first published on January 9, 2017 by Will
The US will be sending 300 Marines to reinforce the beleaguered Afghan National Army in Afghanistan’s volatile Helmand province this spring.
This will be the first Marine deployment to Helmand since the drawdown in 2014. Prior to the withdrawal, tens of thousands of Marines fought intensely bloody battles for nearly a decade in Helmand. Since the withdrawal, all of their hard-earned victories have been erased as districts like Sangin, Nowzad, and Marjah have all fallen back to enemy hands.
US officials are saying the deployment is merely part of a planned rotation to replace an Army unit that will be ending its tour. The same US officials are also stating that the Marines’ main mission will be supporting the Afghan Army with logistics and intelligence… not combat.
Taliban spokesmen are calling the deployment one of “Obama’s final failed efforts,” and saying the move is nothing more than an attempt to boost morale for stressed ANA troops, in hopes of just getting them through the winter.