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

Monday, May 24, 2010

War News for Monday, May 24, 2010

Iran To Boost Non-Oil Exports To Iraq: Iran plans to increase its non-oil exports to Iraq to US$7.5 billion annually from the current US$4.8 billion...

Top (British) bomb disposal officer resigns:

In the absence of debate, Iraq and Afghanistan go unnoticed:

Here's a real hoot -- U.S. Tries to Reintegrate Taliban Soldiers

Reported security incidents

#1: “The bomb squad managed to defuse two IEDs near an outdoor souk (market) in the area of al-Baijiya, al-Mansour neighborhood, western Baghdad,” it added.

#2: Two unidentified bodies were found near a church in Dora, south Baghdad, late Saturday.

#1: Security forces found three bodies of workers dumped inside a sewage project in Karbala on Sunday, according to a member of the provincial council’s security committee. “The bodies, found in a sewage project in the area of Bab Tuwayrij, (one kilometer east of Imam al-Abbas Shrine), turned out to be of workers hired in the project of al-Majsar in the area,” Jassem al-Fatlawi told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A roadside bomb went off on Monday targeting a U.S. convoy north of Kut city. “The blast occurred around 40 km north of Kut city,” a local security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. He noted that casualties are unknown because U.S. servicemen started shooting randomly, cordoned the area, and prevented anyone from getting closer.

#1: Unknown gunmen on Monday detonated the house of an Iraqi army officer south of Tikrit city. “The house belongs to an Iraqi army lieutenant colonel,” a local police source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. He noted that the blast caused no casualties.

#1: A woman was wounded on Monday when a roadside bomb went off near his house to the north of Mosul city.

#2: Iraqi army forces on Monday defused a roadside bomb to the east of Mosul city. “The bomb was planted on a main road east of Mosul,” an army source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: A roadside bomb targeting an Iraqi army patrol wounded two soldiers in western Mosul, police said.

#4: Gunmen stormed a house and killed an elderly woman in central Mosul, police said.

#5: Gunmen shot dead a civilian in western Mosul, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A British military blog reported Monday that Canadians and Americans were among more than a dozen coalition troops wounded in a Taliban rocket attack at the Kandahar Airfield, but the International Security Assistance Force is disputing that. The Helmand Blog, run by several branches of the U.K. military both in England and Afghanistan, said insurgents attacked the base from two locations Saturday night, launching five rocket-propelled grenades. It said 13 people from the American and Canadian contingents suffered injuries. The blog quoted Senior Aircraftsman Eric Telford, 24, from 2nd Squadron of the Royal Air Force, as saying he rushed to the site of the attack and applied a tourniquet to a wounded female Canadian soldier. The blog entry was later removed after ISAF said it was posted without proper approval and contained some incorrect information. In an email, Capt. Scott Costen said the number wounded and their nationalities was inaccurate, but he declined to provide the correct information. It is against ISAF policy to release the numbers of those wounded or their nationalities.

#2: A bomb ripped through a minibus in western Afghanistan on Monday, killing five civilians and wounding another eight, some critically, the interior ministry said. The Toyota Coaster bus had been taking passengers from the district of Pusht Rod in Farah province to Khaki Safed district.

#3: Foreign and Afghan forces killed 13 Taliban in an attack involving an air strike on Monday in an area of Ghazni province, an official said. The attack was staged in response to a Taliban ambush against a convoy carrying supplies for the foreign forces, he said, adding there were no casualties from the ambush.

#4: Taliban guerrillas shot dead at least five residents in southeastern Khost province after accusing them of spying for the Afghan government and foreign troops, villagers said on Monday.

MoD: Corporal Stephen Walker