February 8th, 2010
05:09 PM ET

Understanding Marjah

The military operation by coalition forces in Afghanistan (dubbed "Operation Moshtarak") focuses on Marjah. What's known about this town in Afghanistan?

Location: Marjah is in the volatile Helmand province in southern Afghanistan; it's an agricultural area dotted with villages.

Taliban: Marjah is the last major Taliban stronghold in Helmand province. A shadow Taliban government presides in the city and those who come in and out are forced to pay a tax to the Taliban at various checkpoints surrounding the city.

Population: The city encompasses around 80,000-100,000 people

Land: Marjah and the surrounding area holds some of the richest farmlands in Afghanistan. The fertile land is ripe for farming poppies and its absence of governance keeps the drug trade alive and strong.

soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. A. Smith, Oregon

    Clear out the Taliban but the CIA has ordered American and Allied troops to leave the Poppy Fields intact? That's some war plan alright. The Taliban collects billions of dollars to re-equip its forces and pay its lackys to attack American and Allied troops specifically from the sales of Opium. And where does a large amount of that Heroin end up? Its flooding grade schools here in America in the form known as 'cheese heroin' designed and targeted for America's grade school children.

    We have First Lady Michelle Obama issuing a National Security concern over snack foods and Pepsi's in America's grade schools. What about all of the cheap Heroin that is flooding into them, aren't you concerned about that?

    The US AirForce should be bombing every Opium Poppy field thru-out Afghanistan that it can locate. The Soldiers on the ground should be making certain all Opium depots are destroyed, all opium poppy seeds are incinerated and no Opium Poppy field is intact in any area the troops have boots on the ground.

    The Obama administration needs to say hell no to the CIA and destroy every Opium Poppy field in Afghanistan to stem the flood of Heroin into America's rural and inter-cities.

    February 9, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. unknown

    I see your point juli... I appreciate what your son is doing for all of us! and wish him a safe return home.

    but my earlier comment stands the media simply provides more then enough information on the tactical situation that shouldnt be out for the world to see. it puts my brothers in more danger with the information then without. (just my opinion) but I do see your point.

    February 9, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Juli

    I have been reading about Marjah because my son, who is a US Marine, is in Afghanistan. The information about the mission has been out there for weeks because we want it out. We are hoping the civilians and any "weekend" Taliban will leave. This has been purposely out there.

    February 9, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. unknown

    I agree with some dude... the media is puking out so much of our forces operational status its sickening!

    the terror groups have access to internet and own and operate their own sites.

    our media is doing more harm then good by telling the whole world our operational standings. its stuff like this that makes me never want to read anything from any media group because its nothing but bad news anyway and then they top it with what our military is going to do and how they plan to do it. ridiculous

    all the intel the enemy would EVER need is right here on the internet.

    February 9, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Some Dude

    I understand about the American People needs to know but this kind of information through the Media letting the whole world before it happens is like hinting the enemy to escape.

    Thanks world wide Media, thanks CNN for providing Al Qaeda about this so that they could put more bombs in place and escape to their safe havens in nearby countries that Allied Forces can't catch them.

    February 9, 2010 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |