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

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

War News for Tuesday, September 11, 2007

(1) MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of one soldier in a non-hostile vehicle accident east of Baghdad on Monday, September 10th. The vehicle overturned and caught fire, injuring two other soldiers as well.

(2) MNF-Iraq is also reporting the deaths of seven Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldiers in what would appear to be a non-hostile vehicle accident in a western neighborhood of Baghdad on Monday, September 10th. Eleven other soldiers were wounded. In addition, two detainees who were being transported in the vehicle (or vehicles) died, and one other detainee was injured.

(3) The DoD is announcing what would appear to be a new death, not previously reported by CENTCOM. Corporal Ryan A. Woodward, 22, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, died in a medical facility in Balad on Saturday, September 8th, after having been wounded in a small arms fire attack "near Baghdad". His unit, the 1st Squadron of the 73rd Cavalry Regiment (82nd Airborne Division out of Fort Bragg, NC), had recently been operating north of Baghdad. In fact, two of their men had died recently from an explosion in the vicinity of Muqdadiyah in Diyala Province on August 29th. Fort Wayne (Indiana) station WANE interviewed friends who described Woodward as "athletic and very outgoing" and always telling jokes. He graduated from high school in 2003 and enlisted in the Army in February of 2006, receiving training as a Scout Javelin Gunner. Woodward is survived by his parents, a brother and a sister.

(4) The DoD is announcing a new death, not previously reported by CENTCOM. Army Specialist Marisol Heredia, 19, of El Monte, California, suffered a non-hostile, unspecified injury in Baghdad on July 18th. She was subsequently airlifted to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, where she passed away from her injuries on Friday, September 7th. Heredia was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division out of Fort Hood, TX.

(5) The DoD is also announcing another new death, that of Army Captain Drew N. Jensen, 27, of Clackamas, Oregon. Jensen was seriously wounded in a small arms fire attack in Ba'qubah in Diyala Province on May 7th. He died of his wounds in a Seattle, Washington, medical facility on Friday, September 7th. Jensen was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division out of Fort Lewis, WA.

Security incidents:

#1: Two mortar rounds wounded seven people in the southwestern Bayaa district of Baghdad, police said.

#2: U.S. forces killed six insurgents and detained five suspected insurgents during operations to disrupt the al Qaeda network in southern Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

#3: U.S. forces raided areas of eastern Baghdad's Sadr City coupled with U.S. aircraft fire that killed three people and wounded 13 others on Tuesday, eyewitnesses and medics said. "U.S. soldiers raided neighborhoods in Sadr City during the early hours of Tuesday while U.S. aircrafts pounded areas during the arrest of a number of (Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadrs') Mahdi Army fighters," an eyewitness told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI). A member of Sadr's office, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told VOI, "U.S. soldiers stormed the house of a key Mahdi Army member but did not find him," adding, "the bombardment was a prelude to raiding the area."

#4: A roadside bomb killed one person and wounded five in Baghdad's western Mansour district, police said.

#5: Two Romanian military officers from the NATO mission of training the Iraqi forces were wounded in a missile attack on Tuesday afternoon, Romanian Defense Ministry announced here in a press release. The attack occured on base Camp Victory, near Baghdad, around 15:45 local time (1245 GMT), the press release said.

#6: Around 3.20 p.m., a planted bomb was put inside a sedan car exploded in front of the fine arts institution at Mansour neighborhood ( west Baghdad) killing one person and injuring 5 others.

#7: Police found 12 unidentified dead bodies in the following neighborhoods in Baghdad : (9) were found in west Baghdad ( Karkh bank) ; 2 in Doura , 2 in Amil , 2 in Hurriyah, 1 in Jihad , 1 in Saidiyah . While (3) were found in east Baghdad ( Risafa bank) ; 1 in Sadr city , 1 in Ur and 1 in Shaab.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Three Iraqi army soldiers were killed and another was wounded in an attack by gunmen in the district of Abi Sayda, Baaquba, an official security source said on Tuesday."Armed groups attacked a company of the Iraqi army's 5th Division in the village of al-Mekheisa in Abi Sayda district on Tuesday morning, killing three and seriously wounding another," the source, who asked not to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#2: Around mid-day , two police officers ( a major and a lieutenant ) were killed and 12 other policemen were injured while 10 gunmen were killed and 15 are in custody during clashes took place between a Kurdish police with the security forces and gunmen near Qara Taba village north of Baquba in Diyala province.

#1: Joint Iraqi-U.S. forces killed five gunmen in a security raid in the district of al-Muqdadiya on Tuesday, an official Iraqi army source said. "A force from the Iraqi army's 5th Division and the Multi-National Forces (MNF) conducted a raid during the early hours of Tuesday in al-Muqdadiya," 45 km northeastern Baaquba, the source, who declined to have his named mentioned, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI)."Clashes erupted with an armed group during the raid leaving five gunmen dead. Three cars rigged with explosives were also defused," the source added.

#1: An attack on security personnel from the Diwaniya police by unknown gunmen in the downtown al-Askari neighborhood on Monday night left one civilian killed and a gunman wounded, head of the anti-crime directorate in the city, Lt. Col. Sattar Ali Matar, said. One civilian was shot dead during clashes between security personnel and gunmen, Matar told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#1: An official source from Basra provincial council said on Tuesday unknown gunmen killed an aide to the top Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani after storming his house in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. "Unknown gunmen stormed, last night, the house of Sayyed Hussein al-Husaini in al-Jiniynah neighborhood, northern Basra, and killed him," the source, who spoke on anonymity condition, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#1: Gunmen killed a security officer in Riyadh, 60 km (40 miles) southwest of Kirkuk.

#1: two policemen were wounded in an explosive charge attack in southwestern Kirkuk on Tuesday morning, a security source from Kirkuk said. "An explosive device went off near a police patrol on the main road linking Kirkuk to Mosul, wounding two policemen and severely damaging their vehicle," the source told VOI on condition of anonymity.

#2: On Monday night an armed group kidnapped a child from the village of Bashir, Taza district, 20 km south of Kirkuk.

#3: A corpse was found in Abbasi, 80 km (50 miles) southwest of Kirkuk

#4: Gunmen killed an Iraqi army officer while he was on his way to join his unit in the northern city of Kirkuk, police said.

#1: A group of gunmen opened fire at a patrol vehicle in the area of al-Karama, eastern Mosul, killing three policemen," Brig. Abdul-Kareem al-Juburi, the Ninewa police operations room chief, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#2: Other gunmen in a vehicle killed shot down a policeman in al-Yarmuk, western Mosul, in a drive-by attack," he added

#3: Meanwhile, Maj. General Wathiq al-Hamadani, the Ninewa police chief, told VOI that a car bomb parked in the area of Bab al-Jadid, central Mosul, was defused during a late hour of Monday night.Mosul, the capital of Ninewa province, lies 402 km north of Baghdad.

#1: A Finnish military vehicle was hit by fragments from an explosion in Afghanistan, the Finnish Defence Forces said in a statement Tuesday. No one was hurt in the incident. The convoy of two armoured cross-country vehicles was en route from Masar-e-Sharif to Kabul when the vehicles were attacked near Poli Khumr.

#2: At least seven people have been killed in clashes with pro-Taleban fighters in a Pakistani tribal region where militants have held captive 240 soldiers since August, security officials said on Tuesday. Clashes began early on Monday in South Waziristan, a hotbed of support for the Taleban and Al Qaeda on the Afghan border, and continued overnight as militants mounted a counterattack on a school where security forces had set up camp “Militants launched the attack after offering funeral prayers for comrades killed earlier,” an intelligence official said. Two paramilitary soldiers and four militants were killed during the fighting in the remote Makeen area, while a villager was killed when a mortar hit a house.

#3: A suicide bomber rammed a U.S. security firm convoy in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand on Tuesday and the blast wounded three local staff and two civilians, a police official said. The attack targeted a convoy carrying Afghan employees of the firm in Girishk district of the province. Abdul Manaf Khan, district chief of Girishk, told Reuters the bomber rammed a vehicle into the convoy and that several vehicles and a fuel tanker blew up

A suicide car bomb exploded Tuesday near a convoy of trucks supplying NATO military bases in southern Afghanistan, killing at least two drivers, police said.


Casualty Reports:

(1) The DoD has identified the four Marines who died from enemy action in Al Anbar Province on Thursday, September 6th:

Corporal Christopher L. Poole Jr., 22, of Mount Dora, Florida
Corporal Bryan J. Scripsick, 22, of Wayne, Oklahoma
Staff Sergeant John C. Stock, 26, of Longview, Texas
Sergeant Michael J. Yarbrough, 24, of Malvern, Arkansas

The Longview (Texas) News-Journal quotes Stock's father as saying that his son was manning a traffic checkpoint when a suicide car bomber pulled up for inspection and detonated his payload. It was Stock's first deployment to Iraq. He had been there since March. Relatives described Stock as very outgoing, with lots of friends and an ever present smile on his face. He earned his Eagle Scout rank at age 15, and was a member of the varsity swim team in high school in Longview. Stock had originally served a full four year term with the Marines and gotten out, studying auto repair for the next six months before deciding to re-enlist. He is survived by his wife, an 8-year-old stepson, a 9-month-old son, his parents, four sisters and a brother.

Little Rock (Arkansas) station KTHV is reporting that Yarbrough was on his third tour of duty in Iraq. His second tour was voluntary when he took the place of a friend whose wife was pregnant. Yarbrough joined the Marines right after September 11, 2001. He leaves behind his wife, his mother, and two sisters.

(2) The Portland (Oregon) paper The Oregonian has published a piece with more information on Army Captain Drew N. Jensen. The 27-year-old grew up in the recently incorporated city of Damascus in northeastern Clackamas County, Oregon. A family friend described him as "a natural-born leader" who was an Eagle Scout in his teens and who went on to study at West Point. Jensen was on his second tour of duty in Iraq when he was shot in the neck by a sniper in Ba'qubah on May 7th, paralyzing him from the neck down and requiring that he be on a ventilator to breathe. In accordance with Jensen's wishes, the family eventually went through the formal procedure with the hospital to have the ventilator removed. His loved ones were able to "say their goodbyes" and he was given last rites. According to another article in the Tacoma (Washington) News Tribune, he died peacefully on Friday, September 7th, at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Seattle, Washington. Jensen is survived by his wife, to whom he'd been married for about a year, his parents and two older brothers.

(3) The Associated Press is reporting the death of Army Sergeant Alexander Gagalac, 28, of Wahiawa (Oahu), Hawaii, when his Humvee was hit by a rocket propelled grenade while on patrol in northern Iraq on Sunday, September 9th. Gagalac graduated from high school in Wahiawa in 1997, where he was on the varsity wrestling team. Afterwards, he spent three years at Leeward Community College majoring in automotive studies. He and his twin brother, Alexis, eventually joined the army together, with Alexander Gagalac re-enlisting this past July. He was due home from deployment to Iraq in just a couple of weeks.

(4) The Huntington (West Virginia) station WOWK is reporting the death of a Kentucky Army National Guardsman in Iraq. Private 1st Class Sammie E. Phillips, 19, of Vine Grove, Kentucky, died when his vehicle overturned on a highway near Rustamiyah in eastern Baghdad on Monday, September 10th. Two other guardsmen were injured in the incident. Phillips had just graduated from high school in 2006, joining the Kentucky ANG shortly afterwards. He deployed to Iraq in August of 2007. His unit commander said that he was "one of our best gunners, the absolute cream of the crop ... I never met a person that didn't like Sammie Phillips." He is survived by his wife, mother, stepfather and father.