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Post Fallujah

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Sometime back, the US forces launched an operation on Fallujah to crush the insurgents in preparation for the upcoming Iraqi elections. The question then was not so much whether could the US troops take the city but rather what would be the effect of the operation. Would it be a decisive turning point of the war or would it provide realisation that the insurgent problems are more widespread and deep rooted than expected and that more troops are needed or that current tactics are not working. Let us examine the situation.

1) RPG Alley
The 7 mile road between Baghdad International Airport and the city has become so dangerous that it has been nicknamed "RPG Alley" and US and UK embassy declared the road off limits.

2) Fuel Shortage
Iraq, which use to be an oil exporting nation is now importing $200 million worth of oil each month as fuel shortages hit the country as a result of sabotage and lack of security on the roads. The result among other things is lack of electricity which further aids the activity of the insurgents and criminal activity.

3) Mosul
Mosul was once the poster city of US occupation where US troops worked closely with the locals and local TV even produced a version of "Cops" and "Iraqi Idol." The Mosul offensive by the insurgents which captured the police stations briefly has now struck fear into the local population and there are only 1000 police left from a force of 8000 of which only 400 are reliable.

4) Iraq National Guardsmen
Meanwhile the Iraqi National Guardsmen are being killed and their bodies mutilated, leading to many attempting to mask their identity.

A) Where are we going?
The story of Rumsfeld being asked questions relating to the lack of armor in my opinion is a mask to a deeper question left unasked. It has been 19 months after the war has ended and the situation does not seem to be getting better, what with troops being asked to stay longer and the bringing in of more troops. The question of foreseeability and the need to bring in more than 10 times the amount of soft skin vehicle seems to suggest that the plans are not going as expected, in other words the plans at least with regards to a stable Iraq has failed on some level.

B) Rock and a Hard Place
What then is the solution? Pulling the troops out would only further destabilise the country and region but staying the current course does not seem to be working as planned. The Iraqi Elections is a positive step but it is no silver bullet just as the capture of Saddam and Fallujah did not reduce the amount of attacks.

C) Heart and Mind
General Templer, commander of the British forces during the communist insurgency in Malaya, talked about winning the hearts and mind of the population and that any guerilla insurgency is 90% political and 10% military. The killing of the unarmed prisoner in Fallujah has been analysed in terms of whether what he did was necessary in terms of self defense but in firing that bullet did he also sow the seeds for more insurgent attacks. Perhaps one would dismiss this as mere hogwash or a pansy kinder and gentler war that only helps the insurgents or words from a bygone British general from a bygone era. But this is exactly what is called for in the US Field Manual FMI 3-07.22 on counter insurgency operations. Would this work? I do not know. But one thing I do know is that it would seem the current course of action does not seem to be producing the results that we hoped for.
post #2 of 2
Those links you provided say it all - we're "losing the peace", and are facing precisely the situation that opponents of an invasion of Iraq predicted. Of course, I fully expect that some posters are going to go on about these articles being generated by left-wing media and "not telling the whole story". That's the usual response to criticism of the Bush administration's Iraq policy from his supporters.
According to one U.S. poll, less than half of the respondents now expect a democratically elected government in Iraq:
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