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

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Update for Thursday, August 27, 2015

U.S. personnel killed in yesterday's attack by an Afghan army officer are identified as Air Force special operations troops Capt. Matthew D. Roland of Lexington, Kentucky, and Staff Sgt. Forrest B. Sibley of Pensacola, Florida. Roland was assigned to the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron based at Hurlburt Field, Florida, and Sibley was assigned to the 21st Special Tactics Squadron based at Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina.

The latest version of the incident differs from yesterday's report  in that there was apparently only one attacker, who was injured but not killed by return fire; and that a second Afghan soldier was also injured by return fire. If and when more details come in, you will read it here.

Meanwhile, the death toll of Afghan forces in Musa Kala is now up to 35.