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The Battle for Marjah

Series Description

“A tremendous film that everyone … should watch. A+” —Newsday

“Both an absorbing record of combat on the ground and an attempt to assess the larger battle for hearts and minds” —The New York Times


On February 13, 2010, American-led coalition forces launched the biggest military operation since the beginning of the Afghan war. Their target was the town of Marjah, a Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan. There, the Marines had four tasks: remove the Taliban, hold all ground seized, build infrastructure and governance, and transfer control to Afghan security forces.

In this powerful account, award-winning journalist Ben Anderson tells the story of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, and its commanding officer, Captain Ryan Sparks. At the battle’s outset, Sparks and the 272 men of Bravo are flown 12 miles and dropped into the center of Marjah, where the Taliban lie in wait. For the young Marines, their first task begins. Embedded with Bravo Company, Anderson provides an intimate and sobering look at the realities of counterinsurgency warfare.


About the Host

Journalist Ben Anderson covers Afghanistan for the London Times and regularly writes for BBC World Service, GQ, Independent on Sunday, and The Guardian. His recent works include the BBC documentary Taking on the Taliban.