Briefing on Operation Moshtarak in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Hearing Before the Committee on Armed Services, United States Senate, One Hundred Eleventh Congress, Second Session, February 22, 2010   [open pdf - 675KB]

From the opening statement of Carl Levin: "Good afternoon, everybody. First let us welcome our briefers this afternoon, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michèle Flournoy, and Lieutenant General John Paxton, Di- rector for Operations, J--3, the Joint Staff. They will be providing the committee with an update on Operation Moshtarak in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, which is named for the Dari word that means ''together.'' This operation is being conducted by combined International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghan forces totaling around 15,000, deployed side-by-side to the central Helmand River Valley, including the former Taliban stronghold of Marjah, to support extending the authority of the Government of Afghanistan to the Afghan population there. It represents the most significant campaign since President Obama concluded his strategy review in December and it is a critical test of the counterinsurgency strategy announced by the President and implemented by General Stanley McChrystal. While much of America is watching the Olympics and the daring of our athletes, we must keep a constant eye on the extraordinary bravery and skill of our troops and their allies. An important component of General McChrystal's campaign plan is the emphasis on putting the Government of Afghanistan and the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in charge of their country's security. Afghan Government officials, including President Karzai, Defense Minister Wardak, and Interior Minister Atmar, have played active roles, apparently, in planning and approving operations." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Michèle A. Flournoy and John M. Paxton, Jr.

Report Number:
S. Hrg. 111-869; Senate Hearing 111-869
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