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 30, 2008

War News for Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dec. 25 airpower summary:

Dec. 26 airpower summary:

Dec. 27 airpower summary:

Boat crash on Christmas kills sailor in Bahrain:

Iraq’s oil exports from southern Basra port increased to 1.8 million barrel a day:

OPEC pumps below target in Dec: Output from OPEC members bound by supply targets fell by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) in December, consultant Petrologistics said. Supply from 11 exporters was expected to average 27.1 million bpd in December, down from about 27.5 million bpd in November.

Oil falls below $40 on grim economic outlook:

Iran's 9-month non-oil exports reach 13.992 billion dollars: Also Iran's petrochemical exports hit 5.950 billion dollars during the nine months.

Iraq to offer 10 fields in 2nd oil licensing round:

Rare suicide bombing in Iran kills 4:

Heavy clashes as Sri Lanka troops extend defense lines:

Reporters Without Borders: Press Freedom Round-up 2008 Better figures despite a hostile climate and more Internet repression:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A civilian body was found by police forces behind a school in western Baghdad, according to a security source. “An unknown body belonging to a civilian in his thirties was discovered behind a school in Baghdad’s western neighborhood of al-Hurriya,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#2: Police found two dead bodies in Baghdad today. One was found in Binok on the Rusafa bank, the east bank of the Tigris River, and one was found in Hurriyah in Karkh on the west side of the Tigris River.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A sniper shot dead a tribal leader in Jalawla district of Diyala province, 115 km (70 miles) northeast of Baghdad on Monday, a police captain said.

#1: The U.S. base in a-Batiera airport in Amara on Tuesday cane under Katyusha rockets attack, an Iraqi military source said. “Five Katyusha rockets hit the U.S. military base in al-Batiera airport in northwestern Amara,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

Halabja: (Sulaymaniyah)
#1: A Kurdish worker from the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) was killed on Tuesday, while another was wounded when a landmine exploded in northeastern Halabja district. “Today, a landmine detonated in Hani Dan village, northeastern Halabja, killing a Kurdish worker and wounding another,” Lt. Col. Anwar Hajji Omar told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: Four police personnel on Tuesday were wounded in a car bomb blast that occurred in western Mosul city, according to a local police source. “A car rigged with explosives detonated near a police patrol vehicle in al-Iyadiya district, western Mosul, wounding four patrolmen and causing damage to the vehicle,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#2: A civilian was killed by random gunfire in western Mosul, police said.

#3: Gunmen killed a policeman in front of his house in Rashidiyah in Mosul city on Tuesday.

#4: Unknown gunmen on Tuesday killed a former policeman in central Mosul, a police source said. “Unidentified gunmen assassinated a former policeman in al-Shaariyeen marketplace in central Mosul, when they showered him with bullets,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: An Australian soldier serving with the Australian Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force (MRTF) in Oruzgan Province was wounded in an attack by Taliban insurgents on Monday 29 December. The soldier was part of a MRTF patrol that was providing support to Afghan National Army operations when it was attacked on Monday morning local time (approximately 4.50 pm AEST). The soldier received immediate first aid for a gunshot wound while his fellow patrol members continued to engage the insurgents. He was assessed as being in a serious condition and was evacuated by helicopter to hospital facilities at Tarin Kowt.

#2: Afghan police backed by Nato troops killed nine Taliban militants in a fight in southern Afghanistan, police said Tuesday. The militants were killed in Nawa district of the Hemland province after they attacked an Afghan police checkpoint in the area Monday, Assadullah Shirzad, provincial police chief, said. Nato-led British troops stationed in the province rushed to the scene of the battle and engaged the militants, Shirzad said, adding that there were no casualties among the Afghan police or Nato forces.

#3: Pakistan has suspended supplies going to foreign forces in Afghanistan as security forces launched an offensive against militants in the Khyber Pass region, a government official said. "Supplies to NATO forces will remain suspended until we clear the area of militants and outlaws who have gone out of control," he said.Hayat said security forces, backed by helicopter gunships, artillery, and tanks, began an offensive early on December 30."Our targets are very clear and specific. We're after them and will try our best to avoid civilian losses," he told reporters in the town of Jamrud.

#4: The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan says the number of roadside bombs and kidnappings in Afghanistan roughly doubled in 2008. William Wood says the number of roadside bombs has risen from roughly 1,000 in 2007 to about 2,000 in 2008. The number of kidnappings rose from around 150 to around 300.

#5: A civilian motorist was injured in an escalation of force incident today in Parwan after he ignored warning measures and continued to approach an ISAF convoy.

Casualty Reports:

Army Pfc. Derek Derose 20, of Stafford County, was injured by an improvised explosive device while on patrol with his unit near Beni Zaid, Iraq on Oct. 17. Derose’s right hand took the brunt of the blast, which knocked him to the ground, sent his weapon flying, and blew his Kevlar helmet off. The blast severely damaged the nerves in his right hand. “They are estimating it’s going to be a full year before I get full use of my hand,” he said.

Canadian master corporal Travis Snyder, 32, is home in Wyoming, recovering from a bomb blast Nov. 21 near Kandahar. a roadside bomb exploded beneath a LAV 3 he was riding in. The improvised explosive device, packed by the Taliban and buried beneath a paved road, was so powerful it flipped the 22-tonne vehicle. Snyder, a master corporal, and eight other Canadian soldiers were wounded in the attack in Afghanistan on Nov. 21. Snyder was in command of the vehicle he was in on a reconnaissance patrol near Kandahar. He was knocked unconscious. Flying debris had ripped most of his right ear off and shredded his lips. They were cut into seven pieces doctors later told him. A small curved scar sits above his chin, a reminder of those dark moments. "I looked down at my arm and saw the bone sticking out through my shirt," he said. "I spit my lips out. I just knew I was in bad shape."