July 25th, 2010
02:57 PM ET
13 years ago

Holbrooke: Too early to gauge Marjah operation's success


U.S. Marines set up a camouflage shade at their combat outpost in northern Marjah in mid-April. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)

(CNN) - It would be inaccurate to call the U.S.-led offensive in Afghanistan's Marjah district a failure, and yet it's too early to call it a success, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan told CNN Sunday.

"What's happening in Marjah is that the U.S. military and NATO went into one of the most difficult areas of the country, one of the bellies of the insurgency, displaced the Taliban and settled in," Richard Holbrooke told CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS."

"The people are pleased with this," he said. "This was an area called 'Little America' in the Kennedy and Johnson era. They remember the Americans. We came in with agricultural support and seed. And we broke up big drug bazaars. So a tremendous amount of gain occurred immediately.

"I met with the tribal leaders and the Shura and they said, 'Thank you for coming.' But they also said three important things - we risked our lives to come here today; we must have agricultural assistance; and we must have security.'"

The United States can't provide that security indefinitely, he said, and will have to train the Afghan police and army to replace them. Such a "clear, hold and build" strategy is "at the heart of counterinsurgency," Holbrooke said. "It's not accurate to say Marjah's a failure and it's premature to say Marjah's a success."

Full story

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. jim

    Obama needs to start bringing our troops home now.Why do we need to get more soldiers killed so this president can thump his chest? !!! This is not some darn basketball game.

    July 25, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. Gil

    What's happening is Afghanistan is a disgrace for the US. For years , when the Taliban were fighting the Russians, we called them freedom fighters. Now they are insurgents and terrorists. They are only civilians who have been trying to free their country from foreign occupation. I wish them success!

    July 25, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  3. S Callahan

    Get Bowe Bergdahl home....you know where he is....go get him, and detour some and get that young Navy man out of there as well.

    July 25, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. vic

    We were wrong from the beginning in Afghanistan. Our goal was destroy Al- Qaida we failed. As long as we stay there enemies follow our moves increase attacks on our solders. We are avoiding talking to Taliban. At one point we have to talk to them.
    It’s their country. When we destroy Al- Qaida we will become mediator between Taliban and Afghan government because Afghan government not strong ever be and that region always have problems.

    AS republicans say they will blame this administration

    July 25, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  5. JK Ashburn, VA

    Richard Holbrooke is a typical politician. He won't get in front of a parade until it is well formed and on its way down the parade route. Incapable of issuing an opinion unless it is fully hedged. General McChrystal's indelicately expressed opinions of this egomaniac couldn't have been more accurate.

    July 25, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  6. why

    is it that our Military has poorer living conditions than the prisoners?

    July 25, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. DallasMarine

    So now you people want our troops to come home, yet I guarantee 90% of you were waving their flags when Dubya invaded another country under false pretensions.

    July 25, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |