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 5, 2009

War News for Saturday, December 05, 2009

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

Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline resumes pumping oil:

Turkish soldier killed in clash with PKK:

Bulgaria Confirms Afghanistan Commitment: In addition to the deposit, Bulgaria is expected to send to Afghanistan a second group of 20-25 military instructors to train Afghani forces.

Armenian peacekeepers to go Afghanistan in early 2010:

6 officers killed in Pakistan mosque attack: The dead included a major general, a brigadier, two lieutenant colonels, one major and a retired major, as well as three regular soldiers...

US envoy Rice says Geneva Conventions help America:

Armed men beat 2 local journalists in Afghan capital:

Reported security incidents

#1: Five civilians were wounded in a car bomb blast in southern Baghdad on Friday, according to an Iraqi police source. “A car bomb parked on the Commercial Street in al-Sayediya neighborhood, southern Baghdad, went off, leaving five civilians wounded in an initial count of casualties and damaging several nearby stores,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: The U.S. base at the Basra International Airport came under a Katyusha rocket attack during a late hour of Friday night but caused no casualties or losses, a local security source said. “A Katyusha was fired from the area of Abu Skheir, (15 km) northern Basra, targeting a U.S. base at the Basra International Airport,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. He added that the rocket landed outside the base, leaving no casualties or losses.

Tuz Khurmato:
#1: Gunmen raided the home of Hazim Akbar, a Turkoman living in Tuz Khormatu district, to the northeast of Tikrit, early Friday. They shot Akbar, a 54 year old father of eight several times and ran off. Akbar died soon after he reached the hospital.

#1: Friday A gunman killed a civilian in southern Kirkuk, police said. No other information was available.

#1: A gunman was killed and another wounded while planting an improvised explosive device (IED) on a main road south of Mosul city on Friday, a local police source said. “Three gunmen were trying to emplace three IEDs on the main road in the village of al-Athba, south of Mosul, but one of them went off, killing a gunman and wounding another while the third escaped the scene,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: One Taliban militant was killed and five others were injured as they came in contact with police in Laghman province east of Afghanistan, a private television channel reported Saturday. "A group of armed Taliban raided police checkpoint in Sarkhakan area late Friday night and police returned fire killing one insurgent and wounding five others," Tolo reported in its news bulletin. One police was also injured in the firefight lasted for a while, it added.

#2: Up to 40 militants have attacked an army checkpoint, killing one soldier, a security official said on Saturday, after suicide bombers and gunmen killed dozens at a mosque near Pakistan's military headquarters. Soldiers at the checkpoint on a bridge in Wana, the main town in the Islamist bastion of South Waziristan, retaliated after coming under fire on Friday night, said the security official. "There were 30 to 40 militants who first fired rocket- propelled grenades at our post and then opened fire with AK-47 rifles which killed one of our soldiers. But we retaliated and killed six militants," a security official in the region, who asked not to be named, told Reuters. An intelligence official said helicopter gunships also hit militant positions in the battle.

#3: about 1,000 United States Marines and Afghan and British forces swept into a rugged valley in southern Afghanistan in an effort to finally secure what was once a bustling village but what years of fighting have turned into a ghost town. Journalists who accompanied the Marine-led offensive into Now Zad on Friday reported no American, British or Afghan military deaths but said several Taliban fighters had been killed. The offensive included troops carried to the battlefield by helicopters and by V-22 Osprey aircraft.

"The operation is continuing today in an area that had an enemy presence. We are going to disrupt that presence." Pelletier said there were no causalities among foreign or Afghan government forces and he could not be specific on the exact number of insurgents killed. British forces were flanking the Marines to the eastern side of the battle area, a spokesman for the British military in Helmand said, declining to say how many British troops were involved for operational security reasons.

#4: An accidental blast destroyed a shop in northwest Pakistan on Saturday, killing at least three people, officials said, unnerving a city frequently bombed by militants. Police said initially that a bomb had exploded near a fast food restaurant. Hours later two police officers and a local government official said it was an accidental blast. "We did not find any substance which indicated it was a bomb," said Peshawar police chief Liaqat Ali Khan.

#5: Taliban insurgents attacked the runway at a civilian airport in western Herat province, close to the Iranian border, with about 13 rockets on Thursday night, a provincial security official said, adding there were no casualties.

DoD: Sgt. Kenneth R. Nichols Jr.