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

Friday, September 7, 2007

War News for Friday, September 07, 2007

GWB is so stupid it's pathetic. With anyone else it might be considered humorous but being president of perhaps the most powerful country in the world he becomes an embarrassment to every citizen and the laughing stock of the world.

(1) The Associated Press is citing U.S. military sources as reporting the death of an American soldier from a non-hostile, unspecified cause in Baghdad on Wednesday, September 5th.

(2) MNF-Iraq is reporting the deaths of three Task Force Lightning soldiers when an explosion occurred near their vehicle in Ninawa Province in the north of Iraq on Thursday, September 6th.

(3) MNF-Iraq is also reporting the deaths of four Marines from enemy action in Al Anbar Province on Thursday, September 6th.

(4) The NATO ISAF website is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers in two separate IED blasts in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, September 6th. Several other ISAF soldiers were said to have been wounded. As usual, the soldiers' nationalities have not yet been revealed.

(5) The Romanian Ministry of Defense has confirmed that one of the two NATO soldiers who died on August 6th in two separate incidents was a member of the Romanian Armed Forces: Sargentul Major Aurel Marcu, 31, assigned to the 33rd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, of the Vânători de Munte, or Mountain Hunters. He died when his tank hit an improvised explosive device in Zabul Province in southeastern Afghanistan (brief English language article here).


Security incidents:

#1: another roadside bomb killed one civilian and wounded four others southeast of Baghdad, police officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity

#2: Police found 12 bodies in different districts in Baghdad on Thursday, police said.

Police found 12 dead bodies throughout Baghdad. 1 in Karrada, 1 in Sadr, 1 in Madaen, 1 in Eskan, 2 in Doura, 2 in Bayaa.

#3: Thursday night, gunmen kidnapped an employee of north Oil Company with his vehicle at Tareeq Baghdad near the fourth bridge downtown Baghdad. Police operation centre confirmed that finding his car after two hours of the incident which was found at Raheem Awa neighborhood.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A roadside bomb struck an Iraqi army patrol near Baqouba, killing one soldier and wounding two,

Tuz Khurmatu:
#1: Around 12.45 p.m., gunmen killed Dawood Salman a member of the municipality council in Suleiman Beck (7 km south Tuz Khurmatu). He was killed in front of his house at Suleiman Beck.

#1: Gunmen also opened fire on Sunni worshippers in a drive-by shooting following evening prayers late Thursday in the northern city of Kirkuk, killing at least three people and wounding four, police Col. Anwar Qadir

#2: Around 1p.m of Thursday afternoon, gunmen kidnapped Dr. Riyadh Ramo from his clinic at Jamhouriya street downtown Kirkuk. Police confirmed the news saying “Gunmen took him to unknown location”.said.

#3: Iraq's oil minister said that crude oil began to flow from his country's northern oil-rich Kirkuk to a Turkish export terminal last week - for the first time since Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003. "We're pumping between 300,000 to 400,000 barrels a day of Kirkuk crude to the Turkish export terminal of Ceyhan," Hussain al-Shahristani told Dow Jones Newswires in a telephone interview from Baghdad

#1: The bodies of four policemen were found with gunshot wounds in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, on Thursday, police said.

Nineveh Prv:
#1: Three Task Force Lightning Soldiers were killed in Nineveh province Thursday when an explosion occurred near their vehicle.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Four Marines assigned to Multi National Force-West were killed Sept. 6 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province.


Casualty Reports:

(1) The DoD has identified the Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier who died in western Baghdad from enemy action on Tuesday, September 4th: Specialist Rodney J. Johnson, 20, of Houston, Texas.

(2) The British Ministry of Defense has identified the two soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, The Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters), who died when their vehicle was hit with an explosion on Wednesday, September 5th, near Lashkar Gah in Helmand Province:
Private Damian Wright, 23, of Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, England
Private Ben Ford, 18, of Chesterfield in Derbyshire, England
The 2nd Battalion, The Mercian Regiment, is a newly formed unit. Wright and Ford are thus its first deaths.

Wright enlisted in the British Army in November 2002, so he had seen not only exercises in Kenya, Belize and Cyprus, but also active duty deployments to Northern Ireland, Afghanistan and Bosnia. In fact, his current deployment was his second to Afghanistan. According to a commanding officer, Wright was "small in stature, but mighty in character, spirit and life" ... and also devoted to his four-year-old son.

By contrast, Ford, at 18, had two years under his belt in the army. This was his first overseas deployment. It was said that with his pale skin and fair hair, it was a constant battle for him to avoid sunburn in the scorching Afghanistan heat ... a battle he seemed to have lost more often than not. However, his friends remembered him most for his constant smile, keen sense of humor and boundless enthusiasm for all things military.