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

Friday, December 5, 2008

War News for Friday, December 05, 2008

Dec. 3 airpower summary:

Iraq's Kurdish oil impasse rumbles on:

Halliburton, KBR Sued For Alleged Conditions At Iraq Base:

Tongan troops say farewell to Iraq:

U.S. military frets over Iraqi prisoner:

Soldier acquitted in two officers' deaths:

#1: A bomb attached to a vehicle killed Wathab Kareem, an inspector for the Labour Ministry, and wounded two civilians in central Baghdad on Thursday, police said.

#2: A roadside bomb targeted a joint, National Police and Sahwa patrol in Doura, southern Baghdad at 8 a.m. Friday, killing one policeman and one Sahwa member, injuring one policeman and one Sahwa member.

#1: A roadside bomb killed a policeman and wounded a civilian when struck a police patrol on Thursday in northern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Iranian artillery fire rained down on a remote area of northeastern Iraq on Friday, causing some material damage but no casualties, a local Kurdish official said. The artillery bombardment was intermittent, said Azad Asso, a district mayor for Jarawa district at the Iranian border, around 195 km (120 miles) northeast of Sulaimaniya. Asso said the bombardment began in the afternoon and continued into the early evening.

A shepherd was wounded in Iranian artillery shelling of villages in the district of Zarawa, northern Qalaat Daza area, non-stop for six days now, the district chief said on Friday. “The shelling intensified on Friday afternoon on the villages of Razka, Mardo, Shanawa, and Sbeilka, leaving a shepherd in the area slightly wounded,” Azad Wasso told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: A suicide car bomber killed six people at a police checkpoint in northwestern Pakistan on Friday, an official said. Government official Mohammed Shahid said the bomber struck when police and local tribesmen tried to stop his car in the Orakzai tribal region. Shahid said six people were killed and five others wounded.

#2: Elsewhere in northwestern Pakistan, police said suspected militants killed two policemen in a rocket and gun attack. Police official Taj Din said one officer was also wounded in early Friday's attack on their checkpoint in Bannu. He said insurgents fled after an exchange of fire and later officers saw blood in an open area from where the assailants launched the attack. He believes some of the attackers were hurt as well. Bannu is located in North West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan.

#3: Ten militants were killed by mortar fire following an insurgent attack on a military base in Helmand province's Nar Surkh district on Wednesday, a statement said.

#4: Troops killed another four militants in the same district on Thursday, after the insurgents fired on a joint U.S.-Afghan patrol, a second statement said.

#5: Eight prisoners were killed and 15 others were wounded after Afghan security forces clashed with inmates during a search operation in an Afghan prison near Kabul, an official said. Violence broke out on Thursday when security forces started to search inmates suspected of holding knives and guns in the Pul-i-Charkhi prison on the eastern outskirts of Kabul. "The search operation is still going on and the situation is under control," Deputy Justice Minister Mohammad Qasim Hashimzai told Reuters, adding that three policemen were among the wounded.