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

Friday, October 23, 2009

War News for Friday, October 23, 2009

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier in an IED attack in the Gereshk district, Helmand province, Afghanistan on Thursday, October 22nd.

US offering massive assistance to Pak in South Waziristan offensive:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Four persons, including a policeman, were wounded on Thursday in a bomb explosion in southeastern Baghdad, a police source said. “A sticky bomb, placed inside a civilian vehicle, went off Thursday afternoon (Oct. 22) in Jisr Diala region, southeastern Baghdad, killing 3 civilians and a policeman.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Unknown gunmen opened fire on a civilian car in al-Nada region, southern Khanaqin, northeast of Baaquba, injuring two civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, noting that one of them was in a critical condition.

#1: An improvised explosive device went off Friday targeting a police vehicle patrol in southwestern Kirkuk, without leaving casualties, a source from the joint coordination center said.

#1: A policeman and a gunman were killed in clashes that erupted in western Mosul city on Thursday, a security source in the Ninewa police said. “The two were killed in clashes between security forces and gunmen in Nabuls neighborhood, western Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: An improvised explosive device went off near a police patrol in New Mosul, in the western part of the city, leaving one policeman killed on Thursday.

#3: Another IED went off near a security patrol in al-Majmoua’a al-Thaqafiya area, northern Mosul, leaving three civilians who happened to be near the blast scene wounded,” the source added. “A retired major general of the former Iraqi army was among the wounded,” the source added.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A suicide bomber killed seven people near a major air force complex in northwest Pakistan on Friday. A lone suicide bomber on a bicycle blew himself up at a checkpoint on a road leading to the complex, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from the capital, Islamabad. Police officer Akbar Abbas blamed the Taliban for the attack. The seven dead included two troops. Some 13 people were wounded.

#2: Hours later, a blast struck the bus, which was traveling in the Mohmand tribal region. Four women and three children were among the 17 killed, said Zabit Khan, a local government official, who said the exact cause of the blast was still not certain. "It appears to be a remote-controlled bomb, and militants might have hit the bus mistakenly," Khan told The Associated Press.

#3: Also Friday, a car bomb exploded in the parking lot of a recreational facility in Peshawar, the main city in the northwest. Fifteen people were wounded. The facility includes a restaurant, a swimming pool, a health club and a marriage hall.

#4: A military statement Friday reported two more soldiers were killed, bringing the army's death toll to 20, and that 13 more militants were slain, bringing their death toll to 142. Reporters are blocked from entering the region, meaning verifying information is all but impossible.

#5: A senior Afghan intelligence official says a military aircraft crashed in the country's northern region Thursday.Provincial intelligence chief Abdul Majid Azimi says the aircraft went down in the mountains of Afghanistan's Baghlan province. He says it is unclear if the aircraft involved is a helicopter or a plane or to whom it belonged.A spokesman for NATO's international coalition in Afghanistan (International Security Assistance Force or ISAF) says there were no immediate reports of a crash involving any of its aircraft.

#6: Joint Afghan-NATO forces killed a number of suspected Taliban militants and wounded one in central Wardak province on Thursday, ISAF said.

DoD: Spc. Kyle A. Coumas