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 18, 2007

War News for Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ten Fallacies About the Violence in Iraq. By John Tirman, AlterNet. Posted November 28, 2006.

1. The U.S. is a buffer against more violence

2. The killers do it to influence U.S. politics.

3. The "Lancet" numbers are bogus.

4. Syria and Iran are behind the violence.

5. The "Go Big" strategy of the Pentagon could work.

6. Foreign fighters, especially jihadis, are fueling the violence

7. (Here's my favorite) If we do not defeat the violent actors there, they will follow us here.

8. The violence is about Sunni-Shia mutual loathing; a pox on both their houses.

9. The war is an Iraqi affair, and the best we can do now is train them to enforce security.

10. Trust the same people who caused or endorsed the war to tell us what to do next.


(1) The DoD has announced a new death, not previously reported by CENTCOM: Staff Sgt. Michael L. Townes, 29, of Las Vegas. Townes died Sept. 16 in Balad, Iraq, from a non-combat related illness. He was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, Aviation Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

(2) The British Ministry of Defense is announcing the death of a soldier from 36 Engineer Regiment in Afghanistan. According to The British Ministry of defense Two soldiers were injured in the blast, one very seriously when an army dump truck was hit by an explosion whilst taking part in a routine logistics convoy, 19 kilometers north-east of the town of Gereshk on Monday 17 September 2007. The very seriously injured soldier was pronounced dead on arrival at the ISAF medical facility at Camp Bastion.


Security incidents:

#1: A car bomb went off at a popular marketplace eastern Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least five people and wounding ten others, an Interior Ministry source said. "A booby trapped car parked at a crowded marketplace near the Firdous mosque in the Ur neighborhood, blew up around midday, killing at least five people and wounding some ten others," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Eight people were killed and 22 wounded in another car bomb attack in Baghdad on Tuesday, Iraqi police said. They said the attack -- the fourth car bombing in Baghdad in the past several hours -- took place near a market in the Ur neighbourhood, not far from the Shi'ite district of Sadr City.

#2: Earlier, two car bombs detonated in quick succession at a parking lot near the Health Ministry in Bab al-Mu'adham area in central Baghdad, killing seven people and wounding 20 others, according to the police.

A car bomb has exploded in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, killing seven people and wounding more than 20. The bombing was immediately followed by a number of mortar attacks, Iraqi police said. The attacks occurred in the car park at the ministry of health complex in the Bab al-Muaddam area in the centre of the capital. Reports say the car park was crowded with people waiting to get into the morgue to identify their relatives.

#3: A third car bomb rocked Baghdad's eastern neighborhood of Zaiyouna, killing two people and wounding five others, the police said.

At nearly the same time, two more civilians were killed and four others injured when a roadside bomb went off next to a minibus traveling through Baghdad's eastern neighborhood of Baladiyat, the police officer said.

#4: In another attack in the Zaafaraniyah suburb, southern Baghdad, a blast near a police patrol killed a civilian and wounded two more.

#5: The U.S. forces killed three insurgents and detained 13 suspected insurgents during several operations targeting al Qaeda in Baghdad and Baiji, the U.S. military said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: The Baaquba morgue received eight unidentified bodies from different areas of the province of Diala on Tuesday, medics said. "The Baaquba public hospital's morgue received on Monday evening and Tuesday morning eight unidentified bodies that showed signs of having been tortured and shot," a source from the Baaquba health department told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq on condition of anonymity.

#1: In Baquba, 60 kilometres north of Baghdad, three Iraqi members of the same family were gunned down and two wounded in an armed attack on their vehicle, said the police.

#2: In eastern Baquba, a civilian was killed and three members of the newly-formed Baquba Salvation Front were wounded in a mortar shell attack, the source of which was unknown.

#3: Two people were injured in another round of shelling on a residential area, security sources in Baquba said. Police sources said they had also arrested nine wanted militants earlier Tuesday in Hashimiya, western Baquba.

#1: Gunmen killed a man and wounded his brother on Monday in the town of Iskandariya, 40 km ( 25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#2: One civilian was killed and his son wounded on Tuesday after unidentified gunmen opened fire at them near their home in al-Iskandariya, (50 km) north of Hilla, a security source from Babel police said. "Unknown gunmen disembarked from their vehicle and shot down a man and his son and then escaped to an unknown place," the source, who declined to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#1: Three rockets slammed into two neighborhoods of Basra yesterday night and early morning today. The first caused damages to a house in Al Zahraa area in Basra, other two rockets caused damages to houses in Al Amin Al Dakhily area (10 Km west of Basra). Both attacks caused no human casualties.

#1: Tikrit's police department said that gun fights between militants and policemen had killed three Iraqis and wounded two. One of the casualties was a police officer, the others were militants.

#2: Salahuddin province deputy governor, Abdullah Jbara, escaped a roadside bomb attack near his convoy in the city of Tikrit, 175 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, Jbara told Reuters. Jbara was not harmed.

The deputy governor of Salah al-Din sustained non-critical wounds and was rushed to a hospital after an attack on his motorcade on Tuesday morning, police said. "An explosive device went off near Abdullah Jabbara's motorcade on the main road in eastern Tikrit, wounding him and one of his escorts and destroying their vehicle," a source from the Salah al-Din police, who requested not to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#1: A policeman was killed when a police force raided a house and came under fire in the town of Shirqat, 300 km (190 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. Two insurgents were killed and four detained during the raid.

#1: A suicide bomber detonated his explosive belt in a mobile phone shop and killed four people and wounded 14 in the town of Jalawla, near the Iraq-Iran border, police said.

#1: Iraqi security forces said two Iraqis were killed and 13 wounded when an explosive charge detonated in a local market and near the police station in Galulaa, north-eastern Iraq.

#1: An explosion in an oil pipeline extending from the northern Kirkuk oilfields to Bayji refineries caused damage to both the line and another parallel pipeline between Iraq and Turkey. The ensuing fire affected only a section of the Kirkuk-Bayji pipe which runs over River Tigris, but caused an oil leak and a black fog in the area. As meanwhile, firefighters struggled to contain the damage, said a source in the local oil industry. According to another source in Salahaddin's water department, the explosion - perpetrators of which are unknown - caused the oil to seep into the Tigris, polluting it and causing water stations in the area to be temporarily closed down. The incident affected the water supply up to 40 kilometres south of the explosion site, the source added.

#1: A suicide car bomber targeting an Iraqi military convoy wounded two soldiers in the northern city of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, the army said. The convoy managed to kill the bomber before he could reach the convoy.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Police said they found the bodies of three men, shot and tortured, near Qaim, 500 km (300 miles) west of Baghdad.

#1: It is with immense sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of a soldier from 36 Engineer Regiment in Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan yesterday, Monday 17 September 2007. Another soldier was injured in the incident, which occurred just after 1530 hours local time, when an army dump truck was hit by an explosion whilst taking part in a routine logistics convoy, 19 kilometres north-east of the town of Gereshk.

#2: Bodies of 18 Pakistani soldiers, who were kidnapped in the country's tribal region, have been found, witnesses said Tuesday. The soldiers were kidnapped in Razmak area of North Waziristan after clashes with local Taliban, local officials say. Army sources yesterday said they had lost contact with the soldiers after the clashes erupted but did not offered any word of their fate. The bullet-ridden bodies of 18 soldiers were lying at a canal at Push Zeyarat area, some 40 kilometers south of Miranshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan.

#3: in the north a Finnish military convoy hit a roadside bomb, the military reported on Tuesday. "We are glad that no soldiers came to any harm," said the spokesman of the Finnish armed forces in Afghanistan, Juha Vauhkonen. The Swedish military reported that there was at least one woman and several children near the blast, but there was no word on their condition. One Finnish vehicle was damaged but the convoy of four was able to continue.