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
JimWhiteGNV RT @IAStartingLine: PREVIEW: Steve King says it's legal, so I tried to marry my lawnmower. The results & video tmrw AM on Starting Line htt…
42mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Travis_Waldron @maxwellstrachan ...of NJ statute/diversion program in Rice's offender profile+Intervention intake matrix cousel otherwise?
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Travis_Waldron @maxwellstrachan I'd like to know what the "experts" cited in the HuffPo piece can point with specificity to in terms....
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Travis_Waldron @maxwellstrachan Or you can just cite the spokespeople of political lobbies. For my part, I'll stick with those in the field
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Travis_Waldron @maxwellstrachan Honestly, this is 180º different than what actual trial level DV experts+practitioners I know+work with say
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz #FreeBlago Also, of course is petitioning en banc, he is in no hurry; there's always going to be some base sentence. https://t.co/K3K8oKI7n9
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz When it comes to crim justice, procedural+civil rights concerns, Joe Biden is the same horrible man Roger Goodell is: http://t.co/MJpyiWIfHz
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @kdrum @unorigmoniker Now THAT might actually make America great again.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @astepanovich Dunno. We should get someone to apply to see what they want. ;p
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel "Act as a senior Agency rep to private sector, particularly for engagements w/cos in info tech business sector." https://t.co/GVLI73mKNL
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel And, as @riffraafx and @HeerJeet noted, this is more evidence GOP is going thru Kubler Ross process w/Trump. http://t.co/Cd8qH1JBjH
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel One thing I'd add to my 5 stages of Donald Trump grief http://t.co/J3HAiONyhr would be this meltdown at focus group. http://t.co/uw8J55DLRH
2hreplyretweetfavorite
August 2015
S M T W T F S
« Jul    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031