The present-day U.S. military qualifies by any measure as highly professional, much more so than its Cold War predecessor. Yet the purpose of today’s professionals is not to preserve peace but to fight unending wars in distant places. Intoxicated by a post-Cold War belief in its own omnipotence, the United States allowed itself to be drawn into a long series of armed conflicts, almost all of them yielding unintended consequences and imposing greater than anticipated costs. Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. forces have destroyed many targets and killed many people. Only rarely, however, have they succeeded in accomplishing their assigned political purposes. . . . [F]rom our present vantage point, it becomes apparent that the “Revolution of ‘89” did not initiate a new era of history. At most, the events of that year fostered various unhelpful illusions that impeded our capacity to recognize and respond to the forces of change that actually matter.

Andrew Bacevich


Saturday, January 11, 2020

News of the Day for Saturday, January 11, 2020

U.S. drone attack targeting a Taliban faction in Herat also kills and injures many civilians. Although the attack happened on Wednesday details are still disputed. This report say 60 civilians were killed or injured but does not distinguish. According to TOLO, local officials say the attack was undertaken in error.

Update: Tribal elders say that the faction that was attacked was in fact allied with the government.

A U.S. military vehicle hits an IED in Kandahar. As of now, we do not know if there were casualties. However this Russian source reports that a Romanian military vehicle was struck. It is unclear whether these are different versions of the same incident, or different incidents.

Update: The U.S. military in Afghanistan now says that two U.S. service members were killed and two injured in the incident. More details when they become available.

In the Middle EastIranian government says it downed Ukranian civilian jetliner in error. Many question why Tehran airport remained open at a time when air defenses were on high alert.

Iraqi government formally asks U.S. to present a plan to withdraw its troops from the country but the U.S. refuses.  The U.S. military presence in Iraq is, ipso facto, an illegal occupation.

The U.S. imposes new sanctions on Iran.

Caretaker Iraqi PM Adil Abdul Mahdi travels to Erbil to meet with Kurdistan PM Masrour Barzan.

A TV reporter and camera operator are murdered in Basra by unidentified assailants.

Mass protests in Iraq resume against corruption, failure of government to provide services, and foreign interference from both the U.S. and its coalition partners, and Iran.





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