November 19th, 2010
08:39 AM ET

U.S. sending tanks to Afghanistan for the first time

The United States is beefing up its firepower in Afghanistan by employing heavily armored tanks in Afghanistan for the first time in the nine-year war, a military spokesman said Friday.

The U.S. Marine Corps plans to use a company of M1A1 Abrams tanks in restive Helmand province by early spring, said Marine Maj. Gabrielle Chapin.

The M1A1 tank is the fastest and most deadly ground combat weapons system available. It will allow for more aggressive missions while mitigating risks to U.S. forces, the military said.

The tanks were used successfully by U.S. forces to battle insurgents in Iraq's Anbar province, Chapin said.

"They bring superior optics, maneuverability and precision firepower that will enable us to isolate insurgent forces from key population centers and provide the ability to project power into insurgent safe havens," he said.

Other coalition forces, including those from Canada, already have used tanks in Afghanistan.

The decision comes as Afghanistan tops the agenda at the NATO summit that starts Friday in Lisbon, Portugal and amid a public dispute between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and NATO leaders over military strategy.

- CNN's Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Military • World
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. history of US in Afghanistan

    Fortunately, among the Groups members were current and former Haliburton executives. Haliburton would be and was the corporation that brought these old oilwells back online. Who payed for it?

    November 19, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. history of US in Afghanistan

    After Congress unanimously approved the "war" on Iraq, they approved funding for rebuilding. The first installment for rebuilding Iraq was some 87 billion dollars. (even though Congress was lied to and told iraq would pay for it's own reconstruction) Haliburton recieved the lions share. Iraq still isn't rebuilt, but those old Soviet oilwells are back online. You do the math.

    November 19, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. history of US in Afghanistan

    As long as this oil flows through Afghanistan to China, your troops will be there. You really didn't believe that the largest foreign embassy in US history was built in Iraq because they were planning on leaving did you? Did you think the US toppled the Taliban government and installed an American citizen (karzai) as puppet because they just wanted to be there for a little while did you?

    November 19, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. phil

    I hope you all learned something from this. Feel free to question this brief history of US in Afghanistan. In fact, I dare you to argue this true account. (and there is much more, but this box is so small, and it takes forever to post thanx to cNN censure)

    November 19, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Roland

    Did'nt we already have tanks in Afghanistan. We transer some of the tanks from Iraq to Afghanistan already right?

    November 19, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jim Brieske

    history in the US. No, the USA went from supplying the world oil to being dependant upon foreign oil. Government regulations have prevented drilling where the oil exists to easily retrieve.
    If I were president, I would drill everywhere there is oil. I don't care if it were beneath the parking lot of the Greenpeace Headquarters in California. I would make a big mess for the money to use while I convert everyone to alternative fueled automobiles. Once it was done in 30 years, I would clean up the mess.
    We need money. Oil equals money. It will pop us up out of this recession. This drilling of course, would be nationalized. Profit that is only directed toward changing over our automobile fuel type.
    I think tanks are great in Afghanistan. Put thousands there.

    November 19, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. twinki2142

    GET SOME!!

    November 27, 2010 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  8. steven

    about time we need to just bom bom bom and send the marines in

    November 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. dude

    I find it interesting how this article immediately follows another one stating the transition of power to Afganistan will start in early 2011...

    December 1, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
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