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

Thursday, December 4, 2008

War News for Wednesday, December 04, 2008

The British MoD is reporting the death of an Army Air Corps soldier from a non-hostile gunshot wound to the head in an undisclosed location in southern Iraq on Thursday, December 4th.

The Danish Military is reporting the deaths of two Danish ISAF soldiers during enemy action south of the town of Gereshk, Helmand province, Afghanistan on Thursday, December 4th.

8KPAX is reporting the deaths of two U.S. soldiers in a suicide attack in Mosul on Thursday, December 4th. Initial reports indicate nine Iraqi civilians were wounded in the attack.

Dec. 2 airpower summary:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A roadside bomb wounded two civilians at a police checkpoint in south-central Baghdad, police said.

#2: U.S. forces killed four militants linked to al Qaeda and detained 32 suspected militants during multiple operations throughout the country on Wednesday and Thursday, the U.S. military said in a statement.

#3: A bomb attached to a vehicle wounded four people including two government employees in central Baghdad, police said.

#4: A senior police official in the Iraqi capital Baghdad survived an assassination attempt in al-Karada area, in the central part of the city, on Thursday, a security source said. “The Baghdad rescue police commander, Maj. General Ali al-Yasseri, escaped an assassination attempt with an improvised explosive device (IED) that went off near a vehicle he was boarding in al-Karada,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq. “Yasseri was slightly wounded and taken to a nearby hospital,” he added.

#5: A civilian was killed and two others were injured by an adhesive bomb that was stuck to a car in Bab al Muatham neighborhood in downtown Baghdad around 8 p.m.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Three persons were killed and nine others were wounded on Thursday in a bicycle explosion in central Baaquba, the chief of the Diala police said. “A bicycle left on the road in Khan al-Loualoua region in central Baaquba, went off, killing three and injuring nine,” General Abdul Hussein al-Shimri told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: Seven mass graves containing 25 unknown bodies were found on Thursday in al-Salam district, the chief of the local police said. “The bodies were found in Albu Teama village in al-Salam district in Khalis, north of Baaquba,” Brigadier Ibrahim Salim told Aswat al-Iraq. “Some of the bodies were wearing civilian clothes others found with police and military uniform,” he added.

The Iraqi army unearthed 80 decomposed bodies from four mass graves in northern Iraq's volatile Diyala province, a security source for the region said on Thursday. The mass graves were in two Shi'ite villages close to the provincial capital of Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, an area where Sunni Islamist al Qaeda militants once ruled and carried out mass sectarian killings against Shi'ites. The bodies were found over the last three days, and may have been buried there about a year ago, the security source said.

#1: The morgue of al-Zahraa hospital in Wassit received on Thursday three unknown bodies, a source from the forensic medicine department in Wassit said. “The bodies were fished out from a river in north of al-Suwierah district, north of Kut,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq, noting that the corpses are decayed. “Their legs were bound and they bore signs of gunshot wounds and torture,” he also said. “One of the bodies wears the military uniform,” he said.

#1: An MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft system crashed at about 7:30 a.m. Baghdad time Dec. 4 on the Joint Base Balad runway. The extent of the damage to the aircraft assigned to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing is unknown at this time.

#1: Gunmen shot dead an on duty police officer in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: Eight Iraqi were injured when a suicide bomber attacked an American convoy in south Mosul city

#3: “An improvised explosive device (IED) went off near an Iraqi army patrol in al-Hay al-Araby, northern Mosul, wounding three patrolmen wounded,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#4: In another incident, the same source said, a policeman on a leave was wounded when gunmen opened fire at him inside a restaurant in al-Majmouaa al-Thaqafiya area, also in northern Mosul.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: At least 10 people were killed and 30 wounded as two suicide car bomb attacks targeting Iraqi police ripped through the western city of Fallujah Thursday, a Defense Ministry source said. The source told AFP that women were among the dead, while civilians and police were among the wounded as the two almost simultaneous blasts damaged police posts in western and eastern Fallujah. "The two suicide car bombers burst into the two police centers in the western neighborhood of Golan and the eastern area of Shurta, almost at the same time at around 0800 GMT," a security official said.

In one of the attacks, a suicide bomber blew up his explosives laden car outside the al-Hedheiri police station in central Fallujah city. The powerful blast destroyed a school and several houses nearby, a police official said.

In the second incident, another car packed with explosives was detonated near the al-Tawheed police station in Jolan neighbourhood in northern part of the city.

The death toll from double suicide truck bomb attacks on two police stations in the city of Fallujah on Thursday, rose to 15 people and 147 others wounded, police said.

#1: A suicide attacker detonated an explosives-laden vehicle in the entrance of the Afghanistan intelligence agency's headquarters Thursday killing a policeman, officials said. The explosion took place at the National Directorate of Security (NDS) headquarters in Khost city, the capital of Khost province, deputy provincial governor Tahir Khan Sabari told AFP. "One policeman was killed in the suicide blast today," he said. Soon after the attack several armed militants in Afghan army uniform stormed the building. The compound was surrounded by the Afghan police and army. "Three to four militants in army uniform also entered the building. We don't know if there was a clash or casualties inside the building or what is happening there now," Sabari said.

Suicide car bombing against intelligence service in eastern Afghan province of Khost left at least one person dead and injured seven others on Thursday, deputy to the provincial governor Tahir Khabari said. "It was at around 10:00 a.m. local time (0530 GMT) when a man driving an explosive-laden car blew it up in compound of National Security Directorate killing at least one guard and wounding seven others," Khabari told Xinhua.

#2: NATO aircraft killed a flock of sheep in the Afghan province of Laghman, in a botched attack on Taliban gunmen, according to sources in the governor's office. Provincial police say the incident occurred on Wednesday night near the town of Mehtar Lam. Shots fired from NATO helicopters killed over 200 sheep belonging to local shepherds. The sources told reporters that NATO troops claim they were targeting Taliban warriors. The alliance has not commented on the incident.

#3: Rockets fired by Taliban militants early Thursday killed a policeman and wounded three of his colleagues in a north-western Pakistani town, police said. Militants fired rockets at Haveda police station in the garrison town of Bannu, a base for Pakistani military hunting Al-Qaeda-linked Taliban militants in the restive tribal belt bordering Afghanistan. “One policeman was killed and three others were injured after militants fired rockets at the police station,” local police official Khurshid Khan told AFP.