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

Saturday, December 19, 2009

War News forSaturday, December 19, 2009

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldiers in an IED attack in the Nad-e-Ali area, Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Saturday, December 19th.

NATO is reporting the death of an American ISAF soldier in an IED attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Friday, December 18th.

Reported security incidents

#1: The al-Zahraa Hospital morgue in al-Kut received on Friday the body of a young girl that had been salvaged from the River Tigris in the southern part of the city, a morgue source said. “The body is of a denarian girl and showed signs of having been shot in the head,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Gunmen opened fire and killed a civilian, Mohammed Abdullah on his doorstep in the city of Sulaimaniyah, Friday. Abdullah was 34 years old, an employee in the water department in Sulaimaniyah.

#1: Policemen in Kirkuk found the bodies of two civilians 12 hours after they had been kidnapped in the southern part of the city, a senior security source said on Saturday. “Local policemen found Saturday morning the bodies of two identified civilians near the al-Farahidi school, al-Mamdouda neighborhood,” Col. Ahmed Shamirani, the director of the Kirkuk Emergency Police, told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: An improvised explosive device was detonated by bomb squad experts on the main highway linking Kirkuk to Baghdad, a source from the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) said on Saturday. “A patrol of the Daqquq police station on Saturday morning found an IED near a bridge on the Kirkuk-Baghdad highway,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The Daqquq police station patrols headed to the site along with bomb squad experts and the Multi-National Force (MNF) troops and detonated the charge without incident,” the source added.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: At least 11 militants were killed Saturday during military operations in northwest Pakistan's tribal area, local TV channel reported. According to the private channel ARY News, Taliban militants fired rockets and attacked with automatic weapons at a security checkpost in Asman Munza of South Waziristan tribal agency. Five militants were killed and a security man lost his life during the clash. Besides, the militants attacked a Frontier Corps (FC) post in Khyber tribal agency's Bara tehsil. Security forces retaliated and pounded militant hideouts in different parts of the agency, killing six militants.

#2: Gunmen shot dead a top police officer and two of his guards in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province on Saturday morning, police said. Habibullah, Deputy Superintendent Police of southwestern province of Balochistan, and two police men were ambushed when they were heading to office from his residence in Quetta, the provincial capital, police said. The police vehicle came under attack on Jail Road of the restive city. Two other police men were injured and taken to Civil Hospital while the attackers fled after the incident, police said.