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

Monday, September 10, 2007

War News for Monday, September 10, 2007

(1) MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier from enemy action in a western neighborhood of Baghdad on Sunday, September 9th. An Iraqi interpreter was wounded in the attack.

(2) MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Task Force Lightning soldier from rocket fire in the Kirkuk area in northern Iraq on Sunday, September 9th.

(3) The icWales news service is citing a U.S.-led coalition report stating that one of their soldiers was killed in Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan in a roadside bomb explosion on Sunday, September 9th. Four other soldiers were wounded in the blast. As usual, the nationalities of the casualties were not given.


Security incidents:

#1: A Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldier was killed and two others wounded during combat operations in a western section of the Iraqi capital Sept. 9. An Iraqi interpreter was also wounded in the attack.

#2: Police in Baghdad said two people were killed and four injured in a mortar attack on an emergency hospital in the western Baghdad district of Karkh. The hospital was damaged and several cars were burnt in the attack, police sources said.

#3: Police found 12 unidentified bodies in Baghdad today. 8 bodies were found in Karkh, the western side of Baghdad in the following neighborhood (2 bodies in Amil, 2 bodies in Bayaa, 2 bodies in Saidiyah, 1 body in Adil and 1 body in Mahmoudiyah). 4 bodies were found in Rusafa, the eastern side of Baghdad in the following neighborhood (1 body in Shaab, 1 body in Zafaraniyah, 1 body in Sleikh and 1 body in New Baghdad).

#4: An explosion killed two people and wounded five others near a hospital in central Baghdad, police said. The cause of the blast was unclear.

#5: One Soldier died and two Soldiers were injured this morning east of Baghdad when the vehicle they were traveling in overturned and caught fire. The wounded Soldiers were transported to a Coalition Force medical facility for further treatment.

#6: Seven Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldiers were killed and 11 others wounded in a vehicle accident in a western portion of the Iraqi capital Sept. 10. Two suspects detained previously and being transported were also killed in the accident. A third detainee was also injured in the incident.

#7: Also Monday, U.S. and Iraqi troops killed three civilians during a raid in Baghdad's Shiite slum of Sadr City, police and residents said. U.S. spokesman Lt. Col. Scott Bleichwehl said the raid targeted a suspected Shiite extremist who eluded capture. He said there were no reports of civilian or military casualties. Residents showed AP Television News the coffins of the people they said were killed in the raid - a woman and her two daughters. Residents lifted the blanket from inside one of the simple wood coffins to show the bodies of two little girls lying next to each other. A police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity for security reasons, confirmed the woman and two girls were killed in the firefight.

#8: Police found ( 10 ) unidentified bodies in the following neighborhood in Baghdad : (8) were found in west Baghdad (Karkh bank) ; 2 in Saidiyah, 2 in Bayaa , 2 in Amil , 1 in Risala and 1 in I'laam . While (2) were found in east Baghdad (Risafa bank) ; 1 in Sadr city and 1 in Sleikh .

Diyala Prv:
#1: An armed group kidnapped eight civilians on Monday night at a faked checkpoint near Muqdadiya district, eyewitnesses said. "Unidentified armed men wearing Iraqi army uniform kidnapped eight civilians at a faked checkpoint on the road between Muqdadiya district and Dali Abbas district, northeast of Baaquba," an eyewitness told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI). "The eight civilians were in two cars, the gunmen stopped them at a faked checkpoint and took them to unknown place," the witness explained.

#1: A British security worker in Iraq was killed by an improvised explosive device a day after he was honored for his efforts in rescuing U.S. soldiers, his employers said Monday. Raymond Moore, 40, died from injuries suffered in an explosion near Numaniyah, ArmorGroup said in a statement.

A security contractor working in Iraq has been killed in a roadside bombing. Ray Moore, 40, from Tandragee in County Armagh, was killed when a bomb blast hit the armoured vehicle he was travelling in.

#1: Around 5 p.m., a roadside exploded at Yousifiyah ( south of Baghdad) killing 2 people and injuring 13 others.

#1: Thirteen Iraqi soldiers were wounded in a mortar attack on their checkpoint near Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A roadside bomb targeting a U.S. military patrol wounded five civilians on Sunday in the town of Kut, 170 km (100 km) southeast of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Police retrieved two bodies, shot and tortured, from the Tigris River on Sunday in the town of Suwayra, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#2: U.S. and Iraqi forces killed 12 al Qaeda militants and detained three others during operations in the city of Samarra, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. Three U.S. soldiers were wounded

#1: A suicide car bomb targeting a police checkpoint killed four people, including two policemen, and wounded two policemen on Sunday night in the town of Saqlawiya, 50 km (35 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Unidentified gunmen killed the Basra financial controller and set his corpse on fire in the northern part of the city on Sunday night, police said. "Gunmen killed Jumaa Jaafar Ibrahim in northern Basra inside his vehicle, which they later set ablaze. The police found the body totally charred," an official source from the Basra police, who refused to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#1: A US force opened fire on a house west of Samarra, 110 kilometres north of Baghdad, killing two women and injuring three others and a child, Hasan Ahmad from Salahddin police department said.

#1: In Tikrit, 180 kilometres north of Baghdad, a US force killed three people in two separate incidents, Ahmad said. Two of the casualties were truck drivers who were killed when a US force was storming a house.

#2: In a separate incident, a car mechanic was killed by US troops near his workshop, Ahmad said.

#1: A Task Force Lightning Soldier died from injuries sustained from rocket fire while on patrol in Kirkuk province, Sunday.

#2: In the northern city of Kirkuk, a roadside bomb targeting an Iraqi army patrol left two civilians dead and four injured, two of them in a critical condition, police reported.

#1: Gunmen destroyed the dome of a Sunni mosque on Sunday in the city of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. Last week a suicide truck bomb exploded near the mosque, causing major damage to the building.

#2: A suicide truck bomb killed 10 people and wounded 20 in northern Iraq on Monday, police in Baghdad said. Police said the attack took place in the village of Tal Marag, near the city of Mosul.

#3: Six civilians were wounded on Monday when a mortar round landed on a residential area in central Mosul, a police source said. "A mortar shell hit al-Farouq region in central Mosul, injuring six civilians," the director of the Ninewa police department's operations room Brigadier Abdul Karim al-Juburi told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#4: Three policemen were killed in clashes with militants in eastern Mosul, police said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A U.S. soldier and an Iraqi interpreter were killed and two others were wounded during operations in western Baghdad, the U.S. army said on Monday. "A U.S. soldier and an Iraqi interpreter were killed in operations in western Baghdad on Sunday," according to a U.S. army statement received by the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#2: A separate statement read that a U.S. Marine was killed on Sunday in the western Iraq province of al-Anbar.

#1: A suicide bomber on a motorbike set off his explosives in a crowded area in southern Afghanistan on Monday, and preliminary reports said up to 28 people were killed in the poppy-growing region, officials said. The explosion went off in the town of Gereshk in Helmand province, site of the country's worst violence this year. Gereshk district chief Abdul Manaf Khan said about 28 people were killed, saying 13 police had died and about 15 civilians. Dr. Tahir Khan said 23 people were killed and 59 wounded.

Casualty Reports:

(1) The British Ministry of Defense has identfied the two 2nd Battalion, The Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters) soldiers who died in a firefight with Taliban insurgents south of Garmsir in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on Saturday, September 8th:

Sergeant Craig Brelsford, 25, of Nottingham in Nottinghamshire, England
Private Johan Botha, of Pretoria, South Africa

An enormously talented platoon sergeant, Brelsford had enlisted in the British Army in April of 1999 ... and had made rank and completed courses in 8 years that most soldiers don't accomplish in 22 years of service. Shortly after enlisting, he was sent on his first operational deployment to Northern Ireland ... followed by two more tours of duty there in later years. He had also served previously in Afghanistan, and had been on grueling exercises in Kenya and twice in Belize. A commanding officer described him as "idolised by his troops and held in high esteem by his peers." On the day of his death, Brelsford repeatedly attacked a well defended Taliban position in order to extract soldiers who were wounded. He was hit on his final attack ... which was an attempt to get to Private Botha who had fallen behind enemy lines. He was just days away from his 26th birthday.

A citizen of South Africa, Botha "was a mountain of a man: fit, strong and robust" with a loud personality and confidence to match. According to one part of the British MoD release, he and his wife had moved to the UK about 4 years ago, and Botha had enlisted in the British Army in June of 2005. This was apparently his first operational overseas deployment. An article from the BBC gives his age as 25. A friend and colleague described the way the Taliban had pinned down a section of British troops on September 8th with "intense and accurate fire" with Botha in the thick of it. Botha was eventually seriously wounded, but kept on firing, providing cover for others to make it to safety, until the very end. He and his wife have a young daughter.