Happy Fourth of July
Remember many things, but especially the Marines fighting in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. Here’s a progress report emailed out at 4 p.m. Friday local time/9 a.m. Friday EST from USFOR-A, the U.S. military command in Afghanistan, about Operation Khanjar:
The Marines and Afghan forces are continuing to patrol and have begun engaging with key leaders in the districts in order to better understand the concerns and needs of Afghans in the area. Once security is established, civil affairs personnel and other non-governmental organizations and agencies will begin establishing programs aimed at building long-term governance and development throughout the Helmand River valley.
One Marine has been killed in action, and several others have been injured or wounded since the operation began. Yesterday, south of Garmsir, one Afghan man began to approach a group of Marines and was warned to stop. He did not stop, despite a series of warning indicators being employed. The man continued to walk toward the Marines at a rapid pace without saying anything to them. A warning shot was fired, and when he still did not stop, a Marine fired a single shot, wounding the man. U.S. Navy corpsmen immediately treated the man, and he was evacuated by MEB forces to Bost hospital in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, where he is in stable condition.
Small Wars Journal has a strategic overview of the mission from its commander, Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson.