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 19, 2008

War News for Friday, December 19, 2008

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military. Private Colman J. Meadows III died from a non-combat related incident at Forward Operating Base Ramrod, Maiwand district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan on Tuesday, December 16th.

Dec. 17 airpower summary:

Top Sadr Official In Baghdad Detained - Report:

Pentagon ignored danger of roadside bombs, report finds:

Cracks in Sadr City's 'Gold Wall'

Tonga, most other coalition countries leaving Iraq: All but six nations — the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, El Salvador, Estonia and Romania — will be gone by Jan. 1, Matern said.
12 coalition members and their departure dates:
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nov. 29
South Korea, Dec. 1
Azerbaijan, Dec. 3
Tonga, Dec. 4
Japan, Dec. 6
Ukraine, Dec. 9
Czech Republic, Dec. 10
Bulgaria, Dec. 13
Lithuania, Dec. 16
Denmark, Dec. 17
Albania, Dec. 18
Moldova, Dec. 18

Bad weather forces Zardari to cancel Afghanistan visit:

Mideast weather roundup:

Taliban blow up lorry carrying Christmas turkeys for British troops:

Sri Lankan air force bombs rebels:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Iraqi police discovered seven decomposing, severed heads and two decomposing bodies on Friday in an half-built house in eastern Baghdad, police said. The discovery took place in Ur, a mainly Shi'ite district of northeastern Baghdad.

#2: A roadside bomb targeted a police foot patrol in Mayseloon Square, Zayuna, eastern Baghdad at 7 a.m. Friday injuring three policemen and three civilians.

#1: Police forces found on Thursday a bullet-riddled civilian body in western Kut, a security source said.

#1: Two missiles landed on a U.S. military base south of Tikrit city on Friday, a police source in Salah al-Din province said, not indicating whether the attack left casualties. “Two missiles landed on the military base of Anaconda (formerly al-Bakr) in the area of Yathrib, Balad district, south of Tikrit,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq. “The two missiles caused a powerful explosion and plumes of smoke were seen rising over the U.S. base,” the source added. He said that U.S. choppers were seen hovering overhead in the area for hours after the incident.

#1: Two shepherds from Salah el-Din province were wounded on Friday in a landmine explosion in southeast of Makhmour, a police source said. “The two shepherds were injured in a landmine blast in al-Kouber district in southwest of Makhmour,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq, noting that there were rushed to the al-Kouber hospital for treatment. “One of them remains in a serious condition.” He noted.

#1: update Gunmen broke into the house of a women's rights activist in the volatile northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Thursday and beheaded her, police said. The victim was identified as Nahla Hussain, the leader of the women's league of the Kurdish Communist Party. She was alone in the house at the time of her death.