commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

The Marines in Afghanistan are doing it ‘Their’ way…..

A Marine operation began last month to flush the Taliban out of Marja in central Helmand. Some U.S. officials question whether the operation is the best use of Marine resources.

[ A Marine operation began last month to flush the Taliban out of Marja in central Helmand. Some U.S. officials question whether the operation is the best use of Marine resources. ]

Everyone from the White House down was happy to get the Marines in on the surge in Afghanistan….

Because they are self-contained they were able to deploy to Afghanistan in a hurry and have been the spearhead of the operation to take back the Taliban infested Marja region…..

Everyone is happy right?


Not the Army bosses that have the responsibility of running the war in that country…..

In fact…they have run into a roadblock…..

The Marines…...

Because the Marines have done their own thing..taking everything with them….and operating with mostly their own…..they have put General McChystal in a bit of a jam…..

He wants to move the Marines around in separate units wherever he needs them and that has not happened….The Marines..(who thru some technical means don’t report up the chain to McChyrstal the theatre commander.. )

So a lot of people are scratching their heads…and  the Marines just keep doing their thing….

Now this story is in the Washington Post…

……so lets see if someone doesn’t get the horn and issues some new orders?

Or do they get the go ahead to continue to do their thing?

Here’s the piece…….

U.S. Marine commanders have a different view of the dusty, desolate landscape that surrounds Delaram. They see controlling this corner of remote Nimruz province as essential to promoting economic development and defending the more populated parts of southern Afghanistan.

The Marines are constructing a vast base on the outskirts of town that will have two airstrips, an advanced combat hospital, a post office, a large convenience store and rows of housing trailers stretching as far as the eye can see. By this summer, more than 3,000 Marines — one-tenth of the additional troops authorized by President Obama in December — will be based here.

With Obama’s July 2011 deadline to begin reducing U.S. forces looming over the horizon, the Marines have opted to wage the war in their own way.

“If we’re going to succeed here, we have to experiment and take risks,” said Brig. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson, the top Marine commander in Afghanistan. “Just doing what everyone else is doing isn’t going to cut it.”

The Marines are pushing into previously ignored Taliban enclaves. They have set up a first-of-its-kind school to train police officers. They have brought in a Muslim chaplain to pray with local mullahs and deployed teams of female Marines to reach out to Afghan women.

The Marine approach — creative, aggressive and, at times, unorthodox — has won many admirers within the military. The Marine emphasis on patrolling by foot and interacting with the population, which has helped to turn former insurgent strongholds along the Helmand River valley into reasonably stable communities with thriving bazaars and functioning schools, is hailed as a model of how U.S. forces should implement counterinsurgency strategy.

But the Marines’ methods, and their insistence that they be given a degree of autonomy not afforded to U.S. Army units, also have riled many up the chain of command in Kabul and Washington, prompting some to refer to their area of operations in the south as “Marineistan.” They regard the expansion in Delaram and beyond as contrary to the population-centric approach embraced by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, and they are seeking to impose more control over the Marines.

The U.S. ambassador in Kabul, Karl W. Eikenberry, recently noted that the international security force in Afghanistan feels as if it comprises 42 nations instead of 41 because the Marines act so independently from other U.S. forces.

“We have better operational coherence with virtually all of our NATO allies than we have with the U.S. Marine Corps,” said a senior Obama administration official involved in Afghanistan policy.

Some senior officials at the White House, at the Pentagon and in McChrystal’s headquarters would rather have many of the 20,000 Marines who will be in Afghanistan by summer deploy around Kandahar, the country’s second-largest city, to assist in a U.S. campaign to wrest the area from Taliban control instead of concentrating in neighboring Helmand province and points west. According to an analysis conducted by the National Security Council, fewer than 1 percent of the country’s population lives in the Marine area of operations.

They question whether a large operation that began last month to flush the Taliban out of Marja, a poor farming community in central Helmand, is the best use of Marine resources. Although it has unfolded with fewer than expected casualties and helped to generate a perception of momentum in the U.S.-led military campaign, the mission probably will tie up two Marine battalions and hundreds of Afghan security forces until the summer.


March 14, 2010 - Posted by | Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, Politics, Updates, Women | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] U.S. ambassador in Kabul, Karl W. More: The Marines in Afghanistan are doing it 'Their' way … Share and […]

    Pingback by The Marines in Afghanistan are doing it 'Their' way … | alba news | March 14, 2010 | Reply

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