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

Friday, March 13, 2009

War News for Friday, March 13, 2009

March 11 airpower summary:

Surge in attacks in Iraq worrisome for U.S.:

Half of AF C-130s Remain Grounded:

Video: Abrams tank hit by an IED:

New Systems Boost Iraqi Surveillance Capability:

Emeralds of Afghanistan: (off topic but I found this to be a very interesting article.)

Russia to deliver 40 tons of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan:

On patrol in the Afghan mountains:

Opinion: How to Leave Afghanistan: (NYTimes)

10,000 US soldiers discharged for being gay:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A roadside bomb exploded in Durah neighborhood of southern Baghdad, killing a woman and wounding a man, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

#2: The source added that four policemen were wounded when a roadside bomb targeted their patrol in Aljadidah neighborhood of eastern Baghdad,

#3: another roadside bomb wounded two civilians in Ghazaliah neighborhood of western Baghdad.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Gunmen assassinated a school guard east of Baquba around 6 a.m. Sahwa members clashed with the insurgents after the incident. One Sahwa member was injured during the clashes.

#2: Gunmen killed a bus driver in Imam Wis area east of Baquba around 2 p.m.

#3: Around 1 p.m., a bomb detonated near a photo lab in Baquba city belongs to a man that was killed less than a week ago. The lab was destroyed completely.

#1: Unknown gunmen assassinated Sheikh Abdullah Adnan al-Neimi, head of the tribal office of Iraq’s Scholars and Intellectuals Group, at an area in southern Basra city, a source from the Group said on Thursday. “The incident took place at Mhejran area, southern Basra,” Mohammed al-Dosari told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “Neimi died instantly when the gunmen opened fire at him today (March 12) afternoon,” he said.

#2: The Multinational forces in southern Iraq said the British base at the Basra international airport came under Katyusha rockets attack on Thursday night, but caused no casualties or damage. “Four Katyusha rockets hit the British base at the Basra international airport without casualties,” the spokesperson for the MNF in southern Iraq, Captain Jacklin Hackett, told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A policeman was killed in an IED blast that targeted his patrol in the area of Dorat Baghdad, southern Mosul.

#2: another policeman was killed when gunmen opened fire at him near his house in al-Nabi Yunus area, eastern Mosulm” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Northern Iraq:
#1: Turkish warplanes struck Kurdish guerrilla targets in northern Iraq on Thursday, state-run news agency Anatolian reported a military official as saying on Friday. Turkey's military has waged offensives both in Turkish territory and across the border in northern Iraq against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. Clashes between the Turkish military and the PKK intensify in the spring as heavy snows melt in eastern Turkey and northern Iraq, making it easier for PKK rebels to cross into Turkey and attack military posts. Military sources previously told Reuters that the army was building up troops along the border with Iraq to prevent the entry of guerrillas into Turkish territory. There were no further details immediately available about Thursday's air strikes.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Three missiles thought to have been fired from remotely piloted American aircraft struck a Taliban training camp in the Kurram area of northwestern Pakistan late on Thursday and killed 21 militants, according to a local government official and news reports on Friday. Nine other people were injured in the strike around 9.30 p.m. to 10 p.m., directed at a training camp some 20 miles from Parachinar, the capital of the remote tribal area.