For three days, 15,000 U.S., British and Afghan troops have marched towards the Taliban stronghold of Marja in southern Afghanistan in the biggest joint operation of the war.
Called Operation Moshtarak, the mission is to take Marja, the biggest town in the Helmand province still held by the Taliban, and also to win over the town's 80,000 residents.
Ultimately, military forces hope to establish Afghan government rule in the region.
In this video, NewsHour correspondent Ray Suarez reports on efforts in Marja and talks to Rod Norland of the New York Times who has been covering the story from Kabul.
"Until now, there was security. But now, after everything is fine, we want them to build us schools and roads. So far, they haven't done anything for us. Now it is time to work, and they have promised to do that." Mohammad Ebrahimi, Afghanistan
"The Americans and the Afghans want to show that their new population-centered strategy can succeed in holding -- holding Marja long enough to rebuild it and to provide real government services that will hopefully discourage people from going back to the Taliban." - Rod Norland, New York Times
1. Where is Afghanistan. What countries border Afghanistan?
2. Why is the U.S. fighting in Afghanistan?
1. What did you learn from this video?
2. Why is it so important for allied troops to win over the people of the town of Marja? What difficulties will they probably face?
3. Why is the Taliban able to maintain control in some areas? What resources might they have?
4. The U.S. has already been in Afghanistan for eight years and experts believe that the war will get worse before or if it gets better. What do you think of this assessment? Do you think we should add more troops or pull out?