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

Saturday, December 29, 2012

War News for Saturday, December 29, 2012

Reported security incidents
#1: US drones targeting a suspected militant compound on Friday killed four people in Pakistan's restive tribal region near the Afghan border, security officials said. The attack took place in Gurbuz town, 65 kilometres southwest of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan tribal district, a security official said. "The drones fired two missiles on a house believed to be a militant centre. Four militants were killed and two injured," he said. Another official said eight missiles hit the house and the bodies were burnt beyond recognition. "We have no information about the identity of those killed in the missile strike," the official said. A security official in Peshawar confirmed the toll.

#2: A bomb killed a local police commander and wounded two cops in Charchino district of Uruzgan province today, police said Friday. Earlier, Taliban spokesman Qari Muhammad Yousaf Ahmadi told Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) that their fighters conducted a tactical explosion on local police commaner, Mano, in Gorgin area of Charchino district. He said commander Mano Aqa was killed after his vehicle struck a landmine today's noon, adding the blast also left two local police wounded.

#3: Meanwhile, unidentified gunmen shot dead two brothers and wounded another in Muhammad Agha district of Logar province yesterday, an official said Friday. The three brothers were on way back to home from Kabul when attacked by unknown gunmen near their house in Gulabo Qala area approximately 6:30 p.m. (local time), said Abdul Hameed Hamed, administrator of Muhammad Agha district.

#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.


Dancewater said...

Major rallies in Fallujah and other Sunni-dominated areas calling for the downfall of the Malaki regime

Dancewater said...

Reporter's Notebook: Ali Ismail Abbas, Iraqi Boy Hit by American Missile 10 Years Later

The first and last time I saw Ali Abbas was in 2003. He was 12 years old lying naked on a medical examination table at a hospital in Kuwait City. His torso was charred black in some places. Other patches were red and raw. He had no arms, just a pair of stumps protruding from each small shoulder. He was shrieking in agony as doctors huddled over him and began working on him. I remember it vividly. It was a piercing, horrible sound that rang in my head long after we had left the hospital.

Ten years ago, Ali Abbas was famous in this country. He was famous because a New Yorker magazine reporter, Jon Lee Anderson, wrote about him, and a photograph of Ali in his hospital bed in Baghdad appeared alongside the story. Anderson had come across Ali by chance during a visit to the hospital in the spring of 2003, shortly after the war that toppled Saddam Hussein. Anderson had asked to see the hospital's worst-case and doctors took him to Ali, a then-12-year-old boy whose home had been hit by an American missile. His father, mother, brother and 11 other relatives had been killed. A neighbor found Ali in the rubble, improbably still alive.