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

Sunday, December 16, 2012

News of the Day for Sunday, December 16, 2012

Afghan Director of Intelligence Asadullah Khalid is admitted to a hospital in the U.S., after being injured in a suicide attack 10 days ago. He had been treated at the ISAF hospital at Bagram. There is no specific information about his condition.

A provincial official says 11 militants are killed  in a battle in Kandahar province. The statement says there were no government casualties. The announcement does not state that ISAF forces were involved.

Iran complains to the Afghan government  about the Dec. 11 mob attack on its consulate in Herat. The attackers were protesting what they claim is the slaying of Afghan economic refugees by Iran.

President Karzai acknowledges the inadequacy of health care regulation in the country. Many private hospitals are operating incompetently.

ISAF forces arrest a man accused of involvement in the Dec. 2 attack on the Jalalabad air base.

 Meanwhile, south of the border, an attack on an airfield in Peshawar, Pakistan appears to largely fail, resulting in the death of 4 or 5 attackers.

Large shipments of gold out of Afghanistan are prompting suspicion of money laundering. (Well duhh.)

Editors note: On March 11 of this year, a U.S. soldier massacred 16 people, including many children, in Kandahar. This event was an item in the news among many others. It provoked no special coverage, no candlelight vigils or church services, or any other out of the ordinary response in the United States. Earlier (I'm not going to track down the date) U.S. forces killed Afghan children who were gathering firewood on a hill side; and innumerable Afghan children have died from bombings and crossfire from all sides in the Afghan conflict. I won't even talk about Iraq. Recently, Israeli bombing killed something like 100 Palestinian civilians, including children, in Gaza. Apart from actions by the U.S. and its allies, children are dying violently by the dozens every day, right now, in Syria, Congo, Sudan, and elsewhere. We barely notice. So, I'm noticing.


Anonymous said...

When the ISAF is gone, the Taliban will be the only ones left to kill women and children.

Anonymous said...

An American killed 20 children in Connecticut.

Dancewater said...

I grieve for all the children, including the ones who die from the poisons the US military leaves behind.

Massive numbers are dying as infants in Fallujah.

The US is a very violent culture, and I see no signs that this will change.