CHESTER HAS MOVED!: Why this isn't Hue -- Wavetop View

Monday, November 08, 2004

Why this isn't Hue -- Wavetop View

Time being short for the evening, here is a wavetop view of why Fallujah is not Hue City in Viet Nam. HUE CITY, 1968 The enemy was regular NVA with highly centralized command and control, and indirect fire assets. The US forces were outmatched in troop strength and fought house-to-house, attacking positions of enemy strength rather than bypassing them. US forces were battle veterans, but had little prior experience in urban environments. FALLUJAH Enemy forces are extremely decentralized, with little overall command and control and few indirect fire assets. They are beholden to planning a defense and then adhering strictly to that plan; they do not have the command and control that will offer fllexibility. Instead, an every man for himself attitude will pervade their defense. Moreover, much of the enemy is poorly trained. Those that are veterans of fighting and are highly motivated are in the minority. The biggest difference between these two battles is the incredible technological and training superiority of the US forces. US forces have made training for urban fighting a priority for years and have honed amny skills. The best template for this battle is not Hue, or any of the urban battles in which Islamic forces were pitted against a Western power (Mogadishu, Grozny, Kabul/Kandahar, Palestine, Beirut, etc), but is instead the US military's seizure of Baghdad one year ago. Some of the tactics and procedures used in that attack were: -extensive use of optics and heat-sensored imaging at night -swarming techniques: US forces, even a whole battalion, move in a dispersed formation. When engaged by enemy forces, they train the firepower of the entire unit on that one spot, concentrating it there. The Belmont Club is also offering the viewpoint that the battle seems to be going swimmingly. I am sticking with my prediction that the battle will last a week, and two weeks tops.


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