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

Sunday, December 15, 2013

News of the Day for Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mawlavi Ibrahim, district executive of Ghanikhil, Nangarhar province, is dragged out of his car and shot dead.

Four people are killed in a roadside bombing in Kunar province.

Two students are killed and four wounded by a missile strike in Logar. No information as to who fired the missile.

A suicide bombers enters the National Directorate of Security building in Torkam, Nangarhar province, shoots one soldier then detonates his explosives, injuring two others. The city is on the Pakistani border and is a major border crossing.

Hamid Karzai, while visiting New Delhi, says he does not trust the United States.

Interior Ministry makes the usual claim that 28 militants were killed or injured in the past 24 hours, and as usual there were miraculously no casualties among government forces or civilians. (I don't know why I bother to link to this bullshit. I think they just put it on the copier every day.)

Afghan army conducts controlled explosions in Kabul, causing panic.


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