Thursday, February 11, 2010

For the Record

UPDATE 2/11/10 2pm: I should have commented on this bit from the following post: "They also include British forces and U.S. soldiers from the 5th Strykers, which will intercept Taliban fighters trying to flee the town." I wonder how they are going to tell the Taliban from the civilians who are trying to flee the town.

Earlier we heard that they were first telling everyone to flee and that the plan was to run the Taliban off to another area and take over Marja. At the time, you may recall, I said that sounded like a great plan to take over the whole country - just keep pushing the Taliban to a new location, then claiming the need to clear them out and set up a permanent force to make sure they didn't come back.

At another point, the story was that they were telling the civilians to leave so that they could come in and wipe out the Taliban.

Perhaps it is a matter of them not wanting us to know what's happening, so confusing stories should be leaked out. Or maybe, as I suspect, they don't really know what they're doing from one day to the next, and this whole thing is going to go as badly as I imagine.

More later.


This is what the US command expects for the Marja onslaught:

U.S. commanders estimate they are facing between 400 and 1,000 Taliban fighters in the town, the largest in the south under militant control. Plans call for the joint U.S.-Afghan force to seize the town and quickly re-establish government control, offering services such as water, electricity and schooling to win the support of the local population.

U.S. officials have not disclosed how many Afghan and allied troops will take part in the battle but estimates range in the thousands. They also include British forces and U.S. soldiers from the 5th Strykers, which will intercept Taliban fighters trying to flee the town.

The major threat is expected to come from thousands of mines and roadside bombs, which the military calls improvised explosive devices, which the Taliban are believed to have planted in the area.


Lt. Col. Burton Shields, commanding officer of the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment of the 5th Strykers, said the force had faced "harassing attacks" by groups of seven to nine insurgents.

"They're trying to buy time to move their leaders out of the area," he said.



  1. the only answer i have to that is: because we are in a handbasket headed for hell. and as bon jovi sings: it's gonna take a miracle to save us this time, and the savior has just left town.

    more seriously, i'd say it's because we headed in this direction decades ago, while few people were paying attention, and now the captains of industry are entrenched at the helm.

    too few people recognize the wisdom of cutting losses and pulling out. and too many are actually making gains, the world be damned.

    keep on. the only way out is through.

    thanks again for your comments and support.


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