I’m often a bit miffed that the late 2004 clearing of Fallujah is often overlooked. The operation must stand as one of the greatest urban warfare victories ever, but all we ever hear about it is how a Marine shot a wounded insurgent and how white phosphorus is a chemical weapon.
Strategy Page has a good post up on how our success there is still being studied:
The Fallujah fighting was quite intense, even by historical standards, something that the media missed. What was noticed was how quickly the army and marine troops blitzed through the city, clearing out the 4,000 very determined defenders. The speed and efficiency of the American attack was the result of some unique, in the history of warfare, factors. But the principal reason for the success in Fallujah was the high degree of training the troops had. Many also had months of combat experience in Iraq. These factors (training and combat experience) have long been key factors in combat success.
Go read the whole thing.
UPDATE: Strategy Page also notes that the Marines interviewed Chechen fighters (who really took it to the Rooskies in urban settings in the 1990s) to help them plan to avoid the same problems that plagued the Russian army.