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 31, 2013

War News for Tuesday, December 31, 2013

11 journalists killed in Pakistan in 2013: Report

US-led coalition sees lower casualties in 2013 as Afghan forces take lead in fighting

Reported security incidents
#1: An Afghan official says gunshots erupted during a rally in a northern province where a group was protesting the selection of candidates for the 2014 elections, killing two people and wounding eight. Governor Khirullah Anosh says the shooting took place on Tuesday outside his office in the town of Aibak in Samangan province. About 300 people had gathered for the protest.

#2: The Afghan Interior Ministry said Tuesday that the country's national security forces have killed eight militants during operation since early Monday. "Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) conducted anti- terrorism operations in Zabul, Uruzgan and Wardak provinces over the last 24 hours. As a result, eight armed Taliban members were killed and two others were arrested by the ANSF,"the ministry said in a statement providing daily operational updates.