A reader takes issue with the disposition of the bridges . . .
An Alert Reader, Bacelic, has mentioned in the comments section that he questions the idea that US/Coalition forces have seized both the bridges and both banks of the river adjacent to them: "To claim those bridges are secure is foolish. They have those bridges under overlapping fields of fire and direct obervation. I mean, there are some very experienced senior Iraqi officers in Fallujah. They are not stupid. I would be surprised if those bridges aren`t prepared for demolition." My thoughts: 1. We are capable of seeing explosive charges on the bridges just with satellites, let alone reconnaissance forces. If there were explosives on the bridges, they have been mitigated. 2. I quote from Marine Corps Doctrinal Publication 1-0, "Marine Corps Operations", under "Terrain-Oriented Tactical Tasks": "Seize: To clear a designated area and gain control of it." "Secure: to gain possesion of a position or terrain feature, with or without force, and to prevent its destruction or loss by enemy action. The attacking force may or may not have to physically occupy the area." [This refers to the effects of fires. you can secure a piece of terrain or a building through the ability to fire on it.] Let's hope the reporters are using the terminology correctly. 3. Nobody said we took the bridges without a fight. This overview states, "Flares were dropped to illuminate targets, and defenders fought back with heavy machine gunfire. Flaming red tracer rounds streaked through the sky from guerrilla positions inside the city." So it would seem correct that the insurgents had the bridges covered with interlocking fire. It would also seem correct that the US beat them and took the bridges.