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 17, 2009

War News for Thursday, December 17, 2009

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

Dec. 13 airpower summary: Dec. 13 airpower summary: Dec. 14 airpower summary:

U.N. Officials Say American Aide Plotted to Replace Karzai:

Iraqi militants track US drones:

Reported security incidents

#1: Two civilians were killed and five others wounded when a bomb exploded on a bus in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, the Iraqi police said on Wednesday. “An improvised explosive device (IED) went off on a bus near Salah al-Din Square, al-Kadhemiya neighborhood, northern Baghdad,” a police source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Two civilians have been injured when an explosive device hit their car in southern Baghdad, the Iraqi police said on Wednesday. “A sticky explosive device targeted a civilian vehicle in al-Athoryeen neighborhood, southern Baghdad, wounding two civilians who were inside the car,” an Interior Ministry source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Diyala Prv:
#1: “Today, unidentified gunmen opened fire on a civilian in front of his house in Alya village, Khanaqin, killing him on the spot,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: “In a separate incident, police forces found a body belonging to a 42-year-old man in al-Nada area, southern Khanaqin,” according to the same source. “The corpse bore signs of gunshot wounds and is believed to have been shot dead one day ago,” he added.

#1: An improvised explosive device went off Thursday targeting a US vehicle patrol in eastern Karbala, an official source said. “The bomb exploded the US vehicle patrol on its way back to its base in al-Husseiniya district near a vegetable market in Frieha region, eastern Karbala,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “US troops cordoned off the region and started a searching operation for the perpetrators,” he added.

#1: Police forces on Wednesday found a body belonging to a laborer in western Mosul, according to a local security source. “This afternoon, the local police found the body of a construction worker two days after he had been kidnapped,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. The corpse bore signs of gunshot wounds to the head, the source noted, providing no further details.

#2: One policeman was killed while attempting to arrest a wanted person in southern Mosul, a local police source said on Wednesday. “The policeman was killed this afternoon while he was trying to capture a wanted man in al-Hajj Ali village, southern Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. The arrest was made in light of a judicial warrant, the source noted. “The raiding force came under fire during the operation and the attacker managed to escape,” the source added.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Three policemen have been injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) hit their patrol vehicle in Ramadi, a local police source said on Wednesday. “A roadside explosive charge went off in al-Nasaf area, southeastern Ramadi, wounding three patrolmen and causing damage to their vehicle,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A suicide attacker has wounded five Afghan soldiers and four tribal leaders in the central province of Uruzgan. Provincial police chief Jama Gul Hamit says a suicide bomber on foot tried to enter a gathering of tribal elders Thursday in Dihrawud district. Afghan National Army soldiers identified the threat and opened fire on the bomber, who then detonated his explosives.

#2: At least two people were killed in a US drone strike in Dattakhel region of North Waziristan on Thursday. According to reports, unmanned US aircrafts targeted a suspected militant hide out in the village, situated 30 kilometres west of Miramshah, the main town of the troubled tribal district near the Afghan border. "Two missiles hit a house in Dattakhel area, two militants were killed," an intelligence official told a foreign news agency.

#3: An explosive-laden car detonated by Taliban militants in Afghanistan's eastern province Khost Wednesday night leaving one Taliban fighter dead and four soldiers injured, a senior Afghan military officer in the province General Mohammad Israr said Thursday. "Acting upon intelligence report, a joint unit of Afghan and U.S. forces were searching for an explosive-laden car in Sabari district but Taliban militants detonated it by a remote-control killing a rebel on the spot and slightly wounding one Afghan and three U.S. soldiers," Israr told Xinhua.

#4: Meanwhile, a local television channel Tolo in its news bulletin said that a suicide bomber targeted Afghan and the U.S.-led Coalition forces in Khost on Thursday morning but caused no damage.

MoD: Lance Corporal David Leslie Kirkness

MoD: Rifleman James Stephen Brown

DoD: Tech. Sgt. Anthony C. Campbell Jr.