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, December 4, 2009

War News for Friday, December 04, 2009

ISAF suffered no fatalities in the last 24 hours.

Bottom-up Nation Building: By Amitai Etzioni

NATO chief: 25 countries to help in Afghan war:

C.I.A. Authorized to Expand Use of Drones in Pakistan:

Reported security incidents

#1: A civilian was killed and two others were wounded when an adhesive bomb that was stuck to a civilian car detonated near Babil hotel in Karrada neighborhood in downtown Baghdad around 7 p.m. Thursday.

#1: A suicide bomber wearing a vest packed with explosives killed a police commander and four of his bodyguards in Tikrit, the hometown of executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, yesterday, police said. The attack on a crowded street targeted Lt.-Col. Ahmed Subhi al-Fahal, head of Tikrit's riot police unit, while he was shopping. Seven civilians and two other police officers were wounded in the attack in the city, police said.

#1: “Policemen found at 6:30am on Friday (Dec. 4) the body of a young man, Sabah Mustapha Ahmad, in Ghurnata neighborhood in central Kirkuk,” Colonel Kamel Ahmad told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, noting that the body bore signs of gunshot wounds to the head.

#1: Two soldiers were killed and two others wounded in an armed attack in the northern Iraqi province of Ninewa on Thursday, a local security source said. “Unidentified gunmen carried out an attack with mortar shells on a military checkpoint belonging to the army’s 4th Contingent, 10th Brigade, 3rd Division, followed by sniper bullets’ attack, in a village of al-Mahlabiya, southeast the troubled Talafar district, (60 km) northwest of Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: A child was killed when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near him in western Mosul city on Thursday, a local police source in Ninewa said. “A four-year-old boy was wounded in an IED blast in al-Tanak neighborhood, western Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The explosive charge went off automatically and did not target any military facilities or vehicles,” he added.

#3: A policeman was wounded by gunmen fire in northern Mosul city on Thursday, a police source in Ninewa said. “Unidentified gunmen opened fire at a checkpoint in Nirkal, northern Mosul, leaving one policeman wounded,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Suicide attackers stormed a mosque close to Pakistan's army headquarters, killing 35 people during Friday prayers as they sprayed gunfire at worshippers and threw grenades before blowing themselves up, officials said. At least four attackers took part in the attack an inside a heavily fortified area in the garrison city of Rawalpindi just a few miles from the capital.
Witnesses said two of the militants entered the mosque, which was popular with army officers, while others ran into buildings nearby. With reporters prevented from getting close, security forces exchanged fire with the assailants for an hour before they blew themselves up or killing them.

#2: A minibus carrying members of a wedding party struck an anti-tank mine in tribal area on Friday, killing three people and wounding 15 others, officials said. The blast hit in Chinari town, about 50 kilometres northwest of Ghalanai, the main town in Mohmand tribal region, which borders Afghanistan and has been the focus of a recent anti-Taliban operation, top local administration official Amjad Ali Khan told a foreign news agency, saying the death toll may rise.