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 29, 2008

War News for Monday, December 29, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in a roadside bombing in a northern neighborhood of Baghdad on Sunday, December 28th.

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military. Master-at-Arms Seaman Apprentice Joshua D. Seitz died from an unreleased cause in Manama, Bahrain, on Sunday, December 25th. The cause of death is under investigation.

TV News Winds Down Operations on Iraq War:

Deputy Iraqi PM Warns Of Possible Arab-Kurd Conflict:

Israel calls up reserve soldiers, widens scope of Gaza airstrikes:

Israel Closes Area Around Gaza as Strikes on Hamas Continue:

Whbee slams int'l media for playing down Israel's version: (Here'a a crock....)

Get out of Afghanistan to save taxpayers money:

Number of wounded soldiers on the rise: As Canada enters its fourth full year of fighting in southern Afghanistan, new figures prepared for the Defence Department show the number of wounded soldiers has climbed to more than 360.

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A group of gunmen killed a civilian on Monday in a public marketplace in western Baghdad, a police source said. “Three gunmen opened fire on a seller in a public market in al-Hurrieya neighborhood in western Baghdad, killing him instantly,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq, noting that they fled to unknown place.

#2: Unknown gunmen killed a displaced person who had just returned to his house in western Baghdad, in a second incident of its kind in the city in less than 24 hours, a police source said. “Unidentified gunmen killed Mohamed al-Mashhadani, a displaced person who just returned to his house in al-Hurriya neighborhood in western Baghdad, while he was sitting in front of his house,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A bomb on Monday ripped through a market in the restive city of Baquba, killing a civilian and injuring five, witnesses told Deutsche Presse-Agentur, dpa.

#1: A municipal council member in Jalawlaa on Monday was shot by one of his colleagues in the central part of the district, according to a local source. “Today, a municipal council member opened fire on another member in downtown Jalawlaa district (30 km southwest of Khanaqin district),” Ahmed Khalifa al-Qassab told Aswat al-Iraq. “The member was seriously wounded in the shooting,” Qassab noted, adding that investigations are currently underway.

#2: Unidentified gunmen shot and killed an official from the social office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in Jalawlaa district in Diala, the chief of local police said. “Unknown gunmen opened fire on Ali Sirwan Kobkha Mahmoud, the official of the social office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), in Jalawlaa, southwest of Khaneqeen, killing him on the spot,” Ahmed Khaliefa al-Qassab told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: A captain in Karbala police on Monday morning was killed when a sticky explosive charge targeted his vehicle in front of his house in northern Babel province, according to an official source from Karbala police. “A sticky improvised explosive device (IED) went off inside the car of a Karbala police officer in al-Mahaweel area (30 km north of Hilla city), killing him on the spot,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: Around 10 a.m. an adhesive bomb that was stuck to a police vehicle detonated while the vehicle was inside a police fuel station in downtown Basra city causing serious injuries to the driver.

#1: A female announcer in the Kurdish satellite channel Kurdsat shot herself inside her house in the city of Sulaimaniya on Monday, a source from the channel said. “Laila Ali worked today as usual and in the afternoon returned home in Zarkata neighborhood, northern Sualimaniya, where she shot herself with a gun,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq. “The reasons behind the suicide are not yet clear, but investigations are ongoing,” he added.

#1: “A civilian was killed when gunmen opened fore at him near his house in al-Rashidiya region in northern Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#2: “Another civilian was killed in a random shootout in al-Mosul al-Jadida region in western Mosul,” he added.

Tal Afar:
#1: A suicide bomber, wearing an explosive belt, blew himself up near a joint checkpoint of police and army forces in northern Talafar, injuring one person, a police source said. “The explosion occurred in Hassan Kowi region in northern Talafar, injuring a man who is working with the bomber,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq. He gave no more details.

#1: A suicide car bomb in northern Afghanistan on Monday killed two Afghan civilians and wounded about 20 other people including two US soldiers, Afghan and US military officials said. The bomb exploded as a convoy of US military vehicles passed in front of the provincial government offices in the town of Charikar, 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of the capital Kabul, an AFP reporter said. "We have two people who are killed and 17 people are wounded," health ministry spokesman Abdullah Fahim told AFP. "Two of the wounded are in critical condition." The interior ministry gave a similar toll and said the blast was carried out by a suicide attacker. The US military confirmed its troops had been hit by a "vehicle-borne IED (improvised explosive device)" -- military jargon that usually means a car bomb. "We have two US soldiers and an Afghan contractor wounded," Sergeant First Class Joel Peavy told AFP from the main US military base at Bagram, north of Kabul.

#2: Two other bombings in the southern province of Kandahar killed three civilians and wounded 21. It began when a suicide bomber riding a motorbike blew himself up. A moment later another bomb in a handcart went off nearby.

A remote-controlled roadside bomb went off in Taliban former stronghold Kandahar of southern Afghanistan Monday morning, killing one child and wounding 21 others, an official said. "The bloody incident occurred in the Spinboldak border town at11:00 a.m. local time (0630 GMT), leaving a two-year old child dead and 21 others injured, including mother of the child and one police," a police officer in the town Saifullah told Xinhua.

#3: In neighboring Helmand province, Taliban militants attacked a police post late Sunday. Soldiers and police fought back, killing seven insurgents, said Helmand provincial police chief Asadullah Sherzad. One policeman was wounded, he said.

Casualty Reports:

Marine Lance Corporal Marc E. Olson returned from Bethesda Naval Hospital in Baltimore, Md. on Dec. 10 after spending a month there. He was one of 14 individuals who were wounded on Nov. 8 after suicide bombers attacked the post he was working at in Ramadi, Iraq. He suffered major head, neck and eye injuries.