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Old 07-16-2017, 02:45 PM
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Default Washington D.C. Ponders Afghan Mission

Explains the c[Urrent situation some what.. Take note of the last paragraph..[/U]
Auto type is going after the "u" now... I removed the bracket "[" so it will not erase the "u"

As Washington ponders Afghan mission, Marines toil in Helmand

By James Mackenzie - Reuters on July 16, 2017, 11:24 pm.

By James Mackenzie

CAMP BASTION, Afghanistan (Reuters) - While Washington works on plans to send more troops to Afghanistan, U.S. forces on the ground are grappling with building an army in the middle of a war their commanders say is locked in stalemate.

It is slow, hot, often frustrating work, ranging from overseeing basic infantry training to trying to create modern logistics systems for an army in which many soldiers cannot read or write.

"There are enormous challenges ahead," said Brig. Gen. Roger Turner, who led a task force in Helmand five years ago and who has returned as commander of around 300 Marines training and advising the Afghan army and police.

When the Marines left Helmand in 2014, they did not expect to return, but building the Afghan army has been slower than anticipated. Many issues trainers focus on, such as improving army leadership or getting troops off vulnerable checkpoints, are ones American advisers have recommended for years.

Insurgents control five of Helmand's 14 districts and contest the others, threatening the capital Lashkar Gah, where they have a strong foothold just outside the city center.

Afghan forces are suffering thousands of casualties and without near-daily air strikes by U.S. fighters and helicopters, said Colonel Asmatullah Gharwal, intelligence officer for the Afghan army 215th Corps, "we would probably not be able to defend Helmand province."

...........................Skipped to the End

Many questions remain about whether Afghanistan's mix of corruption and political dysfunction will outweigh any progress made and whether after 16 years of American presence in Afghanistan, a new approach is needed.
But in Helmand, the Marines leave those questions for others.
"I'm a big believer in everyone doing their job as well as they can," Turner said. "That's how I reconcile this stuff and make sure we don't lose focus on issues beyond our control."

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