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 12, 2007

War News for Wednesday, September 12, 2007

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Security incidents:
#1: A roadside bomb struck a convoy of sport utility vehicles (SUVs), used by foreign security contractors, in eastern Baghdad on Wednesday, burning a vehicle and killing a civilian, a well-informed police source said. "A roadside bomb went off near a convoy of SUVs carrying foreign security contractors near the Beirut Square in eastern Baghdad, leaving one of the convoy's vehicle ablaze," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. A civilian was killed and five others wounded by the blast, the source said without revealing the casualties and nationality of the foreigners.

#2: U.S. troops killed 12 suspected insurgents and detained 22 others during operations on Monday targeting al Qaeda militants in Kirkuk, Samarra and Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

#3: Gunmen wearing camouflage uniforms stopped bank employees driving in two vehicles and stole around $550,000 in southern Baghdad, police said.

#4: Gunmen stopped bank employees driving in a minibus and stole Iraqi currency worth about $240,000 in central Baghdad, police said.

#5: The Iraqi army killed 12 insurgents and detained 59 in different parts of Iraq during the last 24 hours, the Defence Ministry said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: In Diyala's al Salam area, gunmen opened fire on a car at 9 a.m. killing two and wounding two others, while an hour later in another area

#1: assailants shot into a crowd in central Muqdadiyah killing two and wounding two, police said.

#1: Four people were wounded when several mortar rounds landed in a residential district of Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Police found the body of a man with gunshot wounds to the head in the town of Mahaweel, 75 km (50 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Gunmen killed a policeman near his house in the city of Hilla, 100 km (60 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Police said they found the bodies of two men, shot and tortured, in the town of Muwailha, 50 km (35 miles) south of Baghdad.

#1: A mortar round killed a man and wounded a child in the town of Rasheed, 35 km (20 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Around 09:30am, gunmen assassinated Major khalid Jabur from Iraqi police in front of his house in Al Taameem neighborhood in Tikrit.

#1: Around 9:30am, An IED targeted the head's of the local council convoy of Al Haweeja province injured three of his bodyguards.

#1: Yesterday evening, gunmen riding a pick up vehicle shot an officer from the Third Battalion-Fifth brigade near by Al Safra village in Al Riyadh province west Kirkuk. Kirkuk policemen declared that the incident claimed the life of the officer immediately..

#1: U.S. forces detained 15 suspected insurgents during operations targeting al Qaeda and their networks in Mosul, Kirkuk and Sinjar, the U.S. military said.

#1: Gunmen ambushed an Iraqi police checkpoint in northern Iraq before dawn Wednesday, killing six officers in a sophisticated attack on fledgling Iraqi security installations, police said. Militants packed into four cars screeched up to the checkpoint south of Mosul at around 1:30 a.m., attacking it from both sides, said police Brig. Abdel-Karim al-Jubouri. Clashes lasted about 15 minutes, after which all the gunmen escaped, al-Jubouri said. Six policemen were killed and the other four at the checkpoint were wounded — all men from the local area, he said. The attack occurred in the Gayara area south of Mosul

#1: A Polish military convoy was fired at on Tuesday in Afghanistan. None of the soldiers were wounded”, said spokesman for the Polish Military Contingent, Mayor Wojciech Kaliszczak. The incident happened at 5.55 PM local time (15.25 CET) Tuesday, 50 km south-west of the Sharana base, eastern Afghanistan. The Polish soldiers started chasing the attackers but one of the hummer vehicles broke down during the chase and had to be towed back to the base.

#2: US-led coalition air strikes killed a dozen Taliban fighters in Arghandab district of southern Zabul province overnight, officials said on Wednesday. Afghan and coalition forces called air support after reports that a group of more than 20 Taliban rebels were preparing to ambush a combat patrol near a village in Arghandab district of the province, said a military statement released from the US base in Bagram. Nearly a dozen Taliban fighters were killed during the engagement, said the statement, adding, "Afghan forces called in coalition close-air support to strike the insurgents before they launch their attempted ambush." Due to the remoteness of the area, it was difficult to verify the death toll independently or confirm what happened.

#3: About 200 pro-Taliban militants attacked a paramilitary post in northwest Pakistan on Wednesday and captured 12 soldiers, an official said, in the latest incident of spiralling violence in the region. In the latest attack, militants firing rocket-propelled grenades raided at a post on the outskirts of the town of Bannu in North West Frontier Province before dawn. "After the rocket attack, about 200 militants launched a physical attack on the post and kidnapped 12 men of the Frontier Constabulary," said an officer in the force, Amir Badshah Utmankheil.

#4: The commanding officer of Royal Anglian troops battling the Taliban in southern Afghanistan revealed last night that almost 20pc of his soldiers had become casualties of the intense conflict. In addition to nine soldiers killed, the 600-strong 1st battalion has suffered 114 casualties of whom 72 have been serious enough to be flown home to the UK for treatment. Lt Col Stuart Carver said: "We have had 114 casualties out of a total strength of 600 in the past five months, which is about 20pc. About half of those have been as a result of enemy action, the remainder a mixture of broken bones, heat exhaustion and other injuries. What it says is that we have been involved in a fairly bloody conventional campaign."
Casualty Reports:
(1) The DoD has now identified the second soldier who died in a rocket propelled grenade attack (described in this CENTCOM release) in eastern Baghdad on September 5th: Army Corporal Javier G. Paredes, 24, of San Antonio, Texas. (The first soldier was Spc. Keith A. Nurnberg, of the same unit: 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division out of Fort Benning, GA.) The San Antonio Express-News has published an article on Paredes, as has the Kerrville (Texas) Daily Times, describing a young man who ended his life caring for others, despite a painful early childhood with a physically abusive father. Known by his nickname NiƱo, Paredes and his four brothers were removed from their home when he was about 5 year old ... and the five of them spent the rest of their childhoods in foster homes and group homes, such as Hill Country Youth Ranch, all over the state. The boys' mother died in 1999. Paredes graduated from high school in 2002, going to live with an aunt in San Antonio while holding down various jobs in construction and retail. In 2004 he enlisted in the army and became trained as a medic, treating wounded soldiers on the battlefield, a job he enjoyed because "he was always helping people". A staff member at Hill Country Youth Ranch said of him, "He was truly one of the sweetest spirits I've ever known."
(2) The DoD has also released the identity of the Marine who died from a non-hostile, unspecified cause in Al Anbar Province on Friday, September 7th: Lance Corporal Lance Murphy Clark, 21, of Cookeville, Tennessee. The Cookeville Citizen-Herald is reporting that his mother was informed of the death late last Friday, but was told that the only information available at the time was that he had died of a gunshot wound. Clark, who loved to work on cars, and also to hunt and fish, graduated from high school in 2004 and joined the Marines in April of 2005. He had already been deployed to Iraq once. His second tour of duty began in July and was expected to finish up in February.