After the Fallujah fight, then what? | csmonitor.com
After the Fallujah fight, then what? | csmonitor.com Highlight with notes: On psychological nature of strategy: "If US-led forces take Fallujah with relative quickness and efficiency, Samarra, Ramadi, and other restive regions may decide that harboring insurgents isn't worth it. But if the attack stalls, or causes large numbers of civilian casualties, moderate or politically uncommitted Iraqis might decide that the guerrilla fighters could end up winners, after all." Note: You bet. Taking the worst place down first, and quickly, will make the following battles easier. On the "what if they run away? THEN WHAT, HUH?" attitude: "Furthermore, it's possible that the insurgents will not fight to the last man in Fallujah, but will withdraw and regroup elsewhere, waiting for a time and place to strike again. Samarra has already seen something of this dynamic of retreat and resurgence. Elsewhere, Mosul, Ramadi, and other cities might see an upsurge in violence prior to scheduled elections." Note: Readers, have no doubt that despite our cordoning operations, many insurgents have escaped. Also have no doubt that there will be an uptick in violence in other cities over the next weeks. Also have no doubt that large numbers of insurgents can flee and we can still claim a victory in Fallujah. By fleeing and blowing themselves up elsewhere, they gradually become irrelevant. More on this later tonight. On what this site has termed Phase III: Exploitation, Reconstruction, and Installation of Government "But it may be the battle after the battle that determines which direction Fallujah and other areas of Iraq not now entirely under government control will slide. And that battle - consisting of the stability and nation-building activities that have proven so difficult to this point - will be increasingly out of US hands. "It will be Iraqi politics, governance, economic and aid activity, and military and security forces that ultimately win or lose," says Mr. Cordesman." Note: The US military's velvet-gloved fist will be the deciding factor keeping the Iraqi forces from losing.