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 17, 2009

War News for Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Australian DoD is reporting the death of an Australian ISAF soldier from small arms and RPG fire north of Tarin Kowt, Oruzgan Province, Afghanistan on Monday, March 16th.

Iraq beefs up pipeline security:

U.S. Moves to Replace Contractors in Iraq:

BBC video: French soldiers in Afghanistan:

In photos: 'NATO Logistics Attacked in Pakistan':

Flaws abound in FOIA if Obama wants to fix them: (This is a tad off topic but it's worth the expended time to read.)

Kurdish independence just a dream, Talabani tells Turkey:

Iraqi president: Independent Kurdish state in Iraq "impossible":

Pakistan Avoids Pitfall, but Path Ahead Is Unclear:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: The al-Zahraa hospital received a civilian body found north of Kut, a source from the Wassit’s morgue said. “The morgue of al-Zahraa hospital received on Monday night (Mar. 16) a 30-year-old civilian body,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The body shows signs of torture and gunshot wounds to the head,” he added. “The body was found behind an ice factory in al-Aziziya district in north of Kut,” he explained.

#1: Police forces on Tuesday morning found a body of a young man in eastern Dalouiya district, according to a police source. “This morning, our patrols found a body of a 16-year-old youth with signs of gunshot wounds to the head and chest in al-Basateen area, eastern Dalouiya,” Lt. Col. Mohammad al-Juburi told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The victim was with one of his fellow workers cutting down trees and making charcoal when they were kidnapped two days ago,” Juburi noted, adding that the hunt is still on for the other young man.

#2: The bodies of the two young men found this morning in eastern Dalouiya district belong to Sahwa fighters, a police source from Salah al-Din province said on Tuesday. “The two youths, whose bodies were found in different areas in eastern Dalouiya district, were members of Sahwa councils,” Maj. Ali Hussein Abdullah told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: The U.S. military says a 12-year-old girl was killed when American soldiers fired at a vehicle speeding toward them and Iraqi police near the northern city of Mosul. The military says Americans fired two warning shots when the vehicle ignored signals for it to stop near the Hurriyah Iraqi police station. The military says the girl was standing about 100 yards (meters) behind the vehicle and was struck by a round. The military confirmed the details in response to a query by The Associated Press. It says Monday's shooting is under investigation. Iraqi police say the girl was shot while in a car with her father near an American base.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: U.S.-led coalition troops killed seven militants and detained three others during a raid on a bomb-making cell in southern Afghanistan. Troops targeted the militants in a compound in Kandahar province's Khakrez district early Tuesday, a coalition statement said. Those killed were suspected of involvement in attacks on coalition and Afghan forces.

#2: Separately, Taliban militants ambushed a police patrol in Kandahar's Panjwayi district, killing five officers and damaging their vehicle, said Bismillah Khan, a police officer.

#3: Two other militants were killed shortly before dawn after attacking a police post in the province of Nimroz, another troubled region, in southwestern Afghanistan, the ministry said.

#4: Authorities set on fire nearly two tons of illicit drug in Paktia province, east of Afghanistan, on Tuesday, an official said. "More than 1,800 kg narcotics including opium and heroin that have been seized over the past four months was burned in Syed Karam district this morning," a senior police officer Aziz Ahmad told Xinhua.