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, May 5, 2010

War News for Wednesday, May 05, 2010

MNF-Iraq (OIF) is reporting the deaths of two U.S. Soldiers of non-combat-related injuries in unrelated incidents in undisclosed locations in Iraq on Monday, May 3rd.

The DoD is reporting the death of Airman 1st Class Austin H. Gates Benson from a non-combat related incident near Khyber, Nangarhar province Afghanistan on Monday, May 3rd.

Iran kills five members of Kurdish group: report

Shiite Alliance in Iraq May Push Allawi Aside:

Reported security incidents

#1: Unknown gunmen on Wednesday killed a Sunni cleric near his house west of Baghdad. “The assassins used pistols with silencers,” a local security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A roadside bomb went off on Wednesday near a business office in central Basra city. “The blast caused no casualties,” a local police source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: One policeman and one civilian were wounded when a roadside bomb went off on Wednesday in southern Kirkuk city.

#2: A U.S. patrol was hit with a thermal bomb in southern Kirkuk city. “The attack caused no damage,” an Iraqi police source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. He noted that the patrol blocked roads that lead to the location of the attack, and searched the area looking for attackers without arresting any one.

#1: One policeman and one civilian man were killed, and one civilian woman was wounded when gunmen opened fire on Wednesday in central Mosul city. “The gunmen opened fire targeting the policeman who was killed as well as his civilian friend who was with him,” a local police source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A squad of suicide bombers and gunmen stormed a provincial governor's compound in southwestern Afghanistan on Wednesday, but security forces managed to fight them off, Afghan officials said. At least five of the assailants were killed, authorities said. Two police officers and a provincial council member also died in the hours-long assault, according to Gen. Jabar Purdili, the police chief of Nimroz province. About a dozen other people were reported to have been wounded. Nimroz shares a border with Helmand, where some of the heaviest fighting of the nearly 9-year-old Afghan conflict has taken place in recent months.

#2: Eleven Danish soldiers and two Afghan interpreters were wounded in an attack by Taliban in southern Afghanistan late Tuesday, the Danish military said in a statement Wednesday. It did not give details on the degree of the soldiers' injuries. The military said the attack took place shortly before a sand storm, to the north-east of the city of Gerehsk. Because of poor visibility, the injured soldiers could not be evacuated by air and were instead driven to a nearby Danish base before being evacuated by helicopter to the Camp Bastion hospital at Danish headquarters. Attacks against Danish soldiers have intensified in Afghanistan over the past weeks, with three previous attacks injuring a total of 10 soldiers since April 25.

MoD: Sapper Daryn Roy

MoD: Lance Corporal Barry Buxton

DoD: Airman 1st Class Austin H. Gates Benson