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 20, 2009

War News for Friday, March 20, 2009

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Center soldier non-combat related causes in an undisclosed area in Iraq on Thursday, March 19th.

March 18 airpower summary:

Soldiers’ Accounts of Gaza Killings Raise Furor in Israel: (off topic but this is a very well written article from the NY Times)

Jobless rate at 11.2% for veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan:

Turkish foreign minister says USA did not make a tangible request:

Indiscriminate attacks continues in Iraq: ICRC:

Taliban chief Omar "not in Pakistan's Baluchistan":

Reported Security incidents:

Diyala Prv:
Balad Ruz:
#1: The U.S. military says an airstrike on a militant hideout north of Baghdad has killed at least 11 insurgents. Military spokesman Maj. Derrick Cheng told The Associated Press on Friday that ground forces searched the site after the strike and found a cache of weapons, munitions and parts to build improvised explosive devices. It's not immediately known whether any civilians were killed in the strike that an Iraqi security official said occurred Thursday morning. Cheng says the suspected insurgents were hiding near several bunkers south of Balad Ruz in Diyala province. That's about 45 miles (70 kilometers) northeast of Baghdad.

#1: A civilian was killed and another one was injured on Friday by unknown gunmen in northwest of Hilla, a police source said. “Unknown gunmen opened fire at a civilian car in Jarf al-Sakhr district in northwest of Hilla, killing a civilian and injuring another one,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Police forces found an unidentified body with signs of having been shot north of Mosul city, a security source from Ninewa province said on Thursday. “The body was found at the Telkeef district intersection, north of Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A suicide bomber on Friday blew himself up targeting the house of a chieftain of Albu-Eissa tribe, killing one policeman and wounding two of the chieftain’s guards, according to a police source. “The attack targeted the house of Sheikh Talib al-Hassnawi al-Issawi in Amiriyat al-Falluja area, west of Falluja city,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “Police forces clashed with the bomber for around 30 minutes, before he blew up an explosive belt strapped to his body,” he said.

#1: A roadside bomb wounded a policeman and two civilians when it struck a police patrol in central Ramadi, 100 km (60 miles) west of Baghdad, on Thursday, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Afghan and international forces killed 34 militants in two days of clashes in Afghanistan, U.S. forces said Friday. Thirty of the deaths occurred during a firefight that broke out Thursday when Afghan army and U.S.-coalition troops came under attack in southern Helmand province, the U.S. said in a statement. The troops were patrolling in a militant-heavy area of Greshk district when they were attacked by gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades, and returned fire, the U.S. said. The troops confirmed there were no civilians in the area before counter-attacking and calling in air support, the statement said. One Afghan soldier was injured during the operation, the statement said.

#2: On Friday, Afghan and coalition forces killed three militants and captured one in eastern Logar province when fighting broke out during a raid targeting a bomb-making cell, a separate U.S. statement said.

#3: Meanwhile, one militant was killed in a raid to disrupt a bomb-making network in the eastern border province of Kunar, the U.S. said.

#4: Suspected Taleban militants fired three rockets at a security force base in north-western Pakistan, killing 10 people, officials said. The attack took place in Landi Kotal town in the Khyber tribal agency, near the Afghan border, on Thursday night. The deaths occurred when one of the rockets hit a commercial area in the town. At least 40 people were injured. A local official told the BBC that suspected militants attacked a paramilitary camp in Landi Kotal with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic rifles at about 2100 (1600GMT). This led to an intense exchange of fire between the militants and security forces, he said. Militants fired several rockets at the camp from the surrounding hills. There were no direct hits but at least one soldier was injured, the official said. During the exchange, a rocket fell on a commercial building, killing eight people.

#5: Ten policemen and a district chief were killed in an ambush by a group of Taliban insurgents Friday morning in Jawzjan province of northern Afghanistan, officials said. Afghan Interior ministry spokesman Zamarai Bashari has confirmed the incident and said the attack occurred at Khosh Tapa district, along the border of Turkmenistan. "Provincial police chief has been sent to the site for investigation," Bashari said. Meanwhile, provincial police chief Khalilullah Amin told Xinhua that Taliban militants ambushed the district chief on his way to a party at 11 a.m. (0630GMT) and the heavy fighting left 11 people dead, including the district chief and police chief of Khosh Tapa. "Nine other policemen were killed and four more were injured in the clash," he said.