February 14th, 2010
10:34 PM ET

New CNN exclusive video

Watch exclusive video from the second day of Operation Moshtarak in Marjah.


Filed under: Marjah • Operation Moshtarak
February 14th, 2010
10:02 PM ET

CNN Fact Check: Has poppy production in Afghanistan decreased?

As NATO begins one of its biggest offensives in Afghanistan since the beginning of the war, coalition troops face a multitude of challenges. Helmand province is known for its opium production and as a hub of Taliban activity. Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," retired Gen. James Jones, President Barack Obama's national security adviser, said, "One of the ancillary benefits of where this operation is being conducted is in the heart of Helmand province, and that is the center mass of the drug production. Happily, last year for the first time in several years, the poppy production went down and wheat production went up, and so we'll see what happens this year."

Fact Check: Has poppy production decreased in a region of Afghanistan known for its drug links? FULL POST

February 14th, 2010
09:45 PM ET

More details on civilian deaths

CNN's Fred Pleitgen in Afghanistan reports more details about the civilians who were killed Sunday when two rockets fired by coalition forces in Marjah missed their intended target. Coalition forces fired two rockets with the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System at insurgents firing upon Afghan and ISAF forces, but they struck about 300 meters off their intended target, ISAF said.

February 14th, 2010
11:33 AM ET

Gen. Jones: Moshtarak is 'kickoff' to Afghan success story

U.S. National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones talked with CNN on Sunday on "State of the Union with Candy Crowley." Here are some of his remarks concerning Afghanistan.

On the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan: Instead of clearing the area and leaving as we frequently did in the past, our plans call for clearing the area, and holding the area, and then providing some building for the people there, better security, and better economic opportunities and more of an Afghan face, and then eventually transitioning to full Afghan sovereignty in those provinces. FULL POST

February 14th, 2010
11:14 AM ET

What does Marjah mean for Obama?

How will the outcome of Operation Moshtarak in Marjah affect the Obama administration? CNN Washington correspondent Kate Bolduan explains.

A lot is at stake politically. This operation is the first major offensive since President Obama announced he was committing 30,000 additional troops to fight in Afghanistan. And this can be seen as the first real test, at least, of the president's new revamped, refocused strategy in the region. FULL POST

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Filed under: Marjah • Obama • Operation Moshtarak
February 14th, 2010
10:03 AM ET

Marjah: Center of opium industry

Georgetown University's Christine Fair on the drug crops in Marjah, President Hamid Karzai and the district-level governments.


Filed under: Marjah • Operation Moshtarak
February 14th, 2010
09:42 AM ET

Marjah residents: Taliban taking over homes

CNN's Atia Abawi, embedded with U.S. troops in Marjah, reports on the fighting on Sunday. Some residents tell her Taliban have taken over their homes in the fight.

February 14th, 2010
08:54 AM ET
February 14th, 2010
08:43 AM ET

Civilians killed as Moshtarak enters second tough day

UPDATE: 9:50 a.m. ET - Twelve Afghan civilians were killed Sunday when two rockets fired by coalition forces in southern Afghanistan missed their intended target, the International Security Assistance Force said.  "We deeply regret this tragic loss of life," ISAF Commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal said in a statement. "The current operation in Central Helmand is aimed at restoring security and stability to this vital area of Afghanistan. It's regrettable that in the course of our joint efforts, innocent lives were lost." Read the full story

Coalition forces fired two rockets at insurgents firing upon Afghan and ISAF forces, but they struck about 300 meters off their intended target, ISAF said.  The incident happened in Nad Ali district in Helmand province.  FULL POST