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

Saturday, December 20, 2008

War News for Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Netherlands MoD is reporting the death of a Dutch ISAF soldier during an IED attack somewhere in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan on Friday, December 19th. One additional soldier was wounded during the engagement.

The Washington Post is reporting the deaths of three Danish ISAF soldiers from an IED attack in Helmand province, Afghanistan on Friday, December 19th. One additional soldier was wounded during the attack. Here's the Danish MoD statement.

Dec. 18 airpower summary:

Iraq lawmakers reject law on British troops: Iraq's parliament rejected on Saturday a draft law that allows troops from Britain, Australia and a few other countries to remain beyond the end of this year, Iraqi parliamentarians said.

Officers in alleged Iraqi plot released from jail:

Conflicting reports over Iraqi officials' release:

Czechs To Withdraw: On December 19, the Czech parliament rejected a plan to extend and expand the country’s military presence in Afghanistan. Prague will now have to withdraw its 500 troops under U.S. and NATO commands in Afghanistan within 60 days of the start of the year, unless another decision is taken to extend their mandate.

Sri Lanka says navy destroys rebel ship; 20 killed:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Police forces on Saturday found three rotten corpses in addition to human bones eastern Baghdad, said a security source from the capital. “The corpses and bones were found at Ur neighborhood,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#2: Around 7 a.m. a roadside targeted Iraqi police vehicle in Allawi area in central Baghdad. No casualties were reported.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Three Iraqi soldiers were wounded when a roadside bomb went off at Mandlee district, a security source from Diala province said on Saturday. “The bomb detonated targeting an Iraqi army vehicle at Neda area, 10 km to the south of the district,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: Four civilians of the same family, including a woman, were wounded on Saturday when a locally-made roadside bomb went off near their house in Kut city, said a security source from Wassit province. “The bomb was planted in an empty yard near the house at al-Mashroa neighborhood, central Kut,” the source told Aswta al-Iraq. “Two of the injuries are serious,” he said.“The explosion also caused damages to the house,” he added.

#1: Iraqi soldiers killed on Saturday a local al-Qaida leader in an ambush in Salahudin province north of Baghdad, a local police source said. Based on intelligence reports taken from local citizens, the troops early in the morning ambushed and killed Salih Jad Allah al-Ajeeli on the main road between the provincial city of Tikrit and the town of Tuz-Khurmato to the east, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

#1: Pakistani Taliban militants killed three truckers returning after taking fuel to Western forces in Afghanistan, officials said on Saturday, the latest in a growing spate of attacks on NATO supplies. The latest attack occurred on Friday night when militants fired rocket-propelled grenades at oil-tankers in the Landi Kotal area of the Khyber region, when they were coming back from the Afghan border.

#2: Eight Taliban-linked militants were killed in a joint operation by Afghan and US-led forces in volatile southern Afghanistan, the interior ministry said Saturday. The rebels were killed on Friday in Helmand province, which sees some of the worst violence of the insurgency waged by Taliban fighters since the hardline movement was ousted from power in a US-led invasion in late 2001. Five other militants were wounded in the battle in Nad Ali district, it added.

#3: Elsewhere in the province (Helmand), one rebel was killed when a bomb he was planting alongside a road exploded prematurely, the ministry said.

#4: An Afghan civilian was killed when his car collided with an ISAF military vehicle near the Shekhabad district on Sunday, about 100 km (62 miles) west of Kabul, an ISAF spokesman said.

Casualty Reports:

Jose Pequeno was critically injured in Iraq during an explosion and lost half of his brain. He was discharged from the James A Haley Veterans Hospital on Friday.

Specialist Trampus Miller has been at Walter Reed in Washington D.C. for the last six months, recovering from injuries received after his tank ran over a land mine. He is now home for the holidays, the first time in a year and a half, after serving in Iraq. Specialist Miller isn't home because his tour in Iraq was over though; his company was escorting equipment when they hit a bomb. "I didn't even know I was injured," says Miller. The bones in his foot and leg were shattered. Now doing even the simple things are difficult.