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

Thursday, September 6, 2007

War News for Thursday, September 06, 2007

MNF-Iraq is reporting the deaths of two Task Force Lightning soldiers from an explosion near their vehicle in Salah ad Din Province on Wednesday, September 5th. Three other soldiers were also wounded in the blast.


Security incidents:

#1: At least 14 people were killed early Thursday in a U.S. attack on a western Baghdad neighborhood, police and residents said. The U.S. command in Baghdad said it was aware of the report but had no immediate comment. Some houses' roofs were caved in and other homes were destroyed in the early morning attack in the Washash area, next to the Mansour district of Baghdad. ``Three people were killed in that house,'' said a middle-aged man, standing next to a hole in his roof, as he pointed next door. A police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity for security reasons, said U.S. helicopters had attacked the area, killing 14 civilians and injuring 10 others. ``U.S. helicopters bombed our homes while we were sleeping,'' one woman said. ``My son and my husband were killed and our house was destroyed.''

US air strikes on a Baghdad neighbourhood before dawn on Thursday killed 14 civilians while they were sleeping and destroyed several houses, angry residents and Iraqi officials said. Defence and interior ministry officials said US helicopters fired on houses in the Al-Washash neighbourhood of Mansour district in west Baghdad between 2.00 am and 3.00 am while in pursuit of insurgents. "The attacks on the houses took place while people were sleeping. There were no clashes. The area had been quiet," said an interior ministry official who did not want to be named.

#2: In eastern Baghdad on Thursday, a roadside bomb targeting an American patrol exploded in a neighborhood just west of the Shiite slum Sadr City. The bomb injured four civilians and damaged a civilian car, and there was no immediate information on possible U.S. casualties, a police officer on condition of anonymity said.

#3: Also in Baghdad, a roadside bomb exploded next to a group of construction workers in the predominantly Shiite area of Zafaraniyah, killing one and injuring five others, police said

#4: Eleven bodies were found in different districts of Baghdad on Wednesday, police said.

#5: U.S. forces killed six insurgents and detained 25 suspects during operations targeting al Qaeda in the cities of Tikrit, Samarra, Tarmiya, Kirkuk and Baquba, the U.S. military said.

#6: An American soldier died in Baghdad of non-battle related injuries, the U.S. command said Thursday. The soldier died on Wednesday and the incident is under investigation, the military said. No further details were released.

#1: The director of military intelligence for the city of Basra escaped an attempt on his life on Thursday in the center of the city, while two of his bodyguards were killed, a senior Iraqi army source said "An explosive charge went off targeting the motorcade of Colonel Jabar al-Saad, director of military intelligence in Basra, near the city hall at the center of the city," the source, who preferred not to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#1: In Tikrit, 80 miles north of Baghdad, a car bomb near a gas station killed two civilians and wounded 14 others, police said. Authorities imposed an indefinite curfew after the bombing.

A car bomb targeting a police patrol killed three civilians and wounded 17 in Tikrit, 170 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. A curfew was imposed in the city in the aftermath of the explosion.

#1: Six bodies were found shot on Wednesday in southwestern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. The victims were wearing camouflage uniforms.

#1: A bomb planted near a bakery wounded four people in the northern city of Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A joint Afghan and coalition force was on a combat patrol Wednesday in restive Sha Wali Kot district in southern Kandahar province when came it under attack from insurgent small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades, the coalition said in a statement. Soldiers repelled the attack before calling in coalition aircraft which "destroyed the positively identified enemy firing positions with precision guided munitions," it said. The coalition said "more than 40 insurgents" were killed, while Afghan and foreign forces suffered no losses.

#2: Two ISAF soldiers were killed and several others wounded in two separate IED incidents in southern Afghanistan today.

#3: An armed group kidnapped 12 Afghan nationals working for a local demining group in the country's restive east on Thursday, their employer said, the latest in a spree of abductions. The deminers were driving in the eastern province of Paktia when their convoy was stopped and the men were taken away. It was not immediately clear who was responsible.


Casualty Reports:

The DoD has now confirmed that the NATO serviceman who died in the vicinity of Kabul from a non-hostile, unspecified incident on Tuesday, September 4th, was an American from the U.S. Air Force: Master Sergeant Patrick D. Magnani, 38, of Martinez, California. He was assigned to the 31st Medical Support Squadron out of Aviano Air Base in Italy.