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, December 1, 2008

War News for Monday, December 01, 2008

Nov. 28 airpower summary:

Sri Lanka: Military seizes key rebel-held town:

Civilian death toll, IED blasts in Iraq increase in November: The number of civilian deaths last month was 148, compared with 118 in October and 156 in September. The number of IEDs was 108, compared with 79 in October and 113 in September.

US masses naval-air-marine might in Arabian Sea opposite India, Pakistan, Iran:

Polish equipment returns from Iraq:

Secret RAF spy plane 'will spot Taliban fighters from seven miles up in the sky'

Moldova to pull out its troops from Iraq before yearend:

S. Korea calls troops home after 5 year deployment:

Second Bulgarian security squad sent to Afghanistan:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: An Iraqi military spokesman says a senior Defense Ministry official has been wounded in a roadside bomb attack that killed one of his bodyguards. The spokesman, Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, says the blast occurred Monday in the Sulaikh neighborhood in northern Baghdad. The wounded official, Maj. Gen. Mudhir al-Mola, is in charge of affairs related to the Sunni guards known as Sons of Iraq who have joined forces with U.S. troops against al-Qaida in Iraq.

#2: An apparently coordinated car bomb and suicide bomb attack at Baghdad's police academy killed 15 people on Monday and wounded 45 others, police said.

At least 15 people were killed and 45 wounded in a twin bomb attack near the Iraqi police academy in Baghdad on Monday, according to a new interior ministry toll. A ministry official said a suicide bomber blew himself up near the entrance to the academy on Palestine Street in the heart of the Iraqi capital, shortly before a parked car exploded. The victims included civilians and young police recruits, the official said.

#3: National Public Radio says some of its journalists have escaped injury when a bomb exploded in their car as it was parked along a street in west Baghdad. NPR's foreign editor Loren Jenkins said the journalists left their vehicle yesterday to interview people inside a restaurant. Iraqi soldiers ran up and warned them that a bomb had been placed in their car while they were inside the restaurant. Moments later, the vehicle exploded in flames. No one was injured.

#4: Sunday Around 8 p.m. a magnetic bomb, which was stuck to a police officer's car, was detonated in a controlled explosion on Al-Muheet street in Kadhemiyah neighborhood (north Baghdad). The target was an officer of the Ministry of Interior who noticed the bomb before it detonated.

#5: Sunday Police found one dead body in Husseiniyah neighborhood (northeast Baghdad) along the east bank of the Tigris River.

#1: Police forces found 12 unknown corpses in a village in southern Kirkuk, the commander of the province’s suburbs and districts police said on Monday. “The corpses were found in Qara-Hassan village, 25 km south of Kirkuk city,” Brigadier Sarhad Qadir told Aswat al-Iraq. “The corpses were burnt, and bore signs of gunshots that were estimated to have been inflicted four days ago,” he said.

#1: A policeman was killed and four were injured on Monday when a bomb targeted a police patrol in Mosul, 400 kilometres north of Baghdad, a security source said. The blast took place in Akedat neighbourhood in the capital of Nineveh province, the source told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

#2: Meantime, a suicide car bomber killed 14 people and wounded 30 others in the northern city of Mosul, an unnamed police official told The Associated Press. No further information was immediately available on that attack.

At least 16 people were killed and up to 33 others wounded on Monday in a suicide car bomb attack targeted Iraqi police in the volatile city of Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province, a provincial police source said.

The attack in Mosul targeted an Iraqi police and U.S. military joint patrol, they said.

#3: Six women and a child were wounded when two improvised explosive devices went off in western Mosul city, a security source in Ninewa said on Monday. “Two sticky IEDs attached to the doors of two houses in al-Yarmuk neighborhood, western Mosul, went off late at night on Sunday, leaving six women and a boy child wounded,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#4: Gunmen killed two women in al Yarmouk neighborhood in west Mosul city on Monday morning.

#5: Gunmen kidnapped a doctor as he headed to work in western Mosul, police said.

#6: Gunmen killed the principal of an Islamic studies high school in a drive-by shooting in Mosul, police said.

#1: Turkish war planes bombed Kurdish separatist positions in northern Iraq on Monday, the head of Iraq's border guards in Dahuk told Reuters. The head of the Dahuk province border guards, Colonel Hussein Tamor, said no civilians were hurt because the area was unpopulated. He did not know about any rebel casualties in the strike, which continued from 11 a.m. (0800 GMT) to 6 p.m. (1500 GMT).

#1: Militants in northwestern Pakistan attacked trucks ferrying supplies to NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan on Monday, killing two people and destroying a dozen vehicles, witnesses and police said. The attack on the U.S.-led coalition trucks took place at a terminal in Peshawar, which sits along the supply route from Pakistan to Afghanistan. Several gunmen fired rockets and automatic weapons at the Faisal terminal, killing a driver and a clerk and destroying 12 trucks, said police officer Ahsanullah Khan. An AP Television News reporter saw two Humvee military vehicles on board the trucks that were on fire following the attack.

#2: Meanwhile, a suicide bomber killed eight people and wounded 40 others at a military checkpoint in the region's Swat Valley, police said. The bomber detonated his car while queuing up at the checkpoint, a military officer at the Swat media center said on customary condition of anonymity. "Two passengers vehicles received the major thrust of the explosion and were badly smashed up," he said. Police officer Dilawar Bangash said eight people were killed and 40 wounded. The identities of the dead were not known.

#3: A suicide bomber killed eight civilians and two policemen in an attack on a police convoy in a crowded bazaar in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province on Monday, the local police chief said. The attack in the town of Musa Qala in Helmand was aimed at a police convoy, provincial police chief Assadullah told Reuters by telephone. A spokeswoman for British forces in the area said there were no casualties among its soldiers. Assadullah said the bomber walked up to the convoy and detonated his device. Another 25 people, including two police, were wounded.

#4: Two Taliban fighters on motorbike shot dead a district governor in southern Afghanistan Monday morning, the latest in a series of assassinations of senior provincial officials. Abdul Rahim Desiwal, governor of Andar district in Ghazni province, was killed in front of his house in the provincial capital, also called Ghazni, as he was on his way to his office, his spokesman Ismail Jahangir said. The spokesman said one of Desiwal's bodyguards was seriously wounded in the attack and taken to hospital by police.

#5: Two suspected Taliban insurgents were killed on Monday while planting a roadside bomb in northern Baghlan province, a provincial official said.

#6: On Sunday afternoon, local time, an IED went off under one of Poland’s Rosomak military vehicles returning from a patrol. The damaged carrier was transported to the base. Both incidents occurred in the Ghazni province in south eastern Afghanistan

#7: At the same time unknown perpetrators raked a group of Polish soldiers with mortar fire. The soldiers were checking technical state of a dam, which they intend to repair soon. Polish troops responded with fire and called the US air force for help. The assailants managed to flee, however. Both incidents occurred in the Ghazni province in south eastern Afghanistan

Casualty Reports:

Staff Sgt. Jerry Cortinas, a Special Forces soldier, lost his left hand and suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was attacked by a rocket-propelled grenade five days before Christmas 2002 in Afghanistan.

Sgt. 1st Class Roy Mitchell, has had a leg amputated and undergone 37 surgeries since being injured in November 2003 in Afghanistan.

Ben Marksmeier, 22, lost his right leg below the knee in 2006. More than two years later, the Fremont man still is struggling with the physical effects of all the metal embedded in his body. Follow-up surgery to remove shrapnel above his knee swelled his stump so much he was unable to wear the artificial part of his leg for weeks this fall. Some of the bomb fragments will probably be embedded in his body for the rest of his life. And that’s probably not the only lasting effect.