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, February 10, 2016

Update for Wednesday, February 10, 2016

[Sorry for not posting for a while, been kinda busy. -- C]

Afghan police officer opens fire on NATO forces near the entrance to the Ministry of Commerce, and is killed by return fire.

U.S Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warns that Afghanistan is at risk of "political breakdown." [It is not clear exactly what he means, as this would seem to be a question of degree only. -- C]

President Ashraf Ghani's Special Representative on Reform and Good Governance, Ahmad Ziad Massoud, says the government has no clear plan to defeat militants. I'm not sure what his actual relationship with the president is, as this would be an odd speech for a presidential surrogate.

The U.S. is sending hundreds of troops to Helmand Province to bolster beleaguered government forces. "Security forces in the southern province have been plagued by high desertion and casualty rates, corruption, and leadership problems, and the army corps recently saw more than 90 general officers replaced in a major shakeup." While U.S. forces are ostensibly only in an advisory role, special forces have increasingly been drawn into close combat support.

An international group says Afghanistan is one of the world's three most dangerous countries for journalists, along with Iraq and Mexico. (I assume they left out Syria because there aren't any journalists there to speak of. -- C)

Insurgents said to be gaining ground in Uruzgan, in areas formerly secured by Australian troops.

Director of Public Health in Khost is injured in a failed kidnapping attempt.


Anonymous said...

I check this site several times a week. Your facts and perspective are appreciated. Your time and effort to produce this blog saves me time and delivers much needed specific information. I am a U.S. citizen; those are my compatriot's lives and my country's dollars being spent on these wars. IMO, the wars are convoluted quagmires of differing moral values from nearly random combatants; we seriously need a hero to replace General Campbell--we're going to need a Great Unifier. Just Dreaming.

Cervantes said...

Thanks, glad to be of help.