February 10th, 2010
07:24 AM ET

Afghan forces, citizens key to Marjah victory after battle ends

Coalition forces in Afghanistan will face two enemies when they invade the Taliban stronghold of Marjah: the enemy and the clock, military experts say.

The U.S.-led offensive Operation Moshtarak, which is expected is start any day, is being described as the largest military operation in Afghanistan since the war began in 2001.

But the most important battle will take place after the shooting stops, several military experts say. The Marjah offensive will feature the largest presence of Afghan national army troops in any battle to date, yet what these troops do afterward will be critical, they say.

“This is a great opportunity for Afghan security forces to establish their bona fides,” says Lt. Col. Michael E. Silverman, an Iraq war veteran and a counterinsurgency training consultant for the U.S. Army.

 “We’ll never have enough U.S. forces to hold a place in the middle of Afghanistan,” Silverman says. “It’s going to have to be the Afghan forces that are going to take the lead in holding places.”

 The Marjah battle is expected to be vicious: house-to-house fighting in a major city littered with bobby-traps. Marjah is located in central Helmand where opium, which is used to fund the Taliban, is grown.

The battle for the loyalty of Marjah’s citizens is even more important, Silverman says.  The Taliban has installed a shadow government in Marjah. Coalition forces must convince Afghans to look to their own national government for security and economic opportunities, Silverman says.

 “The real work is getting the people of Helmand to connect with the government of Afghanistan,” Silverman says. “Without that, it doesn’t mater if the Taliban is there or not, there’s still going to be sympathy for the Taliban.”

All that work, though, requires time. Polls show that the American public’s support for the war has been declining. President Obama also said that he will start withdrawing U.S. troops in Afghanistan beginning in 2011.

True victory in Marjah, though, may not come quickly, says Brian Katulis a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington.

“The biggest sign of success won’t come in a matter of weeks,” Katulis says. “It will be months, if not a year, to see if these sorts of operations have a long-term effect.”

 The success of the battle also requires political legitimacy for Afghanistan’s national government, Katulis says. Many Afghans see their national government, led by President Hamid Karzai, as corrupt and illegitimate after last year’s disputed presidential elections, Katulis says.

That distrust of the Afghan national government places a burden on Afghan army forces, Katulis says. Will Afghans in cities like Marjah welcome them as liberators - or dismiss them as defenders of a corrupt regime?

“I don’t know,” Katulis says. “That’s an open question at this point.”

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Filed under: Marjah • Operation Moshtarak • Troops
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Cetediema

    Hello, Good night.
    I love afghanistan.blogs.cnn.com because I learned a lot here. Now it's time for me to pay back.
    The reason I post this guide on this of afghanistan.blogs.cnn.com is to help people solve the same problem.
    Please let me know if it is off topic here.
    This is the guide, hope it would do people a favor.

    Video conversion benefits from multi-core
    What's multi-ore? Multi-core chips have more than one CPU core; multiple-processor computers have more than one CPU chip. Both are being introduced by manufacturers to speed up tasks by splitting threads or processes among different processors so that they can be performed in parallel.
    Everyone must have the deep feeling that speed is king in computing. With ever-lasting pursuit of higher speed, computer tech is pushed to a far spot without limit. And in many people's mind, the most applications we run, the games, the tools, should have supported dual-core or multi-core CPU as a great many computers are now dual core or quad core.
    While, the ting does not come easy, many programs do not take advantage of the multi-core although a dual-core system even running an application that doesn't support multi-core gets a minor speed boost by running all of the system's other threads on the second core. Then how can we tell which application is with multi-core support? I cannot figure that out, but I have an example could say something.
    A friend of mine mentioned me a problem that he ran into recently. He was looking for a video converter that really supports multi-core processors, batch convert video into MP4 video. But the applications he tried, from AVS Media converter, Supper, to MediaCoder, all did not work.
    I have been using ImTOO MPEG Encoder which has updated to a new version these days to feed up my PSP. The obvious change of the new version I can see is CPU dynamic occupation is showed on the interface now- as they claim "multi-core support and 400% speed prompt" on social website.
    I have an experiment on both the original and updated versions for PSP video conversion- converting the same 5 Quick Time MTVs to PSP MPEG4. And as the log files show, the original costs 3min and 48.7sec, while the updated costs 2 min and 50.4sec. - Not as fast as they claim, but still a big progress.
    Hope this may answer someone's problem that same as my friend's. And what I really hope is that more games would support multi-core CPU before long.

    July 18, 2010 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. tsubba

    good luck guys. come back home safe.

    February 27, 2010 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  3. ScouserOne

    The US, BRITISH and Taliban are using strategies that where created by Laurence of Arabia, American troops have to read the diaries of Laurence because he developed the tactics of hearts and minds to win the trust of the Arabs and unite them, the Taliban are using the hit and run tactics of Laurence, never attack a strong defensive position, use hit and run tactics, like road side bombs, over 2 million downloads of the diaries of Laurence of Arabia have been to IP addresses in Pakistan, so technically both sides have a rough idea what each other is doing anyway.

    I don’t think the US and BRITISH are showing there full hand, unfortunately this war is controlled by the media, they take every aspect of War and place them in a box, and then they open the box and take something out that they think will sell newspapers or attract viewers, and people believe everything that is place in front of them.

    War is about death, hardship, carnage, destruction and loss, these are all negative words that are not used by the media, that’s because in a modern society negative words do not sell the product of War.

    We should revert back to the original tactics of War, where the General points to the enemy and says “there they are, now destroy them before they destroy us, not just the Taliban but the people that feed them, hide them and keep them warm, they are all the enemy

    February 19, 2010 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. Tanner From Canada

    Coalition forces In my opinion are making a very decisive and correct decision by announcing plans it may put them at a disadvantage but it also puts the lnsurgents at a disadvantage the Taliban can be easily tricked and placed right where we want them, and no its not so easy as just take out the Poppy you take out the Taliban if it was we'd have won this war along time ago, as you witness this plan come to fruition your witnessing the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning in my opinion it can go either way.
    Good Luck and Gods speed NATO forces free the people of Afghanistan make her beautiful once again.

    PS. Mahjid Id rather live in a controled rule thats incompetent and corrupt than a zealous extremist society where people are killed every day because of a slight veer off their believe.

    February 18, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Texas Ranger

    I don't know how we have the right to sit and complain about this war when we are here safe in the USA. Our Troops are there making sure we have a safe haven to sleep well at night while they lose sleep protecting us here. God Bless all who are there. I pray they all come home safe. I support the troops 100 percent.

    February 17, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Steve G

    If it wasn't for the Marines who throw on that uniform and fight the evil which is upon us this day you would NOT be sitting in your comfortable lazyboy complaining about the war and blogging on your laptop. War sucks, but it needs to be fought and fought by the best we don't like it-we just got to do it. The USMC uniform holds a heavy burden for we can not die because we have a job to do and that job is to keep all of you safe, even those lazy disgruntle people who do nothing else but complain. STOP COMPLAINING AND SUPPORT THE TROOPS ALREADY.

    February 17, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Andrew

    It seems a little easy for the Taliban to know what we're planning, all they have to do is go on CNN.com....On the other hand, all this money and military spending has boiled down to this one offensive. Good luck and God bless.


    February 17, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. CD

    good luck Marines

    February 17, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Billy

    Share your opinion with Osama Bin Laden. 2752 innocent civilians died on 9/11
    God Bless The U.S.A.

    February 17, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Texas Ranger

    We did not ask for this war. Al Qaeda decided to pick a fight with The USA. The Taliban decided to back Al Qaeda. It is unfortunate for innocent Pashtuns to get caught up is this fight because of bad decisions by their leadership. Al Qaeda is still hiding out on Pashtun land whether in Afghanistan or North West Pakistan. All the Taliban have to do is turn in Al Qaeda if they care about the safety of their own people. Foreign troops would leave their soil and everybody would be happy.

    February 17, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  11. Hillcoguy

    "erm What Part Of Thou Shalt Not Kill Do You Not Understand??"

    So explain that to the guys that hack their fellow citizebs heads off or maybe the guys who gas thousands of innocents....or do you think they deserve a "pass"?

    February 17, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  12. russell clarke

    to the person who posted the comment about god bless america and the what part of thou shall not kill try telling that to the terriorists that committed the attacks on the 11th september ,madrid bali london and afganistan and iraq as well tee that to those who kill not only christians but muslims as well and lets see what you have to say when some terriorist pours petrol on one of your family and sets fire to them terriirorist use relirion to attack and to commit attroosaties and you are useing it to defend them god bless america and the rest of the free world

    February 17, 2010 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  13. Aussie

    I feel Sad that some people have forgotten these soldiers are all there because they are doing what they feel is for the good of all forget the right & wrong of it all but do not forget the fact that these are brave people doing what their country is asking of them i take my hat of to them and hope that they will all return home whole and well

    February 17, 2010 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. Christian Burgess

    Everyday I Hear "God Bless America", erm What Part Of Thou Shalt Not Kill Do You Not Understand??

    God Bless Every Living Thing, God Bless The Children Killed By American Bombs

    February 16, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dick Scott

    If he is/was a Taliban leader, I dont think that you will find that he was involved in 9/11.
    That is not why we removed them from power. But he is in Pakistan so he will be tortured by the guys that got him.

    February 16, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Dick Scott

    A key question: Of the Afghan military fighting with the Marines, where are they from? Other Pashtuns, Tajiks from the north? Jausjanis (Ozbeks) also from the north like those that fought with the Soviets in Kandahar in the 80s? Who? Are we putting another nail in the coffin for any kind of future national unity?

    February 16, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  17. DEVILDAWG 03

    Why is no one outraged on CNN about the ROE'S "Rules of Engagement in the latest offensive in Afgahanistan. The guys fighting over there have to be shot at first, then if the the bad guys, hide their weapons and walk out after shooting our guys then we cant return fire. I realaize what the objective is to get this town under controla and get the Taliban and terriost out and win the hearts and minds of the civilian people who live there and get them to stop growing Poppy Seeds for Herion. But this is crazy...and so is our Commander-in-Chief.
    If I had a son over there I would be highly P.O.ed.

    From someone who has served...

    February 16, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  18. russell clarke

    on the war comes with this added security both at hone and in afganistan ,at home in great britian we have now new x/ray detector machines at heathrow and manchester airports ,already human right acttavists are complaining about them but they would soon change there tune if their familys or children were killing in aterrorist attak upon a plane , better safe than sorry is what i say iwould rather stand in a que in an airport with the knoladge that every one that is on the plane has been checked and that i will arrive alive at my final desternation than end up dead through a terrorist attack

    February 16, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  19. James

    God speed Marines! Say hello to the Loy Chareh Bazaar for me... they'll remember me.

    There sure is a lot of passion in some of these posts! I'm on my forth trip to Afghanistan and I don't claim to have the answers. I do know that our intent is good and that the Afghans are fighting by our side.

    Pray for our troops AND the people of Afghanistan. In most cases, their goals are the same!

    February 16, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |

    Since they captured Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar does anyone have a bone against water boarding him? He had no problem masterminding 9/11

    February 16, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  21. Broadway Blues

    As I read through these blogs regarding Afghanistan, I see allot of misinformed opinions. Some bloggers refuse to get their facts straight. There was mention of last year of troops involved in operations to take Marjah. Again that is a incorrect statement. British troops were involved in operations north of Marjah in Helmand province. We did not take Marjah and leave like some of you are implying. We did not have enough troops in Afghanistan last year to move on Marjah otherwise we would have left other parts of Afghanistan vulnerable. Secondly there is a reason the Taliban are losing the media war because the Taliban fire on coalition forces and then hide behind children and women in burqas. Then they throw the civilian casualties back up in our faces. They do this as they suicide bomb markets and schools in Pakistan targeting defenseless women and children. If we kill civilians it is by accident. We don't target innocent civilians on purpose! We can't say the same for the Taliban. Remember they were the ones who let Al Qaeda set up terrorist training camps back in the 90's on Afghanistan soil and allowed Al Qaeda to repeatedly attack the USA. Innocent farmers and freedom fighters is a huge stretch and educated people see right through their false propaganda.

    February 16, 2010 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  22. wafer

    The Taliban are cowards because they did not showed themselves to our drones and aircrafts to be zapped! Like in the video games..We are brave because we sweep into their mud brick towns with heavy tanks, attack helicopters, long range weaponry systems , sensors and night visions and oops body armour. Man! put yourselves in their shoes for a second! There must be something for them worth fighting and dying for..Honestly do you believe they knew about 9-11? Yes ! and also for the opium poppy! If they stand and fight bravely..thats because they are intoxicated! Yeah man SPIN , spin it as we want so as to protect our ‘heroes’ ,our politicians and oops GOD?

    February 15, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  23. G.ARAUJO


    February 15, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  24. MB

    Gen McChrystal is a special ops veteran. If he is communicating, it is for our benefit and for the safety of the troops. Our strategy is to capture hold and rebuild. Killing is a part of that mission if necessary – not an objective in itself.

    I hope that this strategy works this time. We need to get in their asap and get those afghan regulars into the action so we can move to capture and hold other targets.

    Our military is exemplary in their attempt to respect the ROE and protect civilians. 150K troops moving around locked and loaded and almost no mistakes. That is superb.

    Rock on and lets get another democracy started.

    February 15, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Matthew Millard


    February 15, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Dario, Italy

    Dear fellow Americans,
    God bless you all.
    Despite what the international public opinion has been saying I believe that what you are doing both in Afghanistan and Iraq is simply wonderful. By bringing democracy to those people you are not only increasing your own security, but you are also developing a safer and stable world order. You have to be proud of your own country. The 'American way of life' has brought happiness all over the world and it still will if you are willing to keep doing what you have done until now.

    February 15, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Jim Ballard

    WOW 3 Decade Vet
    Your an easy person to profile. Your a mixed up individual probably in your late 30's with no more than a 10th grade education. You use drugs and alcohol to treat a behavioral problem that you've been unable to overcome. You've been told you have an attention deficit disorder but you disagree. Your quotes regarding world history are inaccurate and your predictions of the future are just dreams.
    Numerous people have pointed out your weaknesses but your reactions have all been combative. Your a person in denial who needs to look in the mirror and ask for help.
    Everyone on this page has stayed focused with the original topic. You've drifted away.
    Maybe you should go back to the top of this page and see what the topic of conversation is and move forward in a more appropriate manner.
    Good luck

    February 15, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Songstar

    It is very clear in the worldwide internet, we have contributors on here from around the world, the Taliban has equal access, and we are aware of the multiples of Taliban now living in the United States. All of us living today could never repay our nation's debt.

    Perhaps, if we were to follow HAITI in devastation and being forced to lose everything we own, and work together to rebuild our life and future. Humanitarian aid is never expected to be repaid.

    In the mean time, we need to come together as the UNITED states of America, and not the UN-UNITED STATES!

    February 15, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  29. USMarineMomofMA

    All I can say is this better be worth it. My son and his fellow Marines are on the front lines from 1/6. We need to get in quick, get the job done and get the heck out safely.

    February 15, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Nathanael [desert voice]

    On this third day of the assault the troops "have recovered $8.7 million worth of raw opium," says embedded CNN reporter. I don't know much about opium, but it seems to me that this painkiller could be sent free of charge to Haiti's hospitals. Just a thought.

    February 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  31. 3 decade vet

    Jim ballard,
    most germans supported the nazi,s back then,so that makes them real germans?
    I care less whether you believe that I,m a veteran or even an american,you,re simple minded.
    Our generals now wear more medals than the highest supreme cmd during WW11,I interacted with 4 army generals during my service,they are not that bright..
    In regard to marjah,didn,t the troops fight there last year ? So now we going to leave dari,s in a pashtun area?
    The war drums beating loudly for Iran now,usa will experience real total war,it would not be a conflict,cool heads need to prevail,thank GOD that Kennedy DIDN,T listen to the military and attack CUBA,during the cuban missile crisis.
    With the pentagon,s war mongering let,s bring on the DRAFT,cause with our soft,spoiled welfare military USA going to need it,or stop being the WORLD,S bully,and let,s take care of our own people and country.

    February 15, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Dick Scott

    Killing farmers in Marja will not "keep the terrorists out of our country". We keep thinking that the "Taliban" we are fighting in Marja are some kind of outside foreign terrorists that will be driven out but you can be sure that most of the men we are fighting live there and know the area, the irrigation system, the buildings well. They see them selves ad fighting a foreign, non-Muslim military occupational force...the same way that we would under the same circumstances.
    In 02 and 04 we started up a promised reconstruction program in both Nad-i-Ali and Marja hiring thousands of men to work on their own irrigation system (the biggest in the country built mostly with our help 1946-79) for pay, $2.00 a day, and we had more men asking for work than we could supervise. There was no violence, our military took a very low profile and we got a lot of work done before the bureaucracy cut our funding, work stopped, opium cultivation exploded, local government was corrupted and the "Taliban" who were the farmers living there re-emerged. (in 02 we reduced opium cultivation by 85% in one crop year in Nad-i-Ali, an area of some 30,000 acres through this program, lots of talk and promises and complete local government cooperation, before they got corrupted by the drug trade.
    The situation we are facing today in Marja is to a great extent of our own making, and so we can start again, if killing more local people (including the "Taliban") in this process will allow it. One of the key principles in Pashtun values (the local people in Marja) is vengeance. They dont forget. There is a Pashtun proverb (approximately) If you take vengeance in this generation, you are overanxious.

    February 15, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  33. lesley

    miss you hunny keep safe and take care love you xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    February 15, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Jim Ballard

    3 Decade Vet
    I agree with the others that tell you your a moroon with you opinions. I also dont think your a real Veteran and you may not be an American or you may just be a mixed up kid sending out these comments.
    Real patriotic Americans stand behind our military leaders that took the fight over there to keep the terrorist out of our country.There will be mistakes made along the way but the outcome will be a safer America. Even for people like you.
    Stand up and be proud of this country. The alternative is to join the other side.

    February 15, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  35. Broadway Blues

    I approve of the predator drone attacks into the North West Frontier in Pakistan. We had recent success in eliminating two key leader of the Pakistan's Taliban. Apparently our military believes Osama is living there among the Taliban and its just a matter of time before Osama Bin Laden gets smoked by a hell-fire missile.

    February 15, 2010 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  36. Dinesh

    The " UNSEEN " 3rd enemy to face is ISI.

    February 15, 2010 at 6:51 am | Report abuse |
  37. moses

    its going to be ugly trying to take away what feeds a man it will even be more lethal with no cooperation from the civilians

    February 15, 2010 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
  38. 3 decade vet

    to texas ranger,keep your bull in texas!
    our media has been responsible in their coverages,they never compromised the military battle plans,During desert storm they fooled Iraq in thinking that the invasion be launched from the sea.The first casualty in war is the truth.
    No doubt our forces will win,I mean using B-1,s to bomb mud-huts,armed drones,best equipment on earth.
    After the fighting,USAID,need to get their act together and not waste our tax money,but with an organization mostly staffed by retired military officers,double dipping,They are good at waste.
    Once again,not against our troops,but please spare me the moronic statement that they fighting for our FREEDOM ,no country has the guts to invade us,if they do,us country boys give them hell.

    February 15, 2010 at 5:55 am | Report abuse |
  39. BiLL Cody

    The Taliban can fight and die now or scatter and attack later. It's their choice but the longer they wait the more Marines will be arriving for them to deal with.The media seems to think a few hundred insurgents is a fighting force. 3,000 combat Marines are involved in this operation plus 12,000 coalition troops. If I were a Taliban fighter I would bend over,grab my ankles and kiss my butt good bye!
    My sincere heart felt sympathy goes out to the families of our US Marine and the British soldier that paid the ultimate price on Saturday fighting for our freedom.
    God Bless our troops.
    Semper Fi

    February 14, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  40. aimee

    just so you guys know, my husband is a marine fighting over there right now. the taliban has KNOWN about marine and us military tactics for years and have been putting into play themselves. they also know that the military CANNOT shoot an innocent cilivilian so the taliban have been using innocent women and children in front of them so that the military will not be able to shoot back. thats why they have been broadcasting their battle plans so that the innocent cilivilians can leave the area. if cilivilans are killed during the battle, the afghans will lose faith in the reconstruction of their home town, which is what they want. the want safety for the families and schools and medicine. not all afghans are TALIBAN TERRORISTS!! some are good people. just like not all americans are thugs, rapists, and murderers. some people cannot change the lives they were born with it and just try to make the best of it until they can get out of a bad situation. i am proud of my husband and all of the ther NATO forces he is working with. and as the say goes, if you dont support the backs of the soldiers, feel free to stand in front of them. they are trying to save other lives there, as well as innocent people here in the states

    February 14, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Texas Ranger

    3 decade vet you truly are an embarrassment to this country. What you need to do is put down that bong your toking on and all that paranoia will go away!

    February 14, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Haley

    My husband is on his second deployment to Afghanistan and is one of the Marines that is in Marjah. I like to see the footage of what is going on and how things are going but sometimes I think too many details are given out about what is planned. I mean a lot of the things our guys are doing over there are supposed to be so top-secret and then right before they go invade some place, it is announced across the world. They tell where they are going and how many will be coming. I just think it could put my husband and all of his fellow marines in some unneccessary danger. I know 'we the people' have a right to know what is going on over there, but I think sometimes it's taken too far and puts people at risk.

    February 14, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  43. russell clarke

    the police has yet again been critizized by some the only policies that should be critizized is the
    one to paz off terrorists to switch sides never in the 32 years of troubles with the ira was this ever done and should not be done now the only way to deal with terrorists is to launch more operations the same as the current onr until the enemy is dealt with once and for all so that we never have to return and so that we dont have to live on the edge expecting or waiting for the next terriorist attack any were in the world god bless the troops of the coalition

    February 14, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Harley Roy

    For Terry Phaze, Keep your head down God Bless and a safe return to "The Real World" from an old British Vet.

    February 14, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Harley Roy

    Scouser one, never a truer word spoken!! God loves those who win!! and the way things are going at present I hope he's got untold patience because as an old former "Brit Vet" who'se been there and done it, more than once, I see no light at the end of the tunnel let alone victors!!!

    February 14, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  46. CPL of USMC

    Us marines thank you for the american peoples support. That's the only thing making us keep going/
    My boyfriend just left 2 days ago for Marjah..so CNN needs to stop telling information about any plans that my fellow marines and soldiers are doing out there.

    February 14, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  47. 3 decade vet

    Be mindful that homeland security monitors sites,and we are really not a free country anymore,especially if you have opposeing views.
    From ft stewart,ft hood,ft bragg,ect,ect there are remembrance gardens for fallen troops,from OIF andOEF,most are young junior enlisted,lives sacrificed for lies!! Yes I,m a combat vet,my boys WILL not join the military,I know now that the military is a instrument of EVIL!
    If other countries invade USA,and try to impose their will upon us,what would we do?
    Folks,the same military you claim to support,can be turned on you when one day,when people have had enough and there is anarchy,every night before I go to bed,I pray for CHINA,IRAN,AND SOVIET UNION,USA DOESN<T deserve to be a superpower!

    February 14, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Christina

    Freedom does not come free without consequences. Everyone is always attacking the US. We are a proud nation, proud of our freedoms, proud of our Democracy. These freedoms did not come without costs. Jealousy can create hate. No, this is not a perfect world, and the U.S. is not perfect as well, but in order to keep these freedoms intact we have to maintain our security here and abroad. We are a nation filled with about every nationality there is, so why is it that we have other nations hating us. I love my country. We have our struggles, most are not rich, we are a mixture of culture, a diversity of individual financial income, we choose our own religion, we are not forced. I hope and pray that other nations and people who resent the US will be able to some day experience and understand what it means to have this type of life. My son is a proud Marine and is in Afhghanistan this moment. He is proud of his defending our freedoms and freedoms of others. We are not alone in this fight. It is a NATO operation as well. Terrorism can not rule!

    February 14, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  49. johanna

    I love my son.You grew up so fast i am so proud of you.well happy v-day to you and all of your brothers. My son larry Johnson.

    February 14, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  50. BiLL Cody

    3 Decade Vet
    Reading your last comment it seems like you finally got sober. Try staying that way and support the men & women that are giving you the privlage of speding your entire day blogging.
    Your transition back to civilian life{if in fact you ever were in the service} doesn't mean all veterans have problems. Humble youself and say a prayer for these toops giving you this privilage of "Freedom"
    Semper Fi!!!!

    February 14, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  51. 3 decade vet

    very good view points! Also if peace between Palestine&Israeli is not reached,the world would have more conflicts.USA needs to be more even-handed in this matter.Israeli is like a spoilt child!
    The countries who we think are OUR friends are being bribed by our government,ie MONEY,and AID.
    Young people in the 60,s who wanted change took it to the streets!!Young people wake up,can,t just wait for the world to change,to all you VETS,I hope that you be able to find work,should you decide to not re-enlist,and that the VA is kind and responsive to your needs,and should you need help copeing when you get stateside,ASK for it,there is no more stigma,there is a passage in the good book that says all things shall pass,good luck!!

    February 14, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  52. ScouserOne

    God bless this, God bless that, our troops won’t survive if they place there faith in God, Skill and Luck are the two key factors for surviving, as Napoleon said “Don’t just bring me generals, bring me lucky Generals”.

    As for the opium fields, the US and BRITISH forces won’t destroy them because it is the main source of income for most of the villagers in the region, if we destroy the poppies, we lose the hearts and minds of the locals, so the CIA have the right idea, and that’s to leave them alone for now

    February 14, 2010 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  53. Terry Phaze

    I am going into this operation as of tomorrow. I work with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade and will be in support of the United States Marines. I'm a female translator and as much as i enjoy reading everyones views on the current situation all i ask is for your prayers as of right now. Pray for the innoncent people of Marjeh who are illiterate and know nothing better, who may die, pray for our men and women who are out there on patrols from dawn to dusk, pray for those who are in support of us and have good intentions. Ameen

    February 14, 2010 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  54. dat

    Uuum.. How many more Canadian solderers have to die before the US declares they tried?

    February 14, 2010 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  55. confused

    Ummm keep the media away from politics?Unreal.Sry Keepa but do you know how ridiculous that sounds?

    February 14, 2010 at 5:50 am | Report abuse |
  56. mickey

    rusian,you talk about many russians celebrating 9/11. i saw many americans weeping about the atrocities commited in the balkans....against chechins and muslims. you have said you've never been to the us. try to withhold the hatred you've developed by doing nothing but conversing with chatroom fanatics. don't accuse americans of being foolish and misled when you know nothing about us. your media lies too.

    February 14, 2010 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  57. Vince

    Keep your head on a swivel Devil Dogs! Oorah, and come home safe!

    Sgt P

    February 14, 2010 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
  58. Proud Mom

    I just want my son, and his Marine Brothers to know I love them, and pray for their safety! I don't know how you grew up so fast son, but I am so proud of you!

    -Proud Mom of a Marine Scout Sniper

    PS – for those worried about the broadcasts of the troop information – don't be. They are only broadcasting with Mcrystal WANTS them to – for whatever counter-insurgent reason he has. I can guarantee you, there is far more going on than the press are given to say – and everything the press is saying is being said to generate an outcome. For example – few deaths on either side – in a very heavy day of fighting. Civilians protected as well as possible, and Marine lives risked more than ever to make sure they don't accidently hurt someone who should not be hurt.

    February 14, 2010 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  59. jules

    God Bless our Troops and bring them all home safe

    sometimes media can change the face of a war sometimes they can completely mislead the public, sometimes they need to be kept away from the theatre.
    Media is a bad juju for those leaders who like to brag and show off and don't know when to shut up and offer no justification to the world.

    I guess even a general needs to have his bullets covered!

    oh well, this one is to late, maybe next mission will be better covered, or not by the media

    February 13, 2010 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  60. jules

    Mike G, and all of you that think Alqaeda "hardcore"will stay behing while all others will flee, what war have you been fighting for the last 7 years? Let's say it together: UNCONVENTIONAL WAR,with? UNCONVENTIONAL TACTICS,
    good job boys!
    Lets see, would that mean that those fighters will approach us in a face to face combat or wait to ambush a mass of soldiers that are swiping the area? Hell no, they 've never done it before they never will fight face to face. They are scared, ? maybe, they definitely lack the weaponry, the systems, the manpower

    They are all running and hiding which leads to " a great outcome of the mission" since all the MFs ran already across the border.

    A good mission should be kept under cover, untill the decissive moment, don't blurb about it like old women in a poppy field.

    February 13, 2010 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  61. jules

    Mujahid, u r a bit ignorant or simply full of crap? Taliban's supports opium trade, benefits from it, we want to stop this source of evil and money, u df, get a clue, convert or go do a suicide mission in a poppy field sometimes after dark,

    "The Afghan govmt is corrupt and was put in place by the US. also the NATO forces turn a blind eye to the opium trade, something which the Taliban prohibits. the occupation forces want Marjah so they can make money off of the opium trade. what gives them the right to go in to this city and brutally murder the people there? the occupation forces will know the meaning of resistance. FREE AFGHANISTAN!!!!

    Posted by: Mujahid

    February 13, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  62. jules

    chris s, u r a dork, "so that Taliban that doesn't want to be killed, to flee in advance?
    wtf, really, They should have kept it secret, I aam sure the reason of sharing is not the naive one u've given.The purpose is to eradicate those Talibans not to warn them.Poor thing u

    February 13, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Zek

    First of all I want to start of this war is not to remove the taliban that is B******T... This is brits fourth attempt in afghanistan to take over our land.. so where was the taliban then? they had other excuses... the taliban was accepted by america and world leaders for many years...
    so you americans open your eyes and find out your government is fooling you and you stil cant see it... they want the land as it is the heart of asia... and one other thing as its britains fourth time attacking afghanistan and being defeated each time... I have never seen an afghan blow up anoda country or attack it... so this shows that the american ppl and government are very lost as a whole... people especially... as they are blindly following....
    the troops i feel sorry for dieing for the wrong cause... but hey the government dnt give 2 s***ts and you lot are backing them... and the taliban handed bin laden over before the attack america attacked the country regardless... so why the hell are you lot chatting so much AIR... when the facts are all ova the place....
    america does not care about the taliban they want CONTROL!!!!...

    February 13, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Broadway Blues

    Ruslan we don't want you here anyways. Try educating yourself in something other than a Madrassa. Your Jihad is destined to fail!

    February 13, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  65. johanna

    God bless all of you men & women that are over there frighting for are country. Just be safe and come home soon.

    February 13, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Tom

    I have to amplify wayne's Comment below. I've already seen two reports w/ CNN correspondents using interactive maps to pinpoint key terrain our Marines will probably have to seize. This is reckless, irresponsible journalism that puts our troops at risk, all so CNN can show off a super neat-o interactive media tool.

    February 13, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Pa Wahun

    For too long the US and coalition forces have been sitting idle on the front line with these rag tag of military gangs gaining ground and publicity. It's about time to escalate this war with Afghan troops taking the lead. The US cannot just deploy troops sitting and doing nothing. Let’s take the fight to them.

    February 13, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  68. 3 decade vet

    truth set you free!
    More returning young vets coming back also turned off by the military,after seeing the madness.
    Many are on anti-depressants,and the suicide rate is high.In the meantime Bush,Cheney are living the good life.
    These two conflicts have undermined our country,s economy,and standard of living.The one,s making money on these conflicts are the contractors and defense industry,and usaid,rife with corruption.
    To bill cody,you cannot even be half the man that I am,you are irrevelant!
    Not against our troops,obama is being bullied by the military,they want these conflicts to be neverending,people if you truly support our troops,let,s bring them home,we asked enough of them,
    Some of you on this site are informed,some sound like a tape recorder.

    February 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Kepa

    I believe the media should be kept away from military affiars as well as the politics. Let the media be the media in your own town, the politics to write norms in your state and the military do their military affairs without anyone to interfere.

    February 13, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  70. BiLL Cody

    3 Decade Vet
    Try proof reading your blog before you submit your comment. Your rambling like someone in need of getting "sober" You dont have the character of the Airborne Infantry! What unit are you dreaming about having served in.
    All Marines, Airborne, Special Forces etc. have the same dedication to this country and their comrades in arms. You dont!!

    February 13, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Ruslan

    to Broadway Blues
    it seems to be that you are brainwashed as you think i am. Sources of information like this site make you believe that you are right whatever you do whenever you go and how many people you kill. You support power and that is easy and simpler for you, isn't it?

    And i am here, because thanks to your moral support for Russians, they massacre Chechens. I remember befor 9/11 i seen Bush on TV he told what Russians are doing in Chechnya is crime against humanity! And here is my version of9/11: Russians became very angry at Bush, orginized logistic, and now stupid superpower does what Russians want: you call now Chechen terrorists, but not freedomfighter, you closed your eyes on what they are doing in Chechnya, cause Chechens are Muslims and you are invading Muslim countries what warms russian hearts and make russians stronger. i seen meny russians dancing at 9/11. It is another lesson for you, very much informed and generous American.

    i've never been to US and i don't want.

    February 13, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  72. matthew

    Hay Guys don't forget your British cousins remember onr for all and all for one

    February 13, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  73. PS

    As long as this conflict is prosecuted with eyes simultaneously on kinetic, non-kinetic; government; economics; culture; religion; and sufficient security that enables these to flourish, it will be successful. Time to execute fully. ATW.

    February 13, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  74. glennlambson

    i just want my brotherinlaw to know he is in my thoughts & prayers, as all of our men and women in uniform. may you go with God on your side.
    your bro, c.g.

    February 13, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  75. hossfly9th

    GET AND KICK THAT A– and come home !!!!

    February 13, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Angry Mom

    When are we going to learn that we can't spend money that we don't have.
    We don't have enough money to take care of the world. Bring our troops home as soon as humanly possible.
    If we can't take care of ourselves, we can't help others. Let rebuilding the United States' manufacturing base be our first priority.

    February 13, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  77. 3 decade vet

    to BILL CODY

    February 13, 2010 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  78. clr

    My son is there, fighting with his Marine Brothers. I watch, pace, and pray – and I am also proud of his selfless duty to his Country. Bless the Troops, Bless the Moms, Bless the Families of our men and women as they fight today.

    Semper Fi
    Proud Marine Mom

    February 13, 2010 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  79. BiLL Cody

    3 Decade Vet
    Your not a Veteran. You dont have the"GUTS" From reading all your blogs you seem like a sick individual with distorted views. You should be in an a psycho ward on some serious meds but instead your getting your kicks out of playing on your laptop sending out foolish blogs. I'm really surprised CNN hasn't decided to delete your comments.
    You dont have a clue to what it takes to be a Marine.

    February 13, 2010 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  80. Manuel Choy

    Our military professionals are not stupid. The Generals have studied in places like West Point. They have studied military and battle strategies of many armies going back many centuries such as Sun Tzu's "Art of War" , Napoleon, Alexander the Great. Setting up the eneny away from the theather is part of the strategy. CNN and the media is an integral of what they do and don't do. Just remember, there are folks in the military and in our government that think about this day in and day out. We just get soundbites as we go on with our busy daily lives thanks to all those who does this for a living so we can go on living with right to say anything in our minds.

    February 13, 2010 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  81. Becky J

    I want to say Thank you to all the Men and Women that are over there. Our youngest, Our Hero is over there taking part in this Battle now, and each and every day we pray for him and the troops. Some people here in America, do not think that this is important, but they are living on soil, that was won by Men and Women willing to give all they had, their lives, to keep us FREE. I am a Marine, a Sgt. and I am so very Proud of my Son. and I Love him so... He believes in what he is doing, and so do WE. GOD BLESS AMERICA, and to all the Troops over there. Come Home safe.

    BJ in Tn.

    February 13, 2010 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
  82. 3 decade vet


    February 13, 2010 at 5:48 am | Report abuse |
  83. Afghan

    Hope Marjah is smoothly cleared without considerable civilian casualties and Taliban (traitors) are driven back to their holes in Waziristan. Either come on board and help in moving Afghanistan forward or face the consequences.

    February 13, 2010 at 4:47 am | Report abuse |
  84. it_is_always_about_the_money

    so here it is folks

    "Afghanistan does not produce any oil nor does it have any proven oil reserves. Its strategic importance is due to its location. Afghanistan would be an important place of transit for oil coming from central Asia through pipelines to the Arabian Sea. A proposed pipeline coming from fields in Turkmenistan could pass through Afghanistan and Pakistan and to the sea, providing an alternative to the current pipelines that run through Russia. "

    The general populous is so stupid/in denial.

    And people wonder why Hitler was able to accomplish what he did.... just look in the mirror,

    February 13, 2010 at 4:39 am | Report abuse |
  85. AkintayoNG

    Thanks for your comment Visha..The Talibans and their allies wants to make the world believe that they are fighting a religious war.That the Americans are xtians fighting against the Muslims.But I wish to let the Arab world know that their best friends are the Americans they are fighting today.If not for the Americans that put their lives on line to liberate Iraq,Kosovo etc including Afghanistan,from the oppression of their so called leaders,I wonder what would have been their fate today.Many British and Americans' lives would have been saved,if not for their selfish and senseless religious' believe.

    February 13, 2010 at 4:12 am | Report abuse |
  86. ahmed

    and what abute goldstone report?

    how the forces will insure the safty of the civilians in the fighting zone ?

    February 13, 2010 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
  87. Broadway Blues

    Ruslan thanks for the history lesson but no thanks. You are better than no one. Your fight is with Russia yet you are here blasting my country. You are completely misinformed. Have you ever even been to The USA? My nation is made of people from all over the world. Every nation and every religion is represented in my country. We believe in freedom for everyone and that includes Chechen's. We are very generous people who give money for good causes all over the world. When ever there is a catastrophe we give. Where ever people are starving we give. You sound like you were brainwashed in some terrorist camp in Pakistan. I don't care for your empty threats. You can do us all a favor and take out Putin! The world would be a better place without him!

    February 13, 2010 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
  88. ProudToBeAnAmerican

    3 decade vet.You are an horrible person. Our troops (mostly kids) did not get us into this war. They joined the military to serve our country. There is no way that you are a Vet. As screwed up as they are, my uncles that served it Vietnam would never disrespect our troops. Vietnam did horrible things to them but they would never wish harm to our troops. Please do all of us a favor and pull the plug or please call your nurse and tell her that you forgot to take your medication.

    February 13, 2010 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  89. Ayomide

    Dear Eddy Jayliano,you seem to have got it all wrong,This fight is not only for the Americans and America alone,but for the whole world to be at peace and to live and be able to move freely around.Why would some few individuals hold the whole world to ransome,all in the name of religion?Subjecting women to slavery and dehumanized conditions and making life unbearable for them,thereby turning them to second-class citizens.Is that the will of God?They need orientation as well as you too.

    February 13, 2010 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  90. Ayomide

    The Almighty God will deliver you all from these global terrorists that are making the world unsafe habitat to live freely.He will protect you and guid

    you and bring you all back safely,amen

    February 12, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  91. eddie jaylilano

    every body is saying that our troops defending america some twenty thousands of miles a way, but the reality is that nobody is attacking america right now I did not see no missiles or bombs land in america... so therefore using the word defending is wrong our troops is actually invading other countries.

    February 12, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Vishwa

    @tony russo
    Probably you are gone insane.. do you think that the battle is against muslim? If that is the case they should have attacked Indonesia, where Muslim population is very big..
    It's a perfect fight against terrorism.... . Love to see a terror free world..

    February 12, 2010 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  93. 3 decade vet

    TO nANCY

    February 12, 2010 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  94. tony russo

    this war in afghanistan is nothing but the war between the East and West, which is the war between (christians and jews) vs muslims and we all know who started this, ya you know G.W.B

    February 12, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  95. JKF

    Once the area is sealed off, every opportunity, repeatedly, must be provied for civilians to leave; much of the arab/muslim/local/regional press needs to be brought onsite to show that every reasonable opportunity was provieded, by Gvmt/allied forces, to the civ population to leave unconditionally. Efforts need also be given for the terrorist to surrender, including such as a clear methoology/process as to how/were/ when/ communications/symbology etc the surrender of individuals needs to be encouraged. The surrender needs to be to Afghan forces; Afghan forces need to man and process the surrendering terrorists; the terrorists must be told this. Historically city sieges have provied good results, as long as the area is properly sealed off. A good potential way ahead is to pick a strong point and locate the C4 compound, and demonstrate the available power to overcome the resistance of the terrorists; potentially the other strong points will also then fall. Deliberate methodical and a reasonable tempo may be best. Let us hope that a blind rush/charge, that may not be justifyable, does not take place. Once an area is sealed off, time is generally on the side of the siege forces/ unless the besieged can break the siege, the forces under siege are doomed. Let us hope all goes well = no or minimal light casualties.

    February 12, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Ruslan

    To Broadway Blues
    It was time your country didn' exist at all. You were a colony. And then you used power to get independance. You didn't ask anybodys permission to take the freedom. You wanted to be free a part of this world as independent country. And now – look at yurself! You invade any country you want, you drop nuclear bombs, create concentration camps! Nobody can judge you. Whatever you do you are always right! Don't you think it is sick! To reach your goals you will use any weapons and kill so many people you want. And you dare to talk about market places, women and children? We are colony of Russia. And we want to be free and want to be part of this world! We don't want to be called "Russians", we don't want to speak Russian, we don't want to go to russian schools, we don't want die for russian ideas, we don't want our culture is destroyed, we are unique and we are better then you!

    I tell you next! Now we are week and nobody is here on this planet to protect us! But it wiil come time we are the strongest and then we will judge you and call you as we want! We invade your country and let do whit you what we want! We will change your nature, let you speak our language and when you will struggle we will have full right to kill you. So, you will have only choice between death and slavery! I'd like to see what you will choose!

    And i repeat: you, Americans, are very small and not generous! Your intention are primitive! Your way is wrong! If you ant to proofe your power, chelange enemy, equal to you – Russians, Chinese for example! Ah, who is coward now, pal?

    February 12, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  97. chris

    if this is the point the war boils down to why didnt you do it 9 years ago?? silly yanks!! love australia.

    February 12, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  98. Bileg

    Statistically, America already won. More than 20,000 Afghans are dead. What America wants now? Another revenge from Muslims. Then America strikes back...

    February 12, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  99. Rage against the machine

    I bet the US is going to send Afghan troops in first to clear out the IEDs and then move in once its safe. I think this is another waste of time, money and most regretably...human lives.

    February 12, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  100. Nancy

    How many of you have loved ones that are fighting in this war? I for one am a Proud Marine Mother with a son in the front line,I pray each and every day for the safety of my son and for all our Military whom are in the battle. How dare someone speaks poorly of our Men and Women, maybe you should try living in a foxhole in below freezing weather or having no running watrer, wading thorugh swamps and rivers for 12 hours with no sleep.. Take a look around and enjoy your freedoms...,It"s becuase of men and women like my son that you have them!

    February 12, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
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