February 12th, 2010
05:11 PM ET

NATO troops launch major Afghanistan offensive

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan –NATO troops in Afghanistan launched their biggest offensive of the war early Saturday, attacking what they call the last Taliban stronghold in a war-scarred southern province.

Military officials said the offensive—dubbed Operation Moshtarak— got under way at 2 a.m. (4:30 p.m. ET Friday). By about 8 a.m. (10 p.m. ET Friday) two firefights had erupted between the Taliban and U.S. Marines in Marjah.

The offensive turned a main bazaar near the city center into a ghost town after residents were warned to leave the area. NATO forces said they are following a directive not to shoot at civilians, some of whom are still on the streets.

"Insurgents who do not accept the government's offer to reintegrate and join the political process will be met with overwhelming force," the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command said in a statement. "However, the strongest of measures will be taken to protect the civilian population."

Some of about 15,000 troops from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Afghanistan attacked Taliban targets in and around Marjah, a city of 80,000 to 100,000 where the Taliban has set up a shadow government, coalition military authorities said.

"Marjah is the last enemy sanctuary in the Marine area of operations," said Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan commanding general. "This operation is designed to reconnect the people of Marjah with the legitimate government of Afghanistan. We are fully partnered with the Afghan government for this operation, and we have the resources we need to be successful."

The Afghan government described the offensive - carried out in central Helmand with the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police, ISAF Regional Command (South), and the Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team - as "clearing" operations. Moshtarak, a Dari word for "together," symbolizes the fact that combined forces are serving alongside one another.

The coalition said its troops expected to confront up to 1,000 entrenched Taliban fighters. It expected foreign Taliban fighters to battle to the death but is prepared for local Taliban members in Marjah to try to escape.

“We will follow the enemies and bring them to justice,” said Gen. Mohiyiden Ghori of the Afghan National Army.

In the past few days, forces from Afghanistan, Britain and other nations have conducted air and ground operations to prepare for the assault and dropped leaflets in and around Marjah warning residents not to allow the Taliban to
enter their homes.

The allies had been unusually vocal in describing their plans for the assault. (Related: Why the military publicized operations)

“I think there’s a certain strength in the Pashtunwali culture just from laying it out there in saying, ‘Hey, we are coming. Deal with it,’” U.S. Marine Gen. Larry Nicholson has said.

Some of the 30,000 additional U.S. troops that President Barack Obama sent to Afghanistan will take part in the fight.

The goal is to force the Taliban from Marjah so that people there can live free of Taliban influence and drug traffickers in a province with a major source of the world’s opium. It’s an example of a U.S. strategy to focus on population centers and separate the Taliban from Afghan civilians. (Related: Why Marjah, why now?)

“It’s about the security of the population, not fighting down insurgent numbers,” British Gen. Gordon Messenger has said.

About 3,000 U.S. Marines are involved in the fight.

The advance notice given to residents will help avert civilian casualties, a problem that has hurt the military’s credibility among Afghans. They are also trying to get those Taliban who aren’t hard-core to turn in themselves and their weapons.

Reaching the battleground could be one of the biggest challenges for NATO and Afghan troops. It’s a tough terrain hard to cross with tanks.

The town of Marjah is surrounded by a deadly ring of roadside bombs, military officials say.

They say the Taliban has had months to plant bombs in the ground, most of them homemade mixes of ammonium nitrate, shrapnel fuel, salt or flour.

Such bombs have caused about 80 percent of the deaths in past fighting in Helmand province, military officials said. They are detonated remotely or by pressure plates.

“This is possibly the largest IED threat NATO has ever faced,” Nicholson has said.

Massive armored vehicles, called assault breacher vehicles, were to lead the charge into Marjah, coalition authorities said before the offensive.

The tank-like vehicles can destroy roadside bombs. Even with their help, though, military officials have increased staff at the hospital at Camp Bastion, in the capital of Helmand province, in anticipation that roadside bombs would cause casualties.

Troops also expect to encounter booby-trapped houses, as well as fierce urban combat.

soundoff (422 Responses)
  1. MOM 4R MARINES

    Jarrod– Thank you for your service and dedication to our country.
    I agree 100% Brig Gen Nicholson will get the job done, he is a great leader! I am privileged to know him well. I hope you were one of the recipients of my organizations 9.5 ton shipment sent for Christmas. I will do anything in my power to send support to lift our Marines and Sailors morale and hopefully bring them a SMILE and some much needed– never asked for small comforts. I pray for all our Marines and Sailors. I have total faith and confidence you will succeed! You did it in Iraq and you will do it in Afghanistan!
    Semper Fi

    February 12, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Citizen Twain

    May the Angels of Jesus go with you.

    February 12, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JBH

    Semper Fi Marines!!!!

    February 12, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. MOM 4R MARINES

    LONNIE GAYLORD –Yes, many have died for YOUR freedom! Do you have such courage and dedication to our country? NO way in hell! Sit warm in your home and speak your mind, for it is the freedoms you reap and obviously take for granted, that was provided to you by our military past and present!
    God Bless all our military
    Stay Safe
    Semper Fi

    February 12, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. WaR SuX

    War is never pretty. One thing is certain. Good people die. Innocent people die. People delude themselves into thinking this war is just. We are past that point now and I hope that the casualties are kept to a minimum. Propaganda propels the troops into hell. The Taliban didn't assault the US, Alqaeda did. The Taliban were forced to defend themselves. Now our troops are put in a kill or be killed situation. WAR SuX

    February 12, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. noor

    Why America? You are running out of friends. Soon you will be alone, everyone hating you. Why are you torturing and starving these poor Afghans? Have you got no compassion whatsoever? Why are you so evil?

    February 12, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. BVC

    Strength and Honor, NATO Soldiers. Mark your targets, shoot straight and come home in one piece. You are truly the best of the best.

    February 12, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bryan

    I join in prayer and support of the brave troops who are serving in these efforts to bring freedom and justice for the people of Afghanistan. Godspeed! May the troops succeed and bring liberty to these areas once and for all!

    February 12, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mitch

    OOORAH....Semper Fi...let the Devil Dogs do their thing....and lonnie and pete...if you don't want to stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them!!! nice politicking fellas....and the reason we let them know we were coming was so that the civilian casualties would be lower...hopefully....unless the cowards in the taliban hide behind the women and children like they usually do....

    February 12, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. CJ

    Go get em!! Good Luck and God be with all our troops, OORAH!

    February 12, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ndmai33

    God please protect our love ones in the battle feild, USA please pray for our soldiers

    February 12, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. dinomight

    God bless our troops, God bless the innocent of Marjah. God bless or president obama.

    February 12, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  13. oldcop

    To all the troops, God Bless you all for the job you are doing, with out you we all would not be free. My family is praying for you and your safe return home.

    February 12, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ely

    Please pray for my brother and his batallion. Marine Corps.....Godspeed, Gabby. Love you.

    February 12, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bob

    Let's not forget the Canadians, the best combat troops in the world. Go get em'

    February 12, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  16. MarineFriend

    Dear God, Surround your hand around our Marines and bring them safely home. Proud Friend Of Marines

    February 12, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Pablo

    God Bless Him!!!

    February 12, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Ms. Scott-Bruce

    Father let no weapos form against us prosper. Be A Fence All Around US each and Every DAy...Our Father Which arent In Heaven, Bless our President & Our Troops To Return Home Safely. Bless the families & friends of all the troops. And My Fiance' Sgt. E. Bruce.

    February 12, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Mike

    All for nothing, what a waste of money and lives

    February 12, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Prospect Hill

    We dedicate our song "A Patriots Anthem" that we wrote for the troops out to all the men and women risking their lives out there.. "For everything you do, We salute to you"

    February 12, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  21. John

    Lets go get em guys and gals. Keep trying taliban but we'll kick the living **** out of you. NATO is the strongest armed organization and you're all in our prayers. Whether American, Canadian, British, anyone, God bless you and continue to do what you feel is right. We thank you for all you do to make the world a safer place.

    February 12, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Ray

    I love the efforts of the US- marines and other Nato forces, may God of Abraham strenghten you and guide u to victory. Am proud of America eventhough am African.God bless America.

    February 12, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Chuck M

    To: SSgt M As you know, freedom isnt free, but because we fight, we are free, even free to post asinine comments like the fine Mr. Gaylord. I admire your eloquent entry, I dont have as much class as you so I will just speak my mind. I am sure there are plenty of politics none of us know about. But let me tell you one thing, if we didnt take it to them, there would be many more dates to remember other than 9/11 here on our home ground. If you and I were side by side in a muddy hole, cold, hungry, scared but protecting our way of life, and if that muddy hole was on the outskirts of NYC, do you think Mr Gaylord would be in the hole with us? Luv you Staff, great blog, Sgt C M

    February 12, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Joe

    give 'em hell and show the enemy no compasion for they will not show you any.

    February 12, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Jon K. Burns

    Keep the Marines and all the other troops in your thoughts and prayers, as they say, "this is the make or break" move for our guys over in Afghanistan. I only wish that every AMERICAN cared as much as those of us who have family over there!

    February 12, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Dogwood

    Thank God, that President Obama; after three months of spot light debate, decided to play
    commander in chief. I wonder how many US Troops died in that three months?
    Our Country in time of war, has no room for politics. Also the President of the United states of America is suppose to respect both parties and all colors and heritage's. And what is up with the media? Front page news about the number of troops, routs and equipment we are going to use.
    I guess that is the definition of a Democrat!
    GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS AND AMERICA............. United We Stand.

    February 12, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Brandon

    I have friends in the army, and the marines. I even have friends in the australian army that is involved who arent actually talked about at all...However, Good luck to you all, fight with honor and Ill be praying for all you.

    February 12, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Bill Kauffman

    Can't say thank you enough to the guys and gals that are out there on the front line. Been there done that in Viet Nam, so I can appreciate how they feel. I am not a religious person, but if there is a God I hope that he protects each and every one of you regardless of what country you are representing. ooorah!!!

    February 12, 2010 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  29. the prophet

    Its shocking that so many people call on God to help in military aggression. They claim their religion is one of tolerance and peace yet they go on the crusade. Do they really think Jesus would join their dirty war in Afghanistan?

    February 12, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Chris

    I love the media. They are our enemy's #1 source of intelegence.

    February 12, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Truce!

    Isn't it customary to declare a truce during the Olympic Games? How about we observe that again?

    February 12, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Brian

    Good luck to the American and Canadian troops that have to clear the hornets nest. Hoping the actually are able to hold the ground and not give it away by leaving.

    February 12, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  33. debbie

    May GOD keep watch over our brave sons, husbands, brothers and fathers as they go into harm's way.

    February 12, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  34. A Finnesy

    My sister is statinoed at Role 3 Hospital at KAF, she is the one that helps our guys and gals out when they come into the hospital. Please pray for their endurance. Just because they are not in immediate combat, they too have a lot on their plate. I love you Role 3. You are in my prayers.

    February 12, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  35. MOM 4R MARINES

    God Bless all the military in this offensive operation. May God protect them and keep them safe. I know all their fallen brothers are watching over them. I know our Marines will kick butt and succeed, they have been planning this for some time and I am sure they are very pumped up. They won in Iraq and they will in Afghanistan too! We must support them 100% regardless of anyone’s political opinions. To all the families of those deployed, hang in there… I feel your worry… I know your pain… I know what is going through your minds… Keep remembering this is what our sons and daughters chose to do and we must stand behind them 100%. They are the best trained military in the world! They know what they are doing! As a mom of a Marine that deployed 3 times in 4 years my heart is with all of you as well. Thank you for sharing your sons and daughters. GOOOOOOO MARINES!!!!! My son may have finished his active duty, but I still have thousands of sons and daughters in the Corps! Stay Safe!

    Semper Fi
    Patty

    February 12, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  36. where are your hearts

    The US commiting the same crimes over and over again. The United States will again proove its disrespects for human rights and human lifes. The list of massacres and murders fo the innocent gets longer and longer. Stop the US crimes against humanity!

    February 12, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  37. pete

    you are so right Lonnie. But Obama will not only change Americas mind but the whole world.

    February 12, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  38. insight

    god bless all the civilians over there stuck in the middle.

    February 12, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Chuck M

    SSV Speed Strength Violence Semper Fi Ladies and Gents, you are already heroes, now shoot straight and come home. Sgt C M

    February 12, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Ryan

    Stay safe! Protect eachother and prove there's a way to finish this job successfully.

    February 12, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Susan

    Dear Lonnie, My son and America's sons and daughters are right in the middle of this. Give a Mother a break huh?

    February 12, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Richie

    LETS GET IT ON>>>>>>BRING ON THE TALIBAN> GET SOME

    February 12, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  43. techno

    Shut off the camera"s and let them do what they are trained to do.

    February 12, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  44. SSgt M

    Dear LONNIE GAYLORD

    There are a myriad of reasons we are in Afghanistan and most of them have to do with allowing you to even be able to type on this blog. A large percentage of the information on this is classified but the majority is not. I suggest you educate yourself on this subject before you further degrade the sacrafices all of the men and women fighting away from home make every hour of the day. If we did not persue the enemy that is intent on killing us to their homeland, they certainly persue us to ours more often.

    February 12, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Casual Observer

    Hey Heavho – check out the numbers and relative size. Our neighbors to the north are about 1/10 our population – so on par – their 2500 is like our 25000. Give 'em a break. We're all in this together. They didn't start it – but they are doing their part.

    February 12, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Tim Goggin

    The Marines are the tip of the spear. I pray for safe passage for all the troops from all of the NATO countries who are part of this spear

    OORAH to my Marines
    I would rather it was me there instead of you, I have already lived a lot of life.
    Semper Fi
    Tim

    February 12, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Don

    "Get 'er done!"
    Don
    3 BCT, 1 CAV DIV
    OIF I/II
    "Infantry...everything else is support"

    February 12, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Jarrod

    YES!! GO GET THEM! I myself have just returned from afghanistan, traveled through marjah few times... still have my devil dogs over there fightin too!! i pray everyday for for every troops return home to there loved ones! Gen. nicholson is a very smart an talented man and he knows is stuff!! hes going to lead them to this city and once again the US will have victory in our hands!! god bless everyone!

    SEMPER FI

    February 12, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Jaime Greer

    I'm praying for all the troops to be at their sharpest,destroy the enemy and come home safe and proud of the job well done. Then peace.

    February 12, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Doris Daniel

    Must we announce to the world about all our war plans? Wars were fought successfully in the past without telling the enemy what we were doing. The enemy tunes into the same TV stations we do. I don't want to know before it happens and I would suppose our Troops would just as well not tell the enemy they are on the way.

    February 12, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  51. jesse

    let's get it done.

    February 12, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  52. chicago

    I will, Jean

    February 12, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Doug K

    let them remember the days they decided to mess with us!!! Let them regret they ever did the things they did! The time is now to do it RIGHT!! My utmost respect to all of those that serve our great nation and to those who support us as our allies! Thank you for your service to me and my country! Thank you!!

    Now Kick the S*** outta them!! Go NATO!!!!!!

    February 12, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  54. SSgt M

    "No man or woman be etitled to the blessings of freedom unless they be vigilant in it's preservation." – GEN Douglas MacArthur

    February 12, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Austin

    OORAH! GET SOME!

    February 12, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  56. heavho

    go Canada!!... with all 2,500 of your troops eh?

    February 12, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  57. K Brown

    My Prayers are with each and every last one of you and the family that are back at home supporting you. pound them and don't let up

    February 12, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  58. LONNIE GAYLORD

    I find it amazing that people can sound off like this is a justified war. All the talk about fighting for our freedoms, our security, doesn't make an sense at all. Does God only bless US troops. Does God turn his back on the Afgan people fighting foreign troops? We have no business having our young troops in that part of the world-be it Iraq, Afganistan, or Pakistan. Our country will only be hurt by pursuing these unjust military adventures. How could we have not learned this from Vietnam. Young men and women on both sides of this ill fated insanity will die and for what?

    February 12, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Maria Stansbury

    Please, keep praying for our sons, husbands, brothers, fathers and mothers.
    Please remember their sacrifies. They are people just like you with a family, with dreams to live anf enjoy life and family.

    Thank you for you all's support.

    Army wife

    February 12, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  60. hoddinr

    The first wave went in via Helicopters! Right into the center of Marjah !

    Clearing the IED's in front of the citidel was a fake out!

    Great strategy!

    Reported by BBC –

    Go get em!

    February 12, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  61. L.T.

    for the soldiers, my brothers and sisters in arms, in that stretch, with a mission to accomplish.. get in, get back safe, y'all are in our hearts and our prayers.. "HOOAH"

    February 12, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  62. tool4you

    Ya, also pray for the 80,000 civilians surrounding this area . The US does not need more war crimes. Way to go Obama! War whore.

    February 12, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Chad

    Yes we have numerous Canadian troops over there as well numerous American troops also fall under Canadian Leadership in the Kandahar region. I just returned and thank the United States for there commitment and continual support for Canadian troops in Afghanistan. God Bless.

    February 12, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Tarah

    Go Get them Marines!! God Bless you and all that you do!! May God protect you in these long hours and bring nothing but good to you!! From one Military Family to another we love you all!!

    February 12, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  65. http://twitter.com/whybs

    May our weapons, training, planning crush the enemy and protect our troops.

    I wholeheartedly support McChrystal, Obama, our troops, and wonderful country!

    Good luck & go get 'em!

    February 12, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Dave K

    Make 'em pay.

    Semper Fi

    February 12, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  67. jww

    For all of the men and women facing this confrontation. I'm WW2 Vet's son and right now this battle is hardly even heard in the population of the US. It should be the one and only headlilne communicated to every living soul that is standing behind you. The country as a whole is not getting the message. Keep the brotherhood of your fellow soldiers for there is a lot of us around here that are "solid" behind you 100%.

    February 12, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  68. kenny belvin

    God be with you brave warriors.

    February 12, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  69. JB

    Thoughts and prayers to all the troops, especially my friend in the air and the other Canadians.

    February 12, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Sharon Gale

    God Bless my son and his fellow marines of 1st Battalion, 6th. We are praying for your protection. Love, Marine Mom x 2

    February 12, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Pete

    Barack Hussein Obama! Barack Hussein Obama! We are so lucky to live in the era of Barack Hussein Obama. He is the greatest President we have ever had. It is because of his leadership we are finally winning the war. Shame on you republicans who started this war and killed our economy. You got us in a hole and only a great leader like Barack Hussein Obama can lead us out. We are now building the economy back up after you failed us. Barack Hussein Obama will bring in more jobs and every American will have health care.

    February 12, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  72. marilyn

    God Bless our troops, God Bless President Obama...he knows what he is doing...

    February 12, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Brad

    For the Afghans, Americans and Canadians fighting alongside each other, know that we support you, that you are just in your cause, and that we at home honour your fight for their freedom.

    February 12, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  74. justice

    freedom and tyranny, justice and revenge, Wars were fought, battles raged – no matter what time period or civilization we may reflect upon, only thing prevailed in all. That being said for as long as there is breath within our bodies, and blood in our veins, we will be the ignorant and pathetic creatures that we are destined to be. If only the average man and woman knew what WAR is really like, then would be more cognizant about what WAR actually does to our humanity. God bless an end to all wars – then only will the lives and deaths of those involved will carry meaning.

    February 12, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Tom

    We pray for the success and safe return of our troops.

    February 12, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  76. wallace

    "we will not fail" george w. bush
    obama is just carrying on what was already started.
    if you dont believe me, ask anyone at the pentagon that knows.
    enough of the politics....
    prayers out for our troops..get some, get some...
    the only good taliban is a dead taliban..if they run theyre taliban, if they stay still, they are well disciplined taliban.....get some...get some....
    former tank commander 1 ID

    February 12, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  77. TWS

    Thank you, you brave men and women. Thank you to their dear family and friends as well. We love you all!

    February 12, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  78. pasanindeewara

    yes.. pls set the full stop to Islamic terror..

    February 12, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  79. DeSomato

    I wish all the soldiers the best and we'll be home soon as possible...someone from Hungary who LOVE USA...

    February 12, 2010 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  80. ourhumandebate

    I'm proud that I finally have a President that was willing to stand up to political pressure and continued to staff Afghanistan despite so much backlash politically from the bogus Iraq2 war. Afghanistan is a real threat to our safety and worldwide stability so long as the Taliban are active. Destroying the Taliban will also rid us of a tremendous amount of opium if we follow through with what, in my amateur opinion, is our duty. After all, we did irrigate the valley that brought us the ingredients for the life-ruining, life-taking heroin. Maybe we replace the poppy fields with tobacco (start outsourcing the tobacco industry to get our people less attached to an industry that is a complete scam). This move causes Afghanistan's income levels to fall significantly down from the opium trading business' days. However, they have an economic root to start from, and can strengthen their voice to the overall human discussion as appropriate. We should advance our own voice in the world via this maneuver to invest in a future worldwide truce and understanding amongst nations all striving for a successful global economy.

    February 12, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Keith

    Prayers out to all those fighting this battles and their families!

    February 12, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Bestill

    I do hope this offensive works. I believe the General when he says that if they can capture Marjah, they can cut off the drug money funding the Taliban and Alqaeda. It sure sounds like a good plan to me. I wish they could cut all their n_ts off!

    February 12, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Keith

    LHeck: Leave it to you to be the first one to turn a military operation into a political statement! Chances are OBama knew little of it. The Generals develop the strategy, if anything OBama said "OK". Just keep the support behind the troops, leave the politicians out!

    February 12, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Fabian

    may god be with the good people of Marjah tonight

    February 12, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  85. fred

    NOW THE USA gets to keep the STASH. WooooHooooo!!! Look out big cities, etc..... HERe it comes.

    February 12, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  86. BUNNY

    To all the men and women who are fighting.....WE LOVE YOU....

    February 12, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  87. grateultom

    GO Get Them....God's Speed to the troops

    February 12, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  88. KPA

    My prayers and thoughts are for those who are fighting for us and thier families. I'm sure they all will fight with honor and pride!!
    Semper Fi!!

    February 12, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Bourqueman

    My Prayers. It would be nice to rid the world of these brainwashed criminals. Good bless troops!!

    February 12, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Sgt M.

    Jean K,

    Our prayers are always with our brothers out there,

    God Bless

    S/F
    Sgt M.

    February 12, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  91. 1st Gen American

    Good luck to our men and women over there. America is behing them.

    February 12, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Benson Martin

    Make it happen. We are proud of what our troops do for us and thank them for their service and sacrifice.

    February 12, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  93. USA

    Give 'em hell boys!

    February 12, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  94. MH

    God Bless and Protect all our troops. Preserve them from the dangers and the voilence of the enemy. Be ever present to those who serve, intercede for us that wicked plans may be defeated.

    Watch over those whom You have called to honorably serve in the military, especially my son and those within our family and community.

    Guardian Angel protect them.

    Amen.

    February 12, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  95. L. Heck

    WOW! How can anyone HONESTLY say President Obams has nuckled under to the
    Taliban.. Now, it seems as though the WAR is being fought in the right way.
    Thank GOD for President Obama and the British and etc.

    February 12, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Greg Kowal

    Only thing is to wish these boys good luck and hope they'll come back home in one piece. They are risking their lives for us while we're sitting home in our comfortable sofa chairs.

    February 12, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  97. MarineWife

    Keeping my Marine husband and all the other US Military members involved in this operation in my prayers. We will not tire, we will not faulter, we will not fail-as stated by President George W Bush, 9-11-2001.

    February 12, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  98. LilyB

    maybe i should have read this article first....i see they were mentioned....I just got done watching the news and was a little fired up!!!

    February 12, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  99. LilyB

    Does anyone even know that we also have canadians there that are supporting and partaking in these events.......

    February 12, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  100. Jean K

    Pray for my son and all military in Marjah

    February 12, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
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