February 3rd, 2010
07:41 AM ET

U.S. forces eye Taliban stronghold Marjah

KABUL, Afghanistan  - The next key U.S. military operation in Afghanistan will focus on Marjah, the last major Taliban stronghold in Helmand province, a Marine commander said Wednesday. Col. George Amland, the deputy commander of Task Force Leatherneck, gave no timeframe for its start.

Marjah, with a population of up to 100,000, is considered key to fracturing the Taliban's influence in southern Afghanistan. 

The Marine-led operation will "alter the ecosystem of this area significantly," according to Amland, who said Marjah's insurgency has tentacles that stretch to Pakistan and the bordering provinces of Nimruz and Farah.

The backbone of the force will be made up of some of the 30,000 additional U.S. troops being sent to Afghanistan by President Barack Obama, Amland said, and also will include a larger contingent of Afghan National Security Forces than has been used in previous operations.

The last major operation by U.S. Marines against Taliban fighters in southern Helmand took place not long after U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal took over in June as the allied commander in Afghanistan.

soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. afghanistan.blogs.cnn.com

    U s plans major military operation in marjah.. Slap-up 🙂

    April 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. paqsecthree

    The Marine offensive in Marjah appears to be going extremely well... Want to win the fight send in the U.S. Marine Corps.

    March 4, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. Pinoy

    This war on Afghanistan is war forced into the US and Nato.If US and NATO donot remove the taliban in Afghanistan,taliban and Al queda will lauch terroristic attack against the west.If you remove them in Afghanistan as what is happening now,they will suffer losses and incurred huge expense.It is a damn if you do and damn if you don't war.But this war,must come to an end,hopefully NATO and US will not grow weary and put this war to an end in their favor.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Michel Davitti

    To the exceptions of a very few US citizens. Reading the Pro-War comments makes me "vomitting". It reflect unfortunately the ground mentality of the vast majority of unqualified and ignorants american citizens who believe that.America can rule the world by military means. The endless war in Irak remains a shame for the next century thanks to criminals like Tony Blair, G. Bush and their respective administrations and spin-off liars.
    The American people (those who refers to Fox News as the ultimate TRUTH) never question themselves why their own country has a so heavy burden to do on Domestic issues, Why so much social injustices? Why so much urbain and domestic criminality?. Why such sky-rocketing US deficit? Why so much economic interests to favor a continuous war in Irak/Afghanistan and soon in Iran? A majority of US citizens feels that the war is THE SOLUTION to their day-to-day problems and by extent to the rest of the world. Don't makes mistakes:, I (as a french citizen) have a so great and deeply respect for those US servicemen who, during WW2 sacrified theirs lives for our freedom and I am deeply concern by their sacrifice. Not to these unqualified wars! Unfortunately, these war will continue as long as ignorance, arrogance and irrespect against others cultures will prevail in America as vertues.

    February 25, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. cindy

    i agree with you 100% BRIAN what a waste and what ashame for the us to go over and try to run another country......there is such a simple solution to this all................just dont like them in this country and they cant hurt us

    February 24, 2010 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. Brian

    This has got to be the most useless war ever. How can some of you people sit and discuss new strategies and methods to win the hearts and minds of the civilians of afghanistan? Imagine if a country came and occupied the U.S. for a decade. how would you take it if the occupying force promised a "new" method to run YOUR country for the 25th time. without a doubt, america is the most ignorant country ever!!!

    February 14, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. fmendo

    To binladin1000. No, what will happen is your ieds will kill many innocent Afghani civilians. There are more Afganhi civilians dying then there are Brits, Danes, Canadians or Americans. Doesn't the Koran say something like: killing one Muslim is like Killing a thousand? I know that's not an exact quote but you get the picture. There is no place for people like you in heaven God doesn't like mass murders of women and children.

    February 13, 2010 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  8. Peter

    I am English, have been to Iraq and seen The Canadians, US and UK forces in action and i tell you this, they are all very brave people. lets stop this rubbish about who is doing what and when. Those in the know realise we all depend on each other far more than you will ever know. Good Luck boys

    February 13, 2010 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. luis

    If the civilians are gone- can we use the b-52's to remove the booby traps? I think the nato should use more force to remove the taliban.

    February 13, 2010 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. cyclopes

    lets just cross our fingers that we hope this will be the last stand of the taliban, afghan and coalition forces must act decisively to secure marjan. nobody comes in nobody comes out coalition must guard all the possible exits so that taliban will be captured right at the heart of marjan. go go go .... guys so that the people of afghanistan can lived in peace and harmony and the rest of the world.

    February 9, 2010 at 5:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. Pinoy

    NATO got operational air mobility.Use that to cut talibans moving around the mountain passes and ranges.Train your troops to move and fight like locals.How to move at night and hide by day.Set ambushes along mountain passes and hills .How to stalk villages for days just to pick out talibans.Stop using visible foot patrols they are sitting ducks for ambushes.Train them to move and fight like shadows.Stop stuffing your soldiers with bulky loads it limit their speed and endurance.Carry two loads of ammo,armed with machetes or short swords for close quarter fights.the rest will be air dropped as the troops move.I suggest you change M4 or M16 with a 7.62mm semi-auto like G3 or FN FAL or M14.M4 lacks the range and penetrating power to cut through bushes and immobilize taliban.
    Anyway,it is a suggestion only. Let taliban guess where you are and you ambush them where they don't expect it.happy taliban hunting.

    February 8, 2010 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
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