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

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

War News for Wednesday, March 04, 2009

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - North soldier during an indirect fire attack in Mosul, Iraq on Tuesday, March 3rd.

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military. Spc. Simone A. Robinson died Sunday, March 1st at the Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas from wounds sustained from an IED attack in Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday, January 17th.

The Canadian DND/CF is reporting the deaths of three ISAF soldiers from an IED attack in the Arghandab District northwest of Kandahar City, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan on Tuesday, March 3rd. Two additional soldiers were wounded in the attack. Here's the official NATO statement.

March 2 airpower summary:

Iraq's oil exports down in February:

Afghans say will do their best to secure April poll:

Afghan election body says April poll not possible:

N.Y. Times: Iraq’s Widows: slide show
The needs of Iraq's estimated 740,000 war widows now exceed available help, posing a threat to the stability of the country's tenuous social structures.

31 released after proven innocent in Mosul: (What a great democracy! -- whisker)

A drawdown of contractors in Iraq:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A suicide bomber set off a blast among members of a police intelligence unit Wednesday, killing three people and leaving others wounded, officials said. The suicide blast struck nightshift employees shortly after they left work. They were standing near a restaurant in the Karradah neighborhood, said an aide to Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Mousawi, the Iraqi military spokesman. The aide said three people were killed and four were wounded. Police and hospital officials confirmed the death count but said 11 people were wounded, including three civilians. Witnesses told police the bomber was walking among the employees shortly after 10 a.m. when he triggered a belt packed with explosives.

#2: Tuesday One unidentified body was found in Shaab, northern Baghdad. The body was cut up in many pieces and dumped.

Twelve unidentified bodies were found in Baghdad Province during the month of February, said Iraqi Police, mostly in the suburbs.

#3: A roadside bomb detonated in Saidiyah neighborhood in southern Baghdad around 1 p.m. Three people were wounded

#4: A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in Musa bin Nasir intersection in Karrada neighborhood in downtown Baghdad around 6 p.m.

#5: Six civilians were wounded when a roadside bomb targeting a police patrol went off in Wathiq square in central Baghdad, police said.

#1: An Iraqi police officer was killed in a mysterious incident to the north of Kut city, a security source from Wassit province said on Wednesday. “A first lieutenant of Wassit police was found dead today in his house in al-Aziziya suburb, 90 km north of Kut city,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The incident is mysterious and is suspected to be a suicide,” he said. “The officer was found with a gunshot wound in his head, and his pistol lying near him,” he added.

Balad: (Different articles place this attack in Tikrit, Balad or Samarra.)
#1: Gunmen attacked the house of a leader of an Awakening Council group in north of Baghdad early on Wednesday, killing him and three of his family members, a local police source said. Sheikh Dhiyab Ahmed al-Ziyarah, head of the Ahabab Sunni tribe, was shot dead by the unidentified gunmen who stormed his house at dawn in the village of the Tal al-Dhahab near the town of Balad, some 80 km north of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. Ziyarah's wife and two of his sons were also shot dead by the attackers, who are believed to be al-Qaida militants, the source said.

#1: A car carrying Chairman of the Expediency Council's Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's wife and his daughter along with the founder of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini's daughter-in-law has slipped off the road and crashed in Samarra on Tuesday, eyewitnesses told Press TV's correspondent in Baghdad. According to Hashemi Rafsanjani's son, those involved in the accident suffered minor injuries and have been fully treated after the crash.

#1: Police forces on Wednesday found a body of one of the four civilians who had been kidnapped in south of Kirkuk, the chief of the local police said. “The forces on Wednesday morning (March 4) found the body of Mohamed Shaheen, one of the four civilians who had been kidnapped eight days ago, near Daqouq district in south of Kirkuk,” Brigadier Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. Last February 25, unknown gunmen kidnapped four civilians, three of them are employees of the North Oil Company while on their way back home in al-Rashad district.

#1: Meanwhile in Mosul, 400 kilometres north of Baghdad, a bomb ripped through an Iraqi army patrol, killing two soldiers and wounding an officer, a police source told dpa.

Two policemen were killed and ten others were wounded in a suicide car bomb explosion in western Mosul, a police source said on Wednesday.“A suicide bomber blew up a car crammed with explosives on Wednesday (March 4) targeting a police vehicle patrol in Bab Sinjar region in western Mosul, killing two policemen and injuring ten,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: An improvised explosive device went off on Wednesday in central Mosul without leaving casualties, a police source said. “An explosive charge was detonated on Wednesday (March 4) near the building of the Ninewa province in central Mosul, but left no casualties,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: A young man on Wednesday was killed by unknown gunmen in south Mosul city, according to a police source. “On Wednesday, unidentified gunmen opened fire on a 16-year-old civilian in al-Matahen area, southern Mosul, killing him on the spot,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#4: A sniper attacked an Iraqi army patrol killing a soldier in western Mosul, police said.

#5: Gunmen shot dead a lawyer after storming his office in central Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A bomb blast exploded outside the main U.S. base in Afghanistan on Wednesday, wounding several people, a U.S. official said. An Afghan governor blamed the attack on a suicide car bomber, and the Taliban claimed responsibility. The blast outside the main base at Bagram did not appear to kill anyone, according to early reports, said Capt. Elizabeth Mathias, a U.S. spokeswoman. The governor of Parwan province, Abdul Jabar Takwa, said the bomber was in a car that exploded after he drove past a police checkpoint. Bagram is in Parwan province. Takwa said that the bomber died in the blast, but he did not have any other casualty reports.

Two explosions, including a suspected suicide bombing, hit outside the main U.S. base in Afghanistan on Wednesday but it was not immediately clear if there were any casualties, a U.S. military official said. An apparent blast from a car was followed seconds later by a suicide bomber on foot who detonated himself outside the main gate of Bagram air base, about 60 km (40 miles) north of Kabul, the military official said.

The U.S. military says a bomb has exploded outside of the main American base in Afghanistan, wounding several people. Sgt. Joel Peavy, a spokesmen at Bagram, told CBS News Fazul Rahim that a car parked outside the main gate to the base blew up, and minutes later a man running away from the scene detonated explosives attached to his body, injuring three U.S. civilian contractors. He did not have any further details on the victims' identities. Peavy told CBS News there were no U.S. military or ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) casualties.

#2: Two soldiers of the U.S.-led Coalition forces were wounded as a mine struck their vehicle in Afghanistan's eastern Nangrhar province, provincial administration spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai said Tuesday. "One vehicle of a joint Afghan and foreign troop's convoy ran over mine in Hisarak district Monday afternoon. As a result, two soldiers were injured," Abdulzai told Xinhua. He did not give more details.

#3: A vehicle belonging to NATO-led forces rolled over after it swerved to avoid a collision with another vehicle, killing a civilian on a bicycle in Jalalabad city on Sunday, the alliance said.

#4: NATO-led troops wounded one Afghan boy when they fired mortars at two men they say were planting a roadside bomb in Gereshk district, 530 km (330 miles) southwest of Kabul, on Thursday, the alliance said.

#5: NATO-led soldiers wounded two civilians when they shot at a car they say was travelling too close to their military convoy in Farah, 650 km (405 miles) southwest of Kabul, on Sunday, the alliance said.

#6: U.S.-led coalition forces shot at a car when it failed to heed warning signals in Jalalabad city, 115 km (70 miles) east of Kabul, wounding one civilian passenger on Sunday, the U.S. military said.

#7: Eight Taliban militants including their commander were killed in a joint operation of Afghan Security forces and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)in Afghanistan's southern restive Helmand province late Tuesday night, provincial administration spokesman said on Wednesday. "A joint operation of Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police backed by ISAF claimed the lives of eight Taliban including their commander Mullah Janan in Mian Pushta village of Garmsir district," Daud Ahmadi told Xinhua