March 1, 2011 |
MARJA, Afghanistan — Surrounded by quiet tribesmen with AK-47s slung over their shoulders, Haji Asaf said he expects the Taliban will kill him if given the chance. The village elder works with the Marines, who pay his force of more than 60 men $150 a month each to guard this southern Afghan district's flat-roofed farmsteads. He advises his American allies about which smuggling routes to block and where to build new schools. "Every three miles," Asaf said about the schools, "because if it's too far to walk, they won't...
February 27, 2010 |
Even as Marines in Afghanistan continued to fight for control of the Taliban stronghold of Marja, senior Obama administration officials said Friday that the United States has begun initial planning for a bigger, more complex offensive in Kandahar later this year. The assault on Marja , the largest U.S.-NATO military operation since 2001, is a "prelude to larger, more comprehensive operations," senior Obama officials said Friday. Administration officials declined to say when the Kandahar offensive will...
February 27, 2010
I am grateful for your informative and timely Feb. 11 news story "A reemergence in the heart of Pakistan. " The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has experienced intense persecution since Pakistan's founding. Both my grandfather and my uncle were murdered simply because they were Ahmedi Muslims. I disagree, however, with the characterization of the Ahmadiyyat's founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, as a "rival prophet. " Ahmad claimed to be the promised messiah who the Islamic prophet Muhammad...
February 23, 2010 |
MARJA, AFGHANISTAN -- The Afghan official responsible for governing Marja paid his first visit to this strife-torn community Monday, imploring residents to forsake the Taliban and promising employment programs as an inducement for local men to put down their weapons. Haji Zahir, the newly appointed mayor of Marja, told a group of about 50 elderly men who had gathered at a gas station near the main bazaar that the large U.S. and Afghan military operation to flush out the Taliban is intended to bring "positive changes.
February 22, 2010
AFGHANISTAN Outnumbered and outgunned, Taliban fighters are mounting a tougher fight than expected in Marja, Afghan officials said Sunday, as U.S.-led forces converged on a pocket of militants in a western section of the town. Despite ongoing fighting, the newly appointed civilian chief for Marja said he plans to fly into the town Monday for the first time since the attack to begin restoring Afghan government control and winning over the population after years of Taliban rule.
February 22, 2010
AFGHANISTAN WAR Predicting that the level of U.S. casualties in the fight to win control of the southern Afghan town of Marja will be "tough" to bear, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus said Sunday that the assault is just the beginning of a 12-to-18-month campaign to wipe out havens for the Taliban and other Islamist militants. "These types of efforts are hard, and they're hard all the time," Petraeus said. "I don't use words like 'optimist' or 'pessimist.' I use 'realist.' . . . We're in Afghanistan to ensure it cannot once again be a sanctuary for the...