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

Friday, May 21, 2010

War News for Friday, May 21, 2010

Elsewhere, a NATO soldier was killed Friday by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan, the alliance said without identifying him by nationality.

Reported security incidents

Diyala Prv:
#1: Gunmen wearing military uniform stormed a house, killing four people from one family and wounding one other in the south of Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, a Diyala operations commander said.

#1: A military intelligence officer’s brother was killed in east of Diwaniya city, a police source said on Friday. “Three gunmen killed a military intelligence officer’s brother in front of his house late Thursday (May 20) in al-Joumhoury neighborhood in east of Diwaniya,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Gunmen shot dead two policemen at a police checkpoint in central Mosul, police said.

#2: Gunmen killed a civilian in western Mosul, police said.

#3: Gunmen wounded two civilians during an attack on an army patrol in western Mosul, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Also Friday, a roadside bomb exploded in Afghanistan’s main southern city of Kandahar, killing one civilian and wounding three children, an official said. The early morning blast appeared to target an Afghan intelligence service vehicle that drove down a main road in Kandahar city, said Abdul Ali, an intelligence official who was at the scene. Instead, an elderly man took the brunt of the blast — his body could be seen lying in the street. Three children were injured in the attack and taken to hospitals, he said. The intelligence vehicle was damaged but no one inside was wounded, Ali said.

#2: Elsewhere, seven insurgents including one would-be suicide car bomber launched an attack on an Afghan border police station in Paktika province on the frontier with Pakistan. Police opened fire as the bomber tried to enter the grounds of the station, police chief Dawlat Khan said. Officers killed the bomber before he could detonate the explosives-laden vehicle. Three other militants outside the vehicle opened fire but were killed in a 30-minute gunbattle. Three others escaped. One policeman and two civilians were killed and one policeman was wounded, Khan said.

#3: Taliban militants strapped explosives to two men accused of being US spies and blew than up at a public execution in northwest Pakistan, intelligence officials and residents said on Friday. The killings took place on Thursday evening in North Waziristan, a lawless al Qaeda and Taliban sanctuary on the Afghan border where the United States has stepped up attacks with missile-firing drone aircraft, fuelling militant fears of spies. Five masked militants paraded the hand-cuffed men before dozens of people in the Datta Kheil area and accused them of passing information to the United States on targets for its CIA-operated pilotless drone aircraft. "They strapped explosives around their bodies and then blew them up," a Pakistani intelligence official in the region told Reuters by telephone.

#4: Three militants were killed and two others injured when security forces raided a militant hideout in Matta area of Swat Valley, Xinhua news agency said citing TV reports. Automatic weapons, heavy arms and explosives were recovered from the hideout.

#5: In Upper Orakzai area, eight militants were killed and 10 injured in clashes with security forces. Sources said two army personnel were also injured in the fighting.

DoD: Lance Cpl. Patrick Xavier Jr.

DoD: Staff Sgt. Shane S. Barnard


Dancewater said...

A minivan packed with explosives blew up at a crowded market in Iraq's troubled northern Diyala province on Friday, killing at least 30 people and wounding 80 others, police and officials said.

Bomb at market kills 30

Dancewater said...

After more than 19 years of war, including seven years of occupation, the U.S. Congress still does not grasp domestic politics in Iraq. This week, the House passed a resolution asking the State Department to establish U.S. consulates in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, as well as in "other regions" in the country. This resolution isn't binding, but it still sends the wrong message to Iraqis.

The resolution claims it is important to establish such consulates to "facilitate more governmental" missions between the U.S. government and the government in the Kurdish region. Although this move might seem a mere technicality from the U.S. side, it is very controversial in Iraq. The people of Iraq will see such a consulate as a U.S. attempt to undermine the authority of the central government in Baghdad and establish direct diplomatic relations with the regional Kurdish government.

Congress Sends Wrong Message to Iraq

Dancewater said...

BAGHDAD - A bomb planted in a building used by Iraqi police wounded four policemen when it went off in central Baghdad, an interior ministry source said.

KIRKUK - A roadside bomb targeting a government-backed militia member killed him in the southwest of Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad on Thursday, police said.

MUSSAYAB - A car bomb exploded near a Shi'ite mosque, wounding six civilians in Mussayab, about 60 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad on Thursday night, police said.

Dancewater said...

Four Kurdish separatist guerrillas were killed when Turkish war planes hit rebel targets in northern Iraq in the largest government operation in more than a year, military sources said on Friday.

Dancewater said...

Iraqi Kurds accuse Turkey and Iran of attacks

Dancewater said...

British director Ken Loach turns a critical eye on private security firms operating in Iraq in his new drama "Route Irish," in which trigger-happy mercenaries appear to act above the law. The movie, one of 19 in the main competition at the Cannes film festival, also features a reconstruction of "waterboarding," an interrogation technique used on terrorism suspects which the U.S. Attorney General has called "torture."

Loach, who won the coveted Palme d'Or in Cannes in 2006 with Irish drama "The Wind That Shakes the Barley," said it was not too late to expose truths about the war in Iraq, which he opposes, and embarrass the leaders who supported it.

"If we can't put them in the dock of the law courts we have to put them in the dock of public opinion, because they need to be brought to account," he told reporters on Friday.

Film by Ken Loach


I will second his opinion.

Dancewater said...

OT: the killing of cops spree that is going on in this country (USA) continues with the death of a Chicago cop and two cops in Memphis.

Of course, the cops are not just gun victims, they often kill themselves.

That's life in America - where people are both stupid and violent.

Dancewater said...

U.S. Soldiers Accused in Afghan Civilian Murders

Members of a squad of about 10 American soldiers are under investigation for murdering at least three local villagers who had angered them. According to the allegations, this is not a case of civilians being mistaken for Taliban fighters and not a one-time moment of rage.

Instead, it happened on different occasions over the past several months. The squad leader, a sergeant, is said to have done the shooting.

In addition, some members of the squad are accused of smoking hash.

Charges could be brought against the soldiers as early as next week.


I would bet there are US troops in Afghanistan who are doing worse than smoking hash.

MUCH worse.

Dancewater said...

"We do have to remember the prime victims are the Iraqis, they're the ones who suffered," Loach said. "And, if I can be a little bit contentious, it disturbs me a little when we see films from America in which the main victims are American soldiers.

"And it disturbs me even more when films like that are then dedicated to the American military because sure, they suffered, but just think of the millions of Iraqis that are dead, families destroyed, children mutilated, homes smashed, four million people in exile - in that context I find it very disturbing that films about this war are dedicated to the American military."

He got that correct.


dinoibo said...
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