, no detonator, were found in a restroom in the Paris’s Printemps Haussmann department store along with a note, according to France24.

“Send the message to your president that he must withdraw his troops from our country before the end of February 2009 or else we will take action in your capitalist department stores and this time, without warning,” the letter said.

No one has heard of ARF prior to this event. In fact searches of Altavista and Yahoo return no results. Google, which is slightly faster, links only to news reports of this incident.

France is increasing it’s role in Afghanistan, hosting a conference earlier this week between Afghanistan and its neighbors to discuss some regional security issues.

UPDATE: 7 individuals with ties to ‘known Islamic Extremist groups’ have been arrested. However, France24 is reporting they are not connected to the explosives incident. Guess it was just a ‘usual suspects’ arrest.


Exit German Special Forces, enter, German (or French) AWACs to defend against the Taliban (Air Force/Farce)??? WTF?

Your services are no longer required...I guess.

Your services are no longer required…I guess.

For three year a crack German commando team has sat in Afghanistan and stared at the Sun. They’ve been deployed in combat operations ZERO (that’s 0) times and Germany politicians are starting to demand that they return. Fair enough. You’re not going to use them because of the political decision not to actually do anything of value in Afghanistan, you might as well pull them back and hunt neo-Nazi’s in the former East Germany.

But what gets really funny is how the Europeans want to substitute for this ‘non-needed’ special forces–they want to send great big hulking AWACs aircraft. Planes designed to steer combat aircraft into Russian fighters and other hostile air forces are going to be sent to Afghanistan to defend against…the Tabliban Air Force? Ummm…does that make sense?

But wait, it gets better. France say no, there is no Taliban Air Force–don’t send German AWACS, because… we want to send our French AWACs to Afghanistan instead.

Yea, this will help....

Yea, this will help….

As a gesture of goodwill, Steinmeier said he would consider replacing the KSK soldiers with NATO AWACS reconnaissance planes for Afghanistan that are based in Germany and have largely German crews.

NATO’s decision on whether to deploy the planes has been delayed because of a bizarre attempt to block the move by the French. First, Paris claimed the mission would be too expensive. Then they said it made no sense because the Taliban has no air force that the flying radar facilities could be used against. At the same time, however, Paris offered to deploy its own AWACS aircraft.