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 25, 2008

War News for Thursday, December 25, 2008

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF Marine from "enemy fire" in the Nad-e-Ali district near Lashkar Gah, Helmand province, Afghanistan on Wednesday, December 24th.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a U.S. soldier from an indirect fire attack near Mosul on Thursday, December 25th.

Dec. 23 airpower summary:

U.S. troops spend 6th Christmas in Iraq:

Blix to testify against Iraq war makers? Hans Blix, in a Sunday interview with Al Jazeera television said he and the Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed ElBaradei, were subjected to implicit threats from US Vice President Dick Cheney in the run-up to the Iraq war. ....

Marines consider moving forces to southern Afghanistan:

Taliban choking a vital NATO supply line:

Three Turkish soldiers killed in Kurdish rebel attack:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A car bomb near a popular restaurant killed four people and wounded 25 in northwestern Baghdad on Christmas Day on Thursday, police said. The explosion in the Shi'ite district of Shula occurred while policemen and laborers were eating breakfast. The casualties included both policemen and civilians, police said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A few hours later, a suicide car bomber targeting a U.S. military patrol killed three people and wounded 14 in Muqdadiya, 80 km (50 miles) northeast of Baghdad, police said. The U.S. military said it was checking if there were any U.S. casualties.

#1: A Fadhila Party candidate for the upcoming provincial council elections has escaped an attempt on his life that killed his brother-in-law in southern Basra city, according to a local security source. “During a late hour on Wednesday evening, unknown gunmen driving a modern car opened fire on Dr. Abdelamir al-Moussawi, a Fadhila Party candidate, and his brother-in-law while they were distributing electoral material in al-Sankar area,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.Moussawi survived the attack, while his brother-in-law, Haydar, was killed, the source noted.

#1: A girl was killed and a child was wounded when unknown gunmen broke into their house in eastern Dalouiya district, a local police source said on Thursday. “During an early hour this morning, gunmen raided the house of a policeman in Bishkan village, eastern Dalouiya, and engaged in clashes that killed a 13-year-old girl and wounded a one-and-a-half-year-old girl,” Maj. Ali Abdullah from the local police told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: A crude oil pipeline carrying oil from a town in northern Iraq to the city of Kirkuk erupted in flames due to a bomb, Iraqi and US military officials said on Thursday. The explosion at around midnight set fire to one pipeline and damaged a second, said the joint US-Iraqi military coordination centre in Kirkuk. Exports were not affected. The fire occurred in the town of By Hassan, near the disputed city of Kirkuk, 250 km north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Two civilians were wounded when a car bomb went off near the Iraqi army’s 5th Brigade HQ in eastern Mosul city on Thursday, according to a military source. “A car rigged with explosives went off near the 5th Brigade HQ in Kouk al-Khaleel area, eastern Mosul, wounding two civilians who happened to be close to the explosion scene,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: Elsewhere, four road construction workers were killed and two others were wounded in a rocket attack in Souki district of eastern Kunar province on Wednesday, Engineer Haseeb Karimzai, director of the Afghan Road Construction Company said. 'They were working on the road when a rocket fired from an unknown place hit the road close to the work site, killing and wounding our workers' he said.

Foreign troops mistakenly shot dead at least two employees of a construction firm in eastern Kunar province on Wednesday, residents said.

#2: In another incident, US-led coalition forces killed two militants and detained two others in an operation in Taqab district of the north-eastern province of Kapisa on Wednesday, the US military said in a statement.

#3: A local national man was injured by ISAF forces in Nad-e-Ali yesterday in an escalation of force incident. The man was driving fast and erratically towards a joint ANSF and ISAF patrol and failed to react to verbal instructions or two sets of warning shots. ISAF troops, perceiving the individual to pose an imminent threat to their lives, shot the individual, wounding him in the shoulder.

Casualty Reports:

Corporal Shane Parsons was fighting in Iraq In September 2006. Shane was hit by a roadside bomb. He lost both of his legs and suffered severe head trauma.

Lt. Col. Greg Gadson lost both legs to an improvised explosive device on a battlefield in Iraq in May.