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 24, 2009

War News for Thursday, December 24, 2009

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military. Lance Cpl. Omar G. Roebuck died from a non-hostile incident in an undisclosed location in Helmand province, Afghanistan on Tuesday, December 22nd.

The DND/CF is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier. Lieutenant Andrew Richard Nuttall died in an IED attack near the village of Nakhonay in the Panjwaii District, about 25 km southwest of Kandahar City, Kandahar province, Afghanistan on Wednesday, December 23rd. One Afghan soldier was killed in the blast and an Afghan interrupter was also wounded.

Dec. 21 airpower summary:

Journalist missing – Association: (Iraq)

Number of Azerbaijani servicemen in Afghanistan may be increased:

Report Says Afghan Drug Effort Lacks Strategy:

Reported security incidents

#1: Three pilgrims were killed and 28 others injured when a roadside bomb went off near a group of pilgrims in the al-Mashtel neighborhood in eastern Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The bomb exploded when they were travelling on foot to Karbala.

#2: Meanwhile, a Shi'te pilgrim was killed and four others were wounded when an explosive charge detonated at a tent set up outside a Shi'te mosque in central Baghdad district of Karradah for Shi'te worshippers to celebrate the Ashura festival, the source added.

#3: Four more pilgrims were wounded on Wednesday evening when a roadside bomb struck a group of Shi'te pilgrims who were walking to Karbala in Saidiyah neighborhood in southern Baghdad, he said.

Two persons were killed and seven others were wounded in an attack on Shiite mourners in the capital Baghdad, a local police source said on Wednesday. “The blast occurred in al-Ilam neighborhood, southwestern Baghdad,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#4: Three civilians on Wednesday were wounded when a mortar shell fell on a marketplace in Baghdad, a local police source said. “The mortar landed on a popular market in Abi Ghareeb area, western Baghdad, wounding three civilians who were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#5: Five civilians on Wednesday were injured in a blast that ripped through a popular market in Baghdad, according to a local security source. “On Wednesday, an improvised explosive device went off in al-Mahmoudiya market, southern Baghdad, wounding five civilians who were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#6: A magnetic bomb stuck to a civilian vehicle exploded in Al Eskan neighborhood causing no injuries. (Wednesday)

#7: A magnetic bomb stuck to a civilian vehicle exploded near Al Nidaa mosque injuring the driver. (Wednesday)

#8: A roadside bomb exploded in Dora neighborhood injuring two Shiite pilgrims. (Wednesday)

#9: A booby-trapped parked motorcycle exploded in Al Ealam neighborhood killing one civilian and injuring seven others. (Wednesday)

#1: At least 10 people, including a local leader, were killed in twin bomb attacks on Thursday south of Baghdad, Iraqi officials said. Seventy people were wounded in the attacks at a bus and taxi terminal in central Hilla. Provincial council member Na'ma Jassim al-Bakri was among the dead, said Abu Ahmed al-Basri, a fellow councillor in Babel province, of which Hilla is capital. A hospital official confirmed the death toll, which had risen from five reported earlier by Iraqi officials. Another official said three explosive experts called in to defuse a roadside bomb in the terminal were wounded. They were working on the device when a nearby car suddenly exploded, detonating the roadside bomb as well.

Twenty-five Shiite pilgrims were killed and 62 others were wounded Thursday in a roadside bombing in Iraq. The victims were killed by a roadside bombing and car bombing, Iraqi Interior Ministry officials said. The attacks, in the town of Hilla in Babil province, come a day after several pilgrims were killed and a few dozen were wounded in Baghdad strikes.

#1: Police forces managed to defuse nine bombs in north of Karbala on Thursday, according to a media official. “Security forces found nine bombs, planted on the Karbala-Baghdad road in al-Rafieaa region, north of Karbala,” Major Alaa Abbas told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “Anti-bombs experts managed to defuse the bombs without casualties,” he added.

#2: An improvised explosive device went off on Thursday inside a popular restaurant in north of Karbala, eyewitnesses said. “The bomb exploded inside a restaurant in al-Atieshi region in al-Husseiniya district, north of Karbala,” an eyewitness told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “Ambulances carried a number of wounded to the city’s hospitals,” he added.

The bomb blast the ripped through a popular restaurant in north of Karbala wounded nine persons, a medial source said on Thursday.“The nine wounded were carried to al-Husseini hospital in Karbala for treatment,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Police forces on Wednesday found the body of a worker at al-Furat satellite channel in Basra, a TV correspondent said on Wednesday. “Safaa Abdulzahra was kidnapped by gunmen on Tuesday (Dec. 22) evening,” Kadhem al-Hawi told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The corpse, which bore signs of gunshot wounds, was found in al-Kafaat neighborhood, downtown Basra,” Hawi added.

#1: Two members of the government-allied 'Awakening' (Sahwa) militia were killed Thursday and three others were injured in a shooting attack in the northern Iraqi town of Kirkuk, security official said. A group of unidentified gunmen fled after attacking the checkpoint run by the militia in the town some 250 kilometres north of the capital Baghdad.

#2: U.S. combined force defused a car bomb southwest of Kirkuk city, without causing any casualties on Wednesday.

#3: An Iraqi army officer has been wounded in an explosive charge blast in Kirkuk, a local police director said on Wednesday. “At 09:15 p.m. today, a sticky explosive device detonated inside the car of Captain Zamel Mohammed Khidr near a gas station in al-Iskan neighborhood, northeastern Kirkuk,” Brig. Sarhad Qadir told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. The blast has seriously wounded Khidr and caused damage to the vehicle, the source indicated, providing no further details.

#1: A retired army officer has been killed by unknown gunmen in front of his house in western Mosul, according to a local police source. “On Wednesday evening, gunmen opened fire on a retired deputy officer in the former army in front of his house in al-Aamel neighborhood, western Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The gunmen knocked on the door and asked his son to call for him. They shot him when he appeared at the door,” the source pointed out.

#2: Mosul mayor survived an attempt on his life on Thursday, according to a security source. “An improvised explosive device went off on Thursday morning (Dec. 24) targeting the motorcade of Mosul Mayor Zuhair Muhsen al-Aaraji in al-Tayaran neighborhood, central Mosul, but left no casualties,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The blast targeted the mayor while heading for the house from the work,” the source added.

#3: A Christian citizen was killed on Thursday in eastern Mosul, according to a security source.“Basel Misho Hana, a Christian, was killed on Thursday afternoon (Dec. 24) by gunmen in al-Zahraa neighborhood in eastern Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The driver is a bus driver,” he added. “A passing civilian was wounded in the attack,” the source noted.

#4: Gunmen shot dead a man near his home in northern Mosul, police said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A university professor has survived an assassination attempt when a sticky explosive device targeted his vehicle in downtown Falluja on Wednesday, according to a local police source. “Prof. Saoud al-Dulaimi has found the device inside his car while he was leaving his house in al-Dubbat neighborhood, downtown Falluja,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “Bomb squad personnel have managed to dismantle the device without causing any casualties or damage,” the source noted.

#2: One civilian on Wednesday was killed in an explosive charge blast in downtown Falluja city, according to a local police source. “A roadside explosive device went off in al-Dubbat neighborhood, killing one civilian who was close to the scene of the blast,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: A magnetic bomb stuck to the vehicle of a candidate to the coming national election exploded killing one off-duty soldier and injuring the candidate and another relative was in the car. (Wednesday)

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A suicide bomber wearing a jacket packed with explosives and steel pellets blew himself up today at a police check post near a missionary school on a busy road here, killing at least five people and injuring 25 others on the Christmas eve in the latest in a slew of terror attacks across Pakistan. The attacker detonated his suicide jacket when he was stopped by policemen at the post outside the State Life Insurance Corporation building on the Mall Road in Peshawar cantonment at around 11 am local time. A policeman was among the five persons killed, police and hospital officials said. Several policemen and women were among the 25 injured in the attack.

#2: An anti-Taliban militia commander survived a roadside bombing Thursday in northern Afghanistan but two of his bodyguards were killed in the blast, officials said, DPA reported. Selaab Khan was leaving his house in Kunduz, the capital of the province of the same name, when a bomb hidden inside a drainage system was remotely detonated, said Mohammad Razaq Yaqoubi, the provincial police chief."Commander Selaab Khan is unharmed, but two of his bodyguards were killed," he said, adding that a civilian passer-by was wounded in the blast, which took place in the centre of the city.

#3-4: Pakistani troops today killed at least 16 militants during operations in different parts of the lawless tribal belt bordering Afghanistan.

#3: Ten militants were gunned down when security forces repulsed an attack on two check posts in Nawagai sub-division of Bajaur Agency, officials said. The militants attacked the two posts with heavy weapons. No security personnel were injured in the incident.

#4: Six militants were killed and three more injured when gunship helicopters pounded rebel hideouts in Orakzai Agency. The helicopters targeted three militant hideouts in Mastezai Storykhel area.Two vehicles were also destroyed during the air strikes, officials said.

#5: A remote-controlled explosion killed two bodyguards of a pro-government militia commander on Thursday in northern Kunduz province, the provincial police chief Mohammad Razaaq Yaqoubi said. The commander survived the blast and one civilian was wounded, he added.

#6: Three civilians were injured as a bomb went off in Kandahar, the birthplace of Taliban in south Afghanistan Thursday, a police officer said. "In the incident which occurred at 01:30 p.m. local time three civilian passersby were injured," Mohammad Anwar told Xinhua.

MoD: Lance Corporal Tommy Brown

DoD: Lance Cpl. Omar G. Roebuck

DND/CF: Lieutenant Andrew Richard Nuttall