Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .




Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















THE STANS
Afghanistan welcomes return of US Marines to Helmand
by Staff Writers
Kabul (AFP) Jan 7, 2017


Obama's toughest decision? 30,000-troop Afghanistan 'surge'
Washington (AFP) Jan 8, 2017 - What was President Barack Obama's hardest decision during his two terms in office? A massive troop surge in Afghanistan, he said in an interview aired Sunday.

"Toughest decision was early in my presidency when I ordered 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan," Obama, who leaves office in less than two weeks, told ABC's "This Week."

After a protracted debate inside the administration that pitted US military commanders against White House advisers, Obama announced the 30,000-trooop "surge" in December 2009.

The decision would bring the US contingent in Afghanistan to nearly 100,000 troops along with almost 50,000 allied troops.

"I think it was the right decision because the Taliban at that point had gotten a lot of momentum before I'd gotten into office, partly because we hadn't been paying attention as much as we needed to Afghanistan," Obama said in the interview taped Friday.

The president had hoped to withdraw most US military forces from Afghanistan by now, leaving behind just a small force.

But the United States still has some 8,400 military personnel in the country, and announced Friday it is sending some 300 Marines to Helmand province in the coming months.

Meanwhile in Iraq, more than 5,000 US soldiers are still on the ground providing critical support to the country's army, which is unable to man a war alone against the Islamic State group's extremist fighters.

Asked whether he found it disappointing that so many troops remain in both countries, Obama said the United States is "not going to get the kind of decisive, permanent victories in this fight against terrorism that we would get from fighting another country."

"But we don't have this huge footprint, we are less likely to be targeted as, you know, occupiers," he added about the reduced number of troops.

Even after decimating Al-Qaeda in Pakistan's tribal areas and killing the jihadist group's leader Osama bin Laden, groups in the region still "have both the interest and the capacity if we don't maintain vigilance to strike against the United States," he said.

Afghanistan on Saturday welcomed the Pentagon's decision to deploy some 300 US Marines to the volatile province of Helmand, where American forces engaged in heated combat until their mission ended in 2014.

The Marines will head to the poppy-growing southern province this spring to assist a NATO-led mission to train Afghan forces, in the latest sign that foreign forces are increasingly being drawn back into the worsening conflict.

For years Helmand was the centrepiece of the US and British military intervention in Afghanistan only for it to slip deeper into a quagmire of instability, with large swathes of the province under the control of the insurgents.

"The US deployment is important. This will increase our capacity in fighting terrorism," defense ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish told AFP.

The Marines will train and advise Afghan soldiers and police officers fighting Taliban insurgents in Helmand, according to the US Central Command (CENTCOM).

"We really need air support in Helmand. I hope they (US) support our air force, since we don't have enough air power in Helmand," Rasul Zazai, a spokesman for the Afghan army's 215 Corps stationed in Helmand, told AFP.

Last year, Afghanistan saw intensified Taliban attacks across the country, leaving Afghan forces stretched on multiple fronts.

Around 30,000 people were displaced in Helmand alone, mostly fleeing to provincial capital Lashkar Gah, with the city still practically besieged. The roads from neighbouring districts are heavily mined by the insurgents.

"More troops mean more fighting," Mohammad Qasim, a local elder in Helmand, said of the US deployment. "It will certainly affect people and their lives. We will witness more fighting and more displacement in the spring."

The Taliban effectively control or contest 10 of the 14 districts in Helmand, the deadliest province for British and US troops over the last decade and blighted by a huge opium harvest that helps fund the insurgency.

NATO officially ended its combat mission in December 2014, but US forces were granted greater powers in June to strike at the insurgents as President Barack Obama vowed a more aggressive campaign. The US still has some 8,400 troops in the country.

In early December General John Nicholson, the chief US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, said that Kabul directly controls about 64 percent of the country's population of 30 million, down slightly from 68 percent earlier in 2016.

str-mam-emh-ac/kb


Comment on this article using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

.


Related Links
News From Across The Stans






Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
THE STANS
Yazidi NGO says Iraq HQ closed by Kurdish forces
Arbil, Iraq (AFP) Jan 4, 2017
Kurdish security forces closed the Iraqi headquarters of an organisation that aids members of the Yazidi religious minority, which has been brutally targeted by jihadists, the group said on Wednesday. The move by the Iraqi Kurdish asayesh forces to close the Yazda organisation's offices in the northern city of Dohuk drew criticism from Human Rights Watch (HRW) as well as Nadia Murad, a Yazid ... read more


THE STANS
Unidentified country orders Patriot system upgrade

MBDA submits proposal for TLVS development in Germany

Lockheed Martin receives $1.4 billion for Patriot missile sales

U.S. Air Force approves Lockheed Martin's SBIRS ground system

THE STANS
Raytheon to provide missile defense training for Qatar

India test fires Agni-IV ballistic missile

Qatar, India, Italy purchase Raytheon Stinger missiles

U.S. Navy orders 214 Raytheon Tomahawk missiles

THE STANS
Small drone achieves flight endurance record

General Atomics contracted for MQ-9 sale to Spain

General Atomics to perform Reaper, Predator support services

Tiny spy drones no match for Repellent-1 mobile anti-drone net

THE STANS
U.S. Navy selects Raytheon for tactical radio production

Underwater radio, anyone?

Japan to Launch First Military Communications Satellite on January 24

Intelsat General to provide satellite services to RiteNet for US Army network

THE STANS
Safran to develop new bomb guidance kits for France

Ukrainian army receives 50 BTR-3 armored vehicles

Oshkosh receives JLTV production modification

Kongsberg contracted for M1A2 CROWS configuration

THE STANS
Estonia consolidates military procurement process

Pro-Iraqi militias using arms from 16 countries: Amnesty

Croatia charges top official over military contract bribe

Saudi projects drop in defence spending

THE STANS
Indonesia backs down in Australia military row

Duterte seeks 'strategic shift' from US to China: envoy

Obama urges military to make Trump transition smooth

Russia flags war games with US ally Philippines

THE STANS
Nanoscale 'conversations' create complex, multi-layered structures

Going green with nanotechnology

Nanocubes simplify printing and imaging in color and infrared

New aspect of atom mimicry for nanotechnology applications




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement