consulate

Marja Serves as Microcosm of Military Failure in Afghanistan, But Failure is Country-Wide

Deputy Defense Secretary Aston Carter strolls through Marja marketplace on February 24. How many security forces were present out of camera range?

Back in February of 2010, US President Barack Obama’s surge of troops in Afghanistan began its offensive by trying to take the Marja district of Helmand Province. Then US commander of forces in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal famously touted his counterinsurgency program for the area, saying “We’ve got a government in a box, ready to roll in”.

Eight months into the battle for Marja, we had this:

As U.S. involvement in the war enters its 10th year, the failure to pacify this town raises questions about the effectiveness of America’s overall strategy. Similarly crucial operations are now under way in neighboring Kandahar province, the Taliban’s birthplace.

There are signs the situation in Marjah is beginning to improve, but “it’s still a very tough fight,” said Capt. Chuck Anklam, whose Marine company has lost three men since arriving in July. “We’re in firefights all over, every day.”

“There’s no area that’s void of enemy. But there’s no area void of Marines and [Afghan forces] either,” said Anklam, 34, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “It’s a constant presence both sides are trying to exert.”

/snip/

The result, so far at least: Residents say the town is more insecure than ever.

“There was peace here before you came,” farmer Khari Badar told one Marine patrol that recently visited his home. “Today, there is only fighting.”

Of course, the Defense Department would have us believe everything is now fine in Marja. They staged a stroll through the marketplace back in February by a Deputy Defense Secretary, presumably to mark the two year anniversary of the offensive. I wonder if this stroll was as heavily protected as John McCain’s 2007 stroll through a Baghdad marketplace.

But even though we are supposed to believe the offensive worked in Marja and the Taliban were routed, there was this from DoD on actions from April 15 of this year: Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel As US prepares to withdraw, ISAF decided to start hiding details on ANSF troop capability. https://t.co/BjsPXBeubI (Reup fr @JimWhiteGNV)
1mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @kennwhite So, jesus, I have a string of a gazillion UID characters that shows up on my ATT iPhone. Still no good way to get rid of it?
2mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @JimWhiteGNV I hear that'll ruin the rice cooker. @onekade
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JimWhiteGNV @onekade More like Badassmati rice, amirite? @emptywheel
3mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @onekade If it involves SIGAR or Iranian border crossings, @jimwhitegnv's nerd ass has already been there.
4mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Folks, thanks for SIGAR notice; @JimWhiteGNV already wrote up that ISAF newly classifying deets abt Afghan troops https://t.co/BjsPXBeubI
5mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Wonder who's going to have a hearing on Supercookies first: Jello Jay Rockefeller in his swan song at Commerce? Or @ashk4n's new employer?
8mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @JuliaAngwin: And who’s using these hidden undeletable tracking numbers? @Twitter’s mobile ad exchange unit @mopub, for one. http://t.c…
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JimWhiteGNV RT @moispokesman: Afghan pomegranate, the taste is amazing! You better try it to know it!!!!! http://t.co/TFZqHeaOsh
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JimWhiteGNV RT @ColMorrisDavis: War court censors ‘female’ in gender-based prison guard legal argument http://t.co/MPdGK17uQB But "transparency" is in …
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bmaz @SamAdamsComedy @Espngreeny I was 9 yrs old, and same. Of course I could not pitch for squat, but I tried.
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