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 22, 2008

War News for Monday, December 22, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Force – West Marine of non-combat related causes in an undisclosed location in Iraq (Camp Baharia,Fallujah), on Saturday, December 20th. No other details were released.

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier from an explosion in an area to the north west of Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Sunday, December 21st. No other details were released.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Force – West Marine of wounds received in action in an undisclosed location in Al Anbar Province on Sunday, December 21st. No other details were released.

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military. Pfc. Coleman W. Hinkefent died from a non-combat related illness in Hamburg, Germany on Saturday, December 20th. No other details were released.

Dec. 18 airpower summary:

Dec. 19 airpower summary:

Brother of shoe-throwing Iraqi journalist says apology letter was forced and he'd do it again:

CNN: Commentary: What the Iraq mission cost Bush:

Cheney interview shows comtempt for facts on Iraq:

Iraqi parliament delays vote over fate of non-U.S. foreign troops:

NATO to engage Afghan tribes in Taliban fight:

Bosnia to send 100 peacekeepers to Afghanistan:

Battle for Sri Lanka rebel HQ rages, at least 66 die:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Two civilians on Monday were wounded when two explosive charges went off in northern Kut city, according to a security source. “Two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) detonated today on a road leading to al-Gohayshat village, al-Suweira district, wounding two civilians and causing damage to their vehicle,” Lt. Aysar al-Akeedy told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: An unknown body was found in the south of Hilla. “The corpse was found in al-Kifil River, 40 km south of Hilla, with torture signs on it,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: a child was wounded by gunshot in the north of the city, a source from Babel province’s police said on Monday. He did not mention further details, but pointed out that “a child was wounded by gunshot while she was on the roof of her house in al-Iskandariya, 50 km north of Hilla.”

Babil Prv:
#1: Hashim Rashid, an attorney general for the court of Hindiyah in Babil province, suffered fatal injuries early Sunday when he was shot while driving his car on a highway. Iraqi police said coalition forces opened fire on the attorney's car. U.S. forces have not confirmed the incident.

#1: A missile hit Hamzali neighborhood in downtown Kirkuk on Sunday night. No casualties reported.

#2: Gunmen opened fire on a policeman in Wasiti neighborhood in Kirkuk city. The policeman was injured and he is in hospital for recovery.

#1: Sunday A car bomb detonated in Rifaai neighborhood (west Mosul) targeting an army patrol around 4 p.m. One officer was killed and four soldiers were wounded.

#1: US drones fired at least two missiles into Pakistan's South Waziristan region on the Afghan border today, killing at least seven people. One missile hit a vehicle in a village near Wana, the main town in the region, killing four people, while three were killed in another strike in a nearby village. Bakht Janan, a security official at a local checkpoint, said the unmanned drone aircraft began circling over the village of Kari Khel in the early hours and then fired missiles at two vehicles several hours later. The vehicle targeted in one attack was fitted with an anti-aircraft gun and the militants fired shots at the drone before the missile hit it. A third missile was also said to have been fired but caused no casualties or damage.

#2: A joint U.S.-Afghan operation along the border with Pakistan has killed about 20 insurgent fighters over the last month, an Afghan governor said Monday. The Afghan and U.S. forces taking part in Operation Lion Heart are trying pressure militants along the border between Afghanistan's Kunar province and the Bajur region in Pakistan. The Ministry of Defense said Monday that dozens of militants have been killed and wounded over the last month. A spokesman said he couldn't give more precise numbers. However, Kunar Gov. Sayed Fazeullah Wahidi said around 20 fighters have been killed over the last month, including two Arabs and two Pakistanis.

#3: Elsewhere in Afghanistan, a car bomb with two attackers exploded Monday near an Afghan governor's compound, killing one Afghan civilian and wounding seven. The two attackers also died, said Sayed Ismail Jahangir, the spokesman for the governor of Ghazni province in central Afghanistan.