EXCERPT: “The vanguard of the 30,000 US troop surge to Afghanistan will arrive this week to fight a war increasingly linked to Al-Qaeda and extremists in Pakistan, the top US military officer said Monday.
Admiral Mike Mullen flew into Afghanistan for talks on President Barack Obama’s sweeping new war strategy seeking to turn around the eight-year Taliban insurgency, deny Al-Qaeda a safe haven and train Afghan forces. ‘The key part of that strategy was the decision to surge an additional 30,000 United States troops in Afghanistan,’ Mullen told reporters. ‘Marines from Camp Lejeune will arrive this very week,’ he added, referring to the largest US Marine Corps base on the US east coast.
A 1,500-strong Marine contingent is expected to arrive this week in southern Helmand, one of the worst battlefields, as part of a vanguard set to prepare the logistics for thousands more due in the coming months.”