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Old 07-01-2009, 09:22 PM  
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The Surge goes to Afghanistan

U.S. Marines Launch Major Operation In Afghanistan
10:15 PM EST |

KABUL Thousands of U.S. Marines and hundreds of Afghan troops moved into Taliban-infested villages of southern Afghanistan with armor and helicopters Thursday in the first major operation under President Barack Obama's strategy to stabilize the country.

The offensive in the once-forgotten war was launched shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday local time in Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold in the southern part of the country and the world's largest opium poppy producing area.

The goal is to clear insurgents from the hotly contested Helmand River Valley before the nation's Aug. 20 presidential election.

Dubbed Operation Khanjar, or "Strike of the Sword," the military push was described by officials as the largest and fastest-moving of the war's new phase, involving nearly 4,000 of the newly arrived Marines and 650 Afghan forces. British forces last week led similar, but smaller, missions to fight and clear out insurgents in Helmand and neighboring Kandahar provinces.

"Where we go we will stay, and where we stay, we will hold, build and work toward transition of all security responsibilities to Afghan forces," Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson said in a statement.

Southern Afghanistan is a Taliban stronghold but also a region where Afghan President Hamid Karzai is seeking votes from fellow Pashtun tribesmen.

The Pentagon is deploying 21,000 additional troops to Afghanistan in time for the elections and expects the total number of U.S. forces there to reach 68,000 by year's end. That is double the number of troops in Afghanistan in 2008, but still half of much as are now in Iraq.

The Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001 and were ousted from power following a U.S.-led invasion, have made a violent comeback, wreaking havoc in much of the country's south and east, forcing the United States to pour in the new troops.

Capt. Bill Pelletier, a spokesman for the Marines, said the troops involved in the Thursday operation were sent in by a mixture of aircraft and ground transport under the cover of darkness.

The operation is aimed at putting pressure on insurgents, "and to show our commitment to the Afghan people that when we come in we are going to stay long enough to set up their own institutions," Pelletier said.

A roadside bomb wounded one of the Marines in the operation, but he was able to continue, while there were no reports of clashes in the operation's initial stage, he said.

Once on the ground, the troops will meet with local leaders, hear their needs, and act on them, Pelletier said.

"We do not want people of Helmand province to see us as an enemy, we want to protect them from the enemy," Pelletier said.


Reversing the insurgency's momentum has been one of the key components of the new U.S. strategy, and thousands of additional troops allow commanders to push and stay into areas where international and Afghan troops had no permanent presence before.

While Marine troops were the bulk of the force, recently arrived U.S. Army helicopters were also taking part in the operation in Helmand province.

In March, Obama unveiled his strategy for Afghanistan, seeking to defeat al-Qaida terrorists there and in Pakistan with a bigger force and a new commander. Taliban and other extremists, including those allied with al-Qaida, routinely cross the two nations' border in Afghanistan's remote south.

The governor of Helmand province predicted the operation would be "very effective."

"The security forces will build bases to provide security for the local people so that they can carry out every activity with this favorable background, and take their lives forward in peace," Gov. Gulab Mangal said in a Pentagon news release.

Obama's strategy aims to boost the size of the Afghan army from 80,000 to 134,000 troops by 2011 _ and greatly increase training by U.S. troops accompanying them _ so the Afghan military can defeat Taliban insurgents and take control of the war. The White House also is pushing forces to set clear goals for a war gone awry, to provide more resources and to make a better case for international support.

There is no timetable for withdrawal, and the White House has not estimated how many billions of dollars its plan will cost.

__

Jakes contributed to this report from Washington.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/0..._n_224394.html


Last edited by orange; 07-01-2009 at 09:27 PM..
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:06 PM   #2
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Great...we are chasing ghosts in Afghanistan now only to repeat the Russian conflict. I could swear I have heard Barry say several times Bin Laden is in the Swat Valley in PAKISTAN!
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Old 07-02-2009, 07:17 AM   #3
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Old 07-02-2009, 07:48 AM   #4
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Bad and dumb move. This will be the end of America by breaking our economic back.

#1 Taliban is not our enemy
#2 AQ/BL is in Pakistan

Oh wait....America as we know it has been gone. And so much for the claim that the Ds are pussies.
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Old 07-02-2009, 07:51 AM   #5
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I fail to see what energy drinks have to do with Afghanastan.
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Old 07-02-2009, 07:53 AM   #6
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"The security forces will build bases to provide security for the local people so that they can carry out every activity with this favorable background, and take their lives forward in peace," Gov. Gulab Mangal said in a Pentagon news release.
LOL People hate to be under occupation....especially these people. The empire lives on.
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Old 07-02-2009, 08:14 AM   #7
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"The security forces will build bases to provide security for the local people so that they can carry out every activity with this favorable background, and take their lives forward in peace," Gov. Gulab Mangal said in a Pentagon news release.
This is the opposite of the surge. Building FOBs then venturing out on s&d patrols was exactly what Odierno and Patreaus wanted to get away from.

Quote:
"Where we go we will stay, and where we stay, we will hold, build and work toward transition of all security responsibilities to Afghan forces," Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson said in a statement.
This is closer to the surge strategy employed in Iraq: move units off of bases into neighborhoods and garrison them there. This serves two purposes: 1. to drive enemy forces out of populated areas and 2. provide continued security once the bad guys are driven out (keep them from re-infiltrating).
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Old 07-02-2009, 08:25 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by petegz28 View Post
Great...we are chasing ghosts in Afghanistan now only to repeat the Russian conflict. I could swear I have heard Barry say several times Bin Laden is in the Swat Valley in PAKISTAN!
Is bin Laden our only enemy in the area? I missed that memo.
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Old 07-02-2009, 08:29 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Amnorix View Post
Is bin Laden our only enemy in the area? I missed that memo.
yes and no one should need a memo to figure that one out
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:08 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Amnorix View Post
Is bin Laden our only enemy in the area? I missed that memo.
Uh, wasn't the reason we attcked the Taliban in the first place because they wouldn't hand over Bin Laden????? If not, though I am correct, why were we not invading Afghanistan prior to 9/11?
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:24 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Bad and dumb move. This will be the end of America by breaking our economic back.

#1 Taliban is not our enemy
#2 AQ/BL is in Pakistan

Oh wait....America as we know it has been gone. And so much for the claim that the Ds are pussies.
errr....it's 4,000 American troops, not 400,000.

Taliban and AQ are allies

The area produces 90% of the world's heroin, which ehlps finance AQ/Taliban

Finally, these are the same CLOSE allies (unlike Iraq) of the bastards that pulled 9/11.

You are just a pacifist.
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:25 AM   #12
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yes and no one should need a memo to figure that one out
There's one bad guy in teh world. Thanks for letting me know.
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:26 AM   #13
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Uh, wasn't the reason we attcked the Taliban in the first place because they wouldn't hand over Bin Laden????? If not, though I am correct, why were we not invading Afghanistan prior to 9/11?
Yes, and the reason they didn't hand over BL is because they are good friends and allies.

Do you oppose this? Did you support Iraq? Do you support th econtinued presence in IRaq now?

I'm shocked that any righty would oppose operations in Afghanistan.
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:46 AM   #14
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Yes, and the reason they didn't hand over BL is because they are good friends and allies.

Do you oppose this? Did you support Iraq? Do you support th econtinued presence in IRaq now?

I'm shocked that any righty would oppose operations in Afghanistan.
I propose going after Bin Laden where Bin Laden is. Secondly I do think and have thought we should have been done and over with in Iraq for some time.

If our war is with Bin Laden we need to take it to where he is. Not somewhere else and pretend that will win something. Otherwise we are doing nothing but fighting a war for no reason of validity as the Taliban was doing what they are doing now long before 9/11.

BTW....how many other countries are sending in troops to Afghanistan with our surge?
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:58 AM   #15
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I propose going after Bin Laden where Bin Laden is.
So you suggest we should invade our (nominal) ally Pakistan? You think that would further our cause.

And, by the way, do you know exactly where in Pakistan Bin Laden might be? It's nto a small place.

Quote:
Secondly I do think and have thought we should have been done and over with in Iraq for some time.

If our war is with Bin Laden we need to take it to where he is. Not somewhere else and pretend that will win something. Otherwise we are doing nothing but fighting a war for no reason of validity as the Taliban was doing what they are doing now long before 9/11.

BTW....how many other countries are sending in troops to Afghanistan with our surge?
Britain and the Afghanis are there also.

How much do you care about international cooperation, normally?


You understand that the Taliban and AQ work closely together, that the region in Afghanistan that we are currently hitting is on the Pakistani border, and that both Taliban and AQ move back and forth freely across that border due to the poor security situation there, right?

Oh, and that the Taliban is trying to undermine the Afghani government and come back into power, that they fund their operations with the heroin that is made from the poppy they grow in this region, and that the last tiem they were in power, they let AQ have bases in their country.

I really can't get your oppsoition to this. Makes no sense to me.
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