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

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

War News for Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Reported security incidents
#1: A suicide car bomber targeting a U.S.-operated base in eastern Afghanistan killed at least three Afghans and injured six others Wednesday, officials said. There were no immediate reports of casualties among U.S. or North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces. Afghan officials said the attack happened shortly after 7 a.m. near the entrance to Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khowst, a province near the border of Pakistan that is a hotbed of insurgent activity. The bomber detonated a minivan packed with explosives when stopped by Afghan security guards at a checkpoint on a road leading to the base, said Provincial Police Chief Abdul Qayoum Baqizoy. One of the guards and two civilian drivers were killed in the blast, which also injured six other people, he said.

#2: In the meantime a local police official said the assailant struck Wednesday as the convoy was traveling to the airport near the capital of Khost province, which borders Pakistan. NATO command could not confirm the attack and Afghan authorities had no further details.

#3: Two Frontier Corps (FC) personnel and three children were injured in two explosions in Shahkas and Sepah areas of Bara and Jamrud on Tuesday, sources said. The first incident was reported in the Shahkas area of Jamrud where an explosive device placed near the resident of a tribesman, Gohar, went off injuring his three children, sources said. Administration officials rushed to the explosion site and collected evidence for a probe, sources said. In the second incident, a security forces' convoy was targeted with a remote-controlled bomb, planted by militants, on the roadside in Sepah area of Bara, sources said. Two FC troops, identified as Nauman Ahmad and Shaman Gul, were injured and moved to a military hospital. A tank was also destroyed in the explosion, sources said. Meanwhile, a militant was killed and another wounded in a shootout between two militant groups in Maidan, a far-flung area of Tirrah Valley, sources said.

#4: Two militants were killed and four persons, including two security men, received injuries in separate incidents in Khyber Agency on Tuesday, sources said. They said that a militant was killed and another injured in a firing incident in Loe Shalman area of Landi Kotal. In another incident, two security personnel were injured in a roadside blast in Bara. In Tirah, an activist of banned militant group Ansarul Islam killed his colleague Farooq Khan and injured another.