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US Marines sending Tanks to Afghanistan.

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Saturday, 20 November 2010, 10:30 AM

US Marines sending Tanks to Afghanistan
A Pentagon official confirmed on Friday that the United States is sending heavily armored battle tanks to southwestern Afghanistan to aid in the fight against the Taliban.

Fourteen M1A1 Abrams tanks, are en route to Afghanistan and will begin to arrive in January, Pentagon spokesman Dave Lapan told reporters.

Gen. Richard P. Mills, commander of Regional Command Southwest which is responsible for security operations in Helmand and Nimroz provinces, requested the tanks, said Lapan.

Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the International Security Assistance Force, and Gen. James N. Mattis, the commander of U.S. Central Command, approved the request.

"All commanders evaluate their situations and their operations, " Lapan said. "The commander in RC-Southwest determined that tanks would be useful in the fight he has because of the increased mobility, the increased firepower, because of the optics the tanks have."

Lapan emphasized that sending tanks to Afghanistan does not represent an escalation of the conflict there.

The Washington Post said on Friday that the U.S. decision to send tanks to Afghanistan for the first time in the nine-year war represents "a shift that signals a further escalation in the aggressive tactics that have been employed by American forces this fall to attack the Taliban."


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