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

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

War News for Tuesday, December 11, 2012

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an IED blast in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Monday, December 10th.

Pentagon Says Afghan Forces Still Need Assistance

Reported security incidents
#1: Up to seven insurgents have been killed and eight others detained in military operations in eastern Afghan region in a 24-hour time, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said Tuesday. "Afghan and coalition forces killed seven insurgents, detained eight, and cleared one improvised explosive device (IED) during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours," the ISAF's Regional Command-East (RC-East) said in a statement. Afghan Border Police killed seven insurgents during an engagement in Barge-E Matal district, Nuristan province 180 km east of Kabul, it said.

#2: Two mine planters killed in Kandahar province yesterday. According to national defense ministry press office, two armed militants wanted to place a mine in the outskirts of Zheri district of that province, the mine exploded and killed them. According to another report, an armed militant wanted to place a mine in the vicinities of Khost province; the mine exploded and killed him.

#3: Afghan security forces launched a major military operation and evicted Taliban insurgents from Dishu district in the southern Afghan province of Helmand and established government control there, the provincial administration said Tuesday. "The Afghan national police, border police and army carried out a six-day military operation ending on Monday recapturing the Dishu district," the government said in a statement. The Dishu district had been ruled by Taliban for the past nine years. During the operation three policemen were killed and one sustained injuries, said Hamidullah Siddiqi, a senior border police commander in Helmand. More than 600 Afghan security forces took part in the operation in the district about 100 km south of provincial capital Lashkar Gah.

DoD: Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas D. Checque