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 18, 2008

War News for Thursdayu, December 18, 2008

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier from an enemy fire attack in an area north west of Lashkar Gah, southern Helmand province, Afghanistan on Wednesday, December 17th.

Dec. 16 airpower summary:

Up to 25 Iraq government officials accused in plot:

Blackwater might lose license to work in Iraq:

Iraqi journalist's shoes 'destroyed' after Bush attack: (Nice, destroy the evidence before the trail. O J would have been pleased.)

Lithuania pulls out of Iraq:

Albania says it is now pulling its 218 troops out of Iraq:

Bulgarian troops return from Iraq:

Bosnia withdraws troops from Iraq:

Japan ends five-year Iraq mission:

Britain confirms Iraq troop pullout, rebuffs Afghan link:

South Korean military to complete withdrawal from Iraq:

Petraeus gives outlook on Iraq, Afghanistan:

Risks fail to deter Afghan police: almost four police are killed every day. In 2007, around 1,200 police were killed in Afghanistan, with figures set to be similar for 2008. According to the US military, that is three times the casualty rate of the Afghan national army.

Report: France to reinforce its troops in Afghanistan:

Afghan leader sends demands to US on troop conduct:

Russian servicemen killed in Chechnya:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: The Iraqi government has accused U.S. forces of killing at least three Trade Ministry employees in a pre-dawn raid on ministry property in Baghdad, officials said on Thursday. The cabinet's National Media Centre and the Trade Ministry issued statements alleging that U.S. forces raided a facility belonging to the Iraqi Grain Board, part of the Trade Ministry, early on Wednesday morning. They said the troops killed several security guards, burned the guards' offices and searched files and computers. The Trade Ministry said four security guards were killed in the incident in the Utaifiya neighbourhood of Baghdad, while the National Media Centre said three were killed.

#2: Mortars hit Sleikh neighborhood (north Baghdad). One person was killed and six others were wounded, Wednesday night.

#3: A U.S. patrol killed a civilian man who was driving his own vehicle in western Baghdad, during the early hours of Thursday, an Iraqi police source said. “The civilian man was driving his vehicle in the direction of the patrol in the al-Bi’that intersection, al-Mansour neighborhood, but the U.S. forces killed him,” the source, who preferred not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq.

Diyala Prv:
#1: An improvised explosive device went off on Thursday in central Baaquba, injuring five persons, a security source said. “The bomb exploded targeting an Iraqi army patrol near the local market in central Baaquba, injuring five, including three soldiers,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

Six civilians were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near an army patrol in the city of Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Unknown gunmen on Thursday slaughtered the media official of the Communist Party in Kirkuk, the chief of local police said. “The media official of the Communist Party was found killed at her house in al-Qadissiya neighborhood in southern Kirkuk,” Brigadier Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: An explosive charge went off on Thursday in front of the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s building in east of Mosul, without leaving casualties, a local source said. “The bomb was detonated in Baashieqa district, east of Mosul, destroying two nearby civilian vehicles,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#2: Iraqi soldiers killed three gunmen in clashes in eastern Mosul, police said.

#3: An off-duty policeman was wounded during a shoot-out with a gunman, police said. The gunman was killed.

#4: Gunmen killed an off-duty traffic cop in western Mosul, police said.

#1: U.S. troops and Afghan police killed three militants in an overnight raid on a compound housing people with al-Qaida links in eastern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said Wednesday. People who were in the compound said the dead were civilians and that none of them had fired on the troops, according to Jahangir Pashtun, a spokesman for the governor's office of Khost province. These witnesses told Pashtun that the U.S. troops opened fire on the compound. U.S. military spokesman Col. Gregory Julian said the three people killed, one of them a woman, had been specifically targeted as "known individuals with al-Qaida links." He said two of them fired directly on the troops and another attempted to fire.