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

Monday, March 9, 2009

War News for Monday, March 09, 2009

The DND/CF is reporting the death of a Canadian ISAF soldier in an IED attack the Shah Wali Kot District, north-east from Kandahar City, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan on Sunday, March 8th. Four additional soldiers were wounded in the attack. Here's the ISAF statement.

March 7 airpower summary:

March 6 airpower summary:

Coalition deaths from IED attacks soar in Afghanistan:

Exxon Aims for Big Role in Iraq's Oil Sector: (Now here's something I wouldn't ever have expected.)

Belgian F-16s in Afghanistan heavily damaged:

Pakistan Regains Control of Remote Area, for Now:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Gunmen shot dead two US-allied Iraqi militiamen at a checkpoint in western Baghdad on Monday, a security service official said. "Armed men opened fire on a Sahwa (militia) checkpoint in the Jihad district, killing two men," an official said.

#2: An official from the pilgrimage department in the Shiite Endowments on Monday was wounded alongside his son in an explosive charge blast in the capital Baghdad. “A sticky improvised explosive device (IED) targeted a vehicle carrying a pilgrimage department official in the Shiite Endowments, Jaafar al-Mousawi, in Baghdad’s southern neighborhood of al-Qadissiya,” an Iraqi police source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: Katyusha missile hit a deserted area near the two-floor bridge in Jadiriyah neighborhood in downtown Baghdad around 7:50 a.m. No casualties reported.

Diyala Prv:
Al Saadiya:
#1: Security forces on Monday found an unknown body south of al-Saadiya district of Diala province, according to a security source. “The body was found in Himreen village, 17 km south of al-Saadiya district,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Al Dour:
#1: Four police personnel were injured in two blasts that ripped through Salah al-Din’s al-Dour district, a local police source said on Monday. “On Sunday evening, a gunman threw a hand grenade at a police patrol vehicle in downtown al-Dour district (25 km south of Tikrit city), wounding three patrolmen,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “Shortly after police arrived at the scene, an improvised explosive device (IED) went off, wounding a policeman and destroying his vehicle,” the source added.

#1: Governor of Salahudin province narrowly escaped death and five of his bodyguards were wounded when a roadside bomb struck his convoy just north of Tikrit, 150 km (95 miles) north of Baghdad, on Sunday evening, police said.

Irbil Prv:
#1: The Turkish artillery hit some border villages in Qandeel mountains in northeast Arbil on Sunday night. No casualties reported.

#1: A roadside bomb targeted an American patrol in alMuhandiseen neighborhood. No casualties reported.

#2: Two policemen were killed when gunmen opened fire at their checkpoint in western Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, on Sunday evening, police said.

#3: Gunmen shot dead a college student in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, on Sunday evening, police said.

#4: Three civilians were wounded on Monday by unknown gunmen in eastern Mosul city, a security source said. “Unidentified gunmen opened fire on an Iraqi army checkpoint in al-Zuhour neighborhood in eastern Mosul, injuring three passing civilians, including a university professor,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Pakistani troops backed by helicopter gunships attacked Islamist militants close to the Afghan border, killing 15 of them, a government official said Monday. The violence Sunday took place in Mohmand tribal region hours after suspected Taliban fighters killed 13 paramilitary police officers. Meraj Khan, a government representative in Mohmand, said the attack on the militants took place late Sunday in the Salam Koroona area. He had no more details, and the Taliban were not immediately available for comment.

#2: Afghan troops in the latest operation against Taliban rebels Sunday night killed eight rebels in Helmand province of southern Afghanistan, said Sher Mohammad Zazi, the commander of south region, on Monday. Zazi told Xinhua that Afghan forces conducted a raid on Taliban hideout in the Jamgi area of Helmand late Sunday night and eliminated at least eight insurgents after hours of fighting.