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 18, 2012

War News for Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The DoD is reporting the death of a sailor previously unreported by the military. Lt. Leonard Robinson died from non-combat related injuries in Fayetteville, N.C., U.S. on Saturday, December 15th. He was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Reported security incidents
#1: Gunmen killed five Pakistani women working on a U.N.-backed polio vaccination campaign in two different cities on Tuesday, officials said. The attacks were likely an attempt by the Taliban to counter an initiative the militant group has opposed. The attacks came a day after an unknown gunman killed a male volunteer for the World Health Organization’s anti-polio campaign in Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi. Four of the women killed Tuesday were gunned down in Karachi, said Sagheer Ahmed, the health minister for surrounding Sindh province. Two male workers were critically wounded in the shootings, said Ahmed, who wrongly reported earlier that one of them had died.

#2: Afghan police have killed seven Taliban insurgents in different provinces within one-day operations, as the security forces continue to press the militants, the country's Ministry of Interior said Tuesday. "Afghan National Police (ANP) in partnership with the army and the NATO-led coalition forces conducted nine cleanup operations in Kabul, Kunduz, Wardak, Logar, Khost and Helmand province over the past 24 hours, killing seven armed Taliban insurgents," the ministry said in a statement. Up to seven insurgent were wounded and four others detained by the ANP during the above raids, it added. In addition, three Taliban were killed when Afghan police and army responded to a Taliban attack against checkpoints in Duhab district in Nuristan province 180 km east of capital city of Kabul early Tuesday morning, provincial police chief Ghulam Ullah told Xinhua.

#3: At least eighteen persons including five security personnel were injured in a grenade attack that occurred on GT Road near PAF Engineering Centre Tuesday morning, security sources told. According to security forces, unknown attackers riding on two motorbikes hurled two hand grenades at main GT Road near PAF Engineering Centre gate no.3 that hurt ten persons, including five security men and five civilians. Sources told that many young men were present at the site as recruitment for PAF engineering wing was underway.

#4: At least three soldiers were killed and three others sustained injuries in clashes between security forces and extremists in Lakki Marwat, media quoted officials as saying on Monday. Dozens of insurgents armed with guns and rockets stormed a security checkpost in Lakki Marwat. Three soldiers were killed while three others, including a Major rank officer, were wounded in the attack. The wounded troops were shifted to military hospital. The security forces retaliated, however army did not give any information about the number of militants killed or injured in the exchange of fire.

#5: Unknown gunmen shot dead an employee of education and training department in the limits of Kandahar city, capital of Kandahar province, yesterday, education officials said Monday. The gunmen opened fire on Muhammad Mirwais, an employee of education directorate, in Loya Wayala area of the provincial capital and killed him, Sher Aqa Safi, director of Kandahar education and training department, told Afghan Islamic.

#6: A roadside bomb killed two police while a police officer was killed in a gun attack by Taliban in Kunar province, police said Monday. A police vehicle struck a roadside bomb in Wali Qala area on Asadabad road, limits of Sokair district, at approximately 1:00 p.m. (local time), Awaz Muhammad Naziri, police chief of Kunar province, told Afghan Islamic Press (AIP). As a result, he said, two police were killed and another wounded. Meanwhile, a police officer was killed after Taliban gunmen attacked combined force in the limits of Marawara district, Naziri said. He said the combined troops were on way to Asadabad from Marawara when came under attack, adding a police officer was injured in the attack and later succumbed to wounds.

#7: According to local authorities in eastern Nuristan province of Afghanistan, heavy clashes are continuing between Afghan security forces and armed militants in Du-Aab district. The officials further added the clashes started late Monday evening and militants are still resisting Afgan security forces. Provincial securit chief Ghulamullah Nurstaini confirming the report said at least 3 militants have been killed following the clashes. He urged the central government to assist Afghan security forces fighting the militants in order to end the clashes. In the meantime a spokesman for the Taliban group said several Afghan security forces have been killed or wounded during clashes with the Taliban fighters.

DoD: Lt. Leonard Robinson