Mazar-e-Sharif

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 @charles_gaba But resolution to healthcare will be akin to resolution to banks: financialization killing US @armandodkos @princessmom122
1mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @charles_gaba Then USG will be forced to do something bc those almost-single-payer will be able to extort. @armandodkos @princessmom122
3mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @charles_gaba I think what will happen is markets will continue to get more concentrated @armandodkos @princessmom122
4mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @charles_gaba Plus, you BK the US and keep it uncompetitive on jobs. @armandodkos @princessmom122
6mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @charles_gaba Perhaps, perhaps not. But if you do it by expanding insurance all the others become less possible @armandodkos @princessmom122
6mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @charles_gaba Single time I ever met Bill C I noted his hopes climate would drive new jobs depended on more affordable healthcare than ACA
7mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @charles_gaba Plus, we're going to have expanded the industry that relies on ACA for profits. Harder to change @armandodkos @princessmom122
8mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @charles_gaba Right. Bc we're not going to have oppty to pass law on reconciliation w/60 to cover again @armandodkos @princessmom122
9mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @ryanlcooper: @bmaz right. as in other areas, Bernie a bit over his skis and HRC isn't even on the field
11mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @charles_gaba Yup. But we're talking about where to go from here. @armandodkos @princessmom122
11mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @ryanlcooper Yep. Excellent way to describe it.
11mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @Cirincione: No, we are not "giving Iran $150 Billion." They will only get back about $50B of their frozen funds. https://t.co/mtb08gG91
11mreplyretweetfavorite
February 2016
S M T W T F S
« Jan    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
2829