When it comes time for the top dogs in Fallujah to actually fight and there's a very very good chance they wll die...
General Praises Speed of Fallujah Assault
By JIM KRANE, Associated Press Writer
NEAR FALLUJAH, Iraq - In April, 2,000 Marines fought for three weeks and failed to take Fallujah from its insurgent defenders. This time, war planners sent six times the troops, who fought their way across the rebel city in just six days — far more quickly than expected, the Marine general who designed the ground attack said Sunday.
A military statement Sunday said that 38 U.S. troops had been killed and 275 were wounded so far in the operation. There is still no estimate of civilians killed or wounded in the assault.
Maj. Gen. Richard Natonski told The Associated Press he and other planners took lessons from the failed three-week U.S. assault on the city in April, which was called off by the Bush administration after a worldwide outcry over civilian deaths.
This time the military used swarms of aircraft — more than 20 types — that pounded the city before and during the assault.
"We had the green light this time and we went all the way," Natonski said.
Troops also faked attacks before the assault to confuse enemy fighters.
"Maybe we learned from April," Natonski said. "We learned we can't do it piecemeal. When we go in, we go all the way through."
Privately, U.S. military officials say April's assault was botched by the Bush administration which forced the Marines to attack with insufficient forces on just a week's notice and then called off the assault before the city was taken.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said last week that circumstances were different in April. He alluded to opinion polls in Iraq (news - web sites) that suggested that since the first attack, more people are fed up with the violence and are blaming the insurgents rather than the U.S. forces.
For the latest assault, commanders had time to plan. Also, the Iraqi and U.S. governments were determined to wipe out the insurgent nest. And the Iraqi troops, who melted away in April, stood their ground.
Even the worldwide outcry was muted this time, by revulsion at an insurgency blamed for grisly beheadings of hostages.
Natonski described the first six days of ground war as a "flawless execution of the plan we drew up. We are actually ahead of schedule."
As quick as the assault was, perhaps thousands were killed and maimed, most of them Iraqi defenders. Natonski put the toll of guerrillas killed at more than 1,200.
On Sunday, Marines and Army troops still battled pockets of hardcore defenders scattered inside the Sunni Muslim stronghold. Behind U.S. forces, Iraqi troops were engaged in the painstaking task of clearing weapons and fighters from every room of each of Fallujah's 50,000 buildings.
Bands of rebels were still roving neighborhoods crushed by tons of U.S. bombs and shells. The holdouts are harried by U.S. forces who occupy — but have yet to subdue — the entire city.
"There are groups numbering from five to 30," Natonski said. "They're trying to get behind us."
Military officials said it would take days to finish the fight.
As troops uproot the insurgents, contractors are supposed to swarm into Fallujah in coming weeks to cart away rubble, repair buildings, and fix the city's water, sewer and electricity systems.
The Iraqi government has already picked leaders for Fallujah, and thousands of Iraqi police and paramilitary forces have been recruited to try to impose order — critical to the U.S. goal of setting conditions for elections in Fallujah and the rest of Anbar province.
To prevent the insurgents' return, Iraqi forces will halt all traffic flowing in and out of the city — once roads reopen — checking IDs and looking for suspects, Natonski said.
U.S. and Iraqi leaders have long vowed to deal with Fallujah, which in May became a virtual independent rebel city-state and nationwide model for rebellion. One event in August crystallized their resolve.
Back then, an Iraqi National Guard commander acting as a liaison between Fallujah and the U.S. military, Lt. Col. Sulaiman Hamad Ftikan, was beaten to death by mujahedeen inside the city.
"That's when we realized Fallujah was the bright ember in the ash pit of the insurgency, and we needed to douse it," said Lt. Col. Dan Wilson, a planner with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.
Battle planning began in September, with Natonski given responsibility for the combat phase, Wilson said.
Hundreds of other U.S. military and civilian planners designed the overall effort, which is intended to mimic the ongoing post-siege rebuilding under way in Najaf, Wilson said.
Several pre-assault tactics made the battle easier than expected, Natonski said.
Insurgent defenses were weakened by bombing raids on command posts and safe houses. And in the days before the raid, ground troops feinted invasions, charging right up to the edge of Fallujah in tanks and armored vehicles.
Natonski said these fake attacks forced the insurgents to build up forces in the south and east, perhaps diverting defenders from the north, where six battalions of Army and Marine troops finally punched into the city Monday.
The deceptive maneuvers also drew fire from defenders' bunkers, which were exposed and relentlessly bombed before the ground assault.
"We desensitized the enemy to the formations they saw on the night we attacked," Natonski said.
Another key tactic was choking off the city, the responsibility of the 2nd Brigade of the Army's 1st Cavalry Division, Natonski said.
That move prevented insurgents from slipping out of the city during the assault, although many, including top leaders like Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Sheik Abdullah al-Janabi and Omar al-Hadid, are thought to have fled.
"We never expected them to be there," Natonski said. "We're not after Zarqawi. We're after insurgents in general."
When it comes time for the top dogs in Fallujah to actually fight and there's a very very good chance they wll die...
Well guys here we go again! Bad news after bad news! we just lost mosul to these terrorists! Looks like they were already there in mosul, in large numbers while we were busy in Falluja! Like I said fallas, this thing is a total disaster! I believed Dubbya at first when we won a quick victory! But no one told us this is what we'll end up facing! Afull blow insurgency, which is sure to get much much worse if Dubyya keeps threatening Iran. This policy has so far been a total disaster! We gotto empower them A-raanbs and get the hell outta there. At least not have any U.S. infantry there. man I feel like hittin Dubya between his legs with a 2 x 4!
Mosul slips out of US control
MOSUL, Nov 13: Guerillas were in charge of areas of southern and western Mosul on Saturday, holding police stations and manning road blocks, suggesting Iraq's third largest city is slipping out of US and Iraqi control.
Residents in neighbourhoods throughout the city on the Tigris river, 400kms north of Baghdad, said there was no visible presence of Iraqi security forces or US troops and said armed men held some areas.
"In the south and the west of the city, insurgents are doing patrols to protect banks and shops from looters. They are guarding hospitals, schools and fire stations," said one resident, who would give only his first name, Thamer.
"There are no police or National Guards anywhere. The insurgents are in charge of security (in those areas)."
In districts where militants do not have a strong presence, citizens have set up their own security watches, establishing roadblocks and overnight patrols to deter thieves and looters.
None of the residents interviewed would give their full names, saying they feared for their lives. They described the atmosphere in the city as tense and in flux.
The US military has denied the city is out of Iraqi or US control and said on Saturday the situation was calmer, with only sporadic fighting in some areas. It said three of five bridges over the Tigris had been reopened.
"There is no widespread fighting," a spokeswoman said.
Mosul tipped into chaos on Wednesday and Thursday, when armed men attacked at least nine police stations-Reuters
I see the pessimist in you is alive and well.
Tell me Luda, did you expect that all the terrorists would just surrender once we attacked Falluja?
Are you Naive, or just stupid?
Terrorists are like little ants....you just run them from one hill to another. The only way to rid them, is to exterminate the entire area at the same time.
Are you extending support for that course of action?
It would be as effective as it is ugly. However, it would be a pretty safe bet that no one would F with us for quite a while...
Whose up for nuking Mosul?
No man is free until all men are free - John Hossack
I agree completely with this Administration’s goal of a regime change in Iraq-John Kerry
even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act-John Kerry
He may even miscalculate and slide these weapons off to terrorist groups to invite them to be a surrogate to use them against the United States. It’s the miscalculation that poses the greatest threat-John Kerry
The hospital in Germany has said the military casualties are doubled to about 70 per day now. It won't be long before the death toll matches 9/11. Ending it all now, or gradually, the loss of life will be the same results. If Saddam can get away with the war crimes he did in that same region, how can they prosecute the U.S.? The same corrupt rules with the UN, that let Saddam go, would have to apply to the US as well. The Iraq war would be over, and there is nothing the UN could do about it.Originally Posted by M21Sniper
I say "crash and burn."
Originally Posted by M21Sniper
Buddy, if this course of action continues, then we add fresh cadres to Osama's ranks!
Besides, where and when do you stop???
Let me remind you that most Agency analysts predict that the next attack on us will most likely involve a WMD! This is no way to handle this war. ( 3 career officers quit the Agency today in protest at this ridiculous Bush doctrine and policies)
This is looking a whole lot like Vietnam, with the exception that we are now vulnerable at home and abroad! Alqaeda is a deadly threat, and we are playing it in Osama's hands!
Instead of hunting Osama, we just wasted 40 young men, and another 200 seriously wounded! And for what??? For them to show up in the next city?
One thing for sure is that now that the Coalition is in Iraq, there is no going back.
They just can't upstake and leave, or can they?
Vietnam was a different kettle of fish. The VCs though they used guerilla tactics, were structured. Their support bases in North Vietnam were known and to some extent their supply lines.
In Iraq, the fundamentalists are all over. No structure. No command and control as such discernable. An invisible enemy. Also, these folks are steeped in religious hocus pocus. Therefore, they are a real difficult nut to crack.
That is why I say no win siutation (having seen it in real life myself) which people here mistake that I am being pessimistic or left wing! I hate the left anyway. I merely pragmatic since I have seen it all and its results. Of course, I did not have the liberty of air force bombardments or even artillery.
My practical experience indicates that so long as foreign terrorists are there, funded and indoctrinated in religion, they will come on. That is why I am despondent about this war.
Yesterday on CNN some US official was wondering if the Iraqi election can take place at all as scheduled. The UN chap who to organise the same was even more pessimistic and I thought he would burst out crying!
"Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion, Instead of Truth they use Equivocation, And eke it out with mental Reservation, Which is to good Men an Abomination."
I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.
Good luck getting public support for that!Originally Posted by Julie
Lull, i've already listed a viable 'exit strategy' for the US, and given a reasonable explanation that it is close to happening.
12 months from now i believe you will see no more than 10,000 US troops in Iraq. The key is the elections and the Iraqi Army.
The elections are close, and the Iraqi Army performed very well in Fallujah.
Victory is staring us in the face, and you're talking like a defeatist. You sir, are buying into the terrorists game. You're reacting EXACTLY as they want you to.
Think about it.
This whole thing is Tet all over again, but on a vastly smaller scale. The US crushed(utterly) the VC during TET, but the media was albe to portray it as a crushing US defeat, which was so far from the truth you'd need the Millenium Falcon to get from there to the reality.
You need to stop being so hysterical, and realize that things are actually going VERY well over there.
"The hospital in Germany has said the military casualties are doubled to about 70 per day now."
I'm surprised it's not more like 4x higher. Impressive.
"It won't be long before the death toll matches 9/11."
At this rate it will take another 2 years before we reach 3,000 US deaths in Iraq(last number i saw was in the mid 1,100 region for US KIAs, that after almost 2 years).
"Ending it all now, or gradually, the loss of life will be the same results."
If we went the scorched earth route we'd actually probably save a hell of a lot of US lives.
"If Saddam can get away with the war crimes he did in that same region, how can they prosecute the U.S.?"
Hypocracy is alive and well in the EU and the UN, but no, they don't have the power to prosecute anyone. They could issue an indictment, but it would have all the power of a 1 watt lightbulb.
"The same corrupt rules with the UN, that let Saddam go, would have to apply to the US as well. The Iraq war would be over, and there is nothing the UN could do about it.
I say "crash and burn."
I'm with you, but the liberals will freak.
If Lulldapull is correct, and a WMD attack against the US is on the horizon, you'll need a scientific calculator to figure the number of deaths that the US will inflict in retaliation. Syria, Iran, Somalia, maybe even Pakistan......could very well cease to exist.
The US people would be so hysterical for about a week that the President could do pretty much ANYTHING he wanted to 'get even'. That would fade quickly though. The US sheeple are very fickle, and ofttimes cannot see farther than the tip of their own nose. You can see it on boards like this all the time. There are a hell of a lot of hyperventilators in the US.
How many will you 'crash and burn'? After the US took over Iraq, the administration disbanded an approx 400,000 strong army. Leaving so many soldiers unemployed is costing the US now. The CNN news reports say that 1200 insurgents were killed, there are still alot more left.Originally Posted by Julie
Who says Saddam got away? Is'nt he in US custody facing some judicial procedure. You are'nt learning from past mistakes when you say "crash and burn", what right do you have to destroy those people enmass? An insurgent fights from his home, when he is killed, it fuels hatred and desent amongst his relatives and neighbours, against the opposition.
Cheers!...on the rocks!!
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