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

Thursday, March 12, 2009

War News for Thursday, March 12, 2009

March 10 airpower summary:

Iraq shoe thrower sentenced to three years jail:

Basra oil exports fall to 960,000 BPD:

Afghanistan: Food still unaffordable for millions:

Taliban poised at the gates of Kabul:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Unidentified gunmen opened fire on two civilians at the busy thoroughfare of Saadoun in central Baghdad and left them dead, before they fled the scene by a car apparently was waiting for them, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

#2: In separate incident, a bomb explosion wounded Brigadier Taha Khudhier, a director general in the Iraqi civil defense police department, in the Yarmouk neighborhood in western Baghdad, the source said. The bomb was planted in Khudhier's car and also wounded his son and another civilian who were in the car during the attack, the source added.

#3: Another senior police officer from the Baghdad traffic police, Major General Samir al-Waili, escaped unhurt a separate roadside bomb explosion near his convoy in the busy area of Nahdha in central the capital, he said. Two of Waili's bodyguards and two bystanders were wounded by the blast, he added.

“A roadside bomb went off targeting the motorcade of General Sameer al-Wailee of the traffic directorate while passing through al-Nahdha neighborhood, central Baghdad,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “Al-Wailee, two of his guards, and two other persons were wounded in the attack,” he said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A policeman on Wednesday was killed by unknown gunmen in southern Jalawlaa district, according to a security source. “This evening, unidentified gunmen opened fire on a policeman near Banira village, southern Jalawlaa district (155 km northeast of Baaquba), seriously wounding him,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The cop died while being rushed to the hospital,” the source noted, adding that the gunmen fled to an unknown destination before the arrival of police.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A suicide blast took place in Pakistan's tribal area bordering Afghanistan on Thursday and casualties were feared, private TV channel DAWN NEWS reported. The explosion occurred near an army camp in Charbagh area of Landi Kotal Tehsil in Khyber tribal agency, said the report.