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

Thursday, September 24, 2009

War News for Thursday, September 24, 2009

The DoD is reporting a new death. Tech Sgt. James R Hornbarger died in a non-hostile incident somewhere in the Mediterranean on Sunday, September 12th.

No ISAF members were killed in the last 24 hours.

Sept. 21 airpower summary:

Rapid City soldier critically injured in Afghanistan:

Number of traumatized German soldiers soars:

Taliban Widen Afghan Attacks From Base in Pakistan:

Three people wounded in blast in SE Turkey:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A roadside bomb went off in the commercial district in Saidiyah, southern Baghdad at 11 p.m. Wednesday causing no casualties.

#2: A roadside bomb targeted a U.S. military convoy on the highway in Ghazaliyah, western Baghdad at 11.30 p.m. Wednesday. No casualties were reported.

Abu Ghraib:
#1: A magnetic bomb was attached to the car of a senior tribal leader in Abu Ghraib neighbourhood, western Baghdad, Wednesday. The bomb was planted under the passenger seat were the sheikh usually sits, but this time he was driving and got away with superficial injuries while his bodyguard – sitting in the passenger seat was seriously injured.

#1: Five al-Qaida-linked prisoners awaiting execution and 11 other inmates broke out of a prison in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, prompting a massive manhunt Thursday, officials said. A complete curfew was imposed on the city of 250,000 after the prisoners escaped at around 11:15 p.m. Wednesday. Checkpoints have been set up throughout the city and at roads leading out, a Tikrit police officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the operation with media.

Sixteen inmates, five of them are sentenced to death for insurgent activties, escaped from a prison in the city of Tikrit, 150 km (95 miles) north of Baghdad, on Wednesday night, police said. Only one of the men who escaped has since been captured, police said.

#1: Gunmen killed a policeman in his home in western Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: Two police were killed in an attack at a checkpoint in a crowded section of downtown Mosul, police said. Mosul is 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Two civilians were wounded Wednesday in a sticky bomb blast in eastern Falluja, a police source said. “Two civilians, from the same family, were injured when a bomb, stuck to their vehicle, went off in al-Haswa region, eastern Falluja,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, noting that the blast targeted one of the region’s mayors.

#2: Three civilians on Wednesday were injured in an explosive charge blast in Falluja city, according to a local security source. “This evening, an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near a house in Zawbaa village, wounding three civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#2: An official says militants have killed two members of an anti-Taleban citizen's group tasked with protecting their community in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Mayor Mohammad Ibrar Khan says the assailants struck early today as members of the "peace committee" slept in Swat's Sertelegram area.

#2: Militants ambushed a convoy of prominent anti-Taliban tribal elders in volatile northwest Pakistan on Thursday, spraying their cars with gunfire, killing nine people and wounding six others. The members of the anti-Taliban citizen's group were traveling from the Machikhel area to meet security officials in Bannu district when their three-vehicle convoy was attacked by insurgents, police officer Mohammad Ghani Khan said. Nine bodies were recovered from the bullet-riddled cars, including at least four tribal elders who had opposed the Taliban in the region, said Ajaz Khan, another police officer. Six people were wounded and hospitalized, he said. Armed local residents came out of their homes and fought off the Taliban after the ambush, preventing them from finishing off the survivors, Khan said. Security forces later arrived in Khaisur area and joined the gunbattle that still raged Thursday afternoon.

#3: Soldiers killed at least six militants in the nearby the Malakand tribal region during a firefight early Thursday, an official said. Insurgents ambushed a vehicle carrying Pakistani troops near an Afghan refugee camp, police official Akram Khan said. The soldiers returned fire and killed the six attackers. None of the troops were hurt.

#4: A roadside bomb tore through an Afghan police vehicle killing three policemen and wounding two others in a Taliban stronghold of southern Afghanistan on Thursday, the government said. The police were en route from Lashkar Ghah, capital of Helmand province to neighbouring Girishk district when the blast took place, Daud Ahmadi, spokesman for the provincial governor, told AFP.

#5: Unknown armed men shot dead former Jihadi commander Mullah Abdul Rauf in Baghlan province, north of Afghanistan, on Thursday, police said. "Mullah Abdul Rauf was on his way to provincial capital Pul-e-Khumri when unidentified men opened fire on his car in Ainal area, killing him on the spot and injuring two others including his son," a police officer Abdul Hai Ramzi told Xinhua. Rauf, a pro-government Jihadi commander was among those who had already handed over his arms to government and supported durable peace in the country.

#6: A roadside bomb wounded seven people including a provincial intelligence chief, four of his bodyguards and two civilians in the western city of Farah, provincial governor Rohul Amin said.

#7: Afghan and foreign forces killed 15 Taliban insurgents in an operation in the Char Chino district of Uruzgan province in the south of the country on Wednesday, the Interior Ministry said. The Taliban could not be reached for comment.

#8: Several insurgents were killed during an operation conducted by Afghan and foreign troops in the Marjah district of southern Helmand province overnight, provincial police chief Asadullah Sherzad said.

Air strikes against Taliban militants left five insurgents dead and injured over a dozen others in Taliban former stronghold Kandahar of southern Afghanistan, police said Thursday. "The attack by international troops occurred in Faqiran villageof Arghandab district late Wednesday night as a result five rebelswere killed and 15 others sustained injures," deputy to provincialpolice chief Fazal Mohammad Shirzad told Xinhua. Meantime, some locals believed that six of the injured men are innocent villagers, but Shirzad insisted that all injured in the air raids are Taliban fighters.

DoD: Tech Sgt. James R Hornbarger

DoD: Pfc. William L. Meredith