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 24, 2008

War News for Wednesday, December 24, 2008

We seem to have a very slow news day with the media's focus on issues other then the wars so let me send a very warm happy holidays to everyone from Iraq today and myself. -- Whisker

The Jerusalem Post is reporting the deaths of three soldiers in a vehicle accident at some undisclosed location in central Iraq on Wednesday, December 24th. No other details were released.

The Washington Post is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier during "enemy-fire" in an undisclosed province in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, December 24th. No other details were released. We assume this to be an American soldier. Here's the ISAF release.

Some 10,000 Iraqi refugees resettled in 2008: UNHCR:

Iraq's main Sunni Arab bloc splinters:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A roadside bomb detonated in Jisr Diyala (southeast Baghdad) targeting a police patrol around 1 p.m. Six policemen were injured with their vehicle was damaged.

#2: A roadside bomb detonated in Yarmouk neighborhood (west Baghdad) near a house belongs to a displaced family around 9 p.m. Two people were injured ( the house’s guard and his daughter).

#1: An Iraqi sergeant on Wednesday was wounded when his patrol vehicle was attacked by gunmen in western Mosul city. “On Wednesday, an Iraqi army patrol vehicle was attacked by unknown gunmen in 17 Tammuz neighborhood, western Mosul,” an Iraqi army source told Aswat al-Iraq.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Three children were killed and four persons were wounded in an explosive charge attack that ripped through Falluja city on Wednesday. “An improvised explosive device (IED) planted by unknown men in front of the house of Sheikh Ahmed Rashed, a leader in Falluja’s Albo Issa tribes, killed three children and wounded four persons, including a woman,” a security source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: Elsewhere, coalition forces killed four militants during an operation targeting a Taliban commander who controlled 30 fighters, the U.S. coalition said in a statement. The operation in the Shankai district of Zabul province uncovered blast caps and wiring used to make roadside bombs, the statement said.

#2: A Chinese engineer was wounded in an attack by unidentified gunmen in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday morning, said a company representative. The Chinese engineer, surnamed Yang, came under attack in Malakand area of North West Frontier Province (NWFP), said Hu Yimin, chief representative of China's Harbin Power Engineering Company. Several unidentified gunmen opened fire on Yang when he was on his way back from a bazaar together with a driver and a guard, Hu said. Hu said Yang, working on a hydro-electric project in Malakand area, is now in hospital for treatment.

Casualty Reports:

U.S. Army Sgt. Charlie Pannell came home Tuesday After scores of surgeries on his legs and body to repair wounds suffered in Iraq. Pannell, a combat engineer, had been deployed in Iraq since Dec. 3, 2007, and was on his third Iraqi tour when two teenagers stepped into the road, each hurling two armor-piercing grenades. All four soldiers in the Humvee were wounded -- Pannell, a medic, a gunner and a driver. "When the first one penetrated, it amputated the driver's leg. We applied first aid to each other and waited for other vehicles to help us out," Pannell said.

Army veteran Chris "Joe" Joseph was injured in Iraq in 2003. Joseph had a back injury, carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands and a torn rotator cuff.

British contractor Stuart Ridley, 37, has been recuperating at home since his three-year stint working in Iraq for the British private defence company, Aegis, came to an abrupt end one day a year ago. “It happened when we were on our way from our base in Mosul to Baghdad to pick up some new vehicles. It was just Sod’s Law. “Next thing I knew there was a big bang, with a lot of dust and the inside of the vehicle went dark due to the amount of debris thrown up by the explosion. “It was like being punched by Mike Tyson. The blast wave from a roadside device had hit the side of our armoured Toyota vehicle. Suffering severe headaches as a result, Stuart was later checked by medics and found to have sustained bad whiplash and had a back injury.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Shilo Harris, 33, was injured Feb. 19, 2007, during his second tour in Iraq. He was the third in a four-vehicle convoy that was removing improvised explosive devices in southern Baghdad. Harris’ Humvee hit an IED after the convoy received incorrect information from Iraqis about the location of explosives. Harris was transported to Germany, where he was put into a coma for 48 days so that he wouldn’t be aware of the pain from his burns. He wasn’t told until after he woke up that the blast killed the other three men in his vehicle. He then was taken to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio where he has had numerous surgeries to reconstruct his face, and he soon will get prosthetic ears.