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

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

War News for Wednesday, December 03, 2008

KSWO is reporting the death of a communications specialist for General Dynamics. Michael Romain died from a RPG attack in some undisclosed location in Iraq on Monday, December 2nd.

Dec. 1 airpower summary:

Bush still lies about Iraqi inspections:

Gates open to 16-month Iraq timetable: (does he really have a choice?)

German-Iranian Trade Volume up 7.8 Percent:

Salvadoran defense minister to visit Iraq: El Salvador's defense minister says he will travel to Iraq next week to meet with Iraqi officials and decide how long Salvadoran troops will remain there.

Romanian troops to stay in Iraq until 2011:

Military divorce rate up: Figures obtained by The Associated Press show that the divorce rate among active duty soldiers in Fiscal 2008 was 3.5 percent -- up from 3.3 percent the year before. Among Marines, 3.7 percent of all marriages failed, up from 3.3 percent.

123 criminals packed into single Iraqi prison cell:

German soldiers are 'too fat to fight' Taliban because they drink so much:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Iraqi police say at least one civilian has been killed and five others wounded when a bomb attached to a minibus exploded in eastern Baghdad. Police and hospital officials say the explosion Wednesday morning appeared to target employees of Iraq's Ministry of Education who were on their way to work. A police officer says a private bus provided by the ministry was picking up employees when the bomb exploded. The officer says the explosion occurred while employees were boarding the bus.

#2: A civilian was killed and five others were wounded on Wednesday in a bomb explosion in southeastern Baghdad, a police source said.“An explosive device, planted by unknown gunmen on the main road in al-Amin region in southeastern Baghdad, went off, killing a civilian and injuring five,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#3: Four people were wounded on Wednesday by a mortar shell in eastern Baghdad, a police source said. “A mortar round landed on the main street near al-Fadiliya region in eastern Baghdad, injuring four people, who were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq. “Three Iraqi policemen were among the wounded,” he noted.

#4: “Coalition forces captured two suspected Katai’b Hezbollah terrorists and killed another individual during an operation early Wednesday in Baghdad’s Karadah district,” it said.

#5: An explosion took place on Wednesday afternoon in the fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad, leaving a number of casualties, a security source said. “A blast, believed to be occurred by a mortar shell, took place at the entrance of the Green Zone, leaving unspecified number of casualties,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#6: Iraqi guards opened fire above the heads of 1,000 migrant workers who staged a mini-riot today in protest at their poor treatment in Baghdad and the prospect of being sent home without pay. The men, from Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka, will be flown to Dubai after the Kuwaiti company that hired them failed to secure enough contract work at dining facilities inside a number of US military bases across Iraq. Their passports have also been taken.

#7: Iraqi police found one dead body in Baghdad in Al Bayaa neighborhood.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Three Iraqi soldiers were wounded in a roadside bomb explosion in Khaniqeen district, a security source said on Wednesday. “An explosive charge went off on Tuesday night targeting a container to transport water to the Iraqi army in Imam Weis region, west of al-Saadiya district, in Khaniqeen, injuring three Iraqi soldiers,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#2: A mass grave containing 13 unknown bodies was found on Wednesday in north of Baaquba, a police source said. “The bodies were found in Albu Teama village in al-Salam region in Khalis district, north of Baaquba,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#3: One policeman and four civilians were killed when they came under gunfire while they were driving in a car at Jalawlaa, according to the district’s police commander. “Unknown gunmen today opened fire targeting a civilian car near Abu Gaed village of Jalawlaa district, 30 km southwest of Khanaqeen suburb (155 km northeast of Baaquba),” Ahmed Khalifa al-Qasab told Aswat al-Iraq. “A policeman and four of his relatives who were all inside the car were killed, while a child was seriously wounded,” he said.

#1: Six mortar shells have fallen on a military unit headquarters in eastern Mosul, leaving no casualties, an Iraqi army source said on Wednesday. “On Wednesday evening, six mortar shells landed on the headquarters of Regiment 1, Brigade 7 in al-Intisar neighborhood, eastern Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

Tal Afar:
#1: A girl on Wednesday was wounded in an explosion that ripped through Mosul’s western district of Talafar, according to a local security source. “On Wednesday, a sticky improvised explosive device (IED) detonated in front of a house in al-Muthanna neighborhood, Talafar district (60 km west of Mosul), injuring one girl who was close the location of the blast,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: Seven militants were killed during a clash with a joint U.S.-Afghan patrol in the Nad Ali district of the southern Helmand province on Tuesday, the military said in a statement. "The combined forces were conducting a combat reconnaissance patrol when they were engaged by militants from multiple fighting positions using small-arms, indirect and rocket fire," the statement said.

#2: In another clash Tuesday, three militants were killed during a firefight with U.S. troops in the Andar district of Ghazni province Tuesday, another military statement said. The troops were targeting a militant leader coordinating Taliban activities in the province. The statement did not name the militant or say whether he was one of the three persons killed.

#3: A suicide attacker detonated his explosives-laden vehicle near a convoy of coalition forces under US command in the Surkh Rod district of Nangarhar province, district governor Sayed Ali Akbar told foreign news agency, causing no casualties. "The suicide attack was against the coalition forces but did not cause any casualties or damage to the military convoy," said Akbar.

#4: In another incident three militants who were planting a roadside bomb in Jani Khail district of Paktia province were fired at by locals, which detonated the bomb and killed all three, an Afghan defense ministry press statement said.

#5: In a calash between Taliban and Afghan police one police killed and two injured in Fariab province, Afghanistan. General Abdul Khalil, a police commander in the region told the media that in a battle which took two hour, one police killed and two wounded in Almar district of Fariab Province last night. The fight broke out while Taliban insurgents attacked on police station. He said some part of the police station burnt during the fighting.

#6: A suicide bomber on Wednesday killed at least four soldiers in Pakistan's north-western district of Charsadda near the Afghan frontier, a police official said. The bomber rammed his explosive-laden motor rickshaw into a vehicle transporting Frontier Corps (FC) paramilitary troops in the Pir Qala area bordering the lawless Mohmand tribal region. 'According to initial reports, four FC men were killed in the explosion while half a dozen wounded were shifted to the hospital,' a local police official, Mohammad Zaheer, said.