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

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

War News for Tuesday, December 15, 2009

NATO is reporting the death of an American ISAF soldier in an IED attack in an un disclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, December 15th.

Dec. 12 airpower summary:

Illinois to get some Gitmo detainees, official says:

Millions of Bush administration e-mails recovered: (off topic)

The unspeakable truth is that we lost in Iraq. We must not lose in Afghanistan too:

Reported security incidents

#1-3: Car bombs ripped through downtown Baghdad early Tuesday, killing five and wounding at least 16 people in the latest attack near government buildings in the Iraqi capital, police and health officials said. At least three blasts occurred within minutes of each other near the heavily protected Green Zone. Two of Tuesday's car bombs detonated near the Iraqi government's Foreign and Immigration ministries; a third went off near the Iranian embassy, two police officials said.

#4: About an hour after the 7:30 a.m. explosions, a joint patrol of Iraqi and U.S. forces discovered and dismantled a fourth car bomb before it exploded, Iraqi authorities said. The 2009 pickup truck, parked outside a Green Zone gate, was packed with seven bombs that were covered by blankets and cartons, said an Interior Ministry official and a Baghdad police officer.

#5: The head of the municipal council in Sadr City has survived an assassination attempt when gunmen attacked him in eastern Baghdad, the Iraqi police said on Tuesday. “On Tuesday, the head of Sadr City’s municipal council, Hassan Shamma, escaped an attempt on his life when gunmen driving a civilian vehicle opened fire on him while he was leaving his house in Sadr City, eastern Baghdad,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. Shamma was not hit in the attack, which left one of his companions wounded, the source noted.

A member of the local government in Baghdad's Sadr City district was seriously wounded in a drive-by shooting in the largely Shi'ite area of northeastern Baghdad, police said. The man's brother was also wounded.

#6: Three mortar shells have fallen on the former Public Security building in eastern Baghdad, an Iraqi police source said on Tuesday. “No casualties have been reported,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. The building was used as a military base by the Multi-National Force (MNF) before the security agreement signed between Iraq and the United States.

#7: A roadside bomb exploded near an Iraqi army checkpoint in Yarmouk neighborhood injuring one soldier and three civilians around 6 p.m. Monday.

#8: A magnetic bomb stuck to a civilian vehicle exploded injuring the driver in Karrada neighborhood around 6:30 p.m. Monday.

#9: A bomb exploded inside a private health clinic in Dora neighborhood injuring the doctor, his wife and four patients around 7 p.m. Monday.

#10: A roadside bomb exploded in Al Sleikh area under a bridge injuring one civilian around 9 p.m. Monday.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Monday Two civilians were killed when unknown gunmen showered them with bullets in the town of Khalis, near the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

#2: Monday In a separate incident, three Iraqi soldiers were injured when a roadside bomb detonated near their patrol in Sa'diya town, some 60 km north of Baquba, he said.

#3: Monday Meanwhile, another roadside bomb struck a U.S. patrol while passing in the town of Jalawla, some 70 km east of Baquba, he said. The source couldn't tell whether there was any casualty of the U.S. patrol as the troops immediately cordoned off the area, preventing Iraqi police from approaching the scene.

#4: Monday Separately, Iraqi security forces detained a driver who just left his booby-trapped car near a police station in the town of Miqdadiya, some 40 km northeast of Baquba, the source said. The explosive-rigged car detonated shortly after capturing the driver without causing casualties, he added.

Al Tarmiya:
#1: Four civilians were wounded on Monday when a roadside bomb went off in al-Tarmiya area, northern Baghdad. “The bomb was planted by unknowns,” a security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. He said that a woman is among the four injuries.

#1: A spate of two car bombs has gone off consecutively near a church in the volatile northern Iraqi city of Mosul, killing four people and injuring 40 others. "Two booby-trapped cars exploded near the Virgin Mary Church in al-Shifaa neighborhood, western Mosul, killing 4 people and wounding 40 others," a police source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Meanwhile, an improvised explosive device (IED) blew up near Sayyidat al-Bashaer Church in al-Mohandiseen neighborhood, northern Mosul. The explosion caused damage to the outside door of the church.

#3: Three policemen were killed in a bomb attack on their patrol on Tuesday in Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province in northern Iraq, a provincial police source said. An unknown gunman hurled hand grenades on a police patrol in the Wadi Egab neighborhood in southern Mosul, damaging a police vehicle and killing three policemen aboard, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

#4: Army forces defused a bomb in western Mosul on Monday, according to an army source. “A force from the 2nd brigade of the army, stationed in Mosul, managed on Monday (Dec. 14) to defuse a bomb placed near a communication tower of AsiaCell company in Nabes neighborhood in western Mosul,”

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A gunman killed a policeman in Falluja on Monday when a police force raided the wanted man’s house east of the suburb. “The gunman opened fire on the attacking force,” a local police source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A car bomb exploded in a busy market in a central Pakistani town (Dera Ghazi Khan) on Tuesday, killing at least 12 people, a senior local official said. "At least 12 people have died and 25 are wounded," the town's commissioner Hassan Iqbal told AFP. "There are many people trapped in the rubble after the powerful blast demolished some 10 shops," he said.

An explosion killed at least 20 people and wounded 60 others Tuesday in the central Pakistani city of Dera Ghazi Khan, said a rescue service official. The blast ripped through a market located near the house of a senior adviser to the chief minister of Punjab province, said the official, Mohammed Hasnain. The adviser, Sardar Zulfiqar Muhammad Khosa, who is a former provincial governor and a senior opposition party politician, said he was the target of the deadly attack. Police, however, initially said that Khosa was not the intended target.

#2: A suicide car bomber struck a heavily guarded neighborhood Tuesday near the home of a former Afghan vice president and a hotel favored by Westerners (Kabul), killing at least eight people and wounding dozens, officials said. The Afghan Interior Ministry said the target of the bombing was unclear, but security officials at the scene said the bomber was going after the home of former first vice president, Ahmad Zia Massoud. Ministry of Interior spokesman Zemeri Bashary said four men and four women died in the midmorning blast. He said about 40 others were wounded.

#3: Separately, five Afghans and a Nepalese national were killed in an explosion that occurred at a foreign organization operating in Paktia province, said Gen. Azizdin Wardak, police chief of Paktia province in eastern Afghanistan. No other details were available.

#4: At least four militants were killed in security forces operation in northwest Pakistan's Malakand area on Tuesday, local TV channel reported. Pakistani security forces were informed that some Taliban militants were hiding in a hillock of Halai in Malakand district, North West Frontier Province. While being surrounded in the hill, the militants opened fierce firing at the forces and four of them were killed in counter attack.

#5: Unknown assailants torched two NATO tankers in southwest Pakistan's Balochistan province on Tuesday, local TV channel reported. According to police sources, the tankers carrying fuel for NATO forces in Afghanistan were set ablaze on the outskirts of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, the private TV DAWN News reported. Local police officer Jamil Kakar said police found no drivers and cleaners in both the tankers when they reached the spot. He added that the police were trying to locate the drivers.

DoD: Pfc. Jaiciae L. Pauley

DoD: Pvt. Jhanner A. Tello