Michael's Dispatches

Sangin Then, and Now

2 February 2011

During the summer of 2009, the British were fighting hard for Sangin.  They were always outnumbered by Taliban and terrain.  Casualties were high.

Today, US Marines are paying in blood for the very same ground because, in part, they gave up a miniscule speck of Afghanistan, and then paid to retake it.  But by other reports, Marines also are fighting very aggressively and seem to be destabilizing the Taliban in that crucial area.

There is much to be learned by first reading my dispatch from summer of 2009: “Bad Medicine on Pharmacy Road,” and then watching the current BBC documentary: “The Battle for Bomb Alley.”

The tiny stretch that was then called “Pharmacy Road” is now called “Bomb Alley,” though it was just as deadly in 2009.

By reading my dispatch closely, and then focusing on the BBC documentary, you’ll notice familiar sights in this tiny speck of land, and familiar names.  Little has changed other than that Marines spilled blood regaining what the British had already fought for.  That is a shame.  The good news is that the Marines seem to be winning.

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