Have the Marines turned a corner in Sangin?


Lance Cpl. Nathan Peyton, 19, of 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, smiles moments after discovering an improvised explosive device during a Dec. 30 patrol in Sangin, Afghanistan. It was a directional fragmentation IED set up to blast the length of an alley, Marines said. (Photo by Gunnery Sgt. William Price)

Friends and family of Marines in the Taliban stronghold of Sangin, Afghanistan, got a bit of good news today when the top Marine commander in Afghanistan said influential tribal leaders there have agreed to stop insurgent attacks and push out foreign fighters.

Maj. Gen. Richard Mills said Marine leaders were “cautiously optimistic” of the agreement, according to this AP report.  The deal was reportedly reached with the Alikozai tribe, which controls most of the villages in a 17-square-kilometer region of the Upper Sangin Valley, Afghan officials told the AP.

After an awful few months of combat, any promising news out of Sangin is a good thing. Third Battalion, 5th Marines, out of Camp Pendleton, Calif., has lost 23 men there since taking over the area of operations Oct. 8, and dozens more have been badly wounded.

Still, the announcement raises as many questions as it answers. Is it the beginning of an “Anbar Awakening” in Sangin? Or will this remain an agreement in name only, with fighters taking additional months to lay down their arms?

For now, let’s greet it with cautious optimism and hope for the best. In the meantime, 3/5 could still use our thoughts and prayers.


About Author

I'm a senior writer with Marine Corps Times, covering ground warfare, manpower, weapons acquisition and other beats. I embedded in Afghanistan in spring 2010, and plan to return at least once in 2011.


  1. Benita Ramirez on

    My prayers are going out day and night to 3/5. Stay safe guys, and to my husband SSGT. Ramirez, stay safe and I love you!

  2. jacky velazquez on

    My prayers go to all the soldiers of 3/5..may god be wit u at all times..i miss my little brother luis velAzquez.love you lots…

  3. Keep it up 3/5!! My son Mat is currently also with the 3/5 India Company. Nice to see a smile on one of our guys, God Bless the 3/5. Come home safe!!!

  4. Thank you all for protecting our freedom my son Richard is with Lema co. please stay safe 3/5 we are so greatful to you all we are behind you and all your family back home is supporting you all you all have Lots of FB supports who are praying and honoring you all 3/5 GET SOME MORE THEN GET YOUR BUTTS HOME TO ALL OF US THAT LOVE AND MISS YOU SO MUCH THATS A DIRECT ORDER BY ALL WHO LOVE OUR HEROS AND MOMS OORAHA

  5. Diana "MOTO MOM" Henry on

    My thoughts and prayers are with these guys every single day. Not a day goes by I don’t have them on my mind.

    Until they all come home, Semper Fi 3/5!

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