The Blog

The Fight for Falluja

How American and Iraqi forces will try to take down the terrorist stronghold.

8:20 AM, Nov 8, 2004 • By CHRISTIAN LOWE
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Snipers should be used for deep reconnaissance and direct fire support and special operations forces used to intercept high-level terrorists and insurgent leaders trying to flee the onslaught. Iraqi forces--particularly the well-trained commando troops--can be used to flush insurgents from the holy sites they once considered an easy refuge.

Yet with all those advantages of technology, superior force, and some well-trained Iraqi allies, the insurgents still have the edge. Defending a city is easier than taking one--just ask the Russians. The enemy has had six months to prepare defenses, to booby trap buildings, to build fall-back positions, to train and horde weapons. Veterans of the first battle for Falluja admit that while the majority of the enemy consists of "fair weather insurgents," there is a solid group of highly motivated and well-trained terrorists who are in control of the city. The enemy there will not be easy to defeat, the Falluja I vets contend, and those of us watching the fight unfold should be ready for a potentially long, violent, and messy slog.

Christian Lowe is a staff writer for Army Times Publishing Company and a contributing writer to The Daily Standard.