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, February 2, 2016

Update for Tuesday, February 2, 2016

[As you can see, I have changed the title of the blog once again, now that the U.S. is once again engaged in combat in Iraq.]

I have no idea why they waited so long, but a U.S. drone strike has finally destroyed the IS "Voice of the Caliphate" radio station in Nangarhar. Reportedly, 21 people were killed.

Taliban suicide bombing in Kabul on Monday kills 20 police, injures 29 people. The bomber blew himself up while standing in a line to enter a police facility.

Gen. Campbell will testify before the House Armed Services Committee today, where Republican members of congress are expected to criticize the administration's stated plan to reduce U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan.

Afghan army said to launch an operation in Baghlan to restore power to Kabul after Taliban destroyed transmission lines from Uzbekistan.

In a puzzling incident, the secretary to the governor of Kunduz is killed in a gun battle with police.

In Iraqbombings continue to occur in Baghdad with regularity, with 6 killed and two dozen injured in various incidents today.

As Iraqi forces and Shiite militias beseige Fallujah, tens of thousands of trapped civilians are running short of food and medicine. Residents have told Reuters by telephone that people have died of starvation.

Sohaib al-Rawi, the governor of Anbar province where Falluja is located, appealed to the coalition to air-drop humanitarian supplies to the trapped civilians. He said this was the only way to deliver aid after Islamic State mined the entrances to the city and stopped people leaving. "No force can enter and secure (the delivery) ... There is no option but for airplanes to transport aid," he said in an interview with al-Hadath TV late on Monday, adding the situation was deteriorating by the day.

With their salaries unpaid for months, peshmerga fighters are starting to desert.

A meeting convenes in Rome of members of the anti-IS coalitionU.S. Secretary of State John Kerry calls for more financial support for the effort.

King Abdullah says Jordan is at the breaking point over the refugee crisis.

Iraq has awarded a contract to an Italian firm to repair the Mosul dam. This was expected. However, it appears the deal still has not been formally signed and it is not clear when work will begin. 


Anonymous said...

Go USA. Hoo-ha!

Cervantes said...

Too bad the world isn't that simple.

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