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 28, 2007

War News for Friday, September 28, 2007

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in a small arms fire attack in an eastern neighborhood of Baghdad on Tuesday, September 25th.

The DoD announced today the death of a sailor, Petty Officer Second Class Charles Luke Milam, 26, of Littleton, Colo., who died September 25, while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. We believe this is the same death reported by the Combined Joint Task Force-82 in an earlier announcement. Milam was a hospital corpsman assigned to 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Two Danish soldiers have been killed in southern Afghanistan following a Taliban attack on a Nato base on Wednesday, September 26th. The attack took place in the in the Upper Geresk Valley, Helmand province. The Danish Defence Ministry has confirmed and identified the deaths, previously announced by NATO-ISAF:
Private Mikkel Keil Søerensen, 24;
Private Thørbjoern Ole Reese, 22;
The two Danes, both from the Royal Life Guards, had been under a nominal British command. No further details are available at this time.

The DoD announced today the death of a soldier on Tuesday, September 25th. Pfc. Christopher F. Pfeifer, 21, of Spalding, Nebraska, died Sept. 25 in San Antonio, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire on August 17 near Kamu, Afghanistan. This is a new death, not previously reported. Pfeifer was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Schweinfurt, Germany.

The DoD announced today the death of a soldier on Wednesday, September 26th. Pfc. Mathew D. Taylor, 21, of Cameron Park, California, died September 26th in San Antonio of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle July 23rd in Sarobi District, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy. This is a new death, not previously reported.

Security incidents:

#1: A US air raid has killed at least 10 people, including women and children, in a building in a mainly Sunni area of Baghdad, Iraqi officials said Friday. The raid targeted a building in the Al-Saha neighbourhood in southwestern Baghdad where families were sleeping, the Iraqi officials said. An official at Baghdad's Al-Yarmuk hospital said 13 people -- seven men, two women and four children -- were killed and 10 men and a women were wounded. He said all the casualties were civilians.

#2: A U.S. Apache helicopter came under "enemy" fire that forced the aircraft to land near a military base in southern Baghdad, the U.S. army said. "A Task Force Marne AH-64 Apache helicopter hit by small arms landed at a nearby Coalition base Sept. 26 south of Baghdad," the U.S. army said in a statement on Thursday received by the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI). "A team of two Apaches were responding to ground troops in contact with enemy forces when one was hit and conducted a hard landing after disrupting the attack," the statement read.

#3: Around 11 a.m. a mortar shell slammed in Al Ubaidi neighborhood. Two civilians were injured.

#4: Police found 9 unidentified dead bodies in the following neighborhoods in Baghdad: (6) were found in west Baghdad ( Karkh bank) ; 2 in Doura , 2 in Hurriyah , 1 in Bayaa and 1 in Amil. While (3) were found in east Baghdad ( Risafa bank) ; 2 in Sadr city and 1 in Ur.

Diyala Prv:
#1: four civilians were killed and nine others wounded when gunmen clad in Iraqi army uniforms opened fire on a cafe in the central Saadiya region of Diyala province. The gunmen managed to escape, the source added.

#2: The Iraqi army killed 30 suspected al Qaeda insurgents in a village southwest of Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad. One of those killed was a foreign fighter and a large cache of weapons was discovered, an Iraqi officer said.

#1: Security forces found four unidentified bodies in al-Khalis district on Friday morning, an official security source from Diala said. "The four bodies, which were found in the neighborhood of Abu Tamr, al-Khalis district, (15 km) north of Baaquba, showed signs of having been shot in the head and other parts," the source, who declined to have his name mentioned, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#1: A roadside bomb wounded two civilians on Thursday in the town of Ifach, 33 km (20 miles) east of Diwaniya in southern Iraq, police said.

#2: A kidnapped policeman was found dead in the western section of the city of Diwaniya on Friday, a police source said. "An armed group kidnapped a policeman, called Nouras, from the Diwaniya police department while on his way back home in al-Nahda neighborhood and took him to unknown place," the source told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) on condition of anonymity. "After 30 minutes his body was found in a room in al-Askari neighborhood in western Diwaniya," he added.

#1: The British base at Basra International Airport, 25 km northwest of the city, came under an attack with Katyusha rockets during the early hours of Friday, eyewitnesses said. "More than 10 Katyushas were fired in the direction of the British base at dawn on Friday," a witness from a residential compound in the airport environs told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#1: Gunmen killed a former Iraqi army officer near his home in central Mosul on Thursday, police said.

#2: A roadside bomb killed one man and wounded another in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, on Thursday. Police said the men may have been trying to plant the bomb when it detonated.

#3: Gunmen killed David Shamoun, a 28 Iraqi Christian worked with a Turkish company and a college student, in the market area in Qaraqush area southeast of Mosul yesterday. The deceased was shot 9 bullets before they fled the place.

#4: A truck bomb wounded 20 people and destroyed an overpass in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. A second car bomb nearby was detonated safely.

#1: Iranian forces resumed shelling several border villages in the Kurdish autonomous region, a Kurdish official source said Friday. A Kurdish official in Sulamyanyah, 350 kilometres north of Baghdad, said: 'The bombings, restarted Thursday, forced a large number of Kurds to leave their villages after they had returned to them when the bombings stopped lately.'

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Policemen killed three insurgents and arrested two others who attacked a police patrol and killed one policeman in Ramadi, 110 km (70 miles) west of Baghdad, on Thursday, police said.

#1: A bomb blew up as a Pakistani security convoy was passing near a northwestern town on Friday killing one member of the force and wounding 19, police said. It was the lastest in a wave of attacks on the security forces by Islamist militants, most in the northwest of the country near the border with Afghanistan. The convoy was travelling from Wana, the main town in the South Waziristan region, and was passing through Tank in North West Frontier Province when the bomb blew up, police said.

#2: A roadside bombing killed five Afghans including two policemen in the southern Helmand province on Friday afternoon, a local official Abdul Manas said. The explosion occurred at a bazaar in Gereshk district when some policemen were passing by, said Manas, who is district chief. The killed were two policemen, two children and another civilian, he said, adding two other policemen were injured.

#3: A Macedonian citizen was among four Red Cross workers kidnapped by Taliban guerillas in Afghanistan, an official of the humanitarian organization confirmed to Balkan Insight on Friday.