The time to take out the evil of Radical Islam is NOW. 300 U.S. Marines are headed to Afghanistan to take out Taliban.
This will be the largest deployment of Marines in Afghanistan since 2014.
Rest assured this has been publicly announced.
Roughly 300 Marines are en route to Afghanistan to help Afghan troops stop the Taliban from swallowing more of the hard-fought territory for which so many Marines have bled and died, Marine Corps Times has learned.
The deployment of Marines from the II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, will be the largest Marine deployment to Afghanistan since 2014, when the U.S. military’s combat mission known as Operation Enduring Freedom officially ended.
By the end of April, the Marines will be in Helmand province as Task Force Southwest, replacing the Army’s Task Force Forge. During their nine months in Helmand, the Marines will train the Afghan National Army’s 215th Corps and the 505th Zone National Police in marksmanship, indirect fire and small-unit tactics and other skills, Marine Corps officials said.
“Make no mistake, though we are no longer in a combat role in Afghanistan, it is still a combat environment,” Col. Matthew Reid, deputy task force commander, said in January. “As Marines, we train and deploy with a combat mindset.”
Army Gen. David Petraeus, who led U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011, told Marine Corps Times that the 300 additional Marines, with the appropriate support, “can absolutely make a difference in Helmand province.”
The Marines are returning to Afghanistan at a time when security is the worst it has been since the Taliban fell in 2001, said Peter Bergen, a military analyst and vice president of the New America think tank.
“That’s based on the assessment by U.S. military commanders that the Taliban control or contest a third of the population, which is about 10 million people,” Bergen told Marine Corps Times.
But unlike the Iraqi army in 2014, Afghan troops and police are fighting the insurgents, as evidenced by their soaring casualty rates, Bergen said. The Afghan troops in Helmand will definitely benefit from the Marines’ advise-and-assist mission.
To counter the Taliban’s momentum on the battlefield, the U.S. should make clear that its commitment to Afghanistan is open-ended instead of setting arbitrary dates to withdraw U.S. troops, he said.
“I think that was one of the problems the Obama administration had: Announcing withdrawals that came and went and really made no sense from any kind of point of view,” Bergen said. “They tended to undercut the government. They also, obviously, were really helpful to the morale of the Taliban.”
Most of the gains that Marines achieved in southern Afghanistan from 2009 to 2014 have been either reversed or have not been built upon by Afghan security forces, said Caitlin Forrest, an Afghanistan expert with the Institute for the Study of War.
Having taken Sangin, the Taliban can now launch offensives against strategic cities such as Kandahar, Lashkar Gah and Tirin Kot, Forrest said.
Given the current strength of Afghan security forces and the level of U.S. support, an outright military defeat of the Taliban is unlikely, she said. The Taliban are also unlikely to negotiate for a political solution as long as they have the upper hand.
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