Marines Forced To Do The Heavy Lifting As Afghan Army Remains Useless - isn't Karzai in charge? What about NATO? The UN? Makes me laugh. Go get 'em Marines!
From the NY Slimes:
MARJA, Afghanistan — As American Marines and Afghan soldiers have fought their way into this Taliban stronghold, the performance of the Afghan troops has tested a core premise of the American military effort here: in the not-too-distant future, the security of this country can be turned over to indigenous forces created at the cost of American money and blood.
Scenes from this corner of the battlefield, observed over eight days by two New York Times journalists, suggest that the day when the Afghan Army will be well led and able to perform complex operations independently, rather than merely assist American missions, remains far off.
The effort to train the Afghan Army has long been troubled, with soldiers and officers repeatedly falling short. And yet after nearly a decade of American and European mentorship and many billions of dollars of American taxpayer investment, American and Afghan officials have portrayed the Afghan Army as the force out front in this important offensive against the Taliban.
Statements from Kabul have said the Afghan military is planning the missions and leading both the fight and the effort to engage with Afghan civilians caught between the Taliban and the newly arrived troops.
But that assertion conflicts with what is visible in the field. In every engagement between the Taliban and one front-line American Marine unit, the operation has been led in almost every significant sense by American officers and troops. They organized the forces for battle, transported them in American vehicles and helicopters from Western-run bases into Taliban-held ground, and have been the primary fighting force each day. [...]
Marines Corner Holdouts In Marjah - give 'em hell!
MARJAH, Afghanistan (AP) - Marines and Afghan units converged on a dangerous western quarter of the Taliban stronghold of Marjah on Sunday, with NATO forces facing “determined resistance” as their assault on the southern town entered its second week.
Fighter jets, drones and attack helicopters hovered overhead, as Marine and Afghan companies moved on a 2-square-mile (5.2-sq. kilometer) area of the town where more than 40 insurgents have apparently holed up.
“They are squeezed,” said Lt. Col. Brian Christmas, commander of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment. “It looks like they want to stay and fight but they can always drop their weapons and slip away. That’s the nature of this war.”
Insurgents are putting up a “determined resistance” in various parts of Marjah, though the overall offensive is “on track,” NATO said Sunday, eight days after thousands of Afghan and international forces launched their largest joint operation since the Taliban regime’s ouster in 2001.
Late last week, Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, head of NATO forces in southern Afghanistan, said he believed it would take at least 30 days to complete securing the Nad Ali district and Marjah in Helmand province, a hub for a lucrative opium trade that profits militants.
The Marjah operation is a major test of a new NATO strategy that stresses protecting civilians over routing insurgents as quickly as possible. It’s also the first major ground operation since President Barack Obama ordered 30,000 reinforcements to Afghanistan to curb the rise of the Taliban.
Once the town is secure, NATO plans to rush in a civilian Afghan administration, restore public services and pour in aid to try to win the loyalty of the population and prevent the Taliban from returning.
Twelve NATO troops and one Afghan soldier have died so far in the offensive. Senior Marine officers say intelligence reports suggest more than 120 insurgents have died. [...]
NATO. What a joke.
Oh my: Another top-ten most wanted Taliban leader captured in Pakistan - as usual, allahpundit misses the mark here and is giving Obama the ball to run with. What joke is that? Obama? The Afghan Troop Surge is General David Petraeus and President Bush so the "fly-by" for me isn't working here. Actually, Hot Air's post should have been as such: THANKS TO PETRAEUS AND BUSH, THE AFGHAN SURGE IS WORKING.
The War In Afghanistan being fought by American Troops is all well and good but why are some people giving NATO the "upper hand" when it has been NATO that has screwed up Afghanistan since 2006? Just sayin'.
The Snooper Report.
Join us as we Take Our Country Back.
Sic vis pacem para bellum