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 23, 2009

War News for Monday, March 23, 2009

NATO is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers after an unreleased hostile incident in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, March 22nd. We believe these to be American soldiers.

Bob Ray Sanders: Soldier suicide part of a troubling U.S. trend:

Private Security Firms Jumping Into Afghanistan:

BA passes resolution against drone attack plans:

V-22 In Mass Production:

U.S. outlines new Afghan strategy to NATO allies: (same old stuff here)

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A bomb attached to a car wounded four people late on Sunday, including a Displacement and Migration Ministry official and a Danish woman who was with the official in his vehicle, police said, adding that two policemen were also wounded. It was unclear what the Danish woman was doing in Iraq.

#2: Seven people were injured including two national police members when a roadside bomb detonated in Doura neighborhood in south Baghdad on Monday evening.

Diyala Prv:
#1: At least 25 people were killed and 45 were injured when a man walked into a tent of mourners and detonated himself in a town north of Baghdad on Monday evening. The death toll was expected to rise, hospital officials said. The man being mourned in Jalawla, about 60 miles from Baquba, was Kurdish, and officials suspected that the attacker was an Arab. Kurds consider Jalawla, a town of both Arabs and Kurds, a part of greater Kurdistan. The land is contested, and tensions run high between the two ethnic groups.

#1: An Iraqi tribal leader escaped an assassination attempt Sunday when gunmen attacked his house in the city of Hillah, Iraq security sources said. Sheikh Fawaz Kamel Ahmed, leader of the al-Massoud tribe, was injured in the attack on his house in Hillah, 100 kilometres south of Baghdad.

Abu Ghraib:
#1: Five people were killed and 12 others injured in a bomb explosion in the outskirts of Baghdad on Monday, an Interior Ministry source said. The blast took place near a car repair workshop in the Abu Ghraib area, some 15 km west of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. Many people were gathering outside a garage to have their cars repaired when the explosion occurred, the source said.

A source in Abu Ghraib hospital said they had received eight bodies from the blast and treated nine people for wounds so far.

#1: A suicide bomber blew himself up near a police patrol, seriously wounding four policemen including a lieutenant colonel in western Mosul 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol wounded two civilians, police said.

Two civilians were killed by a roadside bomb that targeted their car in Wadi hajar area south of Mosul city on Monday afternoon.

#3: Four civilians and two policemen were injured when a suicide bomber detonated in Bab al Bedh area in downtown Mosul on Monday afternoon.

Tal Afar:
#1: A policeman was killed and five civilians were injured when a suicide bomber detonated the policeman in Tal Afar town west of Mosul on Monday afternoon.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: In separate news, two US soldiers were injured late Saturday when their vehicle was caught in a bomb attack near al-Fallujah, which lies about 70 kilometres west of Baghdad in Anbar province.

#2: In Falluja, a roadside bomb went off on Monday targeting the house of Sheikh Imad al-Halbosi, a senior Sahwa (Awakening) figure, killing eight civilians including two kids, and wounding nine others.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: NATO troops struck a compound in southern Afghanistan, killing 10 suspected militants. Senior Taliban commander Maulawi Hassan and his associates were killed Saturday in a "precision operation" at an isolated compound in the Kajaki area of southern Helmand province, NATO said in a statement, adding there were no civilians involved.

#2: On Monday, Taliban fighters ambushed a police patrol in southern Kandahar province's Spin Boldak district, killing eight officers and wounding another, said Sahib Jan, a police officer.

#3: On Sunday, a rocket slammed into the main NATO military base in the south, killing a contractor and wounding six others. Kandahar airfield, the nerve center for the alliance's war effort in southern Afghanistan, has been hit by many rockets in the past but Sunday's death was the first in such an attack, another NATO statement said.

#4: Six insurgents, including their commander, were killed while planting a roadside bomb in Garmsir district, about 605 km (375 miles) southwest of Kabul, on Sunday, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

#5: Gunmen on a motorbike shot dead a member of a banned Sunni militant group and wounded a 12-year-old boy bystander in Dera Ismail Khan, a northwestern town plagued by sectarian violence between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims, police said.

#6: Militants shot dead a man after accusing him of spying for U.S. forces battling al Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan, and dumped his body near a town in North Waziristan, a militant-plagued region on the Afghan border, security officials said.

#7: Troops destroyed two important bases of a militant organisation on Sunday in the town of Bara in the Khyber region, government officials said. Militants have been attacking trucks carrying supplies for U.S. and other foreign forces in landlocked Afghanistan on a route that passes through the Kyber Pass