Showing posts with label Marjah. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marjah. Show all posts

Sunday, January 10, 2016

U.S. Special Forces Soldier KIA in Marjar, Helmand

Matthew McClintock
U.S. Army Photo
A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier was killed during fighting in Marja district of Helmand province on January 5, 2016. SSG Matthew Q. McClintock, age 30, of 1st Battalion 19th Special Forces Group was killed by small arms fire. His SFODA was accompanying an Afghan SOF unit in an advisory capacity when it encountered insurgents. Two other SF Soldiers were wounded in the engagement. One rescue helicopter was waved off due to enemy fire and another rescue helicopter was grounded with its crew in the vicinity of the attack due to fire received or a mechanical issue. Four Afghan Special Ops personnel were also wounded. News reports indicate it took several hours to evacuate the wounded special operators due to the intense fighting. McClintock was on his third combat tour. He had previously served with the 1st Cavalry Division and the 1st Special Forces Group. He leaves behind a wife and infant son.

News Reports on the incident:

"Casualty Report", USFOR-A News Release, January 5, 2016.

"Afghanistan conflict: US casualties on special forces mission"BBC News, January 5, 2016.

"DoD Identifies Army Casualty", DoD News Release, January 6, 2016.

"DoD identifies Special Forces soldier killed in Afghanistan", Army Times, January 6, 2016.

"Pentagon identifies Army Special Forces soldier killed in Afghanistan", The Washington Post, January 6, 2015.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Marjah, Afghanistan: Lots of Money as a Stabilization Tool

The Marines are spending lots of money to secure the Marjah, Afghanistan area.  While the strategy seems to be working at the moment there is worry about what happens in Marjah when the Marines - and their money - leaves.  Read more in "More please, sir", The Economist, February 24, 2011.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Civil Military Operations Center in Marjah, Afghanistan - Improving Afghan Lives

The Civil Military Operations Center (CMOC) in Marjah, Afghanistan is improving the Marjah area through development and civic action projects. 
"CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Marines working at the Civil Military Operations Center in Marjah have improved Afghan lives during the few short months they have been in Afghanistan.  The Marines arrived in October 2010 and have created and implemented many projects within the Marjah area." 
Read the rest of the news release in "Marjah CMOC making a difference in Afghan's lives", DVIDS, February 5, 2011.  Click here to follow news stories about Marjah, Afghanistan.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Money as a Weapons System - Marjah, Afghanistan

A writer for McClatchy Newspapers reports that things are going well in Marjah, Afghanistan.  Of note is his description of how the economy is picking up - primarily jump-started by money being doled out by the Marines.  "Money as a Weapons System" would seem to be a favorite tactic of the Marines in Marjah and . . . for the time being (according to the report) it would seem to be working.  See "Tailor shops displace opium bazaar in Afghan town", McClatchy Newspapers, February 17, 2011.

For information about using money as a way of winning the war see "Commander's Guide to Money as a Weapons System Handbook", Handbook 09-27, April 2009 (posted on the United States Army Combined Arms Center here).  Some observers are not that convinced that the concept is a good one - see commentary by Andrew Wilder, a research director at Feinstein International Center at Tufts University, in "A weapons system based on wishful thinking",, September 16, 2009.  (the article is dated but . . . ).

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Operation Moshtarak in Marjah, Afghanistan: An Analysis After One Year

A lot of folks are looking back one year to try to determine what was accomplished in The Battle of Marjah.  Last February 2010 one of the biggest operations of the Afghan War commenced when U.S. Army, U.S. Marines, British, Afghan and other coalition partners poured thousands of men into the area to wrest it from Taliban control.  The campaign did not go as quick or as well as planned.  It was a highly-publicized operation and was going to be a test bed for the later campaign in the battle for Kandahar and its surrounding area.  This week a lot of commentators and observers are focused on Marjah in an attempt to evaluate the accomplishments.  Some of those reports are provided below:

Marines of 1/6th choppered into Marjah at the beginning of the attack.  Read some of their recollections in "Their D-Day; Marjah veterans look back a year to where they were, lessons learned",, February 16, 2011.

HBO is airing a documentary (on Feb 17, Thursday evening at 9:00 PM EST) called "The Battle for Marjah".  Read more on the documentary in "The Battle for Marjah, an Afghan War Film on HBO", The New York Times, February 16, 2011.

A former member of the "civilian surge" speaks out about what didn't go right with Marjah in "Memorials to Purposelessness", The Huffington Post, February 16, 2011.

The commanding general of Regional Command Southwest - where Marja is located - addressed Marjah in conversations with members of the media.  See "A year later, commander assesses progress in Helmand province", DVIDS, February 16, 2011.

An analyst of the war in Afghanistan, Joshua Foust, provides us with his insight to the Marjah campaign. See "Marjah one year on", February 15, 2011.  He ends his commentary observing that official press reports day Marjah was a success while public data indicates otherwise.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Marjah, Afghanistan - One Year Later

It has been about one year since the highly publicized battle for Marjah, Afghanistan commenced.  The battle didn't go as well or as quick as the coalition thought.  The Afghan "government-in-a-box" concept fizzled. The newly appointed officials put in place by Karzai turned out to be an unsatisfactory lot.  And the Taliban didn't just melt away.  However progress has been made.  The question is "Will it last?".  Read a one news commentators take on the situation in "One year after offensive, signs of progress in Marjah", Stars and Stripes, February 14, 2011.  Click here for more news about Marjah, Afghanistan.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

2/9 Marines Depart Marjah, Afghanistan

"MARJAH, Afghanistan - Nearly one year ago, Marjah was the scene of some of the deadliest fighting since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom. Now, after the persistence of 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, the area is lauded as proof that counterinsurgency operations can work."  Read the rest of the news article in "2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment leaves Northern Marjah a safer place", DVIDS, January 30, 2011.

Learn more about the battle for Marjah at the link below:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

9th Marines Conduct Operation Integrity in Marjah, Afghanistan

The battle of Marjah may now be over but the coalition forces are still conducting operations searching for remnants of the Taliban. 
"On Jan. 15, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment launched Operation Integrity, in Marjah, Helmand province, Afghanistan. The main purpose of the operation was to successfully cordon off a suspected hotspot for Taliban activity, search for weapon and IED caches, disrupt enemy logistical operations and gather census data on locals in the region of Sistani." 
Read the rest of the story in "Marines say insurgency weakening in northern Marjah",, January 18, 2011.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Marjah Now a Peaceful Farming Community

Marjah has been described by a high-ranking Marine officer as "a peaceful farming community".  This is a long way from the fierce battle that was fought last February and over the past several months by the Marine Corps and other combat units.  Read the news article in "Marine official: We're beginning to see a turn in Afghanistan", Jacksonville Daily News, January 13, 2011.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Battle for Marjah - A Documentary by HBO to Air February 17, 2011

The Battle for Marjah is a documentary that will air on HBO on Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. EST.  The feature will run 84 minutes and highlights the fierce battle for the Taliban stronghold of Marjah in southern Afghanistan.  Learn more about the battle of Marjah.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Operation Moshtarak in Marjah, Afghanistan Yields Results

The head of the Helmand Province Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) recently visited Marjah to assess the situation. He is optimistic that things are going in the right direction.  Read more in "Marjeh revisited", UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office News, December 1, 2010.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Battle for Marjah Now Over Says U.S. Commander

The Battle for Marjah is now over says a U.S. commander. The fight for the strategic town in southern Afghanistan began in February. Read more in "Afghan War Coalition Completes Battle in Marjah as U.S. Assesses Strategy", Bloomberg, December 7, 2010.  Read past news reports about the Battle of Marjah, Afghanistan.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

State Department Upbeat About Success in Marjah, Afghanistan

The battle for Marjah, Afghanistan did not go as smooth as it could have. The "clearing" operation went well although there was some tough fighting and many casualties.  The "hold" operation is still in full-swing and basically the coalition and Afghan forces hold Marjah even though IEDs are still a problem and "night letters" are still posted as a means of intimidation.  Of course, a big part of "holding" is not "leaving".  The "build" part of "clear, hold, and build" is now in the works as well.  According to the State Department - this phase of the operation is going well.  See "Marjah: Progress on the Road to Stability and Prosperity", State Dept Blog, November 27, 2010.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Neighborhood Watch in Marjah, Afghanistan - Afghan Local Police Initiative

"ARLINGTON, Va. — Neighborhood watch programs, typically the domain of riled-up, would-be crime stoppers in community associations across America, are apparently catching on in the Marjah district of Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

The top U.S. commander there told the Pentagon press corps Tuesday that Marines are seeing increasing interest among residents in organizing formal groups to keep an eye on villages.

Some are unarmed and mostly provide information about insurgency activity to local forces. Others are designated and paid by the district police chief, carry weapons and set themselves apart with arm bands, said Brig. Gen. Joseph Osterman, head of Task Force Leatherneck.

The latter are part of the newly sanctioned Afghan Local Police initiative that got its start last month. They’re a sort of Afghan National Police light. Defensive only, with limited powers, they are “essentially neighborhood watch programs,” Osterman said. He’s quick to point out that they are not local militias roaming with impunity (for the trouble that can cause, see: Iraq). Osterman said they are ensuring the neighborhood groups are under government control." 
Read the rest of the article in "Neighborhood watch gaining foothold in Marjah", The Stars and Stripes, October 27, 2010.