Siege of Fallujah continues…hellfire brewing on the horizon

Witnesses report copter strike; Marines hope to nab insurgents

A combined unit of US and Iraqi soldiers is preparing to launch operation Vigilant Resolve.

(I yearn for the good old days when op names didn’t have to be TV commercials.)

I think it’s important that Iraqis begin to play a greater role in securing their nation. First of all, we frankly need the manpower. If they only assume some of the more mundane duties, it will free up our guys to either carry out more missions or just rest.

But, even more importantly, Iraqis need to begin ponying up because it is their future on the line. They need to become more invested in what’s going on, and they need to get their own heroes. Sure, I want them to like our military, but there will never be any true love for American soldiers in Iraq, and if only foreigners die in battles and attacks, the average Iraqi doesn’t stand to lose too much. If the guys on the lines (such as they are) are their own people, they’ll have a personal investment in things and another reason to support pacification.

(I’ve been trying to avoid the ‘P’ word, because of the negative connotations we have for it, but after this weekend’s events I think that’s all we can call it at this point.)

Of course I hope for success in Vigilant Resolve, but I also hope that Iraqi personnel can claim a share of the credit.

And, as I’ve mentioned before, watch Airborne Combat Engineer for more coverage of the Fallujah situation.

UPDATE: I made this comment on an earlier post about Fallujah:

I think the fact that we didn’t go rushing headlong into the city on a “rescue” mission indicates that the Marines have a plan.

All of history indicates you don’t want to be on the receiving end when the US Marines have a plan.

The inevitable comparisons to the Blackhawk Down events in Mogadishu don’t take into account the fact that those Rangers and Delta Force operators were basically unprepared and unsupported for a battle. They didn’t have enough water, ammunition, medical supplies, body armor, night vision gear, or alternatives. That will not be the case in Fallujah, even if the entire city opposes them. I don’t know if this is going to be a small battle or just a major raid. It’s up to the citizens of the city, I guess.

UPDATE 2: marinefallujahsign.jpg


  1. I read the excellent analysis at the Belmont Club (via ACE), and it seemed solidly based. However, it made one assumption that I’m not sure is valid: that the anti-coalition forces will attempt to mount a massive defense of the city. Is it not more likely that the 95% of the bitter-enders that aren’t key figures will attempt to blend in to the rest of the civilian population, either in the city or leaving once the evacuation starts? The other 5% who know that we know who they are probably very busy fortifying a few buildings and planning on making a spectacular stand invloving lots of explosives that they hope will take some Marines with them? I just can’t see 3,000 Iraqis coming to the conclusion that fighting the U.S. Marines who have all the time in the world to plan is a good idea. I can only see the ones that know they are already cooked getting that desperate.

  2. Excellent comment. I agree completely. I think there will be some fierce fighting in spots, but I also think most of the anti-coalition fighters will attempt to blend into the population. The only real hope we have of nabbing them if they do is getting tips from the locals. Since a lot of the fighters are locals themselves, and Fallujah at large is pretty anti-coalition, I doubt we’re going to get as many as we need to. The Iraqi police might be able to help, but it’s not certain how effective they might be, or even whose side they might be on.