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, February 21, 2016

Update for Sunday, February 21, 2016

First, the ridiculous flapdoodle over the missing iridium is over. The material was found intact, apparently dumped after the thief realized it was worthless to him. (Radioactive material needs to be handled with respect, but the paranoia people have about it is bizarre.)

There is apparently an uprising against IS in Fallujah. We'll have to see where this goes.

Bombing in southern Baghdad kills 4 soldiers.

Bombing in northern Baghdad kills 2 and injures 7.

Sabotaged pipeline from Kirkuk to Turkey has yet to be repaired due to security issues, and exports from Kurdistan to Turkey are still curtailed. If the PKK is indeed responsible for this it must mean that the PKK and the Kurdish Regional Government are now in a shooting war. I have to say this seems like a very stupid move for the PKK to have made. They haven't got a friend in the world.

In Afghanistan, a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone crashes. The incident was not due to hostile action but did cost U.S. taxpayers about $60 million. But who's counting?

Afghan troops abandon Musa Qala in Helmand, which the MoD says is not a retreat but a "tactical move." Whatever.

Bombings in Paktika kill numerous civilians.

Even as officials continue promising to restore electricity to Kabul soon, after the Taliban destroyed lines transmitting power from Uzbekistan, the Taliban destroy another pylon in Baghlan, further reducing power to the capital.


Anonymous said...

flapdoodle? love it!