February 9th, 2010
02:33 PM ET

Generals rally troops for Operation Moshtarak

U.S. and Afghan commanders flew from base to base in central Helmand Tuesday attempting to fire up both Afghan and U.S. troops for the upcoming operation in Marjah.

Operation Moshtarak, the word for "together" in Dari, is expected to be the largest NATO operation since the war began in 2001.

And it’s said to have the largest Afghan National Army presence in any military operation to date. (WATCH American and Afghan forces gear up)

Today Brigadier General Larry Nicholson and his Afghan counterpart, Brigadier General Mohiyiden Ghori, encouraged their men and gave them the realities of what they may face.

"I think some of our units will go into some very heavy contact and I think some of our units will have less contact," Nicholson said. "We don’t know."

But he is confident that the time is right.

"All I know is that we have done everything we can to prepare, and on the eve of this operation I think we’re ready."

Both Nicholson and Ghori’s encouraging words are made stronger because of their determined belief in the Afghan mission.

Each and every word was expressed with tenacious gestures and enthusiasm.

"Huntin' and Helpin'! That’s what we do!" Nicholson told the Marines and Afghan soldiers.

"We either hunt them or help them. Sometimes we are doing both at the same time. And nobody’s better at this than we are. Nobody!"

Both generals reminded the troops that the mission involves separating the population from the Taliban. And it’s the Afghan support that they need to win.

"The population is looking for you," Nicholson said. "And the enemy is not the population."

"But we do have an enemy that will try to hide in that population. That’s why we've got to be very careful and we've got to be very disciplined and you've got to be very accurate."

"Don’t see the terrorists as Afghans," Ghori added. "Terrorists have no nationality."

The Afghan general thanked the Marines for their efforts in Afghanistan and for their sacrifice in helping the Afghan people.

"You are the pride of your country," he said. "And now you’ve come from miles away to help us."

Ghori also made sure to remind the Marines that the U.S. has a history in Helmand and that their fight is for America's legacy in Afghanistan.

"Your forefathers built Helmand, they built Marjah," he said, referring to USAID’s involvement in building canals, dams and irrigation systems throughout the province in the 1950s and 1960s - including in Marjah.

"Americans built Marjah and these terrorists destroyed the roads your forefathers built," he said.

And although both generals know the fight will not be easy, they hope that this will turn the tide in the eight-year war and that history will be made.

"You got the next chance and opportunity to write the next chapter in our history," Nicholson told the men. "And I know you’re going to do it."

soundoff (92 Responses)
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  4. Melatonin Side Effects :

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    October 25, 2010 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  5. Madelyn Cox

    Video Confering is nice because you do not need to leave the comforts of your office just to attend an important meeting.-,

    August 2, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Devis Sri lanka

    Re.: Hyper Dick. yOUR SON TOO IS IN MY PRAYERS. Read psalm 23 one of my friend from USA sent me. His Son is in Iraq coming home soon

    February 17, 2010 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
  7. Devis Sri lanka

    RE:Ali baba, you your self go to battle field and see whether US ARMY play video games or not. It is bin laden the dust bin who played the video game so now lots of innocent civilian in USA AND ALL OVER THEE WORLD has to eat and breath the smoke of war.

    February 17, 2010 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  8. M. Gregory Flowers

    I know and believe in the freedom of speech that it possible for even the people who hate this country say what they will openly. However I think that those who love this country and some who have children in the military should at least one place that we can post only positive thoughts and show support for our troops!
    I see postings here like “stupid American kids” and it some others I don’t care to repeat and it makes me feel sick to my stomach!

    I will only say GOD bless our brave men and women, GOD bless America!


    February 15, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Nam

    May God keep you safe all the way!

    February 15, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  10. L.

    "All I know is that we have done everything we can to prepare, and on the eve of this operation I think we’re ready."

    'think' we are ready!! How lame is that...if you don't know then get out of the game.

    February 13, 2010 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  11. Good get'em!!





    Semper Fidelis

    February 12, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Manuel Enrique

    Bellaeu Wood, Iwo Jima, Chosin, Hue and Khe Sahn, Khafji, Fallujah and now Marjah. Keep our honor clean fighting for right and freedom. Was in the first battle for Fallujah, I only wish I can be there but I've done my share they tell me. My friends, all you Marines forward deployed, kick some Taliban A** over there. Give them a bloddy nose that won't stop bleeding. Damn I'm proud to be a Marine. Semper Fidelis!

    February 12, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Donald Brazeal

    God Bless and watch over the young troops, NCO's, SNCO's, and Junior Officers in this upcoming operation. MSG to the Senior Officers, you better give them all the Air/Arty they will need to do the job, from I have found out in my 23 years of sevice in the Corps our boys will need it. DON'T DO IT HALF A–ED!!!

    February 12, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  14. Wahidullah

    That is great that there is going to be enough troops soon to keep the ground safe for civilians in all over Afg.
    I am sure all these men and women who are in the frontline fighting a bounch of Devils are heros and they will remain in history as heros, but it is more important to respect the right of the civilians on the ground respecting their cultures and customs that make them to trust you and respect you and cooperate with you against Talibaan.

    When we say it is not a war, but win the hearts and minds so lets put it into action and make a huge deference into people's life in Afg.

    Bless all our men and women who are fighting for good!

    February 12, 2010 at 4:06 am | Report abuse |
  15. Marine Mom

    To my son serving in Afghanistan, stay safe keep a swival head and may the good lord watch over all of you. THank you all for serving and making our country proud. SEMPER FI

    February 12, 2010 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
  16. VET27511

    Last October, the U.S. entered its 9th year of the occupation of Afghanistan, equal to the time the U.S. was involved in World War I, World War II and the Korean War combined.

    The only safe haven that seems important to Americans is the illusion that the world’s only military super-power and her rich NATO Allies are defeating this rag-tag bunch of thugs that can’t even afford uniforms.

    Every single day that we "FIGHT" the "WAR" in Af-Pak, we are telling our WWII Vets that we can't seem to muster enough backbone to get the job done.

    February 11, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Becky G, Illinois Marine Mom

    Thank you to ALL the troops, Marines, Army, Afghan army, coalition forces. Your service during this time is so appreciated. I couldn't be more proud of you for doing what so many of us couldn't ever imagine! Stay safe and come home soon. To those idiots who leave comments about conspiracy and what-not, why don't you try doing something for someone other than yourselves at some point in your lives. Something that would gain you absolutely nothing. See how it feels. Our military is fighting for the afghan people, not us. they get no reward other than the knowledge that they helped someone. The very least you can do if you don't agree is shut your mouth. If you want to say that it is your right of free speech to say your opinion, who the hell do you think gave you that right? If you don't like it, move somewhere else. The reason you won't is because you know you will be killed for stating your opinion like that! Opinions are like armpits, everyone has one and some of them stink.
    To my son serving in Afghanistan, I love you and pray you will come home safe soon.

    February 11, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Ray

    The taliban were already informed and warned of the coming attack in hopes they would surrender, this has nothing to do with OPSEC. Just as "just me" said. No details of the operation are disclosed. They aren't idiots. Stay safe guys, we're all praying for you back home. We love you. SEMPER FI 1/6

    February 11, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  19. TONY

    NR-71...PINOY What a joke you are... A real piece crap!!!!! KEEP reading your war books.....LOL.

    February 11, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Becky J

    I want everyone to know, I want our Men and Women to Know that I back them all the way, and I will keep them all in my prayers, and for them to kick bottoms, and come home safe. I am so very Proud of the job that they are doing. Our Son is somewhere over there in this War and that we are so very , very proud of him. We Love and Miss him, as We know any family that has a Love one over there does. Hurry Home.....

    February 11, 2010 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  21. Welt

    Like some of the readers noted, why this big jamboree with the press before a major operation? The Beeb showed some more details and I am sure there is other info onthe web that the Talibs can sift through the net. Beats me!

    February 11, 2010 at 5:38 am | Report abuse |
  22. Pinoy

    Don't rush to attack.Attack all multipoints.This will out balance taliban.Let them expend their ammo.Use unmanned tanks to draw their fire and pin point their bunkers and positions.Bait them to expose their position.If safe,use tear gas to avoid or minimized civilian casualties.Definitely,they are using them as shield and kill them if they will be overran .Taliban will use civilians as pawns and to kill them to embarass the coalition.Expect taliban to strap IED's in their bodoes.If possible no prisoners.Issue machetes or short swords to the troops for close quarter battle.God bless you guys.happy taliban hunting!

    February 11, 2010 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  23. Frances - Mercer, PA

    I have a few comments. So let me start off by saying Thank you to all those currently serving our country, Those inside and outside of the war zone. Without you, Our Veterans and all those that have paid the ultimate price for our country, we wouldn't be the United States of America. So thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    To those currently serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, know that you're in my prayers and hope for your safe return home. Thank you for your unselfish acts of heroism.

    To those that want to criticize our country and military- if you're an American citizen... There are plenty of other countries that will take you. Some would love to have you so they can torture and kill you. But remember... we're the evil country. Like Waylon Jennings sings about in his song... "If you don't love it, leave it and let's not forget September 11. Better on their turf than ours. Remember who attacked us!

    If you're not an American citizen, but you reap the benefits of living here- go back to where you come from if our military is so evil. We won't stand idlely by and let our land get attacked and not defend her. It's not the American way.

    If you don't live here- great- stay where you are. And remember... We protect our own. Someone's gonna sucker punch us, we're gonna fight back and rightfully so. Let me guess... September 11 was our fault right? We deserved it? Give me a break.

    And last but not least... to my Son who is on his first deployment and is undoubtly part of this battle or will soon be, Thank you for serving our country. Thank you and all the guys for their unselfish acts of heroism. I think about you when I awake, go to sleep and every moment in between. I pray for you and all the others serving our country. Know that we all love and miss you. You're in our thoughts and prayers. Know that whereever you are, I'm with you also. So is God. Stay safe Son. "Meet Me at the Moon!"

    February 11, 2010 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  24. dugan

    It is time to use robots to fight these wars .We can use robot soldiers remotely controlled to do some of the fighting in dangerous areas.The Afghans need to lead this fight with back up by the US troops and the dromes.With reference to drugs produced by afghans, they are following the law of supply and demand.Us citizens demand for the drugs, theAfghans supply it.So if there is no demand ,there will be no supply.

    February 10, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  25. gabe

    give um hell and stay safe

    February 10, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Just Me

    Yes the Taliban have computers and YES we are hoping that they see this information. Its a deliberate attempt to make those who are straddling the fence to give up the fight and meant to make the dedicated fighters question their abilities.

    February 10, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Tyler Henson

    good luck to all the troops, i am proud to say i am leaving for basic in 5 months. hooah!

    February 10, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Ron

    I don't know how this will all play out. Only the Afghan people can truly change Afghanistan.
    What I do know is that very soon it is going to suck to be a Taliban fighter in Marjah.

    February 10, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  29. martin

    I totally agree with ussa (comment 31).

    February 10, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  30. craig spencer

    I give my love and support to all soldiers/marines and families serving there. What bothers me is the pollitical correctness that puts everyones elses's lives above our young men. Advertising an operation has got to be ridiculus. How about surronding a village by surprise and killing anyone who looks/acts like a threat and searching them all under the cover of overwhelming fire power.

    February 10, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  31. shawn

    If people don't like my country, then please by all means leave and take your ideologies and hatred with you! I only come to your country to keep you out of mine! I will keep coming over till my family and country are safe. I am a guardian, warrior, father, husband, son, uncle, brother, and friend to people that should be able to sleep easily at night.

    February 10, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Erica

    Every generation of my family has voluntarily served our country, including myself. I swore to defend my country and obey the officers in charge, just like EVERY other marine and soldier over there. We do not make the decisions on where, how, and who. We only carry out the orders we are given, regardless of our own opinion. If you wish to move a car, you don't yell at the car. You yell at the driver. I suggest that the people who don't agree with this war should direct their comments to the people who make the decisions, and stop barking at the ones who don't.
    For those of you who say "We should mind our own business"....I say shame on you. Is it not our obligation as human beings to help those who are unable to help themselves? I'm sure you could argue that there is an underlying mission to try to prosper from their resources, but right now what is their biggest resource? It's drugs, and this country has been profiting from that for quite some time.
    For those of you who say "We need to just leave"... I also say shame on you. You can't make a mess and walk away. If we were to leave before there was any stability in place for these people, then what the hell did all of the coalition forces die for? We can't let the sacrafices of so many be for nothing.
    My husband is part of phase 1 of Operation Moshtarak. Knowing that his absence from me and our daughter is making a difference in the lives of those who need it is the only thing that brings me comfort. I pray that God will keep him and his unit safe, and he will return soon to the family and country that loves him.


    February 10, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  33. Fletch

    Has everyone lost their train of thought? Have you all forgotten 9/11? (Not everyone has) seems like a lot of ppl need a reality check ASAP. I am retired ARMY and I still serve as a civilian and currently in Iraq. I have a son fighting for you all in Afghanistan. We know why we do it.....
    Wake up...

    February 10, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  34. rez

    It's a sad thing that americans cant see that the afghan goverment will fail just as the communist afghan goverment failed...karzai is the new najibullah (if you dont know the name then learn history) his power will last only as long as the coalition stays ...
    his brother is the numer 1 drug king of central-asia and his loyal allie rashid dostum is a warlord and war criminal...

    and the taliban....well i believe the soldiers on the ground call them omf(opposing militairy forces) wich is what they are ...they are not 1 army all loyal to mullah omar( the one leg and one eye) leader of the taliban emirate but seperate pockets of fighters with their own loyalty(drugs,clans, tribes,warlords,religion,money).

    It is easy to predict that the west will fail just like the soviet ...and that the OMF will fight with each other for the power.

    And this mission, you can take the ground but can you hold it?

    February 10, 2010 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  35. Jenna

    God Bless the 1/3 Marines.

    February 10, 2010 at 5:45 am | Report abuse |
  36. Artie

    Go get 'em Devil dogs! Thoughts and prayers go out for your safe return.

    February 10, 2010 at 5:12 am | Report abuse |
  37. Jay

    You can bomb the Taliban as much as you want (it's been 8 years now), you won't beat them. They will just lay low and then be back again. They'll wear you down, out wait you.
    You'll get tired and fed-up before they do. You got the technology, they got time. Anyway, Good Luck!
    PS. Any hashish confiscated, send it my way.

    February 10, 2010 at 4:41 am | Report abuse |
  38. Sassy Pants

    There have been so many points in this war that I have seen and hoped would be the "light at the end of the tunnel." Yet, the battle continues. As a proud and thankful American, I know that the men and women on the front lines and those who support the front lines have also thought time and time again that the end was near; only to see no end come. I think our country needs to focus more funds and energy into intelligence to better utilize the hardware we have as well as our manpower. . We will win this war when we prioritize our funds into thoughtful solutions and not just the braun and show. We will win this war because I believe there are people, at every level, in our military who will put their lives and careers on the line to show our country's leaders what is right.

    February 10, 2010 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
  39. Herbert Frei

    Well, how many "decicive offensives" have been announced so far and what have been the results?! The real problems lie deeper and they are difficult if not impossible to tackle. Afghanistan is no proper state, social structures are archaic, state borders artificial (half of the pashtuns live in Pakistan) ... There will be even more civilian victims after this offensive, but will Afghanistan be any better off?

    February 10, 2010 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
  40. Henry Martinez

    To HyperDick 1:42am On my laptop,my son just got up to use the bathroom.Icalled JohnHenry over,and read him your email to your son.I got emotional,Because my son is here at Home ,and your's is not.Damn.God Bless Him.I Wish Him A Safe Return.MAINTAIN DAD !!! Henry Martinez DAD.

    February 10, 2010 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
  41. Big Daddy Rat

    Please dont hate Ali-Babba,Hating Ali-Babba wont make hate disappear.
    Rather...pity the poor misguided soul that that exists,trapped for a lifetime in a dark empty mindless existance with only his hate and anger for company its almost to terrible a fate to imagine.No... dont hate Ali-Babba because every day is a torment to him and people like him.

    February 10, 2010 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  42. Big Daddy Rat

    You "armchair Generals' are all naivly the same,but it does make for good comedy.
    For myself I will not presume to second guess the militaries professional judgement(from half a world away).I have no dought that our soldiers as well as those of our allies will do there duty and conduct themselves with the same honor integrity and professionalism as there forefathers and that they themselves have exibited over these many deployments.Beyond that I would just say goodluck, godspeed in your mission,and...try not to embarrass the family (just a joke,newscrew caught a soldier engaging the enemy in his underwear).

    February 10, 2010 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
  43. Pinoy

    Expect taliban will use civilians as shield.They will fire at you but you can't fire at them.They will hostage women and children so their fathers and brothers will fight for taliban,I suggest use tear gas and incapacitating chemicals.This way you can minimize their effectivity.Spray tear gas to flush them out.Then you can pick out the taliban from civilians.Happy taliban hunting.

    February 10, 2010 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  44. gino

    ali baba and ussa, please use appropriate words when you talk about USA and all of their citizens.
    Just a small question to you. Where do you leave now ? I'm sure that you leave in USA not Afghanistan. Maybe it is time for you to move and start building the country and discuss the future plans with Taliban. If you only knew how much money was already invested into Afghanistan by US – by building schools / roads / hospitals. and how many of our soldiers died there. There is not enough OIL in that region to cover all these expenses. So shut up, pack and move.
    Before America moved into Afghanistan – the only industry that existed there – IS DRUGS.
    Does the QURAN teaches you to produce drugs ? If you only knew that in 1 year more people die because of drugs that came from Afghanistan, then probably you would't open you mouth
    God Bless America !

    February 9, 2010 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  45. W Hoffman, Va.

    If you are a concerned citizen then please call the folks on Capital Hill and make your voice loud and cleat about the engraved announcement that has been made regarding this offensive.
    As for Ali Baba. I am sorry you feel that America is out to get you. We are not out to get you. I was raised in Washington and I was raised to respect all nations and respect all religions. I made many visits to the Mosque in our capital and found my visits to be deeply moved by the convictions of the followers of Allah. I never felt threatened as a Christian but welcomed. I feel very very sorry for you and the followers of the taliban who are the true infidels in this struggle, In the end the people of Afghanistan will rise up against the taliban and take back their country from them.

    February 9, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  46. USA

    Good Luck Marines! and everyone else in the operation. Make us proud and show those taliban a******s they should be runnin scared if they arent already. I hope for minimal casualties but im afraid that it will be bloody. Anyone know if this will be somewhat similar to fallujah in iraq? Just curious. Anyway, GIVE EM HELL GUYS!!!! HOORAH!

    February 9, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  47. binladin10000

    If there are a huge casualties around vileges of Marjar,we can't deny there wound't happen a MILAI massacre which occur in late Vietnam war,pls remember Vietnam.

    February 9, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Donna Lavoie

    Ali Baba- No one is interested in your rhetoric. You sound like a hateful human being who doesn't deserve the freedoms that my son, and all the other servicemen and women provide for you. You are not fit to lick their boots. So why don't you save your bs for someone who actually believes it! God Bless our troops...All of the TRUE Americans are so grateful to you and we pray for your safe return! OOH-RAH!!

    February 9, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  49. David Rand

    Military can certainly come in and take control of the areas and provide security....and for that, I'm happy to see the military take further control in Afghanistan...

    it is the medical, the road crews, the teachers, the books, friendships, agriculture/commerce and freedom of ideas that allow our soldiers to leave.

    I think it would be a wonderful thing if every school in America adopted a small group of students in Afghanistan...send money for books and learning tools...and had video conferencing to where kids from both nations can get to know eachother.... Old mines change hard...young minds change and grow so much easier.

    February 9, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  50. David Rand

    First, I wish all the best for the soldiers. I truly wish they would send in the Afghani soldies on the first plane....first helicopter..and truly let them make their mark. If a fwe more die in the endeavor, then so be it. They died in battle...an honorable way to go. It is time to push the afhanis to the front. I think you'd see them fight like hell once they get a few bullets blasting by their heads.

    Once the highlights are over....pave every damn road, Build 5,000 new schools, Put 50 soldiers around every school to protect them...and show the locals that moderation and investment into infrastructure and your kids is the way of the future...not the Taliban.

    We need to show these people truly what moderate thinking can bring to the people of Afghanistan.

    February 9, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  51. A. Smith, Oregon

    The Taliban will simply blend in with the residents that are pouring out of the region ahead of the armed troops. The IED's will likely kill and maim a great many soldiers and civilians. America will remove its troops and the Taliban will return and setup business as usual, the Afghanistan US trained troops will almost immediately swear allegiance to the Taliban and America will have a better trained and equipped adversary in future proxy wars in that region. Mission accomplished, time to come home America.

    February 9, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Emily

    as far as OPSEC is concerned i think the Taliban already know we're coming considering that NATO has been dropping fliers on Marjah all weekend warning the population that they are going to be attacking the insurgents and to get the hell out of dodge if they don't want to get killed. Obviously they don't think the insurgents are going to run. Best of luck to our (and the afghan and other international) troops!

    February 9, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  53. CPL PENN

    For our fighting men and women who will face gun fire and ieds Keep your eyes on the move
    kill themm before they kill you we know thats the way war is GOD BLESS YOU ALL on the lines and you support troops . CPL.PENN

    February 9, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  54. matt

    this is too the comment at the very top, those are VERY good ideas unfortunatly things like that take ALOT of funds, funds politicians dont like to spend. Many politicians would rather fly around on fancy jets and talk about elections and healthcare then provide our troops with much needed equipment. Its sad but its true, when i was in iraq we had to make our own armor for our trucks at first.

    February 9, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Peter

    Anyone that is thinking " i wonder if the taliban saw this?! or They must know about this! " Well they do. They dropped flyers on the town they are attacking telling them of the impending attack. We are walking into their town that is rigged to blow. This is not going to be a clean fight.

    February 9, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Roberto Luis Vazquez

    As I've read these comments I wish to cry. For the American Patriots who understand what our heroes are about to encounter and defeat, and those confused individuals who think we wish to kill others. If it were up to soldiers to declare war, there wouldn't be any. We die, kill, and embrace our brothers and sisters as they die. My father is (RET.) CSM Green Berets, I the 1/6 Infantry. God Bless Our Warfighters, God Bless America!

    February 9, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  57. janni516

    OMG USSA why don't u move to the Soviet Union there is corruption in all governments around the world. Don't bad mouth our military over your views of the world and the US of A. By the way most think Osama is dead. Think smart and speak softly you will be a happier person.

    February 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  58. thelady

    All of the inconsiderate, uneducated, rude, unpatriotic, childish remarks made on this post turn my stomach. I am sure the Generals are giving 'complete and acurate' information in this article. LOL...yeah. For all of you who think you know better than the guys who have been eating, sleeping, and sweating Afghanistan for God knows how long now...volunteer. Strap on a pair and go defend your country.

    My son leaves for Afghanistan March 10. He is a handsome, intelligent, loving compasionate man with a sweetheart and two little babies who hug and talk to his picture on mommies cell phone while he is away getting his last bit of training before deployment. They are twins just over the age of two. There is the human side of this story.

    The very thought that my son has volunteered to protect the right of you ignoramisous on this site infuriates me. The thought that he has done so because he loves his family, he loves his country, and he has the desire to protect what he loves makes me more proud than I can verbally describe. I wish you could all live in Afghanistan for just one week. Experience their government, experience their lives, and then come home to the easy life. You might appreciate what you have.

    President Obama is an honorable man. He is not perfect, and I do not always agree with what he says...but he is our President. I will give him respect if for no other reason than that. If you were to talk about the President of Iran the way you talk about your own President, you would probably be shot. Grow up, put down your crayons, and do something productive. And then be grateful there are people out there like my son.

    February 9, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Devil Dog 88

    Marines are not Soldiers – each has their part in the fight – but we are very distinct entities. Having been through multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, I can tell you the Marines and Soliders (Brits too) are in this to end years of violence brought about by zealots with little more to do than spread the hate that they preach. With that said, there are many wonderful souls in each of these countries that I am proud to call friends; people that just want the things that you and I want in life – to live in peace.

    (Ali Baba) you would do well to remember that hate and ignorance are tought. And the only way to counter these learned behaviors is to teach the people of the world how to be self sufficient and earnest in theri lives and their values. This is not a war that the American people sought out – it was brought to our shores, and now it's up to us to end it on the best note possible.

    Semper Fi to my brothers and sisters in arms – stay safe and come home soon . . .

    February 9, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  60. lou

    yeah, the "rally 'round the flag" focal point! oh well, sheep are easily led.

    February 9, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Henry

    Unmanned dump trucks? What are you talking about Nathanael [desert voice]? This isnt a video game.

    February 9, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  62. ussa

    congradulations, we are now the soviet union. I dont have to support the troops or this idiotic war they are fighting, I leave that for the simple minded among us who spout idiotic, group-think slogans like Semper Fi or give 'em hell. This war has nothing to do with terrorists or Osama or Al-CIAda im sorry Al-queda. Its all about keeping China from building a pipe line, the plan to invade Afghanistan was on Bush's desk well before 9/11. Its all lies, and now we have the CIA and other murders in the military killing women and children with predator drones from thousands of miles away...got to keep the hands nice and clean, keep the genocide sterile.

    The biggest terrorists in the world are right here in America in the CIA, the State Dept. the NSA and in Israel.

    oh and Osama is dead, he has been for a long time, you people would do good to read 1984, especially the part about Goldstein, the government always needs a boogyman, someone to flash up on the screen to keep you from thinking about how baddly you are being screwed over, its not in our governments interest to capture or kill him, who else would they flash up on the screen for you to hate?

    the slaughter continues.

    February 9, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  63. lou

    we went to afghanistan to get bin laden. now, 8+ years later we've segued into an unwinnable civil war. is it just me, or can't the rest of you see how futile this is? when its over, and we've spent too many young lives, and trillions of dollars, we'll be leaving in defeat.

    February 9, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Juan


    Hey ALI BABA and how many AFGHANS have the TALIBAN killed? These are their own people they are murdering in the name of ALLAH. Does the QURAN sanction the killing of innocent men, women and children? These are THUGS who shield themselves under the cloak of righteousness in G-ds name. G-d does not sanction murder. WE ARE GOING TO KICK THEIR DONKEY AND SEND THEM ON THEIR WAY TO CLAIM THE SEVEN VIRGINS EACH IS ALLOWED IN PARADISE. I JUST HOPE THERE ARE ENOUGH VIRGINS FOR EACH ONE OF THOSE BSTDS!

    February 9, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Hyperdick

    My sion is currently on the front lines outside Marjah, Afghanistan. Here's my lastest E-mail to him sent 10 days ago.
    Devin my son,
    As you fly off across the sea to defend our country from a ruthless and cunning enemy that has little, if no regard for human life, know that you have all the love, best wishes, prayers and total support here back at home. Please be safe and don't take any unnecessary chances. Always be aware that the enemy will attack your weakest link and when you least expect it. Never assume anything will happen as planned and always, always expect the unexpected and be prepared !!!!!!!!
    Be sure to keep in close touch whenever possible, take lots of pictures and videos and let us know what you want us to send you and the boys...
    I have your favorite beer in the fridge, with your name on it, waiting for you to crack open upon your return.
    Take care knowing that, while we can't be with you in person, we will always be with you in spirit.
    All my love and support to a great son who has made all of us very, very proud. Go Marines!!

    February 9, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  66. janni516

    Look at Alibaba's comment that should not have been allowed. I agreee quit advertising about this operation !!!!!

    February 9, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  67. KS

    Seriously- can someone please tell me how this is not a violation of OPSEC? In football the coach doesn't tell the opposing team what play he's about to make and when. You've got to be kidding me.

    February 9, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Jon

    this is so epic and sad. Hoorah:(

    February 9, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  69. languageofthemad

    Fallujah 2. This is nothing more than mass murder. How many people on this site are aware of the plans to put an oil pipeline through Afghanistan? All I hear is "U.S.A., U.S.A.!" It's really sad.

    February 9, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  70. lou

    bramos: you and i agree. guerrillas will always beat entrenched forces, and did during our revolution. don't the boneheads in DC read history? if tghey did some of our kids might still be alive.

    February 9, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  71. chuck

    Would someone explain why we are advertising a military operation? Is it not the element of suprise that saves lives and confuses the enemy thus making them less effective against our troops?

    February 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Beylous

    Osama's probably shaved his head, beard, and chest, and changed his name to Michelle by now....rotten sod will get sorted out sooner or later.

    February 9, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  73. janni516

    God help and be with all of our military and the Afghani military we all need to pray

    February 9, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Kristen

    Thank you to all of our men and women serving today. You give so much to your country every single day. As an army wife, I wish you all luck and pray for your safety as you begin this new operation. May God be with you all.
    Also – to all of the "antiwar" people posting – You dont have to like this war, nor do you have to support it. But you definitely should support our men and women that are over there fighting. These men and women have families, children, and work regular jobs. They dont want to be so far away from home right now, away from everything they love but they do it because this nation called them to action and they answered that call. Respect them for what they do, and be thankful that they are willing to do it.

    May God Bless

    February 9, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Wilfredo Vazquez

    Why does the world need to know what we're about to do, down to the name of the operation. I hope this isn't another case of media dicttating policy, it will get people killed.

    February 9, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Beylous

    The Regiment's probably already giving the bad guys the good news. Give em' hell.

    February 9, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  77. flanders

    There are over 3000 Brits in there aswell – its not just a Yank effort.

    February 9, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  78. nato

    i disagree you should not have a whole bunch of unmanned trucks becasue it wastes materials and it will cost a lot of money for the military you should have high flying aircrafts becasue if they were low it might lead to an ambush if ground troops are wiped out the airforce would still be there

    February 9, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  79. ali baba

    Stupid young american soldiers think that going to afghanistan it's like playing a videogame. Expect to be killed the same way you're killing others regardless of the reasons. I oppose your nonsense killings of innocent afghan civilians, children, woman and elders. The so called COLLATERAL DAMAGES.. bring the real war over to america and allow those collateral damages and then we'll see what you think about it..

    February 9, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Jomo

    I have served in Afghanistan twice, as a former combat veteran i just hope that everyone would be safe, is rough out there. Its a dangerous work to be done but we love our work, HOOAH!!!

    February 9, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  81. andy

    B Ramos is right, therefore we need to change the plans the army should be inserting SF behind the talibs to try to cut off their retreat or slow them down for our main forces to catch up and kill them. I alos think that it is VERY dumb to have the military talk with the press about up comming ops. wtf now they can set up more ied's and ambushes for our men.

    February 9, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Mike (PA)

    Semper Fi

    February 9, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Teresa

    Dear Troops we are thinking of you and honor your stength. May each step you all take help the people and get you all home safe to us soon.

    To the innocent Afgan people I wish you peace and change. To the terroist we hope you have a change of heart and if not that you will cease to exist quickly.

    From an Army mom-heros come home soon we love and miss you.

    February 9, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  84. B Ramos

    The question is (away from the watchful eyes of their superiors) what did the troops think of this pep talk?

    Throughout recorded history, and yes even in the War for Independece of 1776, the guerrilla forces have always adopted a tactic of hit and run. This continues even today.

    If history is any judge, this is what will happen. First, we have been very considerate in advertising where and when we will strike. The bad guys have by now evacauted their main forces and left a token force in place. Second, these token forces will put up a stiff resistance before they are killed or they escape. Third, we will declare a great victory and claim heavy casualties among the bad guys. At that point, the Generals will give a press conference and/or press junket of the "battlefield". Within six months, the Tablian will control the same area again.
    That is classic guerrilla warfare.

    February 9, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  85. ajsou

    Rally around our sons and daughters now fighting in Afghanistan.These are the real Americans who gave up their American dream so tjhat you and I could have our American dream come true.These are THE TRUE PATRIOTS who unlike the women now ruling America in Washington will be America's leaders of tomorrow.
    We are truly greatful to these brave men and women in uniform who are the true Americans.we SALUTE ALL THESE MEN AND WOMEN.

    February 9, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Charles

    Well well well. When I was a kid and lived in the states I really wanted to kill everything that botherd us. But now I realize that all these people want to kill us because were bothering now. Stop all wars stop the killing of americas youth for what for who..... for nothing just sombody making business. America will be free when it starts thinking inside out not outside in. Stop killing our youth. They to not deserve it neither does irak, iran pakistan and all the crap you sell our buy.

    February 9, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Retired US Air Force Cinematographer

    It's going to be a extremely big operation, so you get them "MEN" & "WOMEN" of the United Nations military:-).

    February 9, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  88. ken

    Good luck warriors of war. May virtue and grace be with you.

    February 9, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Chad

    Give'em hell boys! Show the world what we are capable of doing, we are able to win a war on a variety of fronts. Win the hearts and minds of the people and hunt those bastards out of their cowardly holes and give them justice. Thank you for all that you do, you are true heros and I am proud to say I am a Veteran!

    February 9, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  90. corinne

    i hope there are miminal casualties and i wish success to the marines, U.S. army and ANA!!!!

    February 9, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Danny B

    OPSEC anyone, Do the Taliban have computers to access this website?

    February 9, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Nathanael [desert voice]

    “Both sides predict the fight for Marjah could be brutal, with belts of IEDs believed to be buried along all major approaches to the town." I see a great need for intelligent prevention. Perhaps there is a necessity to bomb the paths that will need to be used with oversize iron bearings or something. I would make many such passes with low-flying aircraft before going in. I cannot imagine throwing heavy armored vehicles where there are IED's! There must be a way to clear some paths! As I said before, I would send a fleet of unmanned dump trucks to test the ground. Throw a two dozen exploratory vehicles without driver from one direction, perhaps. This may fool the Taliban into thinking that the offensive comes from there. Robots could be sent on both sides of the road to identify and sever the explosion-triggering wires. I would send something other than GI's for ground testing! This is not World War I! With the technologies we have, we should do all in our power to spare the soldiers' lives!

    February 9, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |