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

Thursday, December 11, 2008

War News for Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dec. 8 airpower summary:

Dec. 9 airpower summary:

Army working on details of 'stop loss' bonus:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A roadside bomb targeted a U.S. military convoy in Ameriyah, western Baghdad at 8 a.m. Thursday. No casualties were reported, and no comment was available from the U.S. Military at time of publication.

#1: A suicide bomber killed at least 30 people on Thursday in an explosion just north of Iraq's ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk, shattering the calm during a major Muslim holiday, police said. The bomber detonated explosives inside a packed Kurdish restaurant about 10 km (6 miles) north of Kirkuk, killing 30 people, said Major General Jamal Tahir, police chief of Kirkuk. The police operations centre in Kirkuk said 35 people were killed and 55 wounded.

A suicide bomber wearing a suicide vest detonated in Abdullah Restaurant, on the main highway to the north of Kirkuk City that was packed with families rejoicing during Eid, at 1.50 p.m. Thursday. Early casualties report put casualties at 45 killed and 93 injured according to Kirkuk Districts and Suburbs Police who say that these numbers may rise.

#1: Five sticky improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on Thursday went off in downtown Mosul city, but no casualties were reported, according to a local security source. “Five explosive devices went off consecutively in front of five houses belonging to Iraqi police and army personnel in al-Farouq al-Qadeem area, downtown Mosul, but no casualties were reported,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#2: An improvised explosive device (IED) on Thursday detonated inside an Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP) building in southern Mosul city, but no casualties were reported, according to a security source.

#1: Armed government rebels burnt the police station in Qala Zal district of Zabul province of Afghanistan. According to local official, Abdul Rahman, the armed insurgents took three polices with themselves and no information is available about them until now.