Just days after Obama unveils his new Afghan war strategy, as many as 9,000 Marines will ready themselves to deploy to Afghanistan's Hemland province as part of phased reinforcements approach. They'll double the Marine force in a bloody southern region that has seen US gains but, due to a troop shortage, has remained a Taliban haven in places like Marjeh, a fact that has caused some Afghans to question US resolve.
"The two questions I get from Afghans are 'When are you leaving?' and 'Why aren't you going into Marjeh?' because that is where the real enemy is," said the senior Marine commander in the province. If the counterinsurgency strategy, favored by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, fails, the phased approach will allow Obama to cancel some of the intended reinforcements, the Washington Post reports. About 1,000 Army trainers will be the next to deploy, possibly in February, to help grow the Afghan army and police forces.