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

Saturday, March 7, 2009

War News for Saturday, March 07, 2009

March 5 airpower summary:

March 4 airpower summary:

6 Years In, Troops Glimpse Real Path Out of Iraq:

#1: A roadside bomb targeted a U.S. military convoy in Zafaraniyah, southeastern Baghdad at 4 p.m. Saturday. No casualties were reported.

#2: Two roadside bombs went off simultaneously in al Tahrriyat Square, Karrada, central Baghdad at 7 p.m. targeting a police patrol. Two civilians were injured.

#3: Two roadside bombs went off simultaneously in Palestine Street near al Khayma Theatre, (a traveling theatre in a tent) in east Baghdad at 8. 15 p.m. targeting a police patrol. The explosion killed one civilian and injured three policemen and five civilians.

#4: Police opened fire upon a suspicious car in Kahramana Square, Karrada, central Baghdad and the men in the car returned fire and tried to get away but were stopped. The investigation is ongoing.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Four civilians were wounded, three of them seriously, when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near their vehicle in southern al-Saadiya district, Diala province, on Saturday, the local police said. “The IED blew up near the vehicle in the area of Imam & Yassin, southern al-Saadiya, (100 km) north of Baaquba, wounding all four passengers on board,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A morgue in Wassit province received the body of a 25-year-old unidentified young girl that had been found north of al-Kut on Friday, a morgue medic said. “The al-Zahraa hospital morgue in Kut received the body of a girl found dumped in the open in the district of al-Aziziya, (90 km) north of Kut, and showing signs of having been shot,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Two unknown bodies on Saturday were found near Makhmour district, according to an army source. “Today, army forces found two unknown bodies belonging to civilians on the main road between al-Qayara and Makhmour district,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. The body bore signs of gunshot wounds and was taken to the morgue, the source added.

#1: U.S. forces handed over the body of a man who was shot dead to the Iraqi police in Baiji city, claiming that he was a gunman who attacked a U.S. patrol that killed him, a source from Salah al-Din police said on Saturday, while the dead man’s relatives said that the forces killed him in front of his family. “The dead man was in his thirties, and he was shot in the chest,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The U.S. side of the story is that he was a gunman who attacked a U.S. patrol in central Baiji suburb (35 km north of Tikrit), and the patrol responded and killed him instantaneously,” he said. Ahmed Abdullah, one of the dead man’s relatives, said “U.S. forces conducted a raid operation on al-Taameem neighborhood and killed the 37-year-old man in front of his family after entering his room.”

Irbil Prv:
#1: Turkish artillery started bombarding the border strip in Soran district, 150 km to the northeast of the city of Erbil at 11.45 a.m. Saturday and continued until sundown. No casualties were reported.

#1: A former army officer was killed by unknown gunmen in western Mosul city, according to a security source. “On Friday evening, unknown gunmen opened fire on a former Iraqi army brigadier near his house in Tammuz 17 neighborhood, western Mosul, killing him on the spot,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.The body was taken to the morgue, the source explained, providing no further details.

#2: A prominent member of Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barazani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) was wounded when an improvised explosive device went off in Mosul on Friday, according to a security source. “The IED was emplaced near the house of Faraj Soliman in the district of Ayaziya, (11 km) north of Talafar, wounding him slightly,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: “Another IED planted on a main road in al-Mohandessin neighborhood, eastern Mosul, went off but caused no casualties or damage,” he added.

#4: A roadside bomb wounded two policemen when it exploded near a police convoy in western Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#5: A bomb wounded four civilians when it exploded in a shop in south-eastern Mosul, police said.

#6: A bomb close to a police checkpoint wounded one policeman in southern Mosul, police said.

#7: Gunmen threw a hand grenade at a police checkpoint in al Shaareen marketplace, downtown Mosul this evening injuring one policeman and two civilians.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A bomb-laden car exploded in north-western Pakistan as police were trying to pull a body from the vehicle, killing seven policemen and a passer-by. It appeared to be the first time militants in Pakistan had targeted security forces by using a body as a lure. Initially, senior police official Safwat Ghayur said a suicide car bomber detonated the vehicle when officers at a roadblock motioned it to stop near the Khyber tribal region, a part of Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal belt where military forces have staged offensives to stem militant activity. But officials at the scene said further investigation showed the police were led to a trap. An area police chief, Rahim Shah, said officers were sent to Badaber after an anonymous caller alerted them to the presence of a body in a car parked not far from a farm field. "Police went there. They found the white car. They also saw a body inside, but when they were pulling it out, the car bomb went off," he said, calling it a "new technique".

#2: Two Taliban insurgents were killed and another wounded in a clash between Afghan National Police and Taliban militias in Afghanistan's southern Gazni province on Saturday, a local official said. "Two Taliban rebels were killed and another sustained injuries, in Qara Bagh district this morning after they attacked police checkpoint and police returned fire," district chief Mohammad Hasan told Xinhua. One police vehicle was damaged during the firefight, he added. No police or civilians were injured in the incident, he said.

#3: A suicide bomber attacked a police station in southwestern Afghanistan early Saturday, killing two people including a policeman, a provincial official said. The attack took place in Nimroz province, which borders volatile Helmand -- which sees some of the worst violence of the Taliban-led insurgency against the US-backed government -- as well as Iran and Pakistan. "At around 9:50 am, a suicide attacker who had strapped explosives to his body detonated his charge in front of the first police station in Zaranj city," provincial governor Ghulam Dastagir Azad told AFP. "So far, one policeman and a civilian are dead," he said, adding that three policemen were also wounded in the attack.

#4: In the city of Khowst, south of Kabul near the Pakistani border, a joint force was on an operation to disrupt the radical Haqqani network associated with the Taliban when they came under fire from "multiple armed militants," the coalition said. The combined force returned fire, killing four militants and wounding one. The wounded man and four other militants were detained, the coalition said.

#5: The forces targeted a compound where a militant was reported to be staying. When they reached the compound, someone fired at them but was then killed, the coalition said.

#6: The forces killed two armed militants in a separate operation in Kandahar. They found weapons and grenades at the site afterward, the coalition said.

#7: A roadside bomb planted by insurgents in Zabul province south Afghanistan killed three employees of a local road construction company today, a local official said. "This was 7:00 a.m. when a mine planted by Taliban fighters struck a car of a company in Siori district killing three staff of the company and wounding another," Deputy to the provincial administration Gulab Shah Alikhil told Xinhua.

#8: A U.S. pilotless drone aircraft went missing over Pakistan on Saturday and is believed to have crashed, Pakistani security officials said. "The Americans have told us one of their UAVs is missing and presumed crashed in the Angor Adda area of South Waziristan," said a Pakistani military official, who declined to be identified.

Taliban militants on Saturday shot down a pilotless US drone in a Pakistani tribal area bordering Afghanistan, officials said. Residents and a local police official said two drones were flying low over a village in the South Waziristan tribal district when one of them was hit by militant fire. "We heard the firing by Taliban and then a drone fell down," tribal police official Israr Khan said. Another security official said the drone crashed in a forest