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November 9, 2004
Marines Rout Fallujah Terrorists

The Marines are steadily and successfully killing terrorists and breaking things in Fallujah. The AP reports:

Faced with overwhelming force, resistance in Fallujah did not appear as fierce as expected, though the top U.S. commander in Iraq (news - web sites) said he still expected "several more days of tough urban fighting" as insurgents fell back toward the southern end of the city, perhaps for a last stand.

Some U.S. military officers estimated they controlled about a third of the city. Commanders said they had not fully secured the northern half of Fallujah but were well on their way as American and Iraqi troops searched for insurgents.

The commander on the ground, Lt. Gen. Thomas Metz, believes al-Zarqawi escaped Fallujah before the assault. This is unfortunate, but Im certain there is still a Hellfire missile with his name on it.

The Marines are advancing rapidly toward victory. Of course the question has never been if the US forces would succeed but rather how long the battle for Fallujah will last. Wretchard from The Belmont Club provides this prediction:

Today's news will tell whether American commanders have decided to keep up the tempo and profit from enemy confusion or slow down and reduce the remainder by fire. One of the factors will be the condition of the Iraqi troops fighting alongside Americans. As suggested in the article above, Iraqi troops are employed to clean out areas like mosques that have been bypassed by US forces. This is dangerous and exhausting work. The limited number of trained Iraqi troops may enforce a limit on tempo. As the enemy fragments it will become a battle of small unit holdouts in dozens of locations. Each enemy position is doomed but they will take time to clean out.

The Marines exemplify professional fury, and I don't expect the commanders in the field to restrain them any more than necessary. The Marines will finish this job with all due haste and then it's on to Ramadi.

For insightful and expert analysis of the conflict, visit The Adventures of Chester, authored by a former Marine officer who served in Iraq war. Apparently, he has some special posts planned for tonight.

BTW: You know the election is over when the AP reports a story about US forces in Iraq without using the phrases "quagmire" and "bogged down" in the first paragraph.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Whiskey at November 9, 2004 6:18 PM

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