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 25, 2009

War News for Friday, December 25, 2009

There were no ISAF fatalities in the last 24 hours in Afghanistan.

Taliban releases video it claims is of US soldier captured in Afghanistan:

NATO confirms American soldier captured:

Reported security incidents

#1: Five people were killed and 22 others wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off in the eastern Baghdad district of Sadr City on Thursday, a local security source said. “The IED went off near a funerary gathering in Sector 42, Sadr City district, eastern Baghdad, leaving five people killed and 22 others wounded,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Three people were killed and eight others wounded on Thursday when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off in al-Zaafaraniya, southeastern Baghdad, a local security source said. “An IED went off near a Shiite funerary gathering in the area of Sa’eeda, al-Zaafaraniya neighborhood, southeastern Baghdad, killing three and wounding eight others,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: One civilian was killed and four others were wounded in a roadside bomb explosion in eastern Baghdad on Friday, a police source said. “The bomb, planted by gunmen in al-Shamaiya region in eastern Baghdad, went off, killing a civilian and injuring four,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Unknown gunmen slew on Thursday a prominent figure in Jalawlaa, said a local security source in Diala province. “The victim is Shokor Tayyeb. His daughter, Amal, is a candidate of the Kurdistan Alliance List participating in the upcoming parliamentary election,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. He said that the armed men stabbed Tayyeb with knives before slitting his throat.

#1: An improvised explosive device went off near a Shiite procession of pilgrims visiting the holy city of Karbala for the Ashuraa but nothing was said about possible casualties, according to eyewitnesses on Thursday. “A blast targeted a Husseini procession in the area of Bab Baghdad on Maytham al-Timar street in Karbala city. The blast, based on initial information, was the result of an IED,” the Aswat al-Iraq news agency correspondent reported.

Twenty-two Shiite pilgrims were killed or wounded when three gas cylinders exploded in the holy Shiite city of Karbala on Thursday, a security source said. “Three gas cylinders that were used to prepare dinner meals for the pilgrims reviving the Muharram 10th anniversary, or Ashuraa, exploded near a Husseini procession, leaving a number of them killed or wounded,” the security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: A roadside bomb wounded four civilians in Kerbala, 80 km (50 miles) southwest of Baghdad on Thursday night, police said

#1: Gunmen opened fire on a local pro-government militia checkpoint on Thursday night, killing one and wounding two others in Shirqat, 300 km (190 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Unidentified gunmen opened fire southwest of Kirkuk city, killing a civil servant of the electricity department in al-Rashad district, a senior security source in Kirkuk said on Thursday. “Gunmen in a vehicle opened drive-by fire on the civilian who was also in his car,” Brig. Sarhad Qader, the chief of the Kirkuk Districts’ Police Department (KDPD), told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Three Peshmerga forces were killed on Friday and ten were wounded in a car bomb explosion in Sinjar, according to a security source. “A car rigged with explosives went off on Friday (Dec. 25) targeting A Peshmerga forces vehicle patrol between al-Rabieaya and Sinjar districts, western Talafar, killing three and injuring ten,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

A suicide bomber detonated a car laden with explosives and killed one soldier from the minority Kurds' Peshmerga military and wounded 14 others near Iraq's border with Syria in northern Nineveh province, said Khaled Abdala, a local leader from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). A different source from the KDP said the explosion was not a suicide attack, but a remotely detonated car bomb, and put the toll at one killed and 10 wounded.

#1: A high-ranking member of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's Baath Party was on Friday fatally shot in a suburb of the northern Iraqi town of Mosul, witnesses said. Ahmed Kamel al-Badrani, a former officer in Hussein's feared military intelligence apparatus, was gunned down in front of his home in the western Mosul district of Amil, witnesses told the German Press Agency dpa.

#2: Update Two people died late Thursday of wounds sustained in the suicide explosion that targeted chairman of the Talafar council, raising the fatalities to four, a medical source said on Friday. “The two bodyguards were seriously wounded in the explosion that took place last Monday (Dec. 21),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: US forces killed an insane man in west of Mosul city, a security source said on Friday. “The forces killed an insane man late Thursday (Dec. 24) in Tal Abta district, west of Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The 17-year-old young man appeared in front of the US patrol holding a plastic gun,” he said, noting that the forces thought he is a gunman and killed him.

#4: Update The final toll of the double explosions in the city of Hilla on Thursday rose to 25 dead and 105 wounded, a police source said on Friday. “A police force managed to defuse a number of bombs in the same area on Thursday (Dec. 24),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The explosions killed 25, including 14 policemen, and wounded 105, including 35 cops,” he added. A police source had said yesterday (Dec.24) that 12 persons were killed, including member of the Babel council Neaamat al-Bakri, and 50 others were wounded, including Commander of anti-explosive department Colonel Taleb al-Shemri and two of his aides, when a car bomb and an improvised explosive device went off in central Hilla.

#5: Three employees were killed on Friday by unknown gunmen in western Mosul, a police source said. “Unknown gunmen opened fire on a number of the census employees in al-Hay al-Senaai region, western Mosul, killing three of them,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#6: Police found the body of a woman who had been suffocated to death in western Mosul, police said.

#7: An attacker threw an explosive at an Iraqi police patrol, killing one civilian and wounding another in central Mosul, police said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Two gunmen were arrested while attempting to plant an improvised explosive device (IED) in central al-Falluja city on Thursday, a local security source said. “The Falluja police forces, acting upon intelligence tip-offs, arrested two gunmen while emplacing an IED near a checkpoint in al-Andalus neighborhood, central Falluja,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: A sticky bomb exploded on Friday inside a car in eastern Falluja, without leaving casualties, a police source said. “The bomb, stuck to a civilian vehicle, went off on Friday morning (Dec. 25) on a road in al-Karma district, eastern Falluja, without causing casualties,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: Anbar emergency police chief survived an attempt on his life on Friday morning in southern Falluja, according to a police source. “Unknown gunmen on Friday morning (De. 25) opened fire on the motorcade of Colonel Ghazi al-Dulaimi using light weapons in al-Aameriya district in southern Falluja,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “Policemen clashed with the attackers and managed to injure and arrest one of them,” he added. “The colonel was not hurt, while the gunmen fled to unknown place,” he said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A suicide bomber killed up to 10 people in Pakistan on Friday. A suicide bomber struck near a mosque by a police compound in the district of Lower Dir. "We have 8 to 10 people killed. We have dead bodies as well as body parts and there are 28 wounded," said Jamal Hayat, a doctor at the region's main hospital.

#2: At about the same time, a U.S. drone aircraft fired four missiles in the North Waziristan region, killing six militants, Pakistani security officials said.

#3: A government official says Pakistan's army has killed at least nine suspected militants in a northwest tribal region near the Afghan border. Mohammed Yasin says the military used helicopter gunships to destroy three militant hide-outs in the Orakzai area early Friday.

At least 12 militants were killed Friday during military operations in northwest Pakistan, local TV channel reported. Gunship helicopters and warplanes bombed the hideouts of the militants in Ferozkhel Mela region of Orakzai tribal agency, as a result eight militants were killed and 10 others injured, the private channel ARY News reported. In the airstrikes, four hideouts and three vehicles were also destroyed.

Besides, at least four militants were killed in clash with security forces in Swat valley, North West Frontier Province. According to Swat Media Center, unknown militants opened fire at the army men in a search operation at Serai Amlok area of Malakand region. During clash four militants were killed with large quantity of munitions recovered.