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

Thursday, May 20, 2010

War News for Thursday, May 20, 2010

Press Freedom Under Fire In Kurdish Iraq:

Pakistan army pays heavy price in Taliban war:

Suicide bombing that killed Col. Geoff Parker was indiscriminate: military:

25 killed in target killing in Karachi:

In Ambush, a Glimpse of a Long Afghan Summer:

Reported security incidents

#1: A roadside bomb wounded six civilians in Baghdad's southwestern district of Jihad, police said.

#2: A roadside bomb wounded two civilians in Baghdad's western district of al-Ghazaliya, police said.

#3: A roadside bomb wounded three civilians in southwestern Baghdad, police said.

#4: A bomb attached to a car wounded the driver in northeastern Baghdad, police said.

#5: A roadside bomb wounded five civilians near the Shaab soccer stadium in eastern Baghdad, police said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Five al-Qaeda elements were killed and two more were arrested on Wednesday in clashes flared up with SWAT forces in southeast of Baaquba, according to a security source. “Armed clashes erupted on Wednesday evening (May 19) between SWAT forces and al-Qaeda gunmen inside al-Dayniya village in Baladruz district, southeast of Baaquba ,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The three-hour clashes left five gunmen killed and two more arrested, including al-Qaeda leader in the village, Karim Hussein Muftah,” he added. “Seven SWAT forces were wounded in the clashes,” he said.

#2: One civilian was killed and three others were wounded in a blast in the north of Baaquba on Thursday, according to a police source. “An improvised explosive device went off on Thursday (May 20) near a civilian car in al-Nada region, southern al-Saadiya district, north of Baaquba, killing a civilian and injuring three, one of them in critical condition,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A car bomb exploded in front of a restaurant killing six people south of Baghdad on Wednesday, Iraqi officials said, highlighting the fragile nature of Iraq's security. The bomb in the mixed Sunni-Shiite town comes as the country enters its third month without a new government, raising concerns that violence will rise as political disputes spill out into the streets. A spokesman for the Babil police, Maj. Muthana Khalid, said the parked car detonated in the town of Musayyib, about 40 miles (60 kilometers) south of Baghdad. The car was left in front of a restaurant where people had gathered to eat grilled meat. Ten people were injured in the incident.

At least six people were killed and ten others were wounded in two simultaneous explosions in north of Babel on Wednesday, a police source said. “The first blast took blast near a restaurant in central al-Askandariya district, north of Babel, while the second explosion occurred five minutes later near the first scene,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. He gave no more details.

#1: A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol wounded two policemen and two civilians in the town of Mahmudiya, 30 km (20 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A bomb exploded inside a house, wounded three people in central Yusufiya, 20 km (12 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Gunmen in a speeding car exchanged fire with security guards at the headquarters of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (ISCI), a major Shi'ite political faction, in central Basra, 420 km (260 miles) south of Baghdad, but no one was hurt, police said.

Salah al-Din Prv:
#1: Five mortar shells have fallen on a U.S. base in Salah al-Din, but no casualties have been reported, a local police source said on Wednesday.“Five mortar shells landed on the U.S. Camp Anaconda in Yathrib district, southern Tikrit, on Wednesday (May 19),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Balad Ruz:
#1: Iraqi police killed five militants in clashes that lasted for three hours in an area near Balad Ruz, 90 km (55 miles) northeast of Baghdad, a security source said. The militants wounded five policemen, the source added.

#1: A roadside bomb targeting a government-backed militia leader wounded six members of the militia in Baiji, 180 km (112 miles) north of Baghdad on Wednesday, police said.

#1: One Sahwa fighter was killed on Thursday by an improvised explosive device blast in the southwest of Kirkuk, a local police chief said. “The bomb exploded early Thursday (May 20) targeting a vehicle in Abi al-Khanazeer village in al-Rashad district, southwest of Kirkuk, killing the driver, a Sahwa fighter,” Brig. Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Police forces waged on Wednesday security raids in central Mosul, according to a security source. “The operations covered Babl al-Toub region, Ghazi, al-Najafi and Ninewa steets and Bab Saray region in central Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The operations aimed to track down suspects and wanted men but ended without arresting anyone,” he said. Mosul, the capital of Ninewa, lies 405 km north of Baghdad.

#2: One policeman was killed and 10 were wounded in a suicide attack in western Mosul on Thursday, a police source said. “A suicide bomber blew up an explosive belt strapped to his body on Thursday morning (May 20) targeting a police checkpoint in Dourat Qassem al-Khayat region, western Mosul, killing a policeman and injuring ten, including four policemen,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: Gunmen attacked security checkpoints, killing two Iraqi soldiers, in different parts of the city of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police.

#4: A roadside bomb exploded near an Iraqi army patrol in northern Mosul, wounding one soldier, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: update Taliban insurgents armed with rockets, grenades and suicide vests stormed the giant U.S.-run Bagram Air Field before dawn Wednesday, triggering an eight-hour firefight that killed an American contractor and at least 10 attackers and wounded nine U.S. service members. As troops and contractors huddled in secure bunkers, the militants fired their weapons over American defenses into the base, according to Maj. Virginia McCabe, a spokeswoman for U.S. forces at Bagram. White smoke could be seen rising from the garrison as U.S. attack helicopters whirred overhead. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, who telephoned reporters before the U.S. announced the attack, said 20 to 30 fighters breached the defenses of the base, which serves as the control hub for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the attackers “were not successful in penetrating the perimeter.” He told reporters in Washington that some of the attackers were wearing suicide vests but were killed by U.S. forces before they could detonate them. Whitman said one civilian contractor was killed and nine service members were wounded. An Afghan provincial police commander, Gen. Abdul Rahman Sayedkhail, said the attack began when U.S. guards spotted militants in a car just outside the base. The Americans opened fire, triggering running gunbattles in which at least one militant triggered his suicide vest and U.S. troops hunted down the other attackers. Four of the slain insurgents had intended to be suicide bombers, U.S. forces said in a statement. At one point, residents of the area discovered a militant hiding in a garden, said Lutf Rahman Reshad, an Afghan police official. They called police, but the attacker lobbed grenades at the officers who arrived. The police fired at the man, who then detonated his explosives vest. The insurgent was wearing what appeared to be a military-style uniform, Reshad said.

#2: A suicide car bomb targeted a convoy of NATO-led troops in Kandahar south of Afghanistan on Thursday.

#3: Unidentified gunmen shot dead a former member of the parliament from northwest Pakistan's South Waziristan tribal area early Thursday, officials said. Maulana Mirajuddin Mehsud, former Member of the National Assembly, lower house of the parliament, belonged to pro-Taliban party Jamiat ulema-e-Islam. The slain former lawmaker had been involved in peace efforts in Waziristan and was highly respected in the region. Official said that Mirajuddin was critically injured when two motorcyclists opened fire on him. He was heading to mosque for morning prayers when came under attack at small town Murtaza on main road linking Wana, the center of South Waziristan, with Tank, a main city at the edge of tribal region.

#4: Two policemen were killed and an officer sustained injuries as a roadside bomb struck a police van in Khost province, east of Afghanistan Thursday, an official said. "The incident occurred in Ali Shir district this morning as a result district police chief Jawar Khan was injured and his two bodyguards were killed on the spot," spokesman for provincial administration Mubariz Zadran told Xinhua.

#5: At least 15 militants were killed and eight others injured Thursday as security forces advanced in northwest Pakistan's tribal area, local TV channel reported. Pakistani security forces' jet air strikes also destroyed four hideouts of militants and four vehicles in Hasan Zai, Gaal and Zkhtan areas of Orakzai tribal region, the private TV Express reported. It was the latest offensive launched by Pakistani security forces against Taliban militants in the troubled northwest tribal area. At least 60 militants were killed and 20 others injured in clashes with the security forces in the Upper Orakzai tribal area on Wednesday morning.

#6: Taliban insurgents in their armed campaign against establishment killed two persons in the southern Ghazni province and injured five others in the neighboring Wardak province, officials said Thursday. "The rebels brutally executed two more innocent civilians in Andar district of Ghazni province Wednesday night," Police chief of Ghazni province Khayalbaz Shirzai told Xinhua.

#7: Taliban militants abducted 12 people on charge of spying for security forces last week and took them to their hideout in Andar district. The militia also on Tuesday night shot dead four of their hostages, according to Shirzai.

#8: Furthermore, five civilians including two children and a woman were injured as a mortar shell fired by Taliban militants hit a civilian car in Jaghato district of Wardak province on Wednesday, spokesman for Wardak's provincial administration Shahidullah Shahid told Xinhua.

#9: A second explosion hits Jalalabad city, capital of eastern Afghanistan's Nangarhar province Thursday morning but cause no casualties, local TV said. "An explosive device was planted in a minibus on the road to the Jalalabad airport and detonated, but no one was killed or injured in the blast," a police official form Jalalabad garrison was quoted by Tolo television as saying.

#10: A bombing Thursday morning rattled Jalalabad city, capital of eastern Afghanistan's Nangarhar province, leaving two civilians injured, a local official said. Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, spokesman for the provincial government, told Xinhua through telephone that the bombing took place at around 6:30 a.m. local time near an office of a local telephone company in the city. It was not a suicide attack, said the official. Earlier, the private Tolo TV channel reported that the incident was a suicide attack.

DoD: Staff Sgt. Adam L. Perkins

DoD: Col. John M. McHugh

DoD: Lt. Col. Paul R. Bartz

DoD: Lt. Col. Thomas P. Belkofer

DoD: Staff Sgt. Richard J. Tieman

DoD: Spc. Joshua A. Tomlinson