June 28th, 2010
10:24 AM ET

The 'bleeding ulcer' of Marjah

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2010/06/27/sotu.marjah.afghanistan.cnn"%5D

When Gen. David Petraeus takes over command in Afghanistan, his first and most urgent problem may be what the ousted commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal famously called "a bleeding ulcer" - the Taliban stronghold of Marjah in Helmand province.

Marjah was supposed to be the showpiece of the clear, hold and build strategy. The idea was to use the military to clear out the Taliban and then win the hearts of the community with better government services and a workable local power structure.

Four months into the Marjah operation, Time magazine offers the assessment of a company commander on the Taliban presence in Marjah: "It depends on what your metric is for 'clear.' They're obviously not gone, and they're not going to be gone."

According to a report in The Washington Post, there have been more U.S. military deaths in Marjah this month than in the first month of the operation. Taliban intimidation of civilians is rampant.

But Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently testified that the gloom-and-doom reports are premature, that the Marjah effort just needs more time.

"The reality is that the military operations in Marjah were successful, and a place that had been controlled by the Taliban is no longer - for two years or more - is no longer controlled by the Taliban," Gates said. "Getting the civilian coalition and Afghan forces in there - the civilian officials building the development programs is moving forward, but it is moving slower than we originally anticipated."

Panetta: Afghan war has 'serious problems'
Is Panetta right about Afghanistan? Sen. Saxby Chambliss talks about Panetta's statements

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Filed under: Marjah • Petraeus
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. BUBBA -- ALABAMA STYLE!!!

    If we can't use "nukes" then wht don't we just run over all those mud huts with bulldosers.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      As if they don't have enough to worry about with the Predator drones watching their every move you now want them bulldosed, how barbaric i feel for them they must be fretting all of the time wondering if their next breath will be their last. They need a strong woman looking out for them keeping an eagle eye open for 'enemies' so they can sleep at night or 'cracking one off' to relieve the pressure...

      June 28, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • Onesmallvoice

        How disgusting you are,Funny boy!When are you going to start blogging on our side??? You know we're right,don't you?Beides,how would you feel if your own family were to be on the receiving end of those ungodly drones and would those filthy creeps who just killed your family still be the great heroes that you make them out to be???

        June 28, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Onesmallvoice

      What's wrong with you??? Have you absolutly no sense of decency in you at all???

      June 28, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • Daniel-2

        No I don't!!!! Ha ha!

        June 29, 2010 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
      • Daniel-2

        I will "start blogging on our side" when hell freezes over and i can skate over your anguished soul.

        June 29, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.

      We be better off to use the un-man planes to drop the fire bombs we have on the enemy!! That way you get all of them at one time...

      June 30, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Daniel-2

    I prefer to describe it as a bleeding haemorrhoid. caused by irritating @ss holes.

    June 28, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bangash

    Yesterday Americans had made Afghanistan a bleeding wound for the than USSR, TODAY a small portion of Marjah in Helmand province of Afghanistan has proved a bleeding Ulcer for Americans. Here how history has repeated itself. There is nothing wrong in accepting when the wrong has been done. Occupation of Afghanistan was wrong decision and time has also proved it wrong. So take back all your guns and fighters send your Engineers, Doctors, Teachers, social workers and build Afghanistan the way you have destroyed during last three decades. This is the only solution to get out of this quagmire.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      If any "Engineers, Doctors, Teachers, social workers" were sent they would be kidnapped for ransom by the taliban.

      June 28, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • Onesmallvoice

        Is that right,Funny boy?

        June 28, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry Valecia, Calif.

        You got that right!!!

        June 30, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ImNoExpert

    Its all the fault of those right wing thugs in Washington

    June 28, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.

      That is for sure... But the People still vote the Republicans into office!!! Figure that one out...

      June 30, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. OMMS

    No matter we like it OR not, If we want to end this conflict in Afghanistan, we have to get help from Pakistan, so they can force Afghan Taliban to get on with negotiations with USA.

    We have already tried alone for 9 years alone and its not working..

    We will have to accept the fact that Pakistan Army / ISI will never let India get into any role in Afghanistan..because they do not want to get encircled by india from both sides..

    As soon as we realize above, we can we out of this mess in Afghanistan..

    June 28, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Jester

      I think you have just struck bullseye sir. India- Pakistan thing has caused lots of problems for US-NATO in Afghanistan. None of them least concerned about Afghansitan or Taliban. India wants to establish in Afghanistan to make problems for Pakistan and Pakistan just is not going to let that happen. India has opened serveral counslates , which actually act as base for their operations inside Pakistan. Both countries have Militia were working for them , these Militia are shadowed under war on terror thats why nobody has ever seen them.

      The point is why should Pakistan be concerned about Afghanistan stability when India will get a bigger share ,courtsy USA

      June 29, 2010 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Sandra

      As long as lobbyists supporting the interests of foreign countries, such as Israel, are allowed to siphon money out of our political system for their country, we will be doing their dirty work. They will bankrupt US. They are not acting in the best interest of this country, they are protecting Israel. We have no allegiance to Israel. We have allegiance to the US. Write to your representatives for protection from lobby groups that support foreign agencies. Make them register as foreign agents so they are transparent to the actual citizens of this country.

      mitworld.mit.edu/video/488

      June 29, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry Valecia, Calif.

        More money goes to Haiti than goes to Israel!!! We have sent more money to a lot more Countries too... But the only one you complain about is Israel... Both wars are costing times more money than we send there!!!

        June 30, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • Morshed

        The Earlier ordinary American understand the better is for AMERICA. But the concerned lobby will not allow the people to wake up.

        July 4, 2010 at 4:58 am | Report abuse |