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

Monday, December 21, 2009

War News for Monday, December 21, 2009

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

Dec. 16 airpower summary: Dec. 17 airpower summary:

Iraqi Qaeda Group Shifts to Remain a Threat:

Reported security incidents

#1: In Baghdad, two more policemen were injured by a roadside bomb explosion near their patrol while passing in the al-Adel neighborhood in western the capital, the source said.

#2: In separate incident, two civilians were wounded when a roadside bomb went off in the Baladiyat neighborhood in eastern Baghdad, he said.

#3: In central the capital, two civilians were injured when a roadside bomb went off in Karrada district, he said.

#4: Also in central the city, two more civilians were wounded when a bomb stuck to their car while passing through a street near the abandoned al-Muthanna Airport, he added.

#1: A criminal investigations officer has survived an assassination attempt when an explosive device hit his vehicle in Kirkuk, a local police source said on Monday. “This morning, Maj. Bassem Matar Hussein from the Criminal Investigations Department in Kirkuk survived an attempt on his life when a sticky explosive device hit his vehicle in front of his house in al-Dubbat neighborhood near Kirkuk Park, southern Kirkuk,” Col. Ghazi Ali told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. The blast has totally destroyed the vehicle, but no casualties were reported, the colonel added.

#2: Unknown gunmen opened fire on a house in Kirkuk City, wounding an 18-year-old girl who was rushed to the hospital, a local security source said on Monday. “The incident occurred at 10:00 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 20) in Arafa area near the Oil Institute, western Kirkuk,” a source from the Joint Coordination Center told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: “Meanwhile, police forces found an explosive device at 11:00 p.m. yesterday in front of a house in Sahat al-Tayaran Square, downtown Kirkuk, and managed to safely defuse it,” the same source noted.

#4: An emergency policeman has been killed during an armed attack in southern Kirkuk, a local security source said on Monday. “At noon, unknown gunmen driving a vehicle opened fire on an emergency policeman in front of a gas station in southern Kirkuk, killing him on the spot,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Tal Afar:
#1: The district council chief of the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar and one of his guards were killed in a suicide bombing on Monday, police said. "Hussein Ekraysh was killed today when a suicide bomber targeted his car by detonating his explosives belt," police Major Akram Khalil said. In addition to the deaths of Ekraysh, a Turkman, and his bodyguard, three other guards were wounded, along with two district council members and five passersby.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A policeman was killed when an explosive charge attached to his car detonated and destroyed his vehicle in the city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Police fought a three-hour gunbattle in the center of an Afghan provincial capital Monday, finally killing two Taliban militants firing from the top floor of a commercial building with dozens of civilians inside, an official said. Three civilians and one police officer were wounded in the fighting in the eastern province of Paktia, said the deputy provincial police chief, who disputed reports that the attackers were wearing suicide vests.

Afghan security forces killed three militants Monday after a group of Taliban fighters attacked a police station in eastern Afghanistan, officials said.The militants equipped with suicide vests and automatic weapons attacked a police station in the heart of Gardez city, the provincial capital of the south-eastern province of Paktika, Monday morning, Rohullah Samoon, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said.'So far three militants were killed in a firefight and the rest were surrounded by police and army forces inside a market,' he said, but did not have any immediate information whether there were casualties among the government forces.

#2: Also Monday, the Defense Ministry said 24 militants were killed in operations the day before. The ministry said eight insurgents were killed in southern Helmand province, six in Ghazni in the east, seven in northern Kunduz province, two in Kandahar province in the south and one in Wardak, west of Kabul.

#3: NATO said a joint Afghan-international force killed several militants on Sunday after coming under fire while searching a compound in Wardak province.

#4: In Nangarhar province in Afghanistan's east, a civilian was killed and two were injured when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb, said Gafor Khan, a spokesman for the provincial police chief.

#5: Pakistani suspected pro-Taliban militants have destroyed two oil tankers carrying fuel for NATO forces in Afghanistan. Police officials told Press TV that armed militants set fire to tankers on the outskirts of Quetta, the capital of southwestern province of Balochistan on Sunday. The tankers were coming in from Karachi and as it neared a hotel, men in a pick-up opened fire on them.

#6: At least six militants were killed and 17 others arrested during military operations in northwest Pakistan in the last 24 hours, the army said in a statement on Monday. Security forces killed two militants and arrested three others during search and clearance operation in South Waziristan tribal area, the Inter Service Public Relations said in the daily press release. Militants fired at several security checkpoints and met with counter attack. Meanwhile, the army cleared 40 compounds and recovered huge cache of arms and explosive. In Swat and Malakand areas of North West Frontier Province, security forces continued search operations, killing four militants and apprehending 14 suspects.

MoD: Corporal Simon Hornby