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

Monday, March 10, 2008

War News for Monday, March 10, 2008

The Washington Post is reporting the deaths of five soldiers in a bomb blast while on a foot patrol in the Mansour district of central Baghdad on Monday, March 10th. Three other soldiers and an Iraqi interpreter were wounded in the attack which also wounded nine Iraqi civilians. Unconfirmed reports mention a suicide bomber attacked the patrol.

Security incidents:

#1: The first attack was a roadside bomb that targeted an American patrol around 9:15 a.m., local time, police said. One civilian was wounded. There was no immediate word on any American causalities; the military did not immediately respond to an e-mailed request for information.

#2: The second attack took place five minutes later, (9:20) when a parked car bomb detonated, wounding six civilians and damaging several nearby shops, police said.

One civilian was killed and three others injured when a bomb planted inside a vehicle went off in northeastern Baghdad on Monday, police said. A bomb inside a vehicle left by unidentified gunmen on the main road in al-Shaab neighborhood, northeastern Baghdad, went off on Monday, killing one civilian and wounding three others who happened to be nearby the scene," the source, who did not want his name mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#3: An Iraqi army force seized two missile launching pads in eastern Baghdad, an official security source said. "A force from the Iraqi army's 11th Division in the al-Rasafa intersection seized two missile launching pads near Sahat al-Hamza area in al-Hubaybiya district, eastern Baghdad, on Sunday evening," Maj. General Qassem Atta, the spokesman for the Baghdad security plan Operation Fardh al-Qanoon (law imposing), told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#4: Around 9:15 a.m. A mortar shell slammed into Al Muheet street in Al Kadhemiyah, injuring two civilians.

#5: Around 9:30 a.m. a roadside bomb targeted civilians in Adan square in Al Shaab neighborhood, injuring two civilians.

#6: Around 2 p.m. a parked car bomb in Habibiyah area (outskirts of Sadr city) targeted civilians near Al Habibiyah hospital, killing one and injuring four.

#7: Around 3:30 p.m. a suicide bomber wearing a vest bomb targeted U.S. military personals were shopping in Al Mansour, killing three Americans and injuring two and a translator and killing one Iraqi civilian and injuring eight other Iraqi civilians, Iraqi police said. The incident could not be immediately confirmed by U.S. sources.

Five U.S. soldiers were killed and three others wounded in a bomb blast in central Baghdad on Monday, the U.S. military said. An Iraqi interpreter was also wounded in the explosion, the military said in a statement. Iraqi police said the soldiers had been walking in the street when a suicide bomber wearing an explosives vest walked up to them and blew himself up.

#8: U.S. soldiers killed five suspected al Qaeda fighters and detained 19 others during operations in central Iraq on Sunday, the U.S. military said.

#9: A roadside bomb wounded two people in eastern Baghdad's Zayouna district, police said.

#10: Around 7 p.m. a mortar shell targeted the Green Zone, Iraqi police said. No casualties were reported. U.S. military said they had information about the incident.

#11: Police found three dead bodies throughout Baghdad, one in Al Ubeidi, one in Nahrawan, and one in Bayaa.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A roadside bomb targeted a borders' guards vehicle killing one soldier and injuring two including a captain.

#1: an 18-year-old woman blew herself up about 8 a.m. outside the home of a tribal sheik, killing the sheik, his 5-year-old niece and one of his guards. That bombing happened in the town of Kanan, about 12 miles east of Baquba.

#1: About an hour later, a suicide bomber approached several Iraqi security forces, police said, and blew himself up after the security forces began shooting at him. That explosion killed two civilians and wounded 20 people, including two police officers, police said. The second blast happened in Muqdadiya, about 24 miles north of Baquba.

#1: In southern Iraq, the body of a doctor who was kidnapped on Sunday was found. Dr. Khalid Nasir al-Miyahi, a neurologist working at a hospital in Basra, was kidnapped by unidentified gunmen, police said. His body was found in a central area of the city.

#2: The British base at the Basra International Airport came under attack with indirect fire during the early hours of Monday but caused no casualties or damage, the Multi-National Force (MNF) in southern Iraq said.

#3: Criminal Evidence Department personnel defused two Infrared-operated improvised explosive devices in western Basra on Monday, a police media source in the province said. "The two IEDs, defused in the area of Safwan, (60 km) western Basra, were planted on the Strategic Road," the source, who refused to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI). The road, ending at the Basra-Thi-Qar highway, is used by the Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF-I) to transport its troops and logistics coming via Kuwait

#1: Gunmen killed one policeman in Beiji city north of Baghdad

#1: Two bodies were found in different areas of Mosul on Sunday, police said.

#2: Gunmen killed a man in eastern Mosul on Sunday, police said.

#3: Gunmen killed two policemen in separate incidents in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, on Sunday, police said.

#4: Official spokesperson of Ninewa Operations Command said on Monday that a civilian citizen was wounded in an improvised explosive devise attack (IED) in Mosul city. The IED exploded on a civilian car in Albu-Saif area, south of Mosul, wounding the driver, and damaging the car," Khalid Abdul-Sattar told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#1: A powerful explosion rocked the normally peaceful city of Sulaimaniyah in northern Iraq late Monday, an AFP journalist reported. The explosion occurred in front of the Sulaimaniyah Palace, a luxury hotel, at around 7:00 pm (1600 GMT), said the reporter, who was some 300 metres (yards) from the scene. Nervous gun-toting Iraqi soldiers kept crowds away from the site.

A car bomb went off on Monday targeting Sulaimaniya Plaza hotel, killing one security guard and injuring 26 others, some of them in critical condition, a medical source said.

#1: Two gunmen were killed and two others wounded during clashes with Iraqi police in Ba'aj village in northwestern Iraq near the Syrian border, the Ba'aj mayor said.

#1: Turkish army has fired artillery shells on Kurdish insurgents' camps inside Iraq and hunted the militants who had crossed into Turkey. Turkish artillery units on Monday fired long-range artillery from near Turkey's border town of Cukurca on Kurdish militants inside Iraq, Dogan news agency reported.

#2: Turkish Troops also took up positions near the border village of Hilal of Sirnak province, from where the Kurdish militants are believed to cross into Turkey. Tanks were firing shells at mountain paths used by the militants and Helicopters also fired missiles at caves where they were believed to be hiding, Dogan said.

#1: NATO forces in Afghanistan have clashed more times with Taliban insurgents in the first two months of 2008 compared to last year, though fighting has occurred in fewer places, the alliance-led force said on Monday. In the first two months of 2008, there have been 595 armed clashes in 101 districts in Afghanistan, compared to 550 clashes in 88 districts in the same period last year, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said. Data collected by the Afghanistan NGO Security Office (ANSO) said there had been a 39 percent increase in Taliban attacks until March this year compared to the same period in 2007. The biggest increase had been in armed attacks rather than in suicide and roadside bombs, ANSO said, contradicting ISAF which has repeatedly said the Taliban are relying more on so-called asymmetric suicide and roadside bomb tactics due their inability to take on NATO and Afghan troops head on.

Casualty Reports:

Private Matt Wollard, 19, had his leg blown off in Afghanistan. Matt lost his right leg below the knee when he stepped on a mine on May 3 - just a year after he joined up. He "died" three times on the way to hospital.

Staff Sgt. Scott Lilley, 28, of Roswell, N.M., a member of the 5th Security Forces at the Minot Air Force Base, was injured last April 15, when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. He was treated at medical facilities in Iraq, Germany and then in the U.S., before returning to duty at the Minot base Feb. 25. Lilley was the turret gunner in a Humvee when he was injured. He figures he was the only one in the vehicle to be injured because he was the only one with the gun, which spun around inside the turret and hit his head. "They didn't think I was going to live," Lilley said.

Pfc. Richard Kolath, 19, of the 82nd Airborne's Bravo Company lost his right leg to a roadside bomb in Iraq. An improvised-explosive device went off while Kolath was traveling in a convoy in Iraq's Anbar province on Jan. 11. Kolath was severely injured, and doctors had to amputate most of his right leg.