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 31, 2009

War News for Tuesday, March 31, 2009

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - West Marine in a non-combat related incident in an undisclosed location in Iraq on Tuesday, March 31st.

CRIEnglish is reporting the death of a Romanian ISAF soldier from a mine at a bridge in Spina Ghabarga area outside Qalat on Zabul-Kabul highway, Zabul Province, Afghanistan on Tuesday, March 31st. One additional soldier was wounded in the attack.

March 28 Airpower Summary:

Iraq guerrillas turn to Russian grenades:

UK forces leave Basra in control of Americans: In addition, units from 22 SAS are expected to continue to remain elsewhere in the country, conducting counter-insurgency operations.

Pinoy carpenter killed, another injured in Afghanistan mortar attack: A Filipino carpenter was killed, while another one was injured last March 20 in a mortar attack at a military camp in Afghanistan, the Department of Foreign Affairs reported on Tuesday. Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Esteban Conejos Jr. told reporters that the Filipino was working in the Kandahar airbase, southeast of Kandahar City, when attackers fired mortar shells into the camp. Citing reports from the Philippine Embassy in Pakistan, Conejos identified the Filipino as Norbert Malana Hobayan, a carpenter hired by Recon International, a United Arab Emirates-based construction firm. Another Filipino, Rolando Tricenio, suffered injuries in he same attack and is now recuperating at the Kandahar airbase.

Clinton offers olive branch to Taliban: (Here's a joke -- whisker)

Kayani to tell US to keep hands off "national security agency" ISI:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A mortar round wounded three people in Zaafaraniya district of southeastern Baghdad, police said.

a rocket or mortar slammed into a residential area in the southeastern neighborhood of Zafaraniyah, wounding at least three Iraqi civilians, according to the U.S. military. Iraqi officials said six Iraqis were wounded in the attack.

#2: A mortar round wounded two people in eastern Baghdad, police said.

#1: One civilian on Tuesday was slaughtered by unknown gunmen in Kirkuk city, according to a local security source. “Today, unknown gunmen slaughtered Sabah Aziz Sulayman, a retiree, inside his house in al-Wassiti neighborhood, southwestern Kirkuk, before they fled to an unknown destination,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The body of Sulayman, a Christian, was taken to the morgue in Kirkuk,” the source added.

#1: Iraqi police say a suicide truck bomber killed at least seven people and wounded 17 in the northern city of Mosul. A police officer in Mosul says the attacker was targeting a police station in the city's center.Police Maj. Jassim al-Jubouri says those killed include four policemen and three civilians.

#2: Attackers wounded three civilians when they hurled a hand-grenade at a U.S. military patrol in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: An explosive charge placed inside a car belonging to a police officer from Falluja city went off in al-Shurta neighborhood, eastern Falluja, wounding three personnel,” Maj. Hamid Ahmed told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: NATO forces inadvertently killed a 15-year-old civilian overnight during a shootout with Afghan militants in the eastern province of Khost, national radio said on Tuesday. Salam Watandar radio cited a NATO spokesman in the southeastern province as saying that the teenager was accidently shot dead during the exchange of fire. Four armed Afghan militants were taken prisoner.

#2: Afghan police have killed 30 insurgents in a joint operation in Afghanistan's southern province of Uruzgan, the Interior Ministry said on Tuesday. Seventeen militants were wounded in Monday's operation and the deaths included a Taliban commander, Mullah Mohammad Yaqoub, it said in a statement.

#3: An explosion Tuesday afternoon targeted the vehicle belonging to Mayor of Khost city, capital of Khost province in eastern Afghanistan, claiming the official on the spot, police said.

Casualty Reports:

Marine Sgt. Steven Kiernan of Petaluma was just weeks into his first tour of duty in Iraq when he was severely wounded March 11. An explosion in Fallujah cost him his legs.