Wednesday, November 10, 2004


I am not a military tactician, though I play one in video games

This entire assault on Fallujah rubs me the wrong way. Do not get me wrong, I want to see the terrorist feel the might of our military as much as the next guy. Let me give you a short time line of the Iraq situation, and you will probably see what I mean.

Major Ground assault disperses with Iraq army
The enemy melted away into the population and did not fight to the death. The Iraq army dispersed is due to the fact they knew they would lose if they stood their ground. We knew this, they knew this. Live again to fight another day was their motto.

A coordinated decentralized insurgency forms and general instability

The reasons for an insurgency forming are wide and varied. Internal resistance to the American occupation, external groups funding internal groups resistant to the American occupation, and foreign fighters joining and fueling the fray. We dismissed the military. Saddam released a lot of criminals. We could have had a few more million troops over there. Yada. Yada. Yada.

My point is that these groups strength arose out of their nature. They had stealth, terror, plentiful supplies, wide range of movement, and willing members.

A coordinated centralized insurgency forms

We move from seeing violence and instability in several cities and in many different places in Iraq to seeing violence and instability only in a few areas, which we left by choice. The insurgency then uses those areas as staging areas for attacks, places to live, places to sleep, places to eat, and places to keep arms.

Here is the part that I do not understand and which makes me nervous.

When we get ready to attacked the few places left on the map the insurgency STAYS there. The allow us to surround them, prepare for a wide ranging attack, and they prepare to defend their ground. In other words, they are preparing to more or less fight to the death.

The two most viable options that I see are:

We are walking into a trap of some kind. Right now the insurgency has 10,000 to 15,000 Americans in one place, with even more Iraqi soldiers. A bio or chem attack would hurt us.

Or the insurgency is blinded by the desire to spread their culture and is not thinking tactically.

NOTE: I have been reading some of the reports, and it seems that our guys are ahead of schedule in clearing areas. The are facing resistance, but that resistance is fading when we push harder. Are they leaving to fight another day? Or they drawing us in to the center of the city? I do not know, but this seems a little odd to me.

UPDATE: Maybe they are not to dumb, or maybe they are dumber than I think.

Khalid said insurgent leaders had debated how many men to leave in the city. "There were different views about that," he added. "They discussed percentages like 20 per cent inside the city and 80 per cent outside, to save as many fighters as possible for future operations. In the end, they settled on a 50-50 split.

As a commander would I want to leave my most dedicated men in a city to die? It sounds like a winning strategy for us at least.


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