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 16, 2008

War News for Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier from an enemy fire attack at a Forward Operating Base in the Gereshk area of Helmand province, Afghanistan on Monday, December 15th.

Dec. 13 airpower summary:

Iraqi military plans major arms purchase: ( Here's a detailed list of what is being bought.)

Miss. contractor among 3 indicted for alleged kidnapping at Iraq base:

Analysis: Bush's Iraq trip highlights war unwon:

PHR Asks NATO to Assist UN in Securing Dasht-e-Leili Mass Grave in Afghanistan:

RFE: NATO Supply Route Imperiled As Pakistani Truckers Refuse To Carry Goods:

Pirates Outmaneuver Warships Off Somalia:

Philippines declares truce with leftist guerrillas:

Russia to provide Lebanon with fighter jets:

#1: A bomb wounded five people, including three policemen, when it struck a police patrol near Andalus square in central Baghdad, police said.

Iraqi police say a bomb blast in central Baghdad has wounded three officers and three civilians. Police officer Salam Mohammed says the bomb went off Tuesday morning, targeting a police patrol near Andalus Square in central Baghdad.

#2: Three people were killed (two members of the national police and a civilian) and 13 people were wounded (two policemen and 11 civilians) by a roadside bomb in Karrada neighborhood in downtown Baghdad around 10 a.m.

#3: A roadside bomb detonated in Qadisiyah neighborhood in west Baghdad around 10 a.m. No casualties reported.

#4: Three people were wounded (a security member and two civilians) by a parked car bomb that targeted the convoy of the minister of science and technology in Karrada neighborhood in downtown Baghdad around 2 p.m.

Three civilians were wounded on Tuesday in a car bomb explosion targeted the motorcade of Science and Technology Minister Raed Fahmi in southern Baghdad, a police source said. “A car crammed with explosives went off near the Babel hotel in southern Baghdad, targeting the motorcade of the Science and Technology Minister Raed Fahmi, injuring three persons, including one of the minister’s bodyguards,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A car bomb attack has claimed the lives of four Iraqi soldiers in the troubled province of Diyala, north of Baghdad. "Four soldiers were killed at around 11 am (0800 GMT) when a car bomb exploded in As-Sadiyeh targeting their patrol," the military said in a statement on Tuesday.

#2: According to hospital sources, three soldiers were also wounded on the same day as a bomb went off when they were on patrol in Halmrin, 50 kilometers east of Baquba, also in Diyala.

#3: One civilian was killed and another was wounded in an armed attack by gunmen in Diala’s al-Saadiya district, a senior security source said on Tuesday. “Last night, unknown men launched an armed attack in al-Saadiya district, Khanaqin, killing one civilian and wounding another,” the head of the district, Sheikh Ahmed al-Zarkoushi, told Aswat al-Iraq.

#4: A Sahwa council leader on Tuesday was killed by unknown gunmen in Diala province, according to a local police source. “At an early hour this morning, unknown gunmen believed to belong to al-Qaeda organization assassinated Sattar Khaleel, a Sahwa council leader, while he was walking out of a mosque in al-Saadiya district,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#5: Two persons were killed and eight others were wounded in an explosive charge attack that targeted a police patrol vehicle in Diala’s al-Saadiya district, the second explosion to rock the city today. “On Tuesday morning, an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted a police patrol vehicle in al-Shaheed area, al-Saadiya district, killing a civilian and a policeman and wounding eight others, including three cops,” the head of the district, Sheikh Ahmed al-Zarkoushi, told Aswat al-Iraq.

#6: Gunmen killed Sattar al Hadidi, a leader of the Sahwa council in Sadiyah while Hadid was leaving the mosque on Monday evening.

#1: The police chief of Rashad town escaped death when a roadside bomb detonated near his convoy and wounded two of his bodyguards, 30 km (20 miles) south of Kirkuk, police said.

A police chief in Kirkuk on Tuesday survived an assassination attempt when an explosive charge targeted his motorcade, according to a security source. “Today, al-Rashad district police chief, Captain Firas Kadhem, survived an attempt on his life when a sticky improvised explosive device (IED) targeted his motorcade while he was heading to work, wounding one of his security guards,” Brig. Sarhad Qadir told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: A sticky improvised explosive device went off in front of a house in Kirkuk province, wounding two civilians, a source from Kirkuk police operations room said on Tuesday. “An explosive charge stuck to a pick-up truck detonated at nearly 10:30 a.m. today in front of a house in al-Thawra neighborhood (65 km southwest of Kirkuk city),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: A bomb killed two civilians in al-Shoura town, 60 km (40 miles) south of the northern city of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad on Monday, police said.

#2: A U.S. patrol vehicle was hit by a bomb in northern Mosul city, but no casualties were reported, a local police source said on Tuesday. “An improvised explosive device (IED) detonated above al-Jamea Tunnel in northern Mosul while a U.S. patrol vehicle was passing the location,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.The explosion caused damage to the vehicle, but no casualties were reported, the source added.

#3: Four Iraqi soldiers were wounded when a suicide car bomber tried to attack a check point of the Iraqi army in Rabiaa area west of Mosul con Monday evening. The soldier opened fire and detonated the car before reaching the checkpoint.

#4: A U.S. soldier was injured on Tuesday when an improvised explosive device went of in eastern Mosul, a military source said. “An explosive charge was detonated targeting a U.S. vehicle patrol in al-Jameaa neighborhood in eastern Mosul, injuring a U.S. soldier,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: A suicide bomber wounded four Iraqi soldiers when he attacked their patrol in Rabea, a town near the Syrian border, on Monday, police said.

#1: The Iranian artillery is shelling the mountain regions in Sulaimaniya since Tuesday afternoon without leaving casualties, the director of Zarawa district said. “The Iranian artillery started shelling the villages of Rizka, Mardo, Shinawa in Zarawa district, north of Qalaat Daza district, since this afternoon,” Azad Wasso told Aswat al-Iraq. “The shelling caused panic among residents, but left no casualties,” he noted.

#2: Turkish fighter planes hit Kurdish separatist targets in northern Iraq on Tuesday, the Turkish military said in a statement. The statement said the planes had returned safely.

#1: Three insurgents planting a bomb along a road in central Afghanistan were killed when the device exploded, the U.S. military said Tuesday. Residents reported Monday's blast in Oruzgan province to Afghan security forces, who discovered two bodies and a third man who later died after being taken to a U.S.-led coalition medical facility for treatment, the military said in a statement.

#2: Also Monday, Taliban fighters killed two Afghan police officers in a checkpoint attack in Helmand, police said. One of the attackers also died. The nighttime attack occurred about 2 miles (3 kilometers) south of the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, Police Chief Asadullah Shirzad said.

Taliban rebels killed two policemen and wounded three more in a sneak-raid on one police checkpoint in southern Afghan province of Helmand early Tuesday morning, Assadullah Sherzad, the provincial police chief said. Sherzad told Xinhua the incident occurred at the wee hours on Tuesday when a group of insurgents launched assault at the police post in southwestern Lashkar Gha city, capital of Helmand province, sparking an 30 minutes' clash. "Five policemen were killed and wounded during the fire exchanging," he said. "One insurgents was also killed with whose weapons left on the battle field."

#3: Seven militants were killed in a gun fight between security forces and rebels in northwest Pakistan early Tuesday. The Frontier Corps troops and millitants exchanged fire around Darwazgai area north of Yousafkhel in Mohmand Agency, according to official Associated Press of Pakistan (APP). A soldier of Frontier Corps was killed in the incident, the report added.

#4: A suspected U.S. missile strike killed two people in Pakistan near the Afghan border, officials and a witness said Tuesday. The Monday night strike in Tabi Tolkhel village, in the North Waziristan tribal region. The latest suspected U.S. strike set a house on fire, said Ajab Khan, a village resident who went to the scene. He said he saw two bodies brought out and three wounded people taken away in a vehicle. Suspected Taliban militants surrounded the house, Khan said — a common occurrence after such strikes.

#5: The military base in the Afghan town of Kandahar now visited by Czech deputies was the target of a missile attack Monday, but the missiles did not hit anyone, the server reported. There were two blasts near the base. The deputies and soldiers went to a shelter. However, as their security was not seriously threatened, the alert was soon cancelled.

#6: One civilian was killed and two others wounded when their car hit a landmine in Paktia province, around 110 km (70 miles) south of Kabul, on Monday, the Interior Ministry said