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24 Feb, 2010 07:19

Offensive in Helmand quick and easy for gaining points – journalist

The US military began its offensive in Afghanistan's Helmand province because the Taliban threat in the region was considered to be lower than in other, more hostile areas, according the Washington Post newspaper.

Investigative journalist Gareth Porter believes this was the last chance for American commanders to show there was a reason to stay in Afghanistan.

“The US’s Senior Military officials actually made the decision to attack this small town Marjah in Helmand province, despite the fact that they were advised that more strategically-important was Kandahar city [Kandahar province – more generally] as a military objective,” he says, adding that this operation “would influence US public opinion to make it more favorable to staying longer in Afghanistan.”