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

Thursday, December 20, 2012

War News for Thursday, December 21, 2012

Troops gone, U.S. increasingly sidelined in Iraq

U.N. Halts Vaccine Work in Pakistan After 2 More Killings

National Guard (in Federal Status) and Reserve Activated as of December 18, 2012 - This brings the total National Guard and Reserve personnel who have been activated to 56,865, including both units and individual augmentees.

Reported security incidents
#1: A serviceman from the Georgian peacekeeping contingent went missing in Afghanistan, the Georgian Defence Ministry said on Thursday. According to the report, no one has seen him since Dec.19. The Defence Ministry reported that the serviceman went missing under mysterious circumstances. At present, the International Security Assistance Force is holding an operation to rescue him.

#2: Afghan army and the NATO-led coalition forces have killed three insurgents and detained several suspects during operations across the country, as the joint forces continue to press the militants, the coalition said Thursday. “An Afghan and coalition security force killed Taliban leader, Mahjur, along with one other insurgent, during a security operation in Nari district, Kunar province, Wednesday,” the coalition or International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement. In addition, one insurgent was killed and one was detained in a separate operation in Alingar district in Laghman province 90 km east of Kabul on Wednesday, the statement added.

#3: Five civilians and two policemen were killed Thursday afternoon when a bomb hit a police mobile in Zaranj, the provincial capital of southwestern Afghan Nimroz province, police said. "A police unit was on routine patrol in police district 3 of Zaranj city at about 3:30 p.m. (local time) when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was detonated through a remote control device, killing two policemen and five civilians near the scene," police chief of the district Abdul Haq told Xinhua. He said two policemen were also wounded in the attack and the police mobile was destroyed in the incident in the province 790 km southwest of Kabul.