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

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

War News for Wednesday, September 05, 2007

(1) MNF-Iraq is reporting the deaths of three Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldiers when an explosively formed penetrator detonated near their patrol in an eastern neighborhood of Baghdad on Tuesday, September 4th. Two other soldiers were wounded in the incident.

(2) MNF-Iraq is also reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier due to enemy action in a western neighborhood of Baghdad on Tuesday, September 4th. Two other soldiers were wounded in the attack.

(3) The Combined Joint Task Force - 82 website is reporting the death of a U.S.-led coalition servicemember in a non-hostile, unspecified incident in Paktia Province on Tuesday, September 4th. At this point, we are assuming the death to be separate and distinct from this NATO death reported earlier.

(4) The AFP news service is reporting the deaths of two NATO soldiers from enemy action while on patrol in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, September 5th. Another NATO soldier and an Afghan interpreter were wounded in the incident. As usual, the nationalities of the NATO servicemembers were not revealed. No other details were provided.

(5) The DoD has announced a new death, not previously reported by CENTCOM. Army Sergeant Kevin A. Gilbertson, 24, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was seriously wounded in enemy action in Ramadi, Al Anbar Province, on August 29th. He was airlifted to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, but died there on Friday, August 31st. The Des Moines (Iowa) Register reports that Gilbertson was known as "an upbeat, rabble-rousing, ball of fire", always on the go ... but completely dedicated to his wife and 8-month-old son. He graduated from high school in 2001 and decided to join the army to earn a college education when he got out ... to earn a degree to better support his family. He was on his second deployment to Iraq.

(6) The DoD has announced another new death, not previously reported by CENTCOM: Specialist Christopher G. Patton, 21, of Lawrenceville, Georgia. He died from a non-hostile, unspecified cause in Baghdad on Saturday, September 1st. His unit, the 2nd Battalion of the 5th Cavalry Regiment (1st Cavalry Division out of Fort Hood, TX), had been operating out of the Abu Ghraib area just west of Baghdad.

(7) MNF-Iraq is reporting the deaths of two Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldiers from enemy action in an eastern neighborhood of Baghdad on Wednesday, September 5th. Another soldier was wounded in the incident.


Security incidents:

#1: A Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldier was killed and two others wounded during combat operations in a western section of the Iraqi capital Sept. 4.

#2: Three Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldiers were killed and two others wounded when an explosively-formed penetrator detonated on their patrol during combat operations in an eastern section of the Iraqi capital Sept. 4.

#3: a roadside bomb rocked an eastern Baghdad Shiite neighborhood early Wednesday, killing at least 11 people and injuring 19 others when it exploded next to buses used by morning commuters, police and hospital officials said. which went off in the predominantly Shiite neighborhood of Baladiyat just before 8 a.m.

#4: Two Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldiers were killed and another wounded during combat operations in an eastern section of the Iraqi capital Sept. 5.

#5: 2 civilians were wounded in an IED explosion in Bayaa neighborhood south west today afternoon.

#6: Police found 11 unidentified bodies in Baghdad today. 9 bodies were found in Karkh, the western side of Baghdad in the following neighborhoods (3 bodies in Amil, 2 bodies in Bayaa, 2 bodies in Saidiyah, 1 body in Kadhemiyah and 1 body in Shurta the 5th.) 2 bodies were found in Rusafa, the eastern side of Baghdad in the following neighborhoods (1 body in Sleikh and 1 body in Amin.)

Diyala Prv:
#1: A member of Kurdistan region guards know as Beshmarga was killed yesterday evening when gunmen attacked one of the guards’ centers in Qarataba village north of Baquba city.

#1: 5 civilians were injured when gunmen attacked Al Basheer village south of Kirkuk with mortar shells and machineguns yesterday evening.

#2: 7 policemen were injured in an IED explosion that targeted their patrol downtown Kirkuk city today afternoon.

#1: "Iraqi troops managed, today, to kill three gunmen in al-Maash market in western Mosul, after the gunmen did not obey soldiers' instruction to stop their vehicle for a search," Lieutenant-Colonel Haji Maher, assistant commander of the Iraqi Army 2nd Brigade, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#2: In another incident, Lieutenant-Colonel Maher said "an army force also killed a gunman in al-Yarmouk neighborhood, western Mosul

#3: "Police forces, today, defused four explosive charges planted in different parts of al-Baaj district, seemingly to target the security forces' patrols in the distrct," Abdul Rahim al-Shemmari told VOI.Mosul, capital city of Ninewa province, is 405 km north of Baghdad.

#4: A policeman was killed and a number of civilians were wounded when a booby-trapped truck went off on Wednesday afternoon targeting a mosque in southeastern Mosul, a police source said. "A suicide bomber blew up a truck crammed with explosives targeting al-Sabreen mosque in al-Wehda neighborhood in eastern Mosul on Wednesday, killing a policeman and injuring an unknown number of civilians," the chief of the Ninewa police department, General Watheq al-Hamadani, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq The chief of al-Nasr police department Colonel Hassan al-Juburi said that "unidentified gunmen fired a number of mortar shells after the attack near the blast scene, while other armed group opened fire against policemen who rushed to the area," adding that the attack left no casualties. "The explosion also collapsed a large part of the mosque, around 70 per cent of its structure, in addition to damaging a number of nearby stores and houses," the colonel noted.

#5: A member of the PDK party was killed by gunmen in Mosul city last night.

#1: Two NATO soldiers were killed on patrol in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday the U.S. military said.

The two dead soldiers were from NATO's International Security Assistance Force, the alliance said in a statement. It said another ISAF solider and an interpreter were injured, but gave no more details, including the soldiers' nationalities.

It is with deep sorrow that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the deaths of two British soldiers in Afghanistan today, Wednesday 5 September 2007. The men were taking part in a routine patrol in Helmand province when their vehicle was hit by an explosion, shortly after 0915 hours today. A third soldier and a civilian interpreter were also injured.

#2: Afghan and coalition soldiers in Shah Wali Kot district, in southern Kandahar province, came under attack while on patrol Tuesday. They fought back before calling in air support, a coalition statement said. "Surgical and precision airstrikes were carried out on positively identified enemy positions from where machine gun and rocket-propelled grenade fire was originating," the statement said. "Over a dozen insurgents were killed in this engagement."

#3: In Ghazni province, insurgents early Wednesday attacked a joint coalition and Afghan force, triggering a clash that left "several militants" dead, a coalition statement said. A number of civilians were injured in the clash, the coalition said.

#4: About 18 miles away, insurgents sheltering in a traditional low-walled Afghan compound attacked another joint patrol on Tuesday. Airstrikes later pounded the position, killing six insurgents, the statement said.

#5: In the southern Helmand province, a remotely controlled bomb exploded under a police vehicle in Gereshk district Wednesday, killing two police and wounding three, said Abdul Manan, a local official.

#6: The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is mourning the death of an explosive detection dog that was accidentally killed by a light armoured vehicle (ASLAV) in Afghanistan. The four-year-old blue heeler cross, named Merlin, was resting under an ASLAV serving with the reconstruction task force in Tarin Kowt when he was run over by his own troops.

#7: Taliban insurgents attacked a camp housing Canada's reconstruction team twice last week and both attacks were followed by exchanges of gunfire, the Canadian military said Tuesday. Lt.-Col. Bob Chamberlain said no Canadians were injured in the two attacks, which happened on Aug. 13 and 18. It's the first time that Camp Nathan Smith, the base for much of Canada's reconstruction and humanitarian work in Kandahar, has been attacked with rocket-propelled grenades, he said. There were also exchanges of fire during the attacks.

Casualty Reports:

(1) The Louisville (Kentucky) Courier-Journal is reporting the death of a Kentucky National Guardsman in Iraq. Staff Sergeant Delmar White, 37, of Lexington, Kentucky, died when a roadside bomb exploded near the convoy he was guarding in the Baghdad vicinity on Sunday, September 2nd. Three other guardsmen were injured in the blast. White had previously served in the Marines and participated in Operation Desert Storm. He first enlisted in the Kentucky ANG in 1998. White had been employed as a corrections officer with Lexington Fayette Urban County Government, but left that position in 2005 to recruit full time for the Army National Guard. He had been deployed to Iraq less than a month ago and is survived by a wife and two children.