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

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

War News for Tuesday, March 03, 2009

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier from combat related injuries in an undisclosed location north of Baghdad on Monday, March 2nd.

March 1 airpower summary:

Kurdish government warns U.S. military pullout will spark war in N. Iraq: Kurdish officials said the Kurdistan Regional Government has sent messages to Washington that called for U.S. troops to remain in the north until a resolution of territorial and oil disputes with Baghdad. Officials warned that a U.S. pullout could spark a war between Arab and Kurdish forces.

First non-military rail containers for Afghanistan have crossed Russia: The United States Embassy in Latvia informed that approximately 20 to 30 train cars per week will be sent to Afghanistan via Latvia, Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Coalition detainee population falls to 13,832:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Two civilians on Tuesday were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated in the capital Baghdad, according to a police source. “An explosive charge planted by unknown men near al-Alf Dar area, southeastern Baghdad, went off today, injuring two civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: A roadside bomb targeted a U.S. convoy in al Alawi central bus station, central Baghdad at 10.30 a.m. Tuesday. No casualties were reported.

Diyala Prv:
#1: In separate incident, four policemen and four civilians were wounded when a roadside bomb detonate near a passing police patrol in the Gatoon area near Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, the source said. Two of the wounded policemen were in critical conditions, the source added.

Balad Ruz:
#1: A policeman was killed and nine people were injured in two bomb attacks in the volatile province of Diyala on Tuesday, a police source said. A policeman was killed and another injured in a roadside bomb explosion near a police patrol in the town of Baladruz, some 30 km east of capital city of Baquba, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

#1: At least five people were killed and 24 others wounded on Monday in a bicycle bomb explosion in central Khalis, a police source said. “A bicycle bomb went off on Monday (March 2) in front of a Shiite mosque in central Khalis, north of Baaquba, killing two civilians and wounding 15,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: One policeman on Tuesday was killed in clashes that erupted between police forces and gunmen north of Kut, said a security source from Wassit province. “The clashes took place in al-Hassan al-Askari area, 17 km north of Kut,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: An improvised explosive device went off on Monday targeting a U.S. military convoy, setting a Hummer ablaze, a media source from the Babel police said. “An explosive charge went off targeting a U.S. military convoy in al-Hashimiya region in south of Hilla,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The explosion burnt a Hummer,” he added. For his part, the media advisor for the U.S. forces said he has no information on the incident.

#1: An assistant director of a local seeds department on Tuesday was killed by unknown gunmen in southern Kirkuk city, according to a security source. “This morning, unidentified gunmen opened fire on Worya Fattah Khalil Agha Kakaie, an assistant director of the seeds department in Kirkuk, in front of his house in Wahed Athar neighborhood, killing him on the spot,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “Kakaie is a notable of al-Kakaia tribe in Kirkuk,” the source added.

#1: A civilian was killed by unknown gunmen in the center of Mosul city, a local security source said on Tuesday. “Last night, unknown gunmen opened fire on a civilian in al-Shiarin market, downtown Mosul, killing him on the spot,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The gunmen fled to nearby alleys,” the source added.

#2: Eight Katyusha rockets hit the U.S. base in southern Mosul on Tuesday, a police source said. “The rockets landed on the U.S. base in al-Ghezlani region in southern Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “U.S. choppers were seen hovering over the area after the attack,” he added, without giving further details.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: At least a dozen men attacked Sri Lanka's cricket team with rifles, grenades and rocket launchers Tuesday ahead of a match in Pakistan, wounding seven players and an assistant coach from Britain in a brazen assault on South Asia's most beloved sport. Six policemen and a civilian were killed. The players' and the coach's injuries were not life-threatening, officials said. In a coordinated attack, the assailants ambushed the convoy carrying the squad and match officials at a traffic circle 100 yards (meters) from the main sports stadium in the eastern city of Lahore, triggering a 15-minute gunbattle with police guarding the vehicles. None of the attackers was killed or captured at the scene, city police chief Haji Habibur Rehman said. Haider Ashraf, a senior police official, said six policemen and a civilian died in the attack. It was unclear whether the civilian was a passer-by or someone traveling in the convoy.

#2: Four Danish soldiers were wounded in the explosion of two roadside bombs in separate incidents in southern Afghanistan Monday, military officials said, AFP reported. Three troops were hurt when their armoured vehicle hit a home-made explosive device south of Price base, the Danish military leadership said in a statement. They were rescued from their blazing vehicle.Another soldier suffered injuries about an hour later when his tank hit a device near Armadillo base. The four soldiers whose wounds were described as minor were taken to the hospital at Camp Bastion where Danish troops in Helmand province are headquartered under British command.

#3: The fragile truce between the Pakistani Taliban and local authorities in Swat valley came to the brink of collapse on Tuesday as militants ambushed a group of soldiers killing two of them, prompting retaliation from the security forces. The militants attacked a group of soldiers escorting a water tanker in Matta sub-district of Swat, said a statement from the military. Three soldiers were injured in the "unprovoked firing" by the militants and two of them later succumbed to their injuries.

Casualty Reports:

U.S. Marine Sgt. Justin Clenard, 23, On June 23, he and his squad were going door to door looking for Taliban insurgents when Clenard tripped a land mine. He lost both legs in the explosion and his right arm was badly wounded.