marketplace stroll

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 @SIGARHQ: Quarterly Report to Congress: Opium Production Poses Threat to Afghan Reconstruction http://t.co/DOba8lCL8l
22mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @thedailybeast @DrJenGunter That tweet is a lie. No enforceable court ordered quarantine yet. There may be, but not yet. #FearOverFacts
24mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @glynco: Abdel Hakim Belhaj wins right to day in court over his kidnap rendition and #torture by MI6 and CIA #RDI program http://t.co/9E
27mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Krhawkins5 I blame my Irish in-laws when Irish in O's White House, CIA fuck-up (cause otherwise they'd get diasporic joy) @joshgerstein
46mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Krhawkins5 This is White House where drone czar can be likened to a Jesuit. Here, nodding to SSCI on torture is also holy @joshgerstein
47mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @maassive Actually, AZ's FOI law is relatively broad and good. However, there is no set time+a few agencies like @marcoattorney abuse that.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @SLeasca: Looks like @AP is selling its tweets again... https://t.co/yaOGFeSVJ0
8hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV US Military Suddenly Decides to Classify Its Analysis of Afghan Troop Capability https://t.co/4uj7S7N870
8hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @GatorZoneBB: What an ending to the baseball season! Now 107 days until the #Gators kick off 2015 at McKethan Stadium...#ItsGreatUF
9hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV He was the best ever in WS! No question. RT @armandodkos: Alright I'm starting to get pissed on behalf of Bob Gibson.
9hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @armandodkos: Bumgarner was awesome but the greatest World Series pitching performance was Bob Gibson 1967. 3 CG wins ERA of 1.
9hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @JeffreyToobin: RT @PaulBegala: Between innings, Madison Baumgarner is developing a vaccine for Ebola. #WorldSeriesGame7
9hreplyretweetfavorite
October 2014
S M T W T F S
« Sep    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031