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

Saturday, September 12, 2009

War News for Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sept. 10 airpower summary:

BSF fires into Pakistan after rocket attack:

Report: British special forces train Libyan troops:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Two bombs exploded moments apart near the tomb of a revered Shiite religious figure in central Baghdad on Saturday, killing three people and wounding 22, police and hospital officials said. The first bomb went off next to the tomb of the ninth-century sheik, Othman al-Omari, where a number of people were praying. A few minutes later, a car bomb exploded in a nearby parking lot as crowds were gathering. The shrine was damaged. The attack took place in the Bab al-Muadham area of the capital, home to the Health Ministry, other government offices and a number of hospitals.

#2: In northwestern Baghdad, a bomb attached to a civilian car exploded Saturday, killing the driver and wounding two passengers, police said. The motive for the attack was not known.

#3: Meanwhile, two cops were injured when another IED targeted their patrol vehicle in al-Jadiriya area, downtown Baghdad,” according to the same source.

A roadside bomb wounded two policemen when it struck their patrol in southern Baghdad, police said.

#4: A roadside bomb targeted a U.S. Military convoy in Qahirs, northern Baghdad, Friday evening. No casualties were reported.

#1: A taxi driver on Saturday was wounded when unknown gunmen opened fire on him near Makhmour district, according to an army source. “Gunmen driving a Nissan pick-up truck shot a taxi driver who was driving to a village affiliated with Makhmour,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Al Riyad:
#1: Five Iraqi policemen were killed in an attack by gunmen in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, a security source said Saturday. The attack took place Friday night when a group of unidentified gunmen opened fire on a checkpoint in al-Riyad neighbourhood in western Kirkuk. The attackers set the bodies of two of the policemen on fire before escaping.

#1: The Kirkuk air base came under an attack with an unknown rocket, a source from the city’s Joint Coordination Center (JCC) said on Friday. “The rocket landed in the air base, the headquarters of a Multi-National Force (MNF) contingent, after it had been fired from the area of al-Baath neighborhood, downtown Kirkuk,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: In the northern city of Mosul, a roadside bomb went off near an Iraqi army patrol Saturday, prompting soldiers to open fire to scare off any attackers. A stray bullet from the shooting killed a traffic policeman, police said.

A traffic policeman on Saturday was killed in an explosive charge blast in Mosul city, according to a local security source. “This morning, an explosive device hit an Iraqi army patrol vehicle in al-Qahera neighborhood, northern Mosul, killing a traffic policeman who was on duty,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Two policemen were wounded in clashes with gunmen in western Mosul, north of Baghdad, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Coalition and Afghan forces Saturday killed 11 militants during an overnight raid in northern Kunduz province, said Abdul Razaq Yaqoubi, the provincial police chief.

#2: In southern Uruzgan province, 14 civilians were killed Friday when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Churra district, the Interior Ministry said.

#3: In neighboring Kandahar province, another six civilians were killed by an improvised explosive device Friday in Maiwand district, said district police chief Bashir Hamad.

#4: A Taliban ambush, meanwhile, killed six private security guards working for a construction company in the eastern province of Kunar on Saturday, said Gen. Khalilullah Ziayi, the provincial police chief. Ten guards were wounded, he said.

#5: Also in the east, a suspected militant rocket attack killed three civilians in Sabari district of Khost, said Wazir Pacha, spokesman for the provincial police chief.

In the other incident, over a dozen rockets fired by Taliban insurgents in Khost province claimed the lives of three civilians, police chief of Sabari district Rasoul Mirjan told Xinhua. "The rebels fired 17 mortars Friday night on Sabari district and one of them hit a residential area killing three persons from one family," Mirjan said. The victims, he added, include two women and a man.

#6: Four police were killed in Nangarhar late Friday when militants attacked a border police checkpoint, said Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, spokesman for the governor.

#7: In eastern Paktika province, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives in Bermel district. Only the bomber died, the Interior Ministry said.

#8: Roadside mines planted by Taliban militants against Afghan troops claimed the lives of two civilians and injured another in Nadir Shahkot district of the eastern Khost province, a military officer Israr Mohammad told Xinhua. "The mines struck a civilian car Friday night killing two commuters and wounding another," the officer said. There were no harm and casualties on the troops, he stressed.

#9: Eight more terrorists including three Afghans were killed, nine injured while a personnel embraced shahadat and another injured in two separate incidents of exchange of fire between security forces and terrorists in Swat and Malakand Division. According to ISPR here on Saturday, security forces apprehended nine terrorists and 12 others voluntarily surrendered.
As per details, security carried out search operation at Samter near Banjot. Exchange of fire took place with terrorists resultantly one soldier embraced shahadat and another was injured, while five terrorists were killed and nine were apprehended. On a tip off, Security forces carried out search operation at Chinar and killed three terrorists.

Security forces killed five militants while one soldier was killed in an exchange of fire in the Swat valley, northwest of Islamabad, the military said. Troops also captured 18 militants while a dozen surrendered during search operations across the valley.

Troops killed three Afghan militants during a search launched after a tip-off in the Bajaur ethnic Pashtun tribal region on the Afghan border, the military said.

#10: Helicopter gunships destroyed two militant hideouts in the Tirah valley of the Khyber region on the Afghan border after reports insurgents had gathered there, paramilitary force officials said. They had no details on casualties

#11: A delegation of the Kalash Muslim community left Chitral for Nooristan area of Afghanistan on Friday to secure the release of Greek engineer Athanasius Lerounis who was kidnapped last week and reportedly taken to the adjacent Afghan area.

#12: An apparent suicide bomb attack hit a detention center in Kandahar, the capital of Kandahar province in south Afghanistan on Saturday afternoon, with casualties feared.

DoD: Lance Cpl. Christopher S. Fowlkes

DoD: 1st Lt. Tyler E. Parten