first published on December 20, 2017 by Sean
The Vice News segment “Inside The Marines’ Fight Against The Taliban In Afghanistan” – Provides a gritty look inside ongoing operations and highlighting the current state of affairs on the ground in America’s longest running war. Unsurprisingly, they find the US Marines coolly eliminating the enemy in Helmand province.
A Vice News segment from a recent embed in Afghanistan begins by detailing the recent gains of the Taliban throughout the country – and its deterioration over the last few years. Then giving a brief description of the new US policy and its increase in troops and airstrikes this past year.
The Vice crew finds itself in Helmand province following US Marines as they cautiously and painstakingly observe possible Taliban fighters through a drone feed in a cramped operations center. Several suspicious military aged males appear to be maneuvering on an Afghan National Army (ANA) patrol. Staring at the grainy thermal live feed, the tension mounts until an RPG and radio are clearly identified.
With F-16’s inbound and weapons positively identified by the Marine watch officer, the Commanding US general of Taskforce Southwest Brig. Gen. Roger Turner coolly confirms and approves the strike. While drinking his coffee, the General and men watch as the strike is carried out. The bomb would miss its target by a few meters and one Taliban fighter would flee the impact site. However, he caught enough shrapnel in the explosion to not make it far; the Marines and Vice crew watch as he slowly bleeds out.
The effects of the large US troop withdrawal in 2014 are clearly visible; as they cover the Afghan Security Forces and their steadily deteriorating plight against the resurgent Taliban. The Afghan troops look ragtag, but sound eager and appear ready to continue the fight. The US advisor’s and their increased ability to utilize airstrikes have the potential to significantly help the beleaguered Afghan troops. Time, training, and firepower appear to be the key ingredients to turn the tide against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Let’s hope they finally get what they need…