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 22, 2009

War News for Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldiers from suspected friendly-fire small arms fire in the Sangin area, Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Sunday, December 20th.

US Special Forces conducted multiple raids in Pakistan’ (How shocking)

BAE workers criticised in crash report:

Taliban claim control of over 80pc of Afghanistan:

Long Firefight With Militants Immobilizes Afghan City:

Oil flow from Iraq to Turkey to resume soon: official

Reported security incidents

#1: Two civilians on Tuesday were injured in an explosive charge blast in the capital Baghdad, according to a police source. “This morning, an explosive device detonated in al-Yarmuk neighborhood near Umm al-Tobool mosque, western Baghdad, wounding two civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: A magnetic bomb stuck to a car belonging to a police officer in the criminal investigations department, detonated on the airport road in west Baghdad, at around 8 a.m. Monday, killing the officer and seriously injuring a civilian who was in the car with him.

#3: A magnetic bomb stuck to a civilian car detonated on the main thoroughfare in Ataifiyah neighbourhood, northern Baghdad, Monday evening, killing the driver.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Two Shiite worshippers were gunned down on Tuesday close to the town of Baquba while leaving a mosque after carrying out rituals as part of the Shiite religious commemoration of Ashura, police said. "Men in a car opened fire on worshippers who were leaving the mosque, where they were participating in flagellation as part of preparations for Ashura, killing two of them," said a police officer. The shooting occurred in the village of Berginiyah, east of Baquba and northeast of Baghdad.

#2: One civilian was wounded on Monday in a bomb explosion in al-Saadiya district. An improvised explosive device went off on Monday (Dec. 21) near a civilian car between Jalawlaa and al-Saadiya districts, south of Khanaqin, wounding the driver,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: In Salahudin province, a police officer was wounded when a bomb stuck to his car went off as he was driving near his home in northern Tikrit, the capital city of the province in north of Baghdad, a provincial police source said.

#1: A police officer died on Monday of several wounds sustained last week in Kirkuk, a source from the Joint Coordination center said. “Lieutenant Mohammad Ahmad from the Kirkuk police department died on Monday (Dec. 21) at a hospital in Sulaimaniya of wounds,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The officer had been wounded last Wednesday (Dec. 16) in a sticky bomb explosion in al-Muaalimeen neighborhood in northwestern Kirkuk,” he added.

#2: A local police director in Kirkuk has escaped an attempt on his life when an explosive device targeted his vehicle in southern Kirkuk, an informed source said on Tuesday. “This morning, Captain Ahmed Abdulghafoor, the director of al-Rashad police, Kirkuk, survived an assassination attempt when an explosive charge hit his vehicle in al-Nidaa neighborhood, southern Kirkuk, wounding him along with one of his bodyguards,” Brig. Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The captain was on his way to work when the blast occurred,” the official noted.

#3: An Iraqi police patrol have found two rockets that were set to be fired in Karbala, a source from the Joint Coordination Center said on Tuesday. “Two Katyusha rockets were found in Wahed Hozayran area near Shaqaq al-Ghaz Tunnel, southern Kirkuk,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.“The rockets were set to be fired at a Multi-National Force (MNF) airbase in Kirkuk,” the source pointed out.The missiles have been safely detonated, he added.

#4: At least three policemen were wounded when a bomb targeting their patrol exploded in south Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: “A policeman was killed on Monday afternoon (Dec. 21) by unknown gunmen in al-Majmouaa al-Thaqafiya region in northern Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Two Iraqi soldiers were wounded on Monday in a thermal bomb explosion in western Mosul, an army source said. “A thermal bomb went off on Monday evening (Dec. 21) targeting an Iraqi army vehicle patrol in al-Islah al-Zeraai neighborhood in western Mosul, injuring two soldiers,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: One civilian was killed by gunmen in western Mosul on Monday, according to a police source.
“On Monday (Dec. 21), a vegetable vendor was shot down by gunmen in al-Islah al-Zeraai area, western Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#4: One Iraqi army soldier was killed and one medical civil servant was wounded when gunmen opened fire inside a medical center in northern Mosul city. “The incident took place at a medical center in al-Sokar neighborhood, northern Mosul,” a police source from Ninewa province told Aswat al-Iraq news agency on Tuesday.He said that the armed men were targeting the soldier.

#5: Gunmen stormed the house of an Iraqi soldier, killing him and wounding his brother in western Mosul, police said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Meanwhile, in Fallujah, a former militant bastion just west of Baghdad, the head of the town's city council Hamid Ahmed al-Hashim was wounded when a magnetic "sticky bomb" was attached to his car as he left his home. Also wounded in the attack, which occurred at 10:00 pm (1900 GMT) on Monday, was police Captain Mohammed Shikhan, who was in the car, police said.

#2: A judicial council member in Falluja has escaped an attempt on his life when a sticky explosive device hit his vehicle in downtown Falluja, a local police source said on Tuesday. “Today, Hameed al-Dulaimi survived an assassination attempt when a sticky improvised explosive device (IED) exploded inside his car in al-Shurta neighborhood, downtown Falluja,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: And the house of a policeman in Fallujah was damaged when insurgents planted explosives around the building and set them off at around 2:00 am (2300 GMT).

#3: “A police force defused three bombs in a village in al-Karma district, eastern Falluja, without damage,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A suicide bomber detonated his explosives outside a press club in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Tuesday, leaving three people dead in an attack that comes at a time of growing violence and political turmoil in Pakistan. A policeman tried to search the attacker as he approached the press club's gate, but the man resisted and was able to trigger his explosives, killing the officer and an accountant who worked for the organization, said Peshawar's police chief, Liaquat Ali Khan. A woman who was at the site of the attack died of a heart attack caused by the shock of the bombing, said Sahib Gul, a doctor at a hospital in Peshawar where the three bodies were brought. Seventeen other people were injured in the attack, many of whom were traveling in a bus that passed the press club when the explosion occurred, said Gul.

#2: Spanish troops came under fire in northwestern Afghanistan on Monday while taking part in an operation in support of an Afghan convoy, but there were no casualties, the defence ministry said. The troops "came under rifle and rocket-propelled grenade fire," in Baghdis province while "providing support and security to an Afghan army convoy of about 80 trucks," it said in a statement. It said the Spanish units called on air support from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which bombed the insurgent positions.

#3: In the first incident, according to the press release occurred in Bak district on Monday when a mine planted by militants went off, killing two soldiers and wounding two others.

#4: In another incident in Yaqubi district of the same province Khost, militants opened fire on a patrol team and the soldiers returned fire, killing four Taliban fighters, the press release added. Eight more suspected militants were arrested from the site, it further said, adding that there were no casualties on the troops.