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

Thursday, December 3, 2009

War News for Thursday, December 03, 2009

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

2 New York soldiers stabbed to death, a 3rd in custody: A Fort Drum soldier was arrested at a hotel in southern Ohio early Wednesday on a warrant charging him in the stabbing deaths of two fellow servicemen at an apartment near the military post in northern New York.

Roads were safer in Afghanistan under the Taliban, British general admits:

Italy to send 1,000 troops to Afghanistan:

Holbrooke criticises civilian effort in Afghanistan:

Afghanistan and Pakistan Rattled by Plan for Drawdown:

Reported security incidents

#1: An Iraqi security official says a bomb at a roadside market in northern Baghdad killed one and wounded six people. The official says the bomb was hidden inside a juice cart when it went off on Thursday morning in the primarily Sunni neighborhood of Azamiyah.

#2: Unknown gunmen on Wednesday shot down a civilian in western Baghdad, according to a police source. “Unknown gunmen driving a civilian vehicle opened fire on a man sitting at a cafĂ© in al-Toubaji neighborhood, western Baghdad, killing him on the spot."

#3: One Iraqi soldier on Wednesday was killed by unknown gunmen in eastern Baghdad, according to the Iraqi police. “On Wednesday evening, unidentified gunmen opened fire on a soldier near a checkpoint on Falasteen St., eastern Baghdad, killing him on the spot."

#1: Police forces have managed to safely detonate a booby-trapped car in downtown Kirkuk, according to a local police chief. “This afternoon, a police patrol vehicle found the car near al-Khulafaa mosque, downtown Kirkuk,” Brig. Sarhad Qadir told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “With the help of bomb squad personnel, police forces have managed to detonate the car after evacuating the area,” the official pointed out.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Ten suspects were killed in overnight fighting following a raid on a militant hide-out near the Swat Valley area of Kabal, Maj. Mushtaq Ahmed said. Troops had been led to the site by Abu Faraj, a militant leader who was captured in September and accused of plotting suicide bombings in the area. Faraj also was shot and killed, Ahmed said, declining to provide more details.

#2: Five other militants were killed when security forces repelled attacks on three checkpoints in the Bajur area that borders Afghanistan, local official Adalat Khan said.

#3: Also Thursday, a roadside bomb targeted a police checkpoint at a bridge near the main northwestern city of Peshawar. Police officer Haroon Babar said no casualties were reported.

A blast occurred at a police checkpoint in northwest Pakistan's Peshawar on Thursday, injuring three policemen, local TV channel reported.

DoD: Pfc. Derrick D. Gwaltney

DoD: Lance Cpl. Jonathan A. Taylor