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 17, 2007

War News for Monday, September 17, 2007

Photo: A file photo of a Blackwater helicopter flying over some undisclosed location in Iraq.
There are no new reports of coalition fatalities.
Security incidents:
#1: A roadside bomb targeting a U.S. military patrol wounded three people in the Nahdha area of central Baghdad, police said.

#2: A roadside bomb wounded nine people in the Yarmouk district of western Baghdad, police said

#3: U.S. forces killed seven suspected insurgents and detained 31 during operations targeting al Qaeda in central and northern Iraq on Monday, the U.S. military said.

#4: A car bomb near a Shi'ite mosque killed two people and wounded four near the entrance to the Sadr City district of northeastern Baghdad, police said.

#5: 12 unidentified bodies were found in Baghdad today by Iraqi Police. 2 in Zafaraniyah, 2 in Shaab, 3 in Amil, 2 in Bayaa, 2 in Saidiyah and 1 in Risala.

Diyala Prv:
#1: In the city of Baqouba, 60 kilometers northeast of Baghdad and the capital of the Diyala province, gunmen raided a Shiite house in the city's northern neighborhood early in the morning, killing a man and wounding his son.

#1: Ikhlas al-Shimari, a female member of the Kut governing council, escaped unhurt from a bomb attack on her house overnight in the city of Kut, 170 km (100 miles) southeast of Baghdad, police said.

#1: ten Iraqi soldiers, including two officers, were wounded in a blast at an army barrack in Hillah city south of Baghdad, Iraqi army sources said. Three were seriously injured

A pre-dawn explosion Monday in an Iraqi army base south of Baghdad killed two Iraqi soldiers and wounded ten others. The cause of the blast inside the base belonging to the Iraqi army's Eight Division in Hillah, about 95 kilometers south of Baghdad, was not immediately known, the police official said.

#1: Basra's deputy police chief was wounded when gunmen attacked his convoy in central Basra, 550 km (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Meanwhile, in the village of Tabaj near the town of Jalawla, 130 kilometers northeast of Baghdad, some 20 gunmen stormed the home of a Shiite family and kidnapped five family members, the police there said. No other details were immediately known.

#1: Gunmen killed a mosque imam in Mosul and a member in the Kurdish Islamic Party, while seven terrorist suspects were killed and 31 others detained across Iraq, sources said Monday. Unidentified armed men shot dead Kurdish Sheikh Yassin Suliman, imam of al-Zahraa mosque, in al-Wahda neighbourhood in Mosul, 450 kilometres north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, witnesses said.

#1: A suicide bombing killed four policemen and four civilians in Nadali district of Helmand province of southern Afghanistan Monday afternoon, district chief Mahbob Khan told Xinhua. A suicide bomber entered a building, where Nadali district police chief was standing, and blew himself up, Khan said. Seven others, including the district police chief, was injured in the attack, he added. He did not give any other information.

#2: NATO and Afghan army troops came under fire east of Kabul and then called in airstrikes, killing at least one suspected insurgent, an official said Monday. The joint forces were attacked Sunday morning in Surobi district, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of the capital, said Maj. Charles Anthony, spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force.
Casualty Reports:
(1) The Tyler (Texas) Morning Telegraph has identified another one of the four army cavalry scouts who died when their M3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Diyala Province on Friday, September 14th: Christopher Michael McCloud, 24, of Athens, Texas. Apparently, he had worked in construction after high school for some time, then decided to enlist late last year. He had been in Iraq for the past 5 months. Right before McCloud left base for what would be his final mission, he was able to talk to his wife and his two sons, aged 2 and 3 years, on the phone.
(2) The Greenville (South Carolina) News is reporting the death in Iraq of Army Staff Sergeant Terry Daniel Wagoner of Pelzer, South Carolina. According to his father, who referred to him as "Daniel", Wagoner was killed in a roadside bomb blast along with three other soldiers while on patrol on Friday, September 14th, making it likely he is one of the deaths described in this MNF-Iraq release. During high school, Wagoner's specialty was running track ... the 440 and 880 ... an athletic endeavor at which he was ranked statewide. He had been in the army for the past seven years, based currently out of Fort Hood, TX. On his second tour of duty in Iraq, Wagoner was originally scheduled to return home this October, but had his tour extended until February. He is survived by his wife, a 3-year-old daughter, his parents and two sisters. On a side note, Greenville station WYFF is reporting that Spc. Zandra Worthy-Walker, who was killed in a mortar attack in Iraq on August 15th, 2007, was the same age as Wagoner, attended the same high school ... and ran on the same track team.