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 17, 2008

War News for Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dec. 14 airpower summary:

Dec. 15 airpower summary:

Heavy fighting kills 145 in N Sri Lanka:

British PM visits Iraq:

#1: At least 18 people have been killed and over 50 others wounded in a double-bombing in eastern Baghdad, Iraqi police have said. He said that the first blast was from a car bomb followed moments later by a roadside bomb that went off nearby, targeting people rushing to the scene. A defence ministry source confirmed that a car parked outside a traffic police post in the Munstansariyah district had exploded at around 11.15am local time [08:15 GMT].

The death toll from the twin bomb blasts which ripped through a crowded district in central Baghdad on Wednesday rose to 25, police sources told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

#2: Hours earlier, in the same area, (Munstansariyah district) the U.S. military says a roadside bomb exploded near an American patrol but there were no deaths or injuries.

#3: U.S. forces on Wednesday killed four security personnel working for the Iraqi Ministry of Trade, according to a ministerial source. “On Wednesday, U.S. forces raided the transport division of the State Company for Seeds Manufacturing in Baghdad’s al-Uteifiya area and killed four of the building’s security guards,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: Gunmen kidnapped a citizen of Ulamaa neighborhood in Kirkuk city yesterday night.

#2: Gunmen opened fire on a civilian car in Sikanian (north of Kirkuk) injuring the driver on Tuesday night.

#1: Also on Wednesday, Iraqi police said a roadside bomb in the northern city of Mosul killed one civilian and wounded four others.

#2: A magnetic bomb detonated under a civilian car in Thawra neighborhood in Mosul city yesterday night( on Tuesday). Two people were killed who were inside that car.

#1: Turkish fighter jets on Wednesday bombed Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq, the second raid in as many days, the military said in a statement. The strike, like the previous one Tuesday, targeted Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) hideouts in the Qandil mountains, where some of the rebels' major bases are located, a statement on the army's website said.

#1: Pakistani Taliban militants fired rocket-propelled grenades on Wednesday at a convoy of trucks taking supplies to Western forces in Afghanistan wounding a woman, a government official said. Militants fired two rocket-propelled grenades at a convoy of more than 150 trucks as it set off from a supply staging area on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Peshawar. "One of the rockets fell in a parking lot while another hit a nearby house and wounded a woman," said government official Fida Mohammad Bangash in Jamrud, the main town in Khyber. "The convoy appears to have been the target but they missed," he said, adding the trucks continued on their way through the pass to the border at Torkham.

#2: US troops and Afghan police killed three militants in an overnight raid on a compound housing people with al-Qaida links in eastern Afghanistan, the US military said today. People who were in the compound said the dead were civilians and that none of them had fired on the troops.

#3: Militants shot dead a man in South Waziristan, suspect of spying for the United States on Wednesday. According to sources, a bullet-riddled body of an alleged US spy was found dumped in Warsak.

#4: Meanwhile, militants fired rockets at FC fort in Jandola area. Security forces retaliate the fire. However, no loss of life was reported.


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