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 30, 2009

War News for Monday, March 30, 2009

March 27 Airpower Summary:

US-allied Sunnis alarmed at Baghdad crackdown:

US won't hunt militants over Pakistan border: Obama:

US contractor jailed for Iraq stabbing: A 32-year-old employee of US contractor Kellogg Brown and Root was on Friday jailed for stabbing an Indian co-worker while deployed in Iraq two years ago, authorities said. The victim was stabbed in the throat but later survived.

American sentenced for stabbing Indian woman in Iraq:

US soldier guilty in killing of 4 Iraqis in 2007:

Britain to start Iraq pullout on Tuesday:

No Ospreys, for now, to Afghanistan:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: U.S.-backed Iraqi forces swept through a central Baghdad slum yesterday, disarming Sunnis from a government-allied paramilitary group to quell a two-day uprising launched to protest the arrest of their leader. At least four people were killed and 21 wounded in the two days of fighting between government troops and the Awakening Council in Fadhil, a ramshackle warren of narrow, fetid streets on the east side of the Tigris River where al-Qaeda once held sway. Members of the Fadhil council said yesterday that they had decided to give up the fight and hand over their weapons to spare the neighborhood, whose bullet-pocked buildings bore witness to intense combat there two years ago. Most of the top council members fled the neighborhood as Iraqi troops searched house-to-house, according to residents who spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared for their safety.

A few fighters were still holding out. An Iraqi patrol, accompanied by an Associated Press photo and video team, came under heavy fire, sending them ducking for cover as bullets nicked bits of mortar from the buildings lining the narrow alleyway.

The Iraqi army began pulling back troops from central Baghdad after deadly weekend violence triggered by the arrest of an anti-Qaeda militia leader on suspicion of murder and extortion. "The situation is stable and we have begun to withdraw our troops from the neighbourhood" of Fadel, said Baghdad military command spokesman Major General Qasim Atta.

#2: A bomb attached to the car of an intelligence officer in the interior ministry killed him and another passenger and wounded eight passers-by on Sunday in Adhamiya district, northern Baghdad, police said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A bomb attached to a bicycle killed three labourers and wounded eight others in Iraq's volatile northern province of Diyala on Monday, police said. The police had no further details on the blast in Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, and did not know if the death toll was likely to rise.

At least three construction workers were killed and 15 others injured on Monday in a bike bomb explosion in Baquba, the capital city of Diyala province, a provincial police source said. "An explosive-laden bike parked among a group of construction workers who gathered to wait for day-long work in the northern suburb of Baquba, some 60 km northeast of Baghdad, detonated and killed three workers and wounded 15 others," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The source said that the powerful explosion caused by more than one kg of explosives.

#2: A policeman was injured by a roadside bomb that targeted a patrol of the Iraqi police in al Mualimeen neighborhood west Baquba around 11 a.m.

#3: The police forces on Khanaqeen Street northeast of Baquba found the body of a civilians few hours after gunmen kidnapped him by insurgents from his house.

#1: Police forces on Monday found three bodies belonging to Sahwa fighters in Babel province, according to a local media source. “This morning, Babel police forces discovered the bodies inside a civilian vehicle in Jarf al-Sakhr al-Farisi area (60 km northwest of Hilla),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Meanwhile, a Sahwa council member was wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted his vehicle in al-Iskandriya district (50 km north of Hilla),” the source added.

#1: Three Iraqi army personnel on Monday were killed or wounded in an explosive charge blast that occurred in Mosul city, according to a security source. “On Monday, an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted an Iraqi army patrol vehicle in Souk al-Maash area, western Mosul, killing one soldier and wounding an army major and a serviceman,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

A roadside bomb killed one soldier and wounded two others, including a major, when it struck their patrol in western Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: Gunmen in a moving car shot dead a civilian in western Mosul, police said.

#3: A bomb targeting a police patrol killed one policeman and wounded four others in western Mosul, police said.

#4: Gunmen shot dead a senior official in the Mosul branch of Displacement and Migration Office and seriously wounded his aide as they left their office in northern Mosul, police said.

#5: Gunmen in a car shot dead Abdullah Al-Sebaawi, a local leader of the Iraqi Islamic Party, on Sunday in the city of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Eight people have died in a suicide bomb attack on a police compound in southern Afghanistan, officials say. The deaths came as a bomber wearing a police uniform detonated explosives inside Kandahar's district headquarters in Andar, AP news agency reported. Three police and five civilians were killed in the blast, government spokesman Zalmay Ayubi told the agency. The attack took place some 15km (10 miles) south of Kandahar city, a militant stronghold of the Taleban.

#2: A government official says Pakistani security forces have overpowered militants who attacked a police academy, arresting six. Rao Iftikhar says eight of the gunmen died, including two who blew themselves up. Reports on the death tolls from the assault have varied wildly, with officials confirming at least 11 to The Associated Press. Other reports said up to 40 people had died.

Pakistani soldiers killed at least four gunmen who had seized a police academy Monday in a brazen attack that killed at least 11 officers and left at least 35 police held hostage. Soldiers and other security forces surrounded the compound on the outskirts of the city, exchanging fire. Armored vehicles entered the compound while helicopters hovered overhead. Some police tried to escape by crawling on their hands and knees around the bodies of fallen officers. Six hours after the initial assault, police captured one of the suspected gunmen, dragging him to a field outside the academy and kicking him. Soon afterward, four loud explosions rocked the scene. Government official Rao Iftikhar said four gunmen were killed, including three by army snipers. However, roughly 11 gunmen remained holed up on the top floor of a building, holding some 35 police hostage.

Pakistani soldiers surrounded a police academy Monday where heavily armed gunmen were holed up after storming the compound in a brazen attack that killed at least 11 officers, wounded more than 90 and trapped others inside.

At least 25 people were killed and 90 others injured when unidentified gunmen attacked a police training school in eastern Pakistan city of Lahore on Monday, local television quoted police sources as saying. The gunmen threw hand grenade to the training school before a exchange of fire between police and gunmen began at the police training center in Manawan area of Lahore, capital of eastern Punjab province.

#3: Five Taliban insurgents were killed as the mines planted by themselves exploded pre-maturely in Khost province east of Afghanistan on Monday, a local official said. "Today at 5:00 a.m. local time (GMT0030) when Taliban militants were planting mines in two parts of a road in Sabari district but both the mines went off pre-maturely leaving five rebels dead and injured two others," Daulat Khan Qayumi the district chief of Sabari told Xinhua.

#4: A roadside bomb attack on Monday killed three Pakistani soldiers in the country's northwest, the military sources said. An explosive-laden car was parked on road and was exploded when an army convoy was passing through near the city of Bannu in North West Frontier Province (NWFP), said an army statement. "As many as three security personnel were killed while four others injured in a roadside blast in Baqa Khel area of Bannu on Monday," said the statement.

#5: Unidentified gunmen Sunday shot dead five people including a former district official in northwestern Pakistan, according to local TV reports. Former mayor of the Lower Dir district of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) Alamzeb Khan and police officer Haji Khurshid were among the five killed in the firing, according to the private Geo TV. The report said that the armed men also took two police officers and a bank manager as hostages.