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 10, 2008

War News for Wednesday, December 10, 2008

ICOS: The International Council on Security and Development: The Struggle for Kabul: The Taliban Advances: PDF:

Britain to withdraw remaining troops from Iraq by March:

Philippine military: 50 militants killed in weekend clashes:

Russia warns West not to meddle in ex-Soviet Union:

#1: No security incidents have been reported in the Iraqi capital during the Eidul-Adha, or the Greater Bairam, holiday, a spokesperson for the Baghdad Operation Command (BOC) said on Wednesday.

#2: Police found one dead body in Taji (north of Baghdad) in Karkh bank in Baghdad today.

Diyala Prv:
#1: One civilian was killed on Wednesday evening and two others were wounded when a roadside bomb went off in Jalawlaa, said the director of major crimes investigations office in the district.

#1: Unknown gunmen on Wednesday detonated the house of Sheikh Salih al-Igaidi, northern Wassit, without causing any casualties, said a source from the Iraqi police. “The house is in Jwemesa area of al-Sowaira suburb, 135 km north of Kut city,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq. “The Sheikh’s family was not at home when the incident took place,” he said.

#1: A roadside bomb detonated in Sukar neighborhood in Mosul city Tuesday night. No casualties reported.

#1: U.S. Special Forces killed six Afghan police and wounded 13 early Wednesday in a case of mistaken identity after the police fired on the Americans during an operation against an insurgent commander, officials said. A U.S. military statement said police fired on the American forces after the troops battled and killed an armed militant in the city of Qalat, the capital of the southern province of Zabul. The Americans returned fire on the police but only later learned their identities. One Afghan civilian was also killed in the exchange.

#2: U.S.-led coalition and Afghan security forces killed four militants in separate clashes while on joint patrol in Nahr Surkh district of Helmand province, some 530 km (330 miles) southwest of Kabul on Monday, the U.S military said.