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 31, 2009

War News for Thursday, December 31, 2009

The New York Times is reporting the deaths of "at least" eight American civilians most of whom are CIA officers in a suicide bombing at Forward Operating Base Chapman, Khost Province, Afghanistan on Wednesday, December 30th. If these civilians are CIA employees we will count them in our causality count.

The DND/CF is reporting the deaths of four Canadian ISAF soldiers and an embedded Canadian reporter in an IED attack somewhere in Kandahar province, Afghanistan on Wednesday, December 30th. Four additional soldiers and another civilian were wounded in the attack.

Dec. 23 airpower summary: Dec. 24 airpower summary: Dec. 25 airpower summary: Dec. 26 airpower summary:

138 journalists died on the job in 2009:

Reported security incidents

#1: Two roadside bombs went off under two civilian cars in one street in Baladiyat neighbourhood, east Baghdad at 6 and 6.30 p.m. Tuesday, injuring two civilians.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Three Iraqi army personnel have been injured in an explosive charge blast in southern al-Saadiya district, a local security source said on Wednesday. “An improvised explosive device (IED) hit an Iraqi army patrol vehicle in Imam Wees area, southern al-Saadiya (35 km south of Khanaqin), wounding three patrolmen who were taken to the hospital,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.Meanwhile, an army force has managed to safely defuse another explosive charge that was found in a nearby location, according to the same source.

Tuz Khurmato:
#1: A member of the Asayesh (Kurdish for security) forces has been killed in an explosive charge blast near Kirkuk City, a local security source said on Wednesday. “On Wednesday, a sticky explosive device hit the vehicle of an Asayesh member near the police station in downtown Touz Khormato district (80 km south of Kirkuk),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.The man died on the spot, the source noted.

#1: Iraqi army forces have thwarted an attempted rocket attack on a Multi-National Force (MNF) base in Kirkuk, a security source said. “On Wednesday evening, forces from the 46 th Brigade found two locally-made rockets in an agricultural land near al-Madhhouriya village (65 km southwest of Kirkuk),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. The missiles were set to be fired at an MNF base near al-Huweija district.The rockets have been dismantled, the source noted.

#1: Two policemen on Wednesday were injured when a hand grenade was thrown at their patrol in central Mosul, according to a local police source. “The blast occurred in al-Farouq area, downtown Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.The two cops have been taken to the hospital for treatment, the source noted, providing no further details.

#2: Police forces on Wednesday killed a gunman who threw a hand grenade at one of their patrols in northern Mosul City, a local security source said. “The forces shot down the gunman while he was trying to escape,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.None of the patrolmen was wounded in the incident, the source added.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: update Anbar governor lost his left hand, while member of the local council died of wounds sustained in the twin bombings that hit central Ramadi on Wednesday, a media source said on Thursday. “Doctors at the Baghdad hospital cut the left hand of Governor Qassem Mohammad al-Fahdawi as he seriously wounded in the attack that targeted him on Wednesday (Dec. 30),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, noting that his health condition is stable. “Member of the Anbar council, Saadon Abdulmuhsen al-Kharbeet died of wounds sustained in the same attack,” he added.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A group of armed militants have raided a house in southern Afghanistan's Uruzgan province, beheading six former militants and wounding another. The provincial police chief Juma Gul Humat said Thursday, "A group of extremist Taliban rebels attacked a house Wednesday night in the provincial capital of Trinkot and beheaded six of their former friends who were moderate and opposing the war."

#2: Authorities in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province said Thursday that a military operation on Taliban has claimed the lives of seven civilians in the province. "NATO-led troops carried out air strike outside Helmand's provincial capital Lashkargah on Wednesday, killing seven civilians and wounding two others," spokesman for provincial administration Daud Ahmadi told Xinhua. The attack, he added, took place when some elders in Walizai village were discussing on the irrigation system in their area.

#3: A roadside bomb went off near the head office of Gorbaz district in eastern Afghanistan's Khost province Thursday morning, injuring five police officers including the district police chief. Guldad, head of criminal investigation department of the district police, told Xinhua that Basmillah Khan, the police chief of Gorbaz, was on his way from home to office Thursday morning when a roadside bomb struck his car.