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, December 3, 2012

War News for Monday, December 03, 2012

Reported security incidents
#1: AT least five people, including two women, are dead after a bomb targeting an army vehicle exploded in southern Afghanistan. The remote-controlled bomb was placed on a motorcycle and hit an Afghan army patrol truck as it was passing in Trin Kot the capital of Oruzgan province, officials said on Monday. "Two Afghan army soldiers and three civilians were killed in the blast," provincial police spokesman Farid Ayal said. The blast also wounded eight others, including two soldiers, he said.

#2: Taliban forces attacked a large coalition airfield in eastern Afghanistan early Sunday morning, detonating three car bombs near the entrance of the base before sparking a two-hour gunbattle that claimed the lives of nine insurgents, three Afghan security guards and at least four civilians whose vehicle was caught in the crossfire, Afghan officials and witnesses said. The confrontation wounded fewer than 10 coalition service members at Forward Operating Base Fenty, according to official reports, though by late Sunday it remained unclear exactly how many had been hurt or how severely. At least one member of the Afghan military was killed in the fighting, officials said.

#3: Five Taliban militants were killed, including a civilian, in Ghalbala area of Almar district in northern Faryab province, an official said on Monday. Spokesman of the 209 Shaheen corps Maj Mohammad Raza told Pajhwok Afghan News that five militants were killed during a joined operation conducted by Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police in Ghalbala area of Almar district. Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said they managed to kill eight security personnel and destroy two armed vehicles.

#4: Meanwhile in Qalat, police killed another three Taliban militants and captured four fighters during security operations in southern Zabul province. Zabul deputy police chief Ghulam Rasool Aqa told Pajhwok that the operations were conducted on Sunday evening in Bargzo area on the outskirt of Qalat city. He said militants were trying to plant roadside bombs to target the police but the police managed to retaliate in advance, killing three militants, including their local commander Mullah Hayatullah.

#5: A bomb ripped through a police van as it was patrolling in northwestern Pakistan on Monday, killing two officers and wounding two others, police said. The attack took place on the outskirts of the city of Peshawar, which is located on the edge of Pakistan's tribal region, the main sanctuary for Taliban militants in the country. The city has been hit by frequent bombings over the past few years.