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 29, 2009

War News for Thursday, October 29, 2009

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) soldier from a non-combat related injury at at Camp Adder, Iraq (20 k. sw. of An Nasiriyah) on Wednesday, October 28th.

The AP is reporting the death of an American soldier in an "accident" somewhere in Kuwait on Thursday, October 29th.

The DND/CF is reporting the death of a Canadian ISAF soldier in an IED attack 20 kilometres south-west of Kandahar City, Kandahar province, Afghanistan on Wednesday, October 28th. Two additional soldiers were wounded in the attack.

NATO is reporting the death of a second ISAF soldier in an IED attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, October 28th. We suspect this is an American.

Police arrested over Iraq bombing:

U.S. Assesses Security In Southern Iraq:

Filipina UN poll volunteer killed in Kabul attack:

Makeshift Bombs Spread Beyond Afghanistan, Iraq:

Reported security incidents

#1: Three civilians were killed and four others wounded when an improvised explosive device went off near a passenger vehicle in eastern Baghdad on Wednesday, police said. “An IED attached to a passenger vehicle went off near al-Baladiyat intersection in eastern Baghdad, leaving three persons, including two women, killed and four others wounded,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A suicide car bomber struck a U.S. patrol in the city of Baquba, the capital of Diyala province on Thursday, killing at least a civilian and wounding two others, a provincial police source said. The suicide bomber blew up an explosive-laden car near a U.S. military patrol near the al-Batool Hospital in eastern Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. Two U.S. vehicles were damaged by the blast, the source said, but he could not tell whether the U.S. soldiers sustained any casualty as the troop immediately sealed off the scene. The death toll among civilians from the suicide attack could rise, he said, adding that the powerful blast also caused damages to the hospital building. The U.S. military has no immediate comment on the incident.

#2: Two policemen were wounded when an improvised explosive device went off in Jalawlaa district on Wednesday, according to a local security source. “An IED planted by unidentified persons in the area of Tabaj, Jalawlaa, (30 km) southwest of Khanaqin, went off just as a police patrol was driving by, leaving two policemen wounded,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: Gunmen assassinated the chief of the sahwa (awakening) tribal forces in Umm al-Nakhl area, north of the city of Baaquba, on Wednesday, an official security source in Diala said. “Gunmen suspected members of Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) network intercepted Abdulsattar al-Tai’e, the chief of the sahwa forces in Umm al-Nakhl, al-Khalis district, (15 km) north of Baaquba, and showered him with bullets, killing him instantly,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Policemen in Missan defused three improvised explosive devices in central al-Amara city on Wednesday, a local security official said. “Personnel from the Missan Emergency Police Department dismantled three IEDs that were planted on the roadside in al-Hussein neighborhood, central Amara,” Col. Sadeq Sallam, the director of the Missan police relations & information department, told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

al Jabiriya:
#1: An official of the Samarra sahwa (awakening) tribal forces survived an assassination attempt with an improvised explosive device attached to his vehicle east of the city on Wednesday, a sahwa source said. “Raheem Muzieb al-Bazi, the official in charge of al-Jabiriya sahwa forces, east of Samarra, escaped the attempt as the IED went off after he went out of his car and entered his house,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The blast left a woman who happened to be near the site wounded.

#1: An improvised explosive device went off Thursday in central Kirkuk without causing damage, a source from the joint coordination center said. “The bomb exploded on Thursday (Oct. 29) in al-Quds street, behind al-Mansour mosque, central Kirkuk, without causing casualties or material damage,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Four people were killed and six others were wounded including one policeman by a roadside bomb that targeted an Iraqi army patrol in North bus station in east Mosul at around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Tal Afar:
#1: A suicide bomber was killed on Thursday in an explosive belt blast in northern Talafar, an army source said. “The bomber was killed in the small hours of Thursday (Oct. 29) when an explosive belt, which he was attempting to put it on, went off inside his house in al-Salam neighborhood in northern Talafar,” Colonel Shehab Ahmad told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Meanwhile, Talafar police chief, Colonel Ali Hadi Ubeid, told Aswat al-Iraq news agency that unknown gunmen attacked a policeman yesterday night in front of his house in Alwa village, northern Talafar, using light weapons, killing him instantly.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1-5: Pakistani security forces killed 11 more militants during the last 24 hours, bringing the total fatality to over 280, as the operation in the country's tribal area steadily progressed towards the Taliban strongholds in South Waziristan, the amy said Thursday in a daily press release. The army said one soldier was killed and another two security forces personnel were injured in clashes in the last 24 hours during the ground assault in various areas in the tribal agency near the border with Afghanistan.

#1: In the operation coded as Rah-e-Nijat, or path of salvation, the security forces continued shelling on extremists hideouts on main Jandola-Sararogha axis, Shakai-Kaniguram axis and Razmak-Makeen axis, the army said.

#2: On Jandola-Sararogha axis, the security forces are consolidating their positions along the main axis Kotkai-Sararogha and the important town of Inzar Kalay has been fully sanitized and cleared of mines, improvised explosive devices and bobby traps, according to the press release.

#3: On Shakai-Kaniguram axis, the security forces are expanding their perimeter of security and closing in towards Kaniguram from east and west.

#4: On Razmak-Makeen axis, the security forces successfully moved forward after fully securing Sharakai Sar and secured Pakalita and Manza Sar feature North East of village China.

#5: In the ending operation in Swat and Malakand, the army said, the security arrested four suspects and recovered vehicle of terrorist commander Hussain with driver from Ballogram near Mingora.

#6: Clash between Taliban and police in Ghazni province south of Afghanistan left six insurgents dead, a private television channel reported Thursday. "Six Taliban insurgents were killed in clash with police in Gero district last night," Tolo television aired in its bulletin. The television quoting local officials also reported that one police constable was injured in the firefight. Earlier authorities reported that 25 Taliban insurgents were killed in Badghis province.

#7: Finnish peacekeepers serving in Afghanistan have again come under fire. No injuries were reported in the incident. A group of Swedish and Finnish peacekeepers were on patrol with Afghan police and troops in the western part of the country at the time. After the initial assault, peacekeepers came under fire in the ensuing gun battle which lasted for several hours. Both the peacekeepers and Afghan officials responded with hand gun fire backed by air support. The incident took place early Thursday morning some 160 kilometres distant from Mazar-I-Sharif.

DoD: Maj. David L. Audo

DND/CF: Lieutenant Justin Boyes