Marines Launch United Afghan Offensive to Drive Out Taliban
February 13, 2010
(ChattahBox)—A first of its kind Afghan offensive began early this morning in a Taliban stronghold, in which Marines and Afghan soldiers worked side-by-side, with each company of Marines partnered with a contingent of soldiers from the Afghan army. And before the offensive was launched in the wee hours of the morning, local tribal elders were sought out for their support and Afghan President Hamid Karzai issued the final order to proceed with the mission. Just five-hours before the combined forces entered the town of Marja, Karzai gave his OK. This is the first major campaign that was authorized solely by President Karzai. And after receiving the go ahead, Brig. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson, commander of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, told his staff, “We’re a go.”
The major offensive first began with CH-53 Super Stallion transport helicopters and mine-resistant vehicles. And then AV-8B Harrier fighter jets and AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters were deployed. The goal of the mission is to drive out the Taliban from Helmand province and return it to the control of the President Karzai’s government.
According to an account by The New York Times, the commanders in the field have high hopes for the strategy to restore Afghanistan to normal governance.
“We’re going to take Marja away from the Taliban,” said Brig. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson. Doing so, he said, could result in “a fundamental change in Helmand and, by extension, the entire nation of Afghanistan.”
See The New York Times for more.
Photo Source: Staff photo/Washington Post