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, December 26, 2009

War News for Friday, December 26, 2009

NATO is reporting the death of an American ISAF soldier in an IED explosion in an undisclosed location in Afghanistan on Friday, December 25th.

US spies, not combat troops in Pak: Holbrooke:

Civilian, military planners have different views on new approach to Afghanistan:

Reported security incidents

#1: Also on Saturday, three policemen and two civilians were wounded when a roadside bomb struck a police patrol in Baghdad' southeastern district of Zaafaraniyah, the police said.

#2: An Iraqi police official says a roadside bomb has killed three Shiite pilgrims in eastern Baghdad in the latest round of violence to strike worshippers during a revered Shiite observance. The official says Saturday's bomb was planted near a tent that offered drinks and food to pilgrims. He says 16 people were injured. A medical official confirmed the casualty figures.

#3: A member of the Baghdad local council escaped an assassination attempt when an improvised explosive device that targeted pilgrims in the east of the capital city who were heading for the holy Shiite city of Karbala, the council chief said on Friday. “Sabbar al-Saadi escaped the IED blast in the area of al-Maamil. He was rushed to a nearby hospital and his health condition is stable,” Kamel al-Zaydi told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. Meanwhile, a source in Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr’s office in Baghdad said Sheikh Amjad al-Saadi, the office’s relations director, and a driver were wounded in the explosion, adding the local officials were inspecting the Husseini processions that were heading to Karbala, where Shiite Muslims are celebrating the Ashuraa.

#4: Three people were killed and seven others wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) attack targeted a Shiite procession in Baghdad on Friday evening, a security source said.
“The IED left three pilgrims killed and seven others injured in the eastern Baghdad district of al-Rashad, when they were going on foot in a procession heading for Karbala,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#5: Two persons were killed and eight others wounded in an improvised explosive device attack that targeted a procession of Shiite pilgrims heading to the holy city of Karbala to celebrate the Ashuraa. “Two civilians were killed and eight others wounded in the attack that took place near the Baghdad al-Jadida (New Baghdad) area, in the southeastern part of the city,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Abu Ghraib:
#1: Mahmoud Hussein al-Obiedi, a Sunni chieftain, was killed in a bomb explosion outside his house in Baghdad's western suburb of Abu Ghraib, a local police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Tuz Khurmato:
#1: Elsewhere, a policeman and four civilians were wounded when an explosive charge hidden in a garbage container detonated near a police checkpoint in the town of Tuz Khurmato, some 90 km east of Tikrit, the capital city of Salahudin province in north of Baghdad, a provincial police source said.

#1: Iraqi forces defused a car bomb that was meant to target security forces in eastern Mosul on Friday, a local security source within the Ninewa Operations Command (NOC) said. “The police managed to dismantle a car bomb that was parked in the area of Bazwaya, on the main street that leads to Bartala district, eastern Mosul city, without incident,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The explosive vehicle was meant to target the security forces heading for Bartala that has recently witnessed disputes between Christians and ethnic Shabaks,” the source added.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: In separate incident, Mallooky al-Jumaily, a police Lieutenant General, was killed in the morning by a bomb explosion in front of his house in the city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad, a anonymous source from the city police told Xinhua.

A civilian man was killed on Saturday morning when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near his house in central al-Falluja district, a local police source said. “An IED planted on the roadside in al-Jumhouriya neighborhood, central Falluja, went off right after a civilian man stepped out of his house, killing him instantly,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Eight militants have been killed in clash with security forces in Afghanistan's northern Kunduz province, a private television channel Tolo reported on Saturday. The clash occurred in 3rd precinct of provincial capital Kunduz city on Friday evening, leaving eight insurgents dead, the television report added. Three more militants were injured in the firefight lasted for awhile, Tolo said. There were no casualties on the security forces.

#2: A heavily armed Taliban commander was killed Saturday during an pre-dawn shootout at a mosque in eastern Afghanistan. Afghan security forces surrounded the mosque outside the town of Pirdad in the Nirkh district and called for him to surrender. When he didn't, they went inside."The Taliban commander opened fire with his AK-47 while in the mosque and was killed by the Afghan security force," NATO said in a statement. Abdul Haq, acting police commander of Nirkh province, said the shooting actually occurred in the mosque compound, not inside the mosque itself. The shootout was at about 3 a.m."As the Afghan forces were about to enter the mosque, he escaped through a window," Haq said. "For the second time, the Afghan forces shouted at him to stop. He didn't, and they opened fire on him and he was killed. He was not killed inside the mosque, but in the mosque compound."

#3: Militants assassinated an anti-Taliban tribal elder and dumped his beheaded body by the roadside in Pakistan's northwest tribal belt, officials said Saturday. Gul Mohammad, 42, an elder of the Salarzai tribe, had been active in raising a village militia to battle Taliban militants in the Bajaur tribal district bordering Afghanistan, an official said. "The body of Gul Mohammad was found this morning in Mamund village," Faramosh Khan, a local administration official in Khar, the main town in Bajaur, told AFP. "A note found on the beheaded body said that anyone joining the militia against the Taliban would be killed in the same manner," Khan said.

#4: At least five people were killed and two others were wounded Saturday in a gun battle between two rival militant groups in a Pakistani tribal region, locals said. Clashes erupted between the banned "Lashkar-e-Islam" and "Ansaar-ul-Islam" groups in the Terah valley of Khyber Agency in Pakistan's northwest. Sources said that supporters of both groups used light and heavy weapons to target each others' bunkers.