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

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

War News for Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Fremont Tribune is reporting the death of Capt. Rob Yllescas who was wounded in an IED attack somewhere in Afghanistan on Tuesday, October 28th. He died on Monday, December 1st while at the Bethesda Naval hospital. Here's his wife's blog.

Nov. 29 airpower summary:

Nov. 30 airpower summary:

U.S. soldiers charged for abusing Afghans: Two U.S. soldiers serving in Afghanistan have been charged with the abuse of Afghan detainees, the U.S military said on Tuesday.

Reported Security incidents:

#1: TWO Iraqis have suffered burns after an Australian soldier accidentally fired protective smoke grenades from an armoured vehicle in Baghdad. Defence officials are investigating Sunday's incident, but said the two men were not badly hurt. It is believed the soldier, in the cramped confines of an Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV), accidentally bumped the button that fires the grenades. "The ADF (Australian Defence Force) has been advised that four Iraqi civilian vehicles were damaged and two Iraqi men received superficial burns to their hands when they reportedly attempted to remove hot debris from their cars,'' defence said.

#1: Police forces found an unidentified body with signs of torture and bullet wounds in the north of Kut city, a security source said on Tuesday.

#1: In a second attack, a roadside bomb targeting an army patrol killed five soldiers in Hilla, south of Baghdad, police and a witness said. "It hit the first vehicle. The whole thing exploded and burned to the ground," witness Ali al-Jubouri told Reuters.

Babel Prv:
#1: A civilian on Tuesday was killed in an explosive charge attack in the northwest of Hilla city, a local police source said. “On Tuesday, a civilian was killed when an improvised explosive device (IED) was stuck to his bike in al-Maseeb district (50 km northwest of Hilla),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

Thi Qar Prv:
#1: Policemen on Tuesday defused 10 bombs which are believed to have been placed to target the motorcade of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki who visited the province on Monday, the chief of the local police said. “Anti-bomb squads defused ten explosive devices, planted by unknown gunmen on al-Houlandi river, believed to be targeting the motorcade of the al-Maliki who inaugurated a project in the province yesterday,” General Sabah al-Fatlawi told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: A Sahwa council leader in Kirkuk’s Huweija district on Tuesday escaped an attempt on his life, according to a local security source. “On Tuesday, unknown gunmen threw a thermal grenade at his house, causing damage to it,” a source from Kirkuk’s operations room told Aswat al-Iraq.The source noted that no casualties were reported.

#1: Gunmen threw a hand grenade in the house of Colonel Khalaf Ibraheem, commander of Sahwa in Hawijah district, 65 km to the southwest of Kirkuk city. No casualties were reported, but there was material damage to the house.

#2: Two mortar rounds targeted Rashad neighbourhood police station, 30 km to the southwest of Kirkuk city. No casualties were reported.

#1: Unknown assailants have killed two members of a Sunni party in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, 400 kilometres north of the capital Baghdad, security sources said early Tuesday. Marwan Nazar and Jabar Mohammed of Vice-President Tariq al- Hashimi’s Islamic Party were shot to death in separate incidents, the sources said.

#2: Update In Mosul, a suicide car bomber detonated his explosives as a joint U.S.-Iraqi convoy drove by in a crowded commercial area, police said. The U.S. military said eight Iraqi civilians were killed and 34 people wounded, including four U.S. soldiers.

#3: An Iraqi policeman on Tuesday was wounded when his patrol vehicle was attacked by unknown gunmen in downtown Mosul city, according to a local security source. “Today, unidentified gunmen opened fire on a police patrol vehicle in al-Sa’a area, downtown Mosul, wounding a patrolman who was taken the hospital for treatment,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.
#4: A bomb planted in a marketplace next to a primary school killed four people and wounded 12 in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Tuesday, police said, adding that some schoolchildren were among the wounded.

Tal Afar:
#1: At least five people were killed and 25 others were wounded in a car bomb explosion in Talafar, a military source said on Tuesday. “A car rigged with explosives went off at 4:30 p.m. near a police checkpoint in Saraya region in Talafar district, killing five, including a cop, and injuring 25,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: Militants set off a roadside bomb in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday as trucks supplying Western forces in Afghanistan were passing by, wounding three people, a government official and witnesses said. The convoy was bombed in the Landi Kotal area, 30 km (18 miles) west of the main northwest Pakistani city of Peshawar. "The bomb was placed under a bridge and went off when the first vehicle of the convoy was crossing, wounding three people," said a district government official. A taxi driver in the area said two truck drivers and a driver's assistant had been wounded and the convoy was stuck because the bridge had been damaged.

#2: US-led coalition forces have killed three, Afghan National Army in Herat province. A government official said in condition of anonymity that when ANA vehicle wanted to proceed coalition forces, they [coalition forces] opened fire and killed three soldiers of Afghan national army and wounded two. The eye witnesses said that after the incident, helicopter, belonging to coalition forces arrived and took dead bodies and injured to the hospital.

Casualty Reports:

U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Downing had barely escaped with his life when a bomb exploded in Afghanistan, taking both his legs. On Sept. 24, an improvised explosive device (IED) blew Downing from his Humvee and threw him into no-man's land, leaving him caught between friendly and enemy fire in the Logar province of Afghanistan. Pelted by rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47s.