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

Saturday, September 22, 2007

War News for Saturday, September 22, 2007

Photo: A grab from a video entitled "Execution of a Divine Judgement". An Al-Qaeda front has claimed to have "executed" five captured Iraqi soldiers, and posted a short video on the Internet allegedly showing their killing.(AFP/Internet)
MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Task Force Marne soldier who died of "non-battle injuries" in an undisclosed location on Friday, September, 21st.
Security incidents:

#1: A Task Force Marne Soldier died of non-battle injuries Sept. 21

#2: Eight bodies were found in Baghdad, including those of four women in southern Doura district, on Friday, police said

#3: About 150 Sunni Arab families were displaced from the al-Washash district of western Baghdad after clashes between the Iraqi army and the Mehdi army militia loyal to Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, the Interior Ministry said. The U.S. military said there had been clashes between Mehdi army factions in the area.

Diyala Prv:
#1: gunmen ambushed an Iraqi police checkpoint in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, killing one officer and wounding five others, according to authorities.

#2: A joint U.S.-Iraqi force killed 10 gunmen, wounded another and arrested 16 others in a military operation in Diala's city of Baaquba, a media spokesman for Diala's operations command said on Saturday.

#1: A civilian also was killed in Khalis, a Shiite enclave near Baqouba in the volatile Diyala province, when gunmen opened fire on his car.

Balad Ruz:
#1: Gunmen waged, this morning, an attack against al-Bazaniyah village of Baladruz district, wounding eight policemen," Lt. Colonel Ragheb Radhi al-Omiri told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#1: U.S. forces raided a house in al-Iskandariya and opened fire at a family, killing all seven members. The U.S. soldiers then detonated the house," the source, who declined to have his name mentioned, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI). No comment was made by the U.S. side so far on the reported incident.

#1: An Iraqi police brigadier-general was wounded by a sniper in Basra, 550 km (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad, on Friday, police said.

Tuz Khurmato:
#1: A roadside bomb wounded 10 people near Tuz Khurmato, 180 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, overnight, police said.

#1: Two IEDs exploded inside Hawija town west of Kirkuk early morning today. Police said that no casualties reported

#1: A body with gunshot wounds and showing signs of torture was found in a garbage bag in Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: Gunmen killed shot dead a civilian called Sajjad Qambar Jumaa in Wahid Huzairan area (1st of June area) downtown Kirkuk city around 2,45 pm. The local police said that Jumaa has a shop for cars’ accessories.

Tal Afar:
#1: One insurgent was killed and another wounded when a bomb they were making exploded in Tal Afar, 420 km (260 miles) northwest of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Iranian shelling of the border areas of the Kurdish autonomous region resumed Saturday at dawn in northern Iraq after a week-long cessation of fire, local Kurdish officials said. No casualties have been reported so far.

#1: A Canadian soldier was seriously injured and three others slightly hurt by a roadside bomb explosion in Afghanistan early Saturday. The soldiers were in a supply convoy travelling through Kandahar province when the blast occurred around 12:30 a.m. local time, military officials said. Two wounded soldiers and an Afghan interpreter were taken to the forward operating base at Ma'sum Ghar, seven kilometres away, and later evacuated by helicopter to the hospital at Kandahar.

#2: The Taliban say they fired two rockets at a German military base in the north-eastern Afghan province of Badakhshan on Friday night. Local police have confirmed the rocket attack, but said it caused no casualties.

#3: The chief of the crime investigation unit of the provincial police, Abdul Ghafar, said the Taliban attacked a security post close to Kunduz city. "Our enemies (the Taliban) attacked the security post on entry of the city to the east around 12:30 after midnight (2000 GMT, Friday). We lost two of our police and four others are wounded now in stable conditions," Ghafar told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. The police official said the casualties in the sudden attack by the insurgents coincided with rockets fired at the security post.
Casualty Reports:
#1: The DoD has announced the identity of the soldier who died on September 19 in Salah ad Din Province: Cpl. Graham M. McMahon, 22, of Corvallis, Oregon, died on Wednesday, September 19th in Balad, Iraq, from a non-combat related illness. He was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Fort Lewis, Washington.
#2: The DoD has announced the identity of the soldier who died on September 20 in Diyala Province: Pfc. Luigi Marciante Jr., 25, of Elizabeth, N.J., died Sept. 20 in Muqdadiyah, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Fort Lewis, Washington.
#3: The Romanian Ministry of Defence has identified the soldier killed in an IED attack on Friday, September 21st: Caporal Grosaru Ioan. According to the MoD release, Ioan was assigned to the "Batalionul 32 Infanterie 'Mircea', din Timişoara, Brigada 2 Infanterie 'Rovine', Corpul 1 Armată Teritorial 'General Ioan Culcer', Forţele Terestre Române." A very rough translation would suggest the 32nd Infantry Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade, Romanian Armed Forces.
#4: The Associated Press is reporting through the Journal Gazette and Times-Courier that according to Illinois State Lieutenant Governer Pat Quinn, an Illinois Marine has died from wounds he received two years ago in Iraq. Sgt. Nickolas Lee Hopper, 27, of Havelock, NC (born in Alton, IL, and formerly of Montrose, IL), died at his residence in Havelock on Saturday, September 8th. The married father of one boy was wounded in June 2005. [USWarWatch only numbers soldiers who are officially "counted" by the military, so we will remember and grieve here for Nick Hopper, but we will wait to see if the military issues a formal release before adding this Iraq casualty to our USWW database.]