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 18, 2013

War News for Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The DoD is reporting the death of Petty Officer 1st Class James L. Smith who died a non-combat related incident in Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany on Wednesday, December 11th.

The military is reporting the deaths of six American ISAF soldiers when a black hawk helicopter crashed in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, December 17th.

Pentagon probes whether U.S. troops killed by enemy fire - The Pentagon urgently investigated whether six American troops killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday may have died from enemy fire after their helicopter crashed, rather than from the crash itself, two senior U.S. officials said.

Photos: Taliban attacks U.S. base in Afghanistan

A Top Iraqi Official’s Advice to Karzai? Take America’s Deal

Pakistan Taliban reject gov't dialogue offer

Reported security incidents
#1: Militants attacked a transit point for NATO supplies on the Afghan-Pakistani border early Wednesday, prompting a firefight that left at least four people dead and damaged more than a dozen vehicles, a government official said. Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, a spokesman for the governor of eastern Nangarhar province, said Afghan security forces fought a group of armed suicide bombers for more than two hours. The firefight left one member of the Afghan Public Protection Forces dead and at least five other people wounded, he said.

Earlier on Wednesday, one policeman and three Taliban militants were killed and 16 trucks were destroyed when Taliban launched a massive suicide and shooting attack against a NATO-led coalition forces in Torkham, a bordering town near the Pakistan border.

#2: Four militants were killed and 23 others detained in military operations across Afghanistan since early Tuesday, the country's Interior Ministry said on Wednesday morning.

#3: NATO forces in eastern Afghanistan came under attack on Wednesday, a military spokeswoman said. NATO-led International Security Assistance Force spokeswoman Lt. Col. Latondra Kinley said the Torkham base in Nangarhar province was hit by indirect fire.

DoD: Petty Officer 1st Class James L. Smith


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