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

Monday, November 5, 2018

Update for Monday, November 5, 2018

Army Major Brent Taylor, 39, of the Utah National Guard was fatally shot on November 3 by a Afghan National Defense and Security Force. Major Taylor was on leave from his office as mayor of North Ogden, Utah.

Taliban attack on two checkpoints in Ghazni results in deaths of 13 members of the Afghan security forces. The checkpoints were set up recently to cut off Taliban supply routes. They were completely destroyed.

U.S. drone strike in Laghman said to kill 3 militants. These appear to have been Taliban, which suggests the U.S. is not limiting its direct combat operations to IS targets as has sometimes been asserted.

Afghan government's territorial control reaches a record low.

It is unclear whether the Taliban will attend peace talks scheduled for November 9 in Moscow.