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Battle of Marjah, Afghanistan

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Home > Afghanistan > Battle for Marjah

News Articles About the Battle for Marjah, Afghanistan

This webpage contains links to news articles about the battle for Marjah, Afghanistan in Helmand Province that began in February 2010 when coalition forces moved into the area with a large military presence.  The Marjah area was a long-time Taliban stronghold where the Taliban had set up a de facto "shadow government".  The town and surrounding area was used as a launch pad by the Taliban to send out suicide bombers, IED teams, and fighters. The area was also a source of income for the the Taliban due to the many poppy fields that produced a large harvest. The coalition and Afghan forces, a force of about 15,000, set out to liberate Marjah from the Taliban.  The battle was the largest military operation since the war began in 2001.  It is estimated that there were between 400 to over 1,000 insurgents in the area.  The contested area is 80 square miles of villages, canals, and farmland.  The operation, part of the Afghan "surge", has been called "Moshtarak" (which in English means "Together").  Marjah is sometimes spelled Marja or Marjeh.   The battle took longer than expected and it was finally declared "over" by the coalition in early December 2010.

Publications about Operation Moshtarak

Operation Mostarak: Preparing for the Battle of Marja.  Institute for the Study of War.

Operation Moshtarak.  Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Marja, Afghanistan.  Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Videos and Movies about Marjah

The Battle for Marjah. A video by Home Box Office (HBO), 2011. (90 mins).

News Reports about Marjah

January 16, 2016. "A look at how the US-led coalition lost Afghanistan's Marjah district to the Taliban.", by Heath Druzin, Stars and Stripes.

February 24, 2011.  "More please, sir".  The Economist.

February 16, 2011.  "Their D-Day: Marjah veterans look back a year to where they were, lessons learned".  Marines.mil.

February 16, 2011.  "A year later, commander assess progress in Helmand province".  DVIDS.

February 16, 2011.  "Memorials to Purposelessness".  The Huffington Post.

February 15, 2011.  "Marjah one year on".  PBS.org.

February 14, 2011.  "One year after offensive, signs of progress in Marjah".  Stars & Stripes.

February 9, 2011.  "Congressman: Small withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan in July".  CNN News.

February 9, 2011.  "Engineers rebuilt roads for Afghans, coalition forces".  DVIDS.

February 5, 2011.  "Marjah CMOC making a difference in Afghan's lives".  DVIDS.

January 18, 2011.  "Marines say insurgency weakening in northern Marjah".  Marines.mil.

January 17, 2011.  "Marjah continues to benefit from advances in education".  DVIDS.

December 27, 2010.  "Pendleton Marines building 'super-bridge' in Marjah".  The Orange County Register.

December 15, 2010.  "At Key Afghan Crossroads: Battle is Done for the Winter".  NPR.

December 9, 2010.  "Battle for Marjah Now Over Says U.S. Commander".  Afghan War News.

December 7, 2010.  "New school gets under way in Marjah".  DVIDS.

December 4, 2010.  "Winning Afghanistan . . . one cow at a time".  BBC News.

November 27, 2010.  "Villagers meet with ISAF to discuss regional stability in Helmand".  DVIDS.

October 29, 2010.  "Neighborhood Watch in Marjah, Afghanistan - Afghan Local Police Initiative".  Afghan War News.

September 4, 2010.  "Outgoing NATO deputy rues early optimism on Marjah".  Philly.com.

August 11, 2010.  "Marjah-bound policemen graduate from JSAS".  USMC.

August 9, 2010.  "2/9 Assumes Control of Northern Marjah from 3/6".  Marine Corps News Room.

August 6, 2010.  "U.S., Afghans differ on success of military campaign".  Kentucky.com.

July 25, 2010.  "Holbrooke: Too early to gauge Marjah success".  Aghanistan Crossroads CNN World.

July 14, 2010.  "Afghanistan replaces head of troubled Marjah, other districts in Helmand".  The Washington Examiner.

July 14, 2010.  "Afghanistan replaces leader of Marjah district".  Army Times.

July 12, 2010.  "U.S. General Still Upbeat Despite Marjah, Afghanistan Gov't Shift".  NPR.

July 10, 2010.  "Months after Marjah offensive, success still elusive".  Stars and Stripes.

July 6, 2010.  "Violence in Marjah Raises Questions About Stability".  NPR.

July 1, 2010.  "Tornado Tech: How Air Support Was Provided to Op Moshtarak".  Defense Aerospace.

June 21, 2010.  "Undisciplined Afghans endanger Marjah Marines".  Marine Corp Times.

June 21, 2010.  "Marines maintain presence in Marjah".  Marines.mil.

June 21, 2010.  "Sangin: Afghanistan's poppy town that became deathtrap for British army".  The Guardian.

June 17, 2010.  "Perceptions of Success and Failure in ISAF Operations in Marjah, Afghanistan".  The Jamestown Foundation.

June 13, 2010.  "Marjah elders schedule regular meetings, offer bridge to community".  I MEF USMC.

June 11, 2010.  "McChrystal on Marjah and More".  Weekly Standard.

June 11, 2010.  "Despite U.S. gains, Afghan city still feels intimidation".  USA Today.

June 10, 2010.  "COINdinistas Meet as Marjah Campaign Becomes PR Nightmare".  The American Conservative.

June 7, 2010.  "Looking for a Few Good Cops in Marjah". Time Magazine.

June 1, 2010.  "Afghan Police Earn Poor Grade for Marja Mission".  The New York Times.

May 27, 2010. "Marines Work to Gain Trust of Afghan Locals".  CBS News.

May 27, 2010.  "Opium: By and Burn, or Not".  GlobalSecurity.org.

May 25, 2010.  "Afghanistan War:  Gen. McCrystal impatient with Marjah campaign".  The Christian Science Monitor.

May 24, 2010.  "McChrystal calls Marjah a 'bleeding ulcer' in Afghan campaign".  McClatchy.

May 21, 2010.  "Command and control changes in southern Afghanistan".  UK Defence News.

May 19, 2010.  "In Ambush, a Glimpse of a Long Afghan Summer".  The New York Times.

May 18, 2010.  "An Update On Marjah, Months After Offensive".  NPR.com.

May 13, 2010.  "Operation Moshtarak: Lessons Learned".  International Council on Security and Development.

May 10, 2010.  "Corruption, incompetence charges plague new Afghan police force".  Miami Herald.

May 9, 2010.  "Elite Afghan Police Return from Marjah".  ISAF News.

April 19, 2010.  "A Firsthand Look at Firefights in Marja".  New York Times "At War" Blog.

April 14, 2010.  "Marines pay Afghan farmers to destroy opium".  Reuters.com.

March 31, 2010. " ISAF Forces Make Gains in Helmand Province".  ISAF Press Release.

March 29, 2010.  "Behind the scenes of the battle for Marjah".  CNN Afghanistan Crossroads Blog.

March 28, 2010.  "Afghan soldiers way below standard, exasperated Marines say".  Miami Herald.

March 25, 2010.  "New Afghan cops closely watched as fighting force".  Sacremento Bee.

March 25, 2010.  "Security Must Come First in Counterinsurgency".  Captains Journal.

March 24, 2010.  "Curbing Taliban opium trade risks loss of support".  Google.

March 23, 2010.  "Marjah, Afghanistan: Guns quiet, the battle for power now begins".  The Christian Science Monitor.

March 20, 2010.  "Taliban adjust, wage bomb attacks in Afghan town".  The Washington Post.

March 20, 2010.  "U.S. Turns a Blind Eye to Opium in Afghan Town".  The New York Times.

March 20, 2010.  "How Lewis-McChord 5th Brigade helped at Marjah".  The News Tribune.

March 19, 2010.  "An up close look at the military life in Marjah".  The Washington Post.

March 19, 2010.  "How Stryker troops helped in Marjah".  The News Tribune.

March 19, 2010.  "Taliban lose control of Marjah but remain strong".  The Washington Post.

March 18, 2010.  "Damage to poppy crops upsets Afghan farmers".  Dallas News.

March 18, 2010.  "From Tal Afar to Marja: Applying COIN to Local Conditions".  Bing West, Small Wars Journal.

March 18, 2010.  "Afghan Tribal Leaders Need Allies and Taliban".  Newsmax World.

March 17, 2010.  "Taliban fight in Afghan town with fear campaign".  Google.

March 17, 2010.  "Retaken Afghan Town Reports Taliban Threats".  The New York Times.

March 13, 2010.  "Battle for Marjah may hold keys to Afghan war".  San Francisco Chronicle.

March 12, 2010.  "Marjah push: Ups and downs are lessons for future".  Google News.

March 11, 2010.  "Afghan Official Did Prison Time".  The Wall Street Journal.

March 11, 2010.  "Afghan Troops Earn Kudos, But Questions Remain".  NPR.

March 11, 2010.  "Confused Narratives on Marjah".  The Captain's Journal.

March 10, 2010.  "Afghanistan: D-Day on St. Barts."  The Huffington Post.

March 10, 2010.  "Marja, Afghanistan: Pentagon Propaganda taken to new heights!"  Veterans Today.

March 8, 2010.  "Gen. McChrystal Details Lessons of Marja Offensive".  ISAF.

March 5, 2010.  "In Afghanistan, NATO Denounces an Ally".  The Wall Street Journal.

March 5, 2010.  "If You Bring in the Cops".  The New York Times.

March 5, 2010.  "Afghanistan: mines prevent resumption of normal life in Marjah".  ReliefWeb.

March 4, 2010.  "Analysis:  Hard part in Marjah has only just begun".  The Washington Post.

March 4, 2010.  "NATO unfolds blueprint to rebuild Marjah".  The Christian Science Monitor.

March 3, 2010.  "As Marjah offensive ends, a crucial test for peace in Afghanistan".  The Christian Science Monitor.

March 3, 2010.  "Operation Moshtarak's Impact in Helmand".  ISAF.

March 2, 2010.  "Marjah Effort Shows Values, Flaws of Afghan Forces".  NPR.

March 2, 2010.  "After the Taliban, what do Marjah residents want?"  The Christian Science Monitor.

March 2, 2010.  "First steps for stability in Marjah?"  BBC News.

March 1, 2010.  "Marjah as a Test Case".  Bangor Daily News.

February 28, 2010.  "Marines, Afghan troops to stay months in Marjah".  USA Today.

February 27, 2010.  "Normalcy takes root in Marjah after allied offensive".  Stars and Stripes.

February 27, 2010.  "Snipers are top threat in Marjah, Conway says".  Marine Corps Times.

February 26, 2010.  "Afghan government takes control of Marjah from Taliban".  USA Today.

February 24, 2010.  "Government Administrator Arrives in Marjah".  The Wall Street Journal.

February 23, 2010.  "Afghanistan war:  Marjah offensive is trial run for Kandahar push".  The Christian Science Monitor.

February 22, 2010.  "Marjah offensive: New Afghan governor takes office as battle rages".  The Christian Science Monitor.

February 22, 2010.  "Progress in Marjah, but Civilian Trust Elusive".  The Wall Street Journal.

February 21, 2010.  "U.S. Commander Describes Marja Battle as First Salvo in Campaign".  The New York Times.

February 21, 2010.  "Military: Taliban mounting tougher fight than expected".  Newsday.com.

February 20, 2010.  "Marines Under Sniper Fire".  CBS News.

February 19, 2010.  "In Afghanistan, Marines handling detainees by the book".  LA Times.

February 19, 2010.  "Afghan Push Went Beyond Traditional Military Goals".  The New York Times.

February 19, 2010.  "Taliban 'step up' Operation Moshtarak resistance".   BBC News.

February 19, 2010.  "US compensates Afghans for death, damage from war".  The Washington Post.

February 19, 2010.  "Just Who Is Fighting in Marja?"  The New York Times.

February 19, 2010.  "Troops Face Pockets of Resistance in Marjah".  The Wall Street Journal.

February 19, 2010.  "Prize on the Battlefields of Marja May be Momentum".  The New York Times.

February 18, 2010.  "In Marjah, Afghanistan, allied offensive going well so far".  The Christian Science Monitor.

February 18, 2010.  "Assault on Taliban Stronghold Yields Early Progress".  DoD News Release.

February 18, 2010.  "Taliban Town Residents Skeptical of NATO Promises"  Fox News.

February 18, 2010.  "NATO Says 30 Days Needed to Secure Marjah".  VOA News.

February 17, 2010.  "New Taliban weapon: Snipers".  Star Tribune.

February 17, 2010.  "NATO Forces Raise Afghan Flag in Marjah".  CBS News.

February 17, 2010.  "Afghan Push Has Iraqi Precedent".  The Wall Street Journal.

February 17, 2010.  "Army Aviation Plays Key 'Moshtarak' Role".  DoD News Release.

February 17, 2010.  "Embattled Afghan Taliban rely on human shields".  Boston Herald.

February 17, 2010.  "Afghan official: Taliban uses civilians as shields".  MSNBC.

February 17, 2010.  "Marjah residents skeptical of NATO promises".  MSNBC.

February 16, 2010.  "Marines: Taliban resistance more disorganized".  Yahoo! News.

February 16, 2010.  "Marines seize key police headquarters in Afghan offensive".  CNN World.

February 16, 2010.  "An overdue success against the Taliban".  Telegraph.

February 16, 2010.  "How Afghans see Operation Moshtarak".  Guardian.

February 16, 2010.  "Troops struggle to fight by strict rules in Afghanistan".  Dallas News.

February 16, 2010.  "Operation Moshtarak continues in Afghanistan".  www.army.mil.

February 16, 2010.  "What the Marjah Battle Costs".  Brookings Institute.

February 16, 2010.  "Afghan Taliban resist Nato push in Marjah".  BBC News.

February 16, 2010.  "Marines Reach out to Marjah Population".  CBS News.

February 16, 2010.  "U.S. Bets Best Ally in Surge Is Old One".  The Wall Street Journal.

February 15, 2010.  "Half of Town's Taliban Flee or Are Killed, Allies Say".  The New York Times.

February 15, 2010.  "Soldiers Keep Up Push in Taliban Stronghold".  The New York Times.

February 15, 2010.  "Snipers harass US, Afghan troops moving in Marhah".  Google News.

February 15, 2010.  "Operation Moshtarak Update".  ISAF.

February 15, 2010.  "Taliban Resist Afghan Offensive".  The Wall Street Journal.

February 15, 2010.  "Taliban Fighters Step Up Attacks on U.S., Afghan Troops in Marjah".  Fox News.

February 15, 2010.  "Taliban Sniper Teams Attack U.S., Afghan Troops".  Fox News.

February 15, 2010.  "Missile strike kills 12 civilians as Afghan offensive gets under way".  Times Online.

February 14, 2010.  "Troops Take Positions in Taliban Haven".  The New York Times.

February 14, 2010.  "Initial Key Objectives of Operation Mostarak Achieved".  ISAF.

February 14, 2010.  "Marjah battle as tough as Falluja, say US troops".  The Christian Science Monitor.

February 14, 2010.  "UK role in Afghan Operation Moshtarak 'goes to plan'".  BBC News.

February 14, 2010.  "Moshtarak, Other Operations Continue in Afghanistan".  DoD News Release.

February 14, 2010.  "U.S. and Afghan Troops Expand Control in Marjah".  The Wall Street Journal.

February 14, 2010.  "Nato hails major Afghan operation".  BBC News.

February 14, 2010.  "Afghan and Allied Forces Begin to Secure Taliban Stronghold".  The Wall Street Journal.

February 13, 2010.  "Soldiers going house-to-house in Marjah".  UPI.com.

February 13, 2010.  "Operation Moshtarak: Assault in Helmand province".  BBC News.

February 13, 2010.  "Brown: Aim of Afghanistan mission is to break Taliban".  BBC News.  (video).

February 13, 2010.  "Helicopter armada heralds Afghanistan surge".  Telegraph.co.uk.

February 13, 2010.  "In Marjah Buildup, a Telling Day's Delay".  The Wall Street Journal.

February 13, 2010.  "A Test for the Meaning of Victory in Afghanistan".  The New York Times.

February 13, 2010.  "Karzai, Army Face Major Test".  The Wall Street Journal.

February 13, 2010.  "Operation Moshtarak: first wave of offensive against Taliban strongholds begins".  Telegraph.

February 13, 2010.  "Attack Gives Marines a Taste of War".  The New York Times.

February 13, 2010.  "Major attack on Taliban stronghold launched".  The Washington Post.

February 13, 2010.  "Coalition troops find 'minimal interference' in assault on Taliban".  CNN World.

February 13, 2010.  "Obama getting briefed on Afghanistan operation".  The Washington Post.

February 13, 2010.  "Marjah's Long Game: Months of Patrols".  The Wall Street Journal.

February 13, 2010.  "U.S. Starts Afghan Surge".  The Wall Street Journal.

February 13, 2010.  "Marines Drive Into Afghan Stronghold".  CBS Evening News.

February 12, 2010.  "In the Cold of Morning, Descending Into Conflict".  The New York Times.

February 12, 2010.  "Preparing for the Battle of Marjah".  Small Wars Journal.

February 12, 2010.  "Afghan Offensive Is New War Model".  The New York Times.

February 12, 2010.  "Civilians flee Afghanistan town of Marjah ahead of US assault".  NY Daily News.

February 12, 2010.  "US and Afghan troops ring Taliban stronghold".  The Washington Post.

February 12, 2010.  "IEDs: The Big Marjah Challenge".  The Wall Street Journal.

February 12, 2010.  "Coalition Troops Storm a Taliban Haven".  The New York Times.

February 12, 2010.  "Outreach Precedes U.S. Offensive".  The Wall Street Journal.

February 12, 2010.  "Afghan Offensive Is New War Model".  The New York Times.

February 11, 2010.  "Afghans Try to Reassure Tribal Elders on Offensive".  The New York Times.

February 11, 2010.  "SAS take out top 50 Taliban".  The Sun.

February 11, 2010.  "Governance is at the forefront of Op MOSTARAK".  UK Defence News.

February 11, 2010.  "Marjah fight geared for Afghan civilians' safety".  USA Today.

February 11, 2010.  "Marines roll out Assault Breacher Vehicles for Marjah Afghanistan offensive".  The Christian Science Monitor.

February 10, 2010.  "U.S., Afghan troops get pep talks ahead of planned offensive".  CNN World.

February 9, 2010.  "Marines wait in the cold for Afghan offensive".  The Washington Post.

February 9, 2010.  "Marjah offensive: Q&A on why it matters to Afghanstan war".  The Christian Science Monitor.

February 9, 2010.  "Afghan Army ready for Op MOSHTARAK".  UK Defence News.

February 9, 2010.  "Marjah offensive: Q&A on why it matters to Afghanistan war".  The Christian Science Monitor.

February 8, 2010.  "NATO says Afghans to play big role in offensive".  The Washington Post.

February 8, 2010.  "Afghanistan war: US troops' new push into 'heart of darkness'".  The Christian Science Monitor.

February 8, 2010.  "Afghan Operation Moshtarak places success over surprise".  BBC News.

February 7, 2010.  "Special Forces Assassins Infiltrate Taliban Stronghold in Afghanistan".  Fox News.com.

February 5, 2010.  "Marines poised for Marjeh offensive".  Stars and Stripes.

February 4, 2010.  "Afghans prepare for NATO assault on Taliban enclave".  The Washington Post.

February 3, 2010.  "Military Officials Say Afghan Fight Is Coming".  The New York Times.

February 3, 2010.  "U.S. Announces Helmand Offensive".  The Wall Street Journal.

December 16, 2010.  "Bloody fight looms for Afghan surge Marines".  Reuters.

December 1, 2009.  "Afghanistan's Fallujah?".  Center for Defense Studies.

July 25, 2009.  "Iraq Veterans Find Afghan Enemy Even Bolder".  The New York Times.





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Related Pages on this Website

Afghanistan Country Profile

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Afghanistan War Blogs

Fight for Kandahar

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Afghan War News


Helmand Blog - Afghanistan
by UK Forces Media Ops

Helmand Province
ISAF Website

Operation Mostarak
ISAF Website

Marjah Maps

Central Helmand Map

Operation Moshtarak Map
by BBC News

Briefing Map of
 Helmand Province
by UK MoD
(Adobe Acrobat filePDF Icon )

Map of Marjah
by Travel Journals

Marjah Location Map

Map Depicting Battle Positions of Marjah
Feb 15, NY Times





The Afghan Child Project

Books on Counterinsurgency
by Amazon.com

Photos of Operation Moshtarak by
Military News Network


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