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 9, 2008

War News for Tuesday, December 09, 2008

U.S. declines to free Reuters photographer in Iraq:

30-year prison terms sought for 5 Blackwater guards:

L-3 pays $4M to settle Iraq over-billing case:

Bush Says Saddam Hussein Was Not Connected to 9/11:

#1: A civilian was injured when a mortar hit al Mashtal neighborhood in east Baghdad on Monday evening.

#2: A civilian was injured in a controlled detonation in al Qahira neighborhood in east Baghdad on Tuesday morning.

#1: “Two decayed bodies were found on Monday evening in a farmland near the village of Murata al-Kabir, al-Multaqa district, (30 km) southwest of Kirkuk,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq, adding the corpses were identified and buried by their relatives.

#2: In al-Abbasi district, 80 km southwest of Kirkuk, Iraqi policemen and Multi-National Force (MNF) troops defused an IED without incident.

#1: A suicide bomber has killed himself and wounded three children in a northwestern Pakistani town. Tuesday's attack was in the Buner district, next to the troubled Swat valley, where Pakistani troops have killed hundreds of militants in the past year. "The bomber got out of the car and blew himself up and wounded three children, but there has been no other fatalities," said a military intelligence official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

#2: A Polish soldier has been seriously wounded, accidentally, in an hand grenade explosion at the Four Corners base in Afghanistan. Military doctors say his state is serious but stable. The accident occurred on Monday evening, local time. A team are investigating the cuases of the explosion.

#3: NATO and Afghan forces killed a Taliban commander during a targeted operation just south of Kabul in a province militant fighters have poured into this year, the NATO-led force said Tuesday.

#4: Two persons were killed and four others injured in a bomb blast in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday. The official Associated Press of Pakistan quoted local police officer Mohammad Alam as saying that a person was planting a remote-control bomb on a roadside when it went off suddenly at Nare Uba, Dagar Kali in District Buner of North West Frontier Province. As a result, the one who was planting the bomb was killed on the spot and five children who were playing nearby were injured.

Casualty Reports:

John Jones, 31, lost both legs in Iraq in 2005 when his Humvee hit an antitank mine. The blast sent him 25 feet into the air.

Army Master Sgt. George Holmes, 37, was wounded in Afghanistan in June and is finishing rehab. He was leading a 41-man infantry platoon during a rocket attack.