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More with Marine Company K……..The goings get rough…..and the local’s understand…..

[An American Marine walked past an Afghan cemetery in Marja on Tuesday.]

We continue our journey in the current U.S. Marine and Afghan offensive in the Marja area in Afghanistan……This piece explores the ground war which is very concentrated after a quiet arrival of the troops….

The embeds also seem to be more interested in reporting the civilian deaths part of the war…which is understandable….after all ….they are civilians…not soilders….who’s objective is to defeat the enemy …and take ground……but this is a war..and people do get hurt and killed …..

…On must remember that in deference to Iraq…..the Aftghans are better, tougher fighters in general than the Iraq’s where…and a big part of the reason for that is that the United States trained a lot of these people years ago to fight the Russians ( who quit the area )…..What comes around…Goes around, eh?

This from the New York Times piece from the embedded reporters……

Colonel Christmas, commander of the Third Battalion, Sixth Marines, had arrived near this place in northern Marja by helicopter just before dawn; his beleaguered Company K, after three days of heavy fighting, was finally getting resupplied. Bridges had been put over the canals nearby, so roads could reopen.

“The resistance has been a little thicker than I would have liked for the forces I have,” the colonel said, as he led a foot patrol over to the house later in the day.

On Sunday, Company K had been in its fighting positions a couple of hundred yards away from the family’s mud-walled compound when the rocket or rockets struck it. Since then, several versions of what happened have emerged.

Eager to demonstrate the coalition’s commitment to avoid civilian casualties, and to take responsibility for them when they do happen, the American commander in Afghanistan, Gen.Stanley A. McChrystal, immediately issued a statement saying that 12 civilians had been accidentally killed, that the rocket launcher had missed its target by 300 meters and would be suspended from service, and that apologies had been conveyed to President Hamid Karzai. An investigation was ordered.

The investigation found that the targeting system — the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System — had not been defective, a spokesman for the NATO-led coalition force, Lt. Col. Todd Vician of theUnited States Air Force, said Tuesday. He said the suspension was lifted, allowing the system to be returned to use as a defensive weapon. As to what did happen, however, he said, “We are still waiting for those results and hope to have an answer soon.”

To the Marines of Company K, and an embedded reporter accompanying them, one thing seemed clear: the company had not ordered a rocket strike on that house. At the time they were taking fire from many houses in the area.

“The original target of the two rockets was a compound where insurgents were delivering accurate, direct fire on an Afghan-ISAF joint team,” according to a Sunday news release by the NATO-led force, the International Security Assistance Force.

That team was Company K, with an Afghan Army unit attached to it. “The compound that was hit was not the one we were targeting,” the company commander said that day.

After the Marines saw children stream out of the ruined house, the company commander immediately ordered a cease-fire. With Taliban snipers still trying to pick them off, his men raced across the flat, open expanse between their positions and the house, where medics rendered what first aid they could.

And this……

At a news conference on Monday, the Afghan interior minister, Muhammad Hanif Atmar, flanked by the Afghan minister of defense and the army commander for Helmand, said that only 9 of the 12 dead in the house were civilians, and that the other 3 were Taliban insurgents who had forced their way into the house and used it as a fighting position.

He said local tribal leaders were “deeply saddened,” but not angry. “I will quote one of them,” Mr. Atmar said, “ ‘We are very sad about the civilian casualties but if nine civilians have died, hundreds of thousands will get freedom.’ ” Marja has 80,000 residents.

The Afghan government’s account seemed at best debatable on Tuesday. For one thing, if there had been weapons in the house, the Marines would most likely have found them.

At this point, though, the Americans are not jumping to any conclusions.

The Marines have bent over backwards to help things…..

In the mud-brick charnel house where the Afghans were killed, Hajji Karim, the local elder, took up Colonel Christmas’s offer of assistance on Tuesday.

The victims had already been dead for more than two days. Muslims believe in prompt burial, but the family had no way to carry the bodies through the battlefield to the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, 17 miles away. Would the Americans take them?

Within hours, a Marine Corps Osprey, a transport aircraft that can take off and land like a helicopter, put down nearby, taking enemy fire as it came in, and the Marines grimly loaded the bodies aboard for the trip to the cemetery.

February 17, 2010 Posted by | Counterpoints, Government, Media, Men, Military, Politics | , | 2 Comments

More with Marine Company K……..The goings get rough…..and the local's understand…..

[An American Marine walked past an Afghan cemetery in Marja on Tuesday.]

We continue our journey in the current U.S. Marine and Afghan offensive in the Marja area in Afghanistan……This piece explores the ground war which is very concentrated after a quiet arrival of the troops….

The embeds also seem to be more interested in reporting the civilian deaths part of the war…which is understandable….after all ….they are civilians…not soilders….who’s objective is to defeat the enemy …and take ground……but this is a war..and people do get hurt and killed …..

…On must remember that in deference to Iraq…..the Aftghans are better, tougher fighters in general than the Iraq’s where…and a big part of the reason for that is that the United States trained a lot of these people years ago to fight the Russians ( who quit the area )…..What comes around…Goes around, eh?

This from the New York Times piece from the embedded reporters……

Colonel Christmas, commander of the Third Battalion, Sixth Marines, had arrived near this place in northern Marja by helicopter just before dawn; his beleaguered Company K, after three days of heavy fighting, was finally getting resupplied. Bridges had been put over the canals nearby, so roads could reopen.

“The resistance has been a little thicker than I would have liked for the forces I have,” the colonel said, as he led a foot patrol over to the house later in the day.

On Sunday, Company K had been in its fighting positions a couple of hundred yards away from the family’s mud-walled compound when the rocket or rockets struck it. Since then, several versions of what happened have emerged.

Eager to demonstrate the coalition’s commitment to avoid civilian casualties, and to take responsibility for them when they do happen, the American commander in Afghanistan, Gen.Stanley A. McChrystal, immediately issued a statement saying that 12 civilians had been accidentally killed, that the rocket launcher had missed its target by 300 meters and would be suspended from service, and that apologies had been conveyed to President Hamid Karzai. An investigation was ordered.

The investigation found that the targeting system — the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System — had not been defective, a spokesman for the NATO-led coalition force, Lt. Col. Todd Vician of theUnited States Air Force, said Tuesday. He said the suspension was lifted, allowing the system to be returned to use as a defensive weapon. As to what did happen, however, he said, “We are still waiting for those results and hope to have an answer soon.”

To the Marines of Company K, and an embedded reporter accompanying them, one thing seemed clear: the company had not ordered a rocket strike on that house. At the time they were taking fire from many houses in the area.

“The original target of the two rockets was a compound where insurgents were delivering accurate, direct fire on an Afghan-ISAF joint team,” according to a Sunday news release by the NATO-led force, the International Security Assistance Force.

That team was Company K, with an Afghan Army unit attached to it. “The compound that was hit was not the one we were targeting,” the company commander said that day.

After the Marines saw children stream out of the ruined house, the company commander immediately ordered a cease-fire. With Taliban snipers still trying to pick them off, his men raced across the flat, open expanse between their positions and the house, where medics rendered what first aid they could.

And this……

At a news conference on Monday, the Afghan interior minister, Muhammad Hanif Atmar, flanked by the Afghan minister of defense and the army commander for Helmand, said that only 9 of the 12 dead in the house were civilians, and that the other 3 were Taliban insurgents who had forced their way into the house and used it as a fighting position.

He said local tribal leaders were “deeply saddened,” but not angry. “I will quote one of them,” Mr. Atmar said, “ ‘We are very sad about the civilian casualties but if nine civilians have died, hundreds of thousands will get freedom.’ ” Marja has 80,000 residents.

The Afghan government’s account seemed at best debatable on Tuesday. For one thing, if there had been weapons in the house, the Marines would most likely have found them.

At this point, though, the Americans are not jumping to any conclusions.

The Marines have bent over backwards to help things…..

In the mud-brick charnel house where the Afghans were killed, Hajji Karim, the local elder, took up Colonel Christmas’s offer of assistance on Tuesday.

The victims had already been dead for more than two days. Muslims believe in prompt burial, but the family had no way to carry the bodies through the battlefield to the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, 17 miles away. Would the Americans take them?

Within hours, a Marine Corps Osprey, a transport aircraft that can take off and land like a helicopter, put down nearby, taking enemy fire as it came in, and the Marines grimly loaded the bodies aboard for the trip to the cemetery.

February 17, 2010 Posted by | Counterpoints, Government, Media, Men, Military, Politics | , | 2 Comments

Company K , Third Marines moves on……

We gave you Company K of the Third Marines first night in combat already…….We now follow them through the eyes of the New York Times embed reports as the get involved in more combat, a combat injury and a missed round taking out a civilian house resulting in causalities……

The Dog would like to remind people that these reports are about a war.…..The Media has changed the rules in that they have become intolerant of civilian causalities…The Dog would like to remind us all that civilians die in wars…..smart enemies embed themselves into the civilian population, with the knowledge, that American the media will further their cause by reporting on ANY civilian deaths…….

This of course is stupid…..Soliders don’t deliberately mess up and go after civilians (and should try to keep civilian deaths to a minimum)…..but in the ‘ fog’ of war ‘all sort’s of things happen……One should be aware of that fact……

Here’s the start of the second Company K piece……..

[This scene  from Marja, Aftghanistan….could have been right out of Viet Nam ]

An errant American rocket strike on Sunday hit a compound crowded with Afghan civilians in the last Taliban stronghold in Helmand Province, killing at least 10 people, including 5 children, military officials said.

Avoiding such civilian deaths, which came on the second day of a major allied offensive around Marja, has been a cornerstone of the war strategy by the top American commander, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal. He apologized to PresidentHamid Karzai, saying, “We deeply regret this tragic loss of life.”

More about Company K, Third Marines………

Among the vanguard were Company K and an accompanying Afghan Army platoon, which remained alone in their area of the Taliban stronghold for the second day, engaged in off-and-on gun battles from 8:30 a.m. until just before sunset.

Two of the American company’s Marines were wounded by gunfire on Sunday, including one shot in an arm and another through his left shoulder shortly before the Himars rocket strike. No Afghan soldiers with the company had been wounded by nightfall.

The Marines had positioned themselves on Saturday night in one outpost and two small smaller patrol bases. The first shots from the Taliban began minutes after patrols left two of the positions on Sunday morning. Gunfire, along with occasional shoulder-fired rockets and mortars, boomed throughout the day, as the Taliban surrounded the company, probing and attacking from different directions as the hours passed.

More……..

February 14, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, Politics, Updates | , , | Leave a comment

First in Marja, Aftghanistan…. with Company K, Third Battalion, Sixth Marines……

The helicopters landed before dawn Saturday in a poppy field beside a row of mud-walled compounds. The Marines ran into the darkness and crouched through the rotor-whipped dust as their aircraft lifted away.

For the Marines of Company K, Third Battalion, Sixth Marines, the assault into the last large Taliban stronghold in Helmand Province was beginning. For almost all of them, this was to be their first taste of war. And an afternoon of small-arms combat was ahead.

But at first, these Marines, the vanguard for 6,000 NATO and Afghan troops streaming in to loosen the Taliban’s grip here permanently, met no resistance.

On the last miles of the ride in, the Marines were silent as the aircraft flew 200 feet above freshly sprouting fields. Irrigation canals glittered beneath the portholes, rolling past fast.

They did not know what to expect, beyond the fact that at least hundreds of insurgents were waiting for them, and that many would fight to keep their hold on this opium-poppy production center.

Company K is part of what many Marines call a surge battalion, one of the units assigned to Afghanistan after President Obama decided last year to increase the American troop level on the ground. It arrived in Afghanistan a month ago, and had waited for this moment. Its introduction to the war was a crash course.

As helicopter wheels touched soil, the aircraft filled with whoops, and the Marines stood and bolted for the tail ramp.

They moved briskly. Within minutes, the first Marines of Third Platoon were entering compounds to the landing zone’s north, checking for enemy fighters and booby traps. The rest of the platoon followed through the gate.

Sergeants and corporals urged a steady pace. “Go! Go! Go!” they said, spicing instructions with foul words. By 3 a.m., Company K had its toehold.

For more on their move to their other objectives and their first combat engagements…..

Welcome to real war Company K……….

February 13, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, Politics, Travel, Updates | , , , , | Leave a comment