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

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

War News for Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Afghans insist NATO troops killed children: The head of a presidential delegation investigating the deaths of 10 people in eastern Afghanistan concluded Wednesday that civilians — including schoolchildren — were killed in an attack involving foreign troops, disputing NATO reports that the dead were insurgents.

Reported security incidents

#1: Gunmen shot and killed an Iraqi army military intelligence officer in Zayuna neighborhood around 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Diyala Prv:
#1: At least six people were killed and ten others were wounded in an improvised explosive device explosion in north of Baaquba on Wednesday, according to a security source. “An explosive charge went off on Wednesday afternoon (Dec. 30) targeting Shiite pilgrims coming back from Karbala in al-Umal neighborhood, north of Karbala, killing six and injuring ten,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Iraqi security forces managed on Wednesday to detonate an improvised explosive device in south of Kirkuk, a source from the joint coordination center said. “A force from the Daqouq police department found early Wednesday (Dec. 30) an explosive charge on the road between Kirkuk-Daqouq, south of Kirkuk,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, noting that the bomb was detonated without damage.

#1: One civilian was killed and a child was wounded by gunmen in eastern Mosul, a security source said on Tuesday. “Unknown gunmen opened fire on a civilian in al-Nour neighborhood, eastern Mosul, killing him instantly, and injuring a passing nine-year-old child,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Three people were wounded on Tuesday in a hand grenade explosion in central Mosul, according to a security source. “Three persons, including two policemen, were wounded on Tuesday afternoon (Dec. 29), when gunmen threw a hand grenade on a police vehicle patrol in Bab al-Jadied region, central Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: A judge and his wife were wounded on Tuesday by unknown gunmen in southern Kirkuk, a senior police officer said. “Unidentified armed men opened fire on Tuesday evening (Dec. 29) on Judge Saad Abdullah Mohammad and his wife while driving their private car in al-Nasr neighborhood in southern Kirkuk,” Colonel Ahmad Shmerani told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Staggered explosions killed 23 people - 13 of them policemen - and injured the governor of Anbar on Wednesday, Iraqi officials said, the worst violence in months to hit the western province as it struggles to stamp out the remnants of the al-Qaida insurgency. Police official Lt. Col. Imad al-Fahdawi said two bombs exploded in Anbar's capital of Ramadi, 70 miles (115 kilometers) west of Baghdad.

He says a suicide bomber in a car caused the first blast near a checkpoint on the main road near the provincial administration buildings. Gov. Qassim al-Fahdawi, the deputy police chief and other officials came to inspect the damage, the police official said, when a suicide bomber on foot detonated a vest full of explosives nearby. The deputy police chief was killed and the governor and other officials wounded, al-Fahdawi said. Police have put a curfew in place, he added. Another police official said the provincial police commander was wounded. The police official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. Dr. Ahmed Abid Mohammed said 23 people had been killed and 57 injured. He said the governor had suffered burns on his face, injuries to his abdomen and other areas.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: update An Afghan soldier opened fire on foreign troops Tuesday at a military base in western Afghanistan, killing an American soldier and wounding two Italian troops, a senior Afghan commander said. NATO's International Security Assistance Force said in a brief statement that a U.S. soldier "died following a shooting incident today in western Afghanistan," but provided no information. Bahnam said Tuesday's shooting followed an altercation between the foreign forces and their Afghan counterparts that broke out when Western troops refused to allow an Afghan soldier to approach an area where a helicopter was about to land. After that Afghan soldier opened fire, both Western and Afghan troops fired back, wounding him.

MoD: Rifleman Aidan Howell