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 20, 2007

War News for Thursday, September 20, 2007

Security incidents:

#1: in central Baghdad, an Iraqi policeman was killed and three others wounded Thursday when a bomb hit their patrol, the independent Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency reported citing a police source.

a roadside bomb went off near a police commando patrol near the Sha'ab Stadium in central Baghdad in the morning, killing a civilian and wounding three others, the police said.

#2: an Iraqi civilian was killed and seven wounded Thursday as US and Iraqi forces raided the Shiite Sadr City in east Baghdad, according to media reports. The source added that a US helicopter dropped bombs on the area during the raid that lasted for two hours, damaging a house and setting ablaze seven civilian cars. The forces also detained eight people during the operation, he said.

A joint US-Iraqi raid on Sadr City was Thursday followed by contradictory reports. While the US military said it had targeted Shiite insurgents arresting seven, Iraqi media reported that one civilian had been killed and seven others wounded in the two-hour crackdown. As the team departed, they were ambushed by insurgents. One US soldier received non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to a medical facility in Baghdad for treatment.

#3: A suicide car bomb struck an Iraqi Army checkpoint in eastern Baghdad on Thursday, killing two soldiers and wounding two others, a well-informed police source said. A suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into a checkpoint manned by Iraqi Army soldiers on a bridge near the Habibiyah neighborhood, killing two soldiers and wounding two civilians, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

A car bomb targeting an Iraqi army checkpoint killed three people, including two soldiers, and wounded 11 in eastern Baghdad, police said.

#4: An Iraqi soldier was killed and another soldier was wounded in an IED explosion that targeted their patrol near Ibn Al Bitar hospital in Salhiyah neighborhood downtown Baghdad today morning.

#5: Gunmen killed Mustafa Kadhim, a senior judge, and his driver in a drive-by shooting in central Baghdad, police said.

#6: The Iraqi army killed 14 suspected insurgents and arrested 33 during the past 24 hours in different districts of Baghdad, the Defence Ministry said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: An Iraqi was killed and nine others injured, including two policemen, when an explosion hit a police patrol in north-east Baghdad Thursday, pan-Arab al-Jazeera news broadcaster reported. No further details were immediately available. The bomb, which was planted on the main road near an international playground near Rasafa area in central Baghdad, exploded as the police patrol was passing, the source added.

#1: A total of eight unknown bodies were found in Baaquba. "Police patrols found on early Thursday eight unidentified corpses in al-Ahemar village in Baaquba," Colonel Ragheb Radi al-Eimeri told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI). "A police unit was sent to the area to search for other bodies dumped in the agricultural regions in this villages, mainly after the Islamic State in Iraq armed group controlled this region since the topple of the former regime," he added.

#1: A senior Iraqi police officer escaped an attempt on his life on Thursday afternoon near the police command in central Basra, a police source said. "Unidentified gunmen opened fire against Colonel Majid Shenan near the Basra police command at the center of the city, wounding him in the shoulder," the source, on condition of anonymity, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI). "The colonel was working for the important crimes department," the source added, noting that he was rushed to the hospital for treatment after the attack. The source added no further details.

#2: oil workers in the south are protesting an alleged killing of a field engineer en route to work by U.S. troops, a top union official said. “They treated him as if he was an animal, they shot at him and kept on moving,” Faleh Abood Umara, general secretary of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, told UPI. Umara was working at the Rumaila field Sept. 17 when he heard a gunshot. He turned and found his colleague, “I saw the troops passing and a car being shot at.” He died two days later from a head wound, Umara said. “This person who died is a field engineer and he was in his government vehicle going to work in the field and was shot by U.S. troops,” Umara said. “We had a widespread funeral ceremony for him where we wrapped the coffin in an Iraqi flag because we consider him a martyr.”

#1: Also Thursday in Kirkuk, an Iraqi police force backed by US troops launched an inspection campaign at dawn in villages near Daquq district, 35 kilometres south-west of the city, arresting 17 suspected militants, VOI news agency reported quoting a police source

Tuz Khurmatu:
#1: Gunmen killed Sheikh Khalid Salim Faris Al bayati the member of Tuz Khurmatu local council while he was returning back home near Al Beer Ahmed area west of Tuz Khurmato town north of Baghdad today morning.

#1: Gunmen killed a former member of the outlawed Baath party in the town Hawija, 70 km (40 miles) southwest of Baghdad, police said.

#1: An Iraqi policeman was wounded on Thursday when a bomb exploded near his patrol vehicle in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, a police source said. "An explosive charge detonated, this morning, near a police vehicle patrol in southern Kirkuk, wounding a policeman and damaging a police vehicle," the source, who asked not to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#2: the same source added that another explosive charge went off in southern Kirkuk with no reports of casualties.

#3: Meanwhile, a security source told VOI that unidentified body was found in north of Kirkuk. "An Iraqi police patrol found on Thursday morning an unidentified body in Qara Hanir village, 25 km north of Kirkuk," the source, who spoke on anonymity condition, said.

#4: Two Iraqi soldiers were wounded by a roadside bomb in a town near Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: The bodies of a woman and her daughter were found in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul one day after having been kidnapped, while an unknown body was found in the city, a police source said.

Three bodies, including a woman and her daughter, were found shot in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: An Iranian officer accused of smuggling powerful roadside bombs into Iraq for the elite Quds force was arrested Thursday, the military said. The suspect — a member of the Quds Force, an elite unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guards — was detained in the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah, the military said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A Soldier assigned to Multi-National Force-West died Sept. 19 in a non-combat-related incident in Al Anbar Province.

#1: One policeman was killed and four people injured in a blast near a security checkpoint officials and media reports said Thursday. The blast was caused by a remote-controlled bomb that destroyed the post in the Swat valley, about 150 miles north-east of Peshawar, the capital of North-West Frontier Province, area police chief Iqbal Ahmed said.

#2: Six soldiers of the paramilitary Frontier Corps deserted their force and refused to take orders in the Razmak subdivision of North Waziristan, the Dawn newspaper reported. The troops were deployed in the Shawal area, where Islamic extremists executed 18 soldiers and dumped them in a stream on Monday.

#3: A Taleban attack on a police post in western Afghanistan sparked a battle that left at least 20 militants and four police dead, a provincial governor said on Thursday. Dozens of Islamic fighters attacked a police position in Badghis province Wednesday, setting off a three-hour gunfight, governor Mohammad Ashraf Nasiri told AFP “Twenty militants were killed and nine militants were wounded in the fighting. Four police were also wounded,” he said. The governor said there were hundreds of attackers but the claim was not independently confirmed.

#4: A traffic accident involving a Canadian convoy has killed an Afghan civilian in Kandahar City. The International Security Assistance Force says three Afghan civilians were taken to a medical facility at the Kandahar Air Field after the accident this morning in southern Afghanistan. One person later died.

#5: It is with much sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that two soldiers serving with the 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters) have died in a road traffic accident in southern Afghanistan today, Thursday 20 September 2007. Shortly after 3am local time, the soldiers were taking part in a re-supply mission in support of Operation Palk Wahel, 5km south west of their patrol base in an area north of Gereshk, Helmand province, when the Pinzgauer vehicle they were travelling in came off the road.

Casualty Reports:

The DoD is confirming the death of Spc. Matthew J. Emerson, 20, of Grandview, Washington, who died September 18, 2007 in Ninevah Province, Iraq, of injuries suffered from a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Bliss, Texas. The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation.

The British Ministry of Defense has identified the soldier who was killed in Helmand Province on Monday, September 17, 2007: Lance Corporal Ivano (Sean) Violino, 29, from Salford, near Manchester, England. Violino was based with the 20 Field Squadron, 36 Engineer Regiment. According to the Mod, he was commanding an FL12 Self-Loading Dump Truck on a routine logistics convoy, moving vital engineering equipment to a Forward Operating Base 19 kilometre north east of the town of Gereshk in Helmand province, when his vehicle was caught in an explosion. Despite the best efforts of the Air Medical Emergency Response Team who arrived on the scene shortly after the explosion, Violino was sadly pronounced dead on arrival at the field hospital at Camp Bastion. He was an Army canoeist and regularly represented the regiment at rugby. He leaves behind his wife and 8-year-old twins.