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, December 28, 2012

War News for Friday, December 28, 2012

US drone strikes decrease in Pakistan in 2012: Report

Reported security incidents
#1-2: One policeman was killed and four people were wounded in two separate explosions in southern Afghanistan on Friday, officials said.

#1: “A roadside bomb went off near an Afghan Local Police (ALP) patrol in Charchino district, Uruzgan province at around 12 p.m. local time, killing an ALP commander in the district named Manni and wounding two policemen,” the police spokesman in the province Farid Farhang told Xinhua.

#2: In neighbouring Kandahar province, two civilians were wounded as a bomb attached to a bicycle targeted a police vehicle in provincial capital Kandahar city earlier Friday, according to provincial government spokesman Jawid Faisal. Faisal said all cops aboard the vehicle were unharmed in the attack.

#3: The Pakistani Taliban have seized at least 22 men from a regional paramilitary force in attacks on three checkpoints in northern Pakistan, a regional official said on Thursday. Taliban and other Pakistani sources put the number higher. At least 22 men were missing, two had been killed and one was injured after militants armed with rocket-propelled grenades and rifles launched the overnight attacks, said Naveed Akbar, a regional official whose remit covers the Levies, or tribal force, units.

Militants in Pakistan killed two security forces and abducted 21 others in an assault on two military camps Thursday, a government official told CNN. More than 200 people suspected to be members of the Taliban conducted the actions, said Nazeed Akbar, a government official. The camps are nearly two miles apart on the outskirts of Peshawar. The militants swamped the camps on foot and in vehicles around 2 a.m. A gunfight lasting more than an hour ensured. Along with those missing and killed, at least one security force member was injured.

#4: Five militants were killed during a joint Afghan-ISAF military operation in the Hesarak district of eastern Nangarhar province, an official said on Friday. The joint force came under attacks from the rebels in Daud Qala and Langakhel areas of the town, police chief Brig. Gen. Abdullah Stanikzai told Pajhwok Afghan News. In the ensuing clashes, five attackers were killed, he said.