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 16, 2009

War News for Monday, March 16, 2009

The British MoD is reporting the deaths of two British ISAF soldiers in an explosion (IED) in the Garmsir district, Helmand province, Afghanistan on Sunday, March 15th.

The Turkish Press is reporting the deaths of four ISAF soldiers in an IED attack in the Bati Kot district, Nangarhar province, Afghanistan on Sunday, March 15th.

The DPA is reporting the death of a German ISAF soldier in a traffic accident in an undisclosed location in Northern Afghanistan on Sunday, March 15th.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier from combat related injuries in an undisclosed location in Baghdad on Monday, March 16th.

March 13 airpower summary:

March 14 airpower summary:

Insurgent Attacks on the Iraqi Energy Sector:

US to attack rural rebel bases in Iraq:

Pakistan Leader Backs Down and Reinstates Top Judge:

Red Cross Described 'Torture' at CIA Jails:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A roadside bomb struck a U.S.-backed neighbourhood patrol, wounding three people, including a local Sahwa fighter, in the Doura district of southern Baghdad, police said.

#2: A grenade exploded prematurely, killing a gunman and wounding three civilians in the Mansour district of central Baghdad on Sunday evening, police said.

#3: Two roadside bombs went off in Mahdiyah neighbourhood, Doura, southern Baghdad at around 2 p.m. targeting a U.S. military patrol. No official report of casualties was available from the U.S. military at time of publication.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Five decomposed corpses were found on Monday in a cemetery in Diala province, according to a police source. “The cemetery was discovered in al-Mukhifa village (45 km northeast of Baaquba city),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: An improvised explosive device (IED) on Sunday went off near a gas station in Jalwlaa district, Diala province, causing no casualties, according to a local security source. “On Sunday, unknown gunmen detonated an explosive charge near Adnan Abdou gas station in al-Tajneed neighborhood (30 km southwest of Khanaqin), causing damage to the station and the neighboring area,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Police say an Iraqi soccer player has been shot dead just as he was about to kick what could have been the tying goal in a weekend game south of Baghdad. Police Maj. Muthanna Khalid says a striker from the Buhairat amateur team was facing only the goalie during a Sunday match in Hillah when a supporter of the rival Sinjar club shot him in the head in the final minute of play. Sinjar was leading 1-0 when the shooting occurred. Khalid said a spectator was arrested.

#1: Armed insurgents killed four soldiers in an overnight attack in northern Iraq, Iraqi security officials reported Monday morning. According to the officials, the attack occurred at an army checkpoint along a rural road near the town of Samarra. Read more: "Insurgents kill four Iraqi soldiers and one guard"

#1: A policeman was injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off in southern Kirkuk city, a local police officer said on Monday. “An explosive charge detonated today near al-Nour al-Kabir mosque in southern Kirkuk city, targeting an emergency police patrol vehicle,” Lt. Col. Kamel Ahmed told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Two security personnel working for Asiacell Telecom were killed or wounded in an armed attack in Kirkuk city, a local police chief said on Monday. “At a late hour on Sunday (March 15) night, unknown gunmen launched an armed attack on an Asiacell telecommunications tower near Anwar al-Aasi village, killing a security guard and wounding another,” Brig. Sarhad Qadir told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: Gunmen threw a grenade inside a car and seriously wounded a doctor in central Kirkuk, 255 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, on Sunday evening, police said.

#4: An oil pipeline exploded in the west of Kirkuk on Monday, a source from the joint coordination center in Kirkuk said on Monday. “A crude oil pipeline exploded late on Sunday (Mar. 15) on the Kirkuk-Dabs road in west of Kirkuk,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, pointing out that a joint police-army forces rushed to the area, where it found out that the explosion happened because of the pressure in the pipeline.

#1: Gunmen clashed with Iraqi forces and killed a soldier in western Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, on Sunday evening, police said.

Fighting broke out between Iraqi army and gunmen in al Amil neighbourhood, western Mosul, Sunday evening in which one Iraqi soldier was killed.

#2: A bomb attached to a car seriously wounded a civilian in northern Mosul on Sunday evening, police said

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Up to 50 militants attacked a terminal for trucks carrying supplies to U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan early Monday, in the second such assault in northwest Pakistan in two days. Up to 50 assailants attacked the al-Fasil terminal early Monday, outnumbering security guards, before throwing gasoline over 10 container trucks carrying supplies and setting off explosions, said guard Janab-e-aali. There were no reports of injuries or deaths. "They disarmed all the guards and warned us not to be smart, they snatched our weapons too," the guard said.

#2: A suicide bomber killed 11 people, including nine police officers, in southern Afghanistan on Monday. The latest bomber was on foot and detonated explosives attached to his body in a group of officers outside the main police headquarters in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital of Helmand, on Monday, a local police official said. Two civilians were also killed, the interior ministry in Kabul said in a statement. Another 29 people, many of them police, were wounded.

#3: A would-be suicide bomber armed with a grenade killed a police officer guarding a compound in a separate attack in western Farah province on Monday, an official said. The bomber was shot dead by other police as he tried to enter the compound and blow himself up, the official said.

#4: A missile suspected to have been fired by a US drone has killed at least five people in north-western Pakistan, officials say. The missile hit a house in Janikhel, in the Bannu district of North West Frontier Province, late on Sunday.

Casualty Reports:

PFC Andrew Parker, 21, was on patrol Nov. 20 near the southern city of Kandahar, driving a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, when a roadside bomb exploded. The blast left Parker paralyzed from the waist down, and with almost no movement in his hands and arms.

Canadian Master Cpl. Jody Mitic, 31, lost both legs after stepping on a landmine during a January 2007 tour of Afghanistan. suffered severe lower body injuries, including the loss of a foot, after stepping on a land mine in November 2006 in Afghanistan. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Regiment.