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 15, 2008

War News for Monday, December 15, 2008

"This is a farewell kiss, you dog. This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq." Muntazer al-Zaidi 12-14-08

Thousands of Iraqis took to the streets to demand the release of a reporter who threw his shoes at President George Bush during a press conference. Protesters hailed the journalist as a hero and praised his insult as a proper send-off to the US president. Muntadhar al-Zeidi, who was kidnapped by Shiite militants last year, was being held by Iraqi security and interrogated about whether anybody paid him to throw his shoes at Bush...

Dec. 12 airpower summary:

US senator serves military duty in Afghanistan; stresses need to support reserves: ( This asshole served for five days and now thinks that he's a hero. )

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Five people were killed and 35 wounded when a car bomb exploded near a police checkpoint and an adjacent market in the area of Khan Dhari, in the western outskirts of Baghdad, police said. Another police source said it was a suicide attack.

Iraqi police say a suicide truck bomber has killed at least five people at a checkpoint west of Baghdad. An Iraqi police official says the truck exploded Monday at a police checkpoint in Khan Dhari, killing five police officers and wounding 13 others.

Nine policemen were killed and 31 wounded when a suicide bomber drove a car full of explosives at their checkpoint west of Baghdad on Monday, as attacks resumed after a period of uncommon calm, a police source said. He said most of the wounded were policemen. The attack took place in the Khan Dhari area on the western outskirts of the Iraqi capital.

#2: Sunday A roadside bomb detonated in Beirut intersection in Palestine street (east Baghdad) around 7 p.m. Seven people were wounded.

#3: Sunday A roadside bomb detonated in Mansour neighborhood (west Baghdad) near the Mr. Milky market around 7:30 p.m. Seven people were wounded.

#4: A 25-year-old male detainee died at Camp Cropper Dec. 14. The detainee, shortly after complaining of symptoms consistent with cardiac arrest, lost consciousness prior to being transferred to the guard force on duty. The detainee was immediately transported to the 115th Combat Area Support Hospital for emergency medical treatment. Shortly thereafter, the patient failed to regain consciousness and was pronounced dead by the attending physician approximately one hour later.

#1: In Najaf, demonstrators threw shoes at a passing American convoy and called Bush "cow".

#1: Iraqi police say a female suicide bomber has knocked on the front door of the home of a Sons of Iraq commander in northern Iraq and then detonated an explosives belt. An Iraqi police official says the Monday blast killed Ahmed Khamees, the local commander of the Sons of Iraq volunteer force in Tarmiya, north of Baghdad. The official spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

#1: Gunmen killed seven people from a single family, members of the minority Yazidi sect, when they stormed into their home in the town of Sinjar, 390 km (240 miles) northwest of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Gunmen killed a woman in her home in eastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: An Iraqi civilian was shot down by U.S. forces inside his house in eastern Mosul city, a local police source said on Monday. “At a late hour on Sunday night, U.S. forces killed a civilian during a raid on his house in al-Muthanna neighborhood, eastern Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.The reasons behind the killing remain unknown, the source added.

#1: An Afghan official says a joint Afghan-NATO operation in the country's south has killed 40 Taliban militants. Helmand governor spokesman Dawood Ahmadi said Monday that the operation in the Nad Ali and Murja regions of Helmand began last Thursday and is still ongoing. NATO spokesman Lt. Cmdr. James Gater confirmed a joint operation in Helmand is under way.

#2: C omrades carried the latest three dead Canadian soldiers onto a plane bound for home Sunday night, in a ceremony delayed by Taliban rocket attacks.

#3: Pakistani truck drivers have decided to stop transporting supplies to US and Nato forces in Afghanistan following a string of attacks by Taliban militants, a media report said Monday. The decision was taken Sunday during a meeting of Khyber Transport Association (KTA), a powerful organization of the owners of up to 4,000 lorries and trailers.

#4: Unknown armed men on Sunday abductedan official in charge of voter registration of Election Commissionin Paktika province of eastern Afghanistan, his family and officials said Monday. "Armed men sneaked into the house of Mawlawi Abdul Manan, the director of voter registration department, in Yusuf Khil district Sunday night and took him to unknown location," his brother HajjiAbdul Hanan told Xinhua.

#5: Afghan forces killed six insurgents in the district of Maqor (Ghazni Prv.) on Sunday, about 240 km (150 miles) from Kabul, the Ministry of Defence said.

#6: Three Afghan government workers were shot dead in southwest Afghanistan on Monday in Ghazni City, about 200 km (125 miles) southwest of Kabul, a local official said.

#7: In the first incident, occurred in Yaqubi district of Khost province, a suicide bomber blew himself up next to an army checkpoint, wounding an Afghan soldier, an army officer in the province Israr Ahmad told Xinhua.

#8: Another violent incident but in the shape of roadside bombing claimed the life of a driver and injured two others. "A bomb planted by the enemies struck the vehicle of Khayal Mohammad, the director of tribal department, killing his driver and injuring Mohammad and his son," spokesman of provincial administration Hamidullah Zhawak said.