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, November 13, 2018

Update for Tuesday, November 12, 2018

Taliban attack Jaghori district in Ghazni, destroy a company of elite Afghan special forces, killing more than 30 along with about 50 police and local militia members. The area is inhabited by ethnic Hazaras. Some of them protested in Kabul on Monday and six of them were killed by a suicide bomber. The entire district is in danger of falling to the Taliban.

Some 1,800 families have fled the district to Bamyan.

Ministry of the Interior says that reinforcements have been sent and that a large-scale military operation is planned.

U.S. airstrike is said to kill 8 Taliban in Ghazni.

Government claims to have killed more than 100 insurgents overnight in Ghazni while losing only two Afghan National Police. (They commonly report such extremely lopsided casualty claims, which I do not consider credible.)

Wall St. Journal reports U.S. is considering asking Afghanistan to delay presidential elections  as efforts are underway to negotiate a settlement with the Taliban.

President Ghani says the Taliban are not winning. (But it's never a good sign when you have to say that. -- C)


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