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 14, 2007

War News for Friday, September 14, 2007

Photo: Chaos, violence, graft and smuggling are wrecking Iraq’s oil business, with the revenue it generates vanishing into the pockets of corrupt officials, a new IWPR special report reveals. This article originally appeared in 'Iraqi Crisis Report', produced by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting
There are no reports of coalition fatalities.
Security incidents:
#1: South of Baghdad, unidentified gunmen killed three farmers who had been taking their turn guarding a village about 20 miles in a drive-by shooting at 5 a.m., police said.

#1: Farther south in the city of Hillah, gunmen attacked the home of Col. Hussein Ali Hassoon al Khafaji, an Iraqi army battalion commander, killing a guard and wounding another, police said.

#1: U.S. forces killed four gunmen and arrested five suspects in Yusufiya, 15 km (10 miles) south of Baghdad, in a raid on a network suspected of facilitating the movement of foreign insurgents in the area south of the capital, the U.S. military said.

#1: Gunmen killed three people near the town of Suwayra, 60 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: U.S. forces killed a gunman during a raid in Tarmiyah, 30 km (20 miles) north of Baghdad.

#1: At least 11 Iraqis, including nine Iraqi policemen, were killed in an explosion Friday in Bayji city, a security source said. A suicide bomber driving a fuel tank rigged with explosives blew himself up near a police check point in Bayji, 200 kilometres north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, the source added. Eight people were also wounded in the attack, the source said.

#1: The bodies of a police officer and a local judge were found in Balad 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad, police said

#1: Gunmen killed one woman and wounded her daughter in a drive-by shooting near Hawija, 70 km (40 miles) southwest of the northern city of Kirkuk, police said.

#1: Gunmen killed an Iraqi army officer when they stormed his house in Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: The body of a former Iraqi Army major-general was found on Thursday in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, after he was abducted by gunmen on Monday, police said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Iraqi soldiers led the raid Thursday on a mosque in Karmah, a town in Iraq's western Anbar province some 50 miles west of the capital, the U.S. military said in a statement. The target was a high-ranking al-Qaida in Iraq leader, believed to be responsible for orchestrating murders, sniper attacks and the planting of roadside bombs. During the operation, people fleeing the mosque fired at American troops — wounding three of them with non-life threatening injuries. U.S. and Iraqi forces retaliated with ground fire and close air support, killing three suspected insurgents, the military said.

Persain Gulf:
#1: Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard said Friday that it came to the aid of an unconscious Iranian fisherman in the sensitive waters around Iraq's oil terminals. An Iranian fishing vessel approached a U.S. coast guard ship charged with guarding Iraq's two oil terminals in the northern waters of the Persian Gulf on Aug. 24 and asked for assistance. The U.S. ship's medic gave first aid to an unconscious crew member, pumping oxygen into his lungs before instructing the Iranian ship's captain to return to port to receive additional medical help for the crew member.

#1: Five Taliban fighters were killed in a raid on a suspected insurgent compound in the province of Helmand, and five more in a raid on a guerrilla hideout in the province of Ghazni. "They were killed in firefights," a U.S. military spokesman said. There was no independent confirmation of who was shot,

#2: The two national policemen were killed when a remote-controlled roadside bomb was detonated in the eastern city of Khost, a provincial official said. Three policemen were wounded.

#3: THREE Australian soldiers have been injured in an intense firefight with the Taliban in Afghanistan. One had been sent back to Australia for medical care while the other two remained in Afghanistan after receiving first aid at the scene of the fight earlier this month, the Australian Defence Force said.
Casualty Reports:
Two Romanian military officers from the NATO mission of training the Iraqi forces were wounded in a missile attack on Tuesday afternoon, Romanian Defense Ministry announced here in a press release. According to the release, Lieutenant Colonel Dorin Petrut's left leg was wounded. He had surgery at the hospital of the Multinational Coalition in Baghdad, the Iraqi capital. The attack occured on base Camp Victory, near Baghdad, around 15:45 local time (1245 GMT), the press release said.

Two Romanian military officers from the NATO mission of training the Iraqi forces were wounded in a missile attack on Tuesday afternoon, Romanian Defense Ministry announced here in a press release. Major Iulian Daniliuc, who had a wound at his shoulder, was taken care at the base. He need not to go to hospital The attack occured on base Camp Victory, near Baghdad, around 15:45 local time (1245 GMT), the press release said.

Lance W. Iunker, 19, fractured bones in his back and face and tore his ear and scalp; he was coherent and off to a hospital in Germany. “He told me they had just gone out on a really dangerous mission and had been in a really crazy firefight and were headed back to the base when it happened,” she said. The report from her son and from the surgeon she spoke with early Tuesday was that something caused the tires to fail on the 5-ton truck in which the platoon was riding. “Something in the road compromised the tires, and it sent the truck careening off an overpass, and there was a 40-to 50-foot drop. It rolled over and over,” she said. Lance Iunker’s injuries included a fractured back, an ear that was almost torn off, a torn scalp, fractured eye socket bones and injuries to his upper back. Still, his mother was happy to hear that his limbs were intact and he could control them. He also could hear, see and speak clearly. Two plastic surgeons were on duty at a hospital in Balad, Iraq, where the injured were taken, and they stitched together his scalp and ear.

Staff Sgt. John Stevenson, 34. wants to stay in the Army after being seriously injured in Iraq, but he understands that might not be possible. career path was sidetracked Dec. 22 when he was caught in a bomb blast in Baghdad while deployed with an infantry unit based in Germany. He lost most of the vision in his right eye, and his right arm was shattered.

Marine Corporal Raymond D. Hennagir III who graduated from Deptford High School in 2004 lost both legs and four fingers on his left hand when he was nearly killed by an explosive device on June 17 in Zaidon, Iraq. He was two months away from completing his second tour of duty. He was treated first at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and is now an outpatient at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he is recovering from dual amputations and awaiting further treatment for his hand.

Army Spec. Rick Yarosh, 25, is scheduled to fly home today from Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where he's spent the past year recuperating from a tank explosion on Sept. 1, 2006. Yarosh lost a leg and broke his other leg, suffered second- and third-degree burns, and battled cholera and a skin fungus after jumping into contaminated water to put the fire out.

U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel Renshaw suffered a bullet wound in the abdomen from a sniper in November while he was on patrol along the Euphrates River. He was treated immediately in Iraq, then in Germany and eventually in the United States.

A soldier from Portland, wounded in Iraq, has returned home to his happy family. P.F.C. Tim Valliere serves in the 82nd Airborne. Valliere is a 2005 graduate of Deering High School. He served in Iraq for 14 months when his unit was hit by an improvised explosive device. Valliere suffered back injuries, brain trauma and hearing loss. He was flown to Germany after the attack and eventually back to Fort Bragg.

19-year-old San Luis Obispo High School graduate Private First Class Lance Iunker sustained near deadly injuries yesterday in a Humvee accident near Baghdad. Six of the 18 soldiers in his company died in the crash. The others were severely injured. "He lost his ear, his lungs are bruised, and he has some air near his heart," said Lance's mom Dori Iunker.

Jared Shipp, 22, of Peoria had been injured sometime late Monday or early Tuesday morning. Through official channels details remained sketchy, but Ron Shipp said his son had been on a mission to swap out three vehicles with three others. The Marines were about five and a half hours from their base at Taqaddum, located in the Anbar Province in western Iraq. They had arrived at the destination around midnight in near total darkness.
"He was asked to get one of the vehicles coupled up, and either they forgot where he was at or didn't know, and he got pinched in between them," Ron Shipp said. Jared suffered a fractured pelvis and a fractured pubic bone. He was stabilized at the scene and then treated at a hospital at Taqaddum before going to another base. There was no spinal cord injury, and none of his major organs or blood vessels were damaged. He's expected to make a full recovery, his father said.

Private First Class David Kendrick, 20, of Rochester came home Thursday. He was wounded in Iraq on Father's Day. It's a job that earned him a Purple Heart medal and a bullet in each leg. "I started walking back to my truck and all of a sudden I got shot in my left leg,” he said. "My gunner was trying to find where the bullets where coming from, and he couldn't find anything. It was just like bullets were falling from the sky. There were bullets everywhere, and I got shot in my right leg too."

A soldier from Atlantic Mine is recovering at Walter Reed Medical Center from injuries sustained in Baghdad earlier this month. 21 year old Army Sergeant Andrew Hillstrom was wounded during an IED attack September 1. His family says they're grateful he survived. Hillstrom underwent surgery on his arm on Tuesday.