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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?

Nope…..

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.

More…….

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March 14, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, Politics, Updates, Women | , , , , , | 1 Comment

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?

Nope…..

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.

More…….

March 14, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, Politics, Updates, Women | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The war comes to Yemen……

Well… what do you know?……Sen. Lieberman mentions Yemen and the New York Times writes the story……

It turns out…. like I said in my earlier post on the senators remarks….. that the CIA IS operating there (and so are the military’s Special Ops people)…..

It used to be quietly to world (the people there… good and bad, of course, know who they are)….but now that they have made the New York Times…I’m sure there will be danger craving reporters going there, to get interviews, and pictures for the “news at 10” programs……

More to come….I’m sure………

December 27, 2009 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Military, Politics, Travel | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Another process piece…..McChrystal vs the Civilians in the administration….The General plans to win…. not hold in place……

In a very important piece in the Washington Post (that will no doubt generate more pieces in the Times and Cable Networks)…..Rajiv Chandrasekaran takes up the maneuvering between the military and the administration’s political planners who view Obama’s tasking orders early this month for the military as strictly a ‘surge’ then a phased withdrawal going into the 2012 elections….and the military (Sec Gates included) as a call to engage an enemy and try to ‘win’ the campaign in Afghanistan with a moderate makeover like the military has done in Iraq……

While the sell by the President ( Commmader-in Chief ) was for a “surge’…President Obama, and Secretary Gates, both, have already backed away from their initial pledge to have the troops heading home en mass in 2011……

I know from a strictly logistical point of view the U.S. military will take a much longer period to get 30,000 to 40,000 troops in country then was advertised when President Obama called for the move….

In another sense the media is going to paint this as McChrystal as not following his bosses orders…that would be a mistake…Presidents give orders…General follow them…Sergeants get it done….

The same applies here…and it’s gonna take more time then the political people the White House think….

That’s the way it goes…..

General McChrystal has been a ‘snake eater’ for a long time….

Secretary of Defense Gates has been around for long time also…….

If these two get it right…The President will be assured a second term and another Nobel Peace Prize………

And a place in American history not just by his color…….

December 26, 2009 Posted by | Other Things | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Afghanistan is not Iraq……General Patreaus's strategy dropped……….

General Patreaus’s counterinsurgency strategy of sending the troops out to the boonies to meld with the population, and take the fight to the enemy was successful in Iraq, combined with the ‘surge’……but not so in Afghanistan ( several local bases have been overrun, with casualties ). And so, the White House, seeing headlines of these situations, and the causality reports (which are very sensitive to the US media) , has decided that instead of bolstering up that policy… they will begin to go to the century’s old ‘castle and protect the population one’…….

It has become evident that the President ( echo’s of Viet Nam?) really has no choice but to increase the troop level in the country. McChrystal has been successful in pushing the Pentagon, and the White House in that direction……but the Commander-in-Chief…ever the organizer and compromiser (and politician ) seems to be moving towards a middle ground between Vice President Biden’s call for a smaller footprint and an aggressive ‘hunter killer’ units in the bushes strategy, and McChrstal’s original do the ‘whole 9 yards’ scenario……..

Wel….after all……Patreaus was Bush’s favorite…wasn’t he?

October 28, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Afghanistan is not Iraq……General Patreaus’s strategy dropped……….

General Patreaus’s counterinsurgency strategy of sending the troops out to the boonies to meld with the population, and take the fight to the enemy was successful in Iraq, combined with the ‘surge’……but not so in Afghanistan ( several local bases have been overrun, with casualties ). And so, the White House, seeing headlines of these situations, and the causality reports (which are very sensitive to the US media) , has decided that instead of bolstering up that policy… they will begin to go to the century’s old ‘castle and protect the population one’…….

It has become evident that the President ( echo’s of Viet Nam?) really has no choice but to increase the troop level in the country. McChrystal has been successful in pushing the Pentagon, and the White House in that direction……but the Commander-in-Chief…ever the organizer and compromiser (and politician ) seems to be moving towards a middle ground between Vice President Biden’s call for a smaller footprint and an aggressive ‘hunter killer’ units in the bushes strategy, and McChrstal’s original do the ‘whole 9 yards’ scenario……..

Wel….after all……Patreaus was Bush’s favorite…wasn’t he?

October 28, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The battle at Wanat, Aftghanistan…and the need for more troops……..

The Washington Post has a good piece on the battle for the small village of Wanat, in Afghanistan……it is graphic and pointed in its nature…..while you might get one conclusion from it…I think I get THE conclusion from it……

We need more troops…. And we need to be better…The story points to a strategy initiated by General Patreaus and followed on General McChrystal to embed troops out in the boonies with the population……..But without adequate reinforcements, intel, or manpower  the strategy is getting people killed……..

I also read a piece about how the armored vehicles developed for Iraq, and delivered to Afghanistan that are useless…..Again…more troops and being better…….

Now I’m sure those two Generals are aware of the troubles, and issues the young soldiers have ‘in country’….which is why I think General McCrystal isn’t gonna let up on his request for more troops, equipment and nation building in Afghanistan……

Again…..do it right Mr President, or send the troops home…..the soldiers, who put their lives on the line, deserve your support, and the best this country has……

Update:….another overrunning of an outpost with heavy causalities……and the beginnings of a rollback of General Patreaus’s counterinsurgency doctrine of embedding the troops in with the population…..due to too few forces…

October 4, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments