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 14, 2009

War News for Saturday, March 14, 2009

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military. Petty Officer 1st Class Theophilus K. Ansong was lost at sea somewhere in the gulf of Aden on Wednesday, February 4th. She was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Telegraph is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier in an explosion in Musa Qala District Centre, Northern Helmand province, Afghanistan on Saturday, March 14th.

March 12 airpower summary:

Talabani to retire Iraq presidental office at year end:

Money mess created by six years of Iraq: Much is being written and said about the new stimulus law (officially the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009). Not enough of us explain or realize why we're in this money mess.

Gen. Petraeus: No Iraq-style surge in Afghanistan:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A mortar shell on Saturday morning hit al-Doura refinery in southern Baghdad without causing any casualties, according to an official spokesperson for the Iraqi Ministry of Oil. “The attack only caused holes in an oil tank,” Asim Jihad told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: One Katyusha missile targeted the Green Zone Saturday morning. No casualties were reported.

Diyala Prv:
#1: An Iraqi soldier was killed and two others were wounded in a bomb explosion in the volatile province of Diyala on Saturday, a provincial police source said. The blast hit an Iraqi Army foot patrol near a village, some 30km east of the provincial capital city of Baquba, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

#2: In separate incident, unknown gunmen stormed a sewage facility in southern Baquba and kidnapped three workers, the source said.

#1: Two Iraqi servicemen on Saturday were killed in an explosive charge blast that ripped through Diala province, according to a local security source. “On Friday evening, an improvised explosive device (IED) went off in Mandali district (55 km northeast of Baaquba) near an Iraqi army patrol vehicle, killing two patrolmen,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.The source did not provide further details.

A roadside bomb targeted an Iraqi army patrol on the main route between Baquba and Mendili, 55 km to the east of Baquba at 2.30 a.m. Saturday killing two servicemen, injuring another.

#1: Police forces on Saturday found an unknown body floating in a river in northern Babel province, according to a security source. “The corpse was floating in a river in al-Buhayrat area, Iskandriya district (50 km north of Hilla),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Unknown gunmen killed a policewoman in central Mosul city, a security source from Ninewa province’s police said on Saturday. “The incident occurred in al-Sarai market, downtown Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The gunmen opened fire on the policewoman, killing her on the spot in front of passers-by,” he said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Afghan police disputed whether five men killed in a raid by U.S. and Afghan troops on Saturday were militants. The predawn raid took place in the Charkh district of Logar province, some 80 km (49 miles) southwest of the capital Kabul. The U.S. military said the operation aimed at disrupting a network that had been carrying out roadside bombings. "A firefight began when armed militants engaged the force, five enemy combatants were killed in the firefight," a U.S. military statement said. Afghan police and officials, however, said the men killed were non-combatants. "I confirm that those killed by U.S. forces were civilians... four brothers and a father," said General Mostafa Mohseni, the police chief in Logar province.

#2: Afghan and the U.S.-led Coalition forces in joint operations killed six suspected militants in the southern region, said a press release of the troops issued here Saturday. "In Charkh District, Lowgar Province, combined Afghan and Coalition Forces conducted operations against militants associated with IED (Improvised Explosive Device) facilitation. A firefight began when armed militants engaged the force. Five enemy combatants were killed in the firefight," the press release added.

#3: In a similar operation carried out against insurgents in Zhari and Maiwand districts early today one armed militants was killed, the press release added.

#4: A mine planted by anti-government militants struck a police vehicle in the peaceful Kunduz province north of Afghanistan but caused no loss of life, a local official said Saturday. "The incident occurred in Imam Sahib district on Friday, and as a result a police van was damaged but no police or civilians were harmed," Abdul Rahman Haqtash told Xinhua.

#5: Hundreds of angry villagers Saturday afternoon attacked district office in Logar province, some 60 km south of Afghan capital Kabul, after the reportedly five civilians were killed in the air raid by international troops, an official said. "The angry villagers clashed with police in front of the district building of Charkh," Din Mohammad Darwish, the provincial administration spokesman told Xinhua. "After protesters attempted to enter the district office, police opened fire and two people were wounded." Earlier Darwish said that air strikes carried out by international troops in the wee hours of Saturday claimed the lives of five civilians in Nowshar village of Charkh district.