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, October 10, 2009

War News for Saturday, October 10, 2009

NATO is reporting the death of an American ISAF service member in an IED attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Friday, October 9th.

The AFP is reporting the deaths of two Polish ISAF soldiers in a roadside bombing in Wardak province, Afghanistan on Friday, October 9th. Four additional soldiers were wounded in the attack.

Bomb kills anti-insurgent cleric in Iraq:

Yemen forces kill 100 rebels in northern province:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Three civilians on Saturday were injured in an explosive charge blast in Babel province, according to a local police source. “An improvised explosive device detonated in a store in al-Iskandriya district (50 km north of Hilla), wounding the storekeeper and two children who were playing outside,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. The blast also caused some material damage, the source added.

#1: A bomb explosion at a barber shop in a town south of Baghdad killed three people on Thursday and wounded 10 others, a well-informed police source said. "An explosive charge left at the door of a barber shop in the town of Yousifiyah, some 20 km south of Baghdad, detonated before sunset, killing three people and wounding ten others," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Gunmen wearing military uniforms and wielding assault rifles and grenades attacked Pakistan's army headquarters Saturday, sparking a ferocious gunbattle outside the capital that killed four of the assailants and at least six soldiers, authorities said. Two of the attackers managed to infiltrate the heavily fortified compound in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, and troops were trying to flush them out hours after the initial assault, the military said. An Associated Press reporter at the scene heard four gunshots from inside the compound _ long after an army spokesman said the situation was under control.

The attack began shortly before noon when the gunmen, dressed in camouflage military uniforms, drove in a white van up to the army compound and tried to force their way inside, army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said.The assailants shot at the guards at one checkpoint, killing some of them, and then jumped out of the van and ran toward a second checkpoint, he said. Abbas said the guards were likely confused by the attackers' uniforms. Abbas said six troops were killed and five wounded, one critically. An intelligence official said eight soldiers were killed.

#2: A car blast rocked Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan, killing an army officer on Saturday, provincial governor Mohammad Omar said, Xinhua reported. "Some ones planted an explosive device on the car of the Speed Reaction Force official who was killed in the blast," Omar told Xinhua. He did not give more details.

#3: A pilotless plane of the NATO-led international Security Assistance Force (ISAF) crashed in Kunduz province north of Afghanistan Saturday, a local official said. "The drone crashed in Kaltarash area of Dasht-e-Archi district this morning but caused no damage," Shikh Sadi the district chief told Xinhua.

DoD: Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth W. Westbrook