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, October 15, 2009

War News for Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Italian Defense Ministry is reporting the death of an Italian ISAF soldier in a vehicle accident in Herat, Afghanistan on Thursday, October 15th. Two additional soldiers were wounded in the attack.

Oct. 10 airpower summary:

Oct. 11 airpower summary:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A roadside bomb struck an Iraqi army patrol Thursday in Baghdad, the latest in a string of attacks in Iraq that have raised questions about the ability of the country's security forces to maintain hard-won stability. The bomb killed one Iraqi soldier when it hit a patrol passing through a busy square in central Baghdad, an Iraqi police official said. Thursday's attack also wounded one civilian and two soldiers.

#2: Three civilians were injured by a roadside bomb in Tayaran intersection in downtown Baghdad around 3 p.m. Wednesday.

#1: Also yesterday, three explosions killed at least three people and wounded 40 in Iraq's Kerbala, security and health officials said, in a rare attack in one of the holiest cities for Shiite Muslims. A police source said three people were killed and 40 injured in the attacks in Kerbala, 80 km southwest of the Iraqi capital. But other sources put the death toll as high as 12 or as low as one.

Thi Qar Prv:
#1: Two roadside bombs hit on Wednesday a U.S. patrol at al-Refaee area of Thi-Qar province without causing casualties, while a third bomb in the area was dismantled. “The two blasts left only some damages in a U.S. patrol,” Sajad al-Asadi, head of Thi-Qar security committee, told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. He said that U.S. forces were able to find a locally made third bomb planted at the area.

Yuz Khurmato:
#1: A roadside bomb wounded a member of the Kurdish security forces on Wednesday in Tuz Khurmato, 170 km (105 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A roadside bomb went off on Wednesday in front of a house in southern Kirkuk, while another was dismantled in a separate incident in the province. “The blast left only minor damage,” a security source from Kirkuk told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. He said that the bomb was planted near the house to push its owner to pay a ransom. The source also said that another bomb was discovered in a separate incident.

#2: Four policemen were wounded on Thursday in an improvised explosive device blast in southern Kirkuk, a senior security official said. “An explosive device went off on Thursday morning (Oct. 15) targeting an emergency police vehicle patrol near a vegetable market in southern Kirkuk , injuring four policemen and damaging their car,” Brig. Sarhad Qader, the Kirkuk Districts’ Police Department (KDPD), told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Gunmen using pistols with silencers opened fire a security guard in Al-Ekhaa neighborhood in east Mosul on Wednesday afternoon.

#2: A roadside bomb killed one policeman and wounded another officer and three civilians in western Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#3: A roadside bomb targeting an Iraqi army patrol wounded one civilian in eastern Mosul, police said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: An assailant attacked and wounded a local journalist on Wednesday in Ramadi, 100 km (60 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1-3: Teams of gunmen attacked three law enforcement facilities across the eastern city of Lahore on Thursday, paralyzing Pakistan's cultural capital. The assaults began just after 9 a.m. when a group of gunmen attacked a building housing the Federal Investigation Agency, a law enforcement branch that deals with matters ranging from immigration to terrorism. The attack lasted about 1 1/2 hours and ended with the death of two attackers, four government employees and a bystander, senior government official Sajjad Bhutta said.

#2: Soon after, a second band of gunman raided a police training school in Manawan on the outskirts of the city in a brief attack that killed nine police officers and four militants, according to police and hospital officials. One of the gunmen was killed by police at the compound and the other three blew themselves up.

#3: A third team of at least eight gunmen scaled the back wall of an elite police commando training center not far from the airport and attacked the facility, Lahore police chief Pervez Rathore said. A family barricaded itself in a room in a house, while the attackers stood on the roof, shooting at security forces and throwing grenades, said Lt. Gen. Shafqat Ahmad, the top military official in Lahore. Two attackers were slain in the gunbattle and three blew themselves up, he said. One police nursing assistant and a civilian also died in the attack, he said.

#4: In the Taliban-riddled northwest, meanwhile, a suicide car bomb exploded next to a police station in the Saddar area of Kohat, collapsing half the building and killing 11 people — three police officers and eight civilians — Kohat police chief Abdullah Khan said.

#5: Early Thursday evening, a bomb planted in a car outside a home in the Gulshan Rehman area of Peshawar city exploded, city police chief Ijaz Khan said. A nearby school was closed at the time. Local police official Aalam Sher said five wounded people were hospitalized.

#6: US drones after a brief lull struck again firing missiles at a Taliban hideout in Pakistan's restive NWFP killing five people, mostly militants, officials said. Four persons were killed on the spot and seven others injured when the missiles fired by the drone hit an area near Miranshah in North Waziristan Agency late last night, they said. One more person died this morning, officials were quoted as saying by TV news channels. The drone fired three missiles at a house where Afghan nationals were staying and according to local officials the premises belonged to Afghan Taliban warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani.

#7: Pakistani jets pounded militant hide-outs along the Afghan border overnight as hundreds of thousands of civilians fled South Waziristan in anticipation of an expected government offensive there, government officials said Wednesday.

#8: Pakistan's security forces killed five militants and arrested 19 others in the continued search and clearance operations in northwest Pakistan's Swat and Malakand districts during the last 24 hours, the army said Thursday.

#9: Afghan forces in joint operation with NATO-led troops against Taliban militants in Zabul province south of Afghanistan killed nearly two dozen insurgents, provincial police chief Abdul Rahman Sarjang said Thursday. "The operations launched since Wednesday night and covered Nawbahar and Arghandab districts had left 22 rebels dead," Rahman told Xinhua. Fourteen insurgents, he added, were killed in Nawbahar and eight others in Arghandab districts. Nevertheless, the official stressed that there were no casualties on the troops.