CHESTER HAS MOVED!: Prediction Update

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Prediction Update

Here's a quick summary of all I have predicted thus far, in no order: 1. US attack will begin when US election is over. Result: Correct. Phase One began Tuesday night, US time. 2. US Order of Battle will include at least 1st Marine Regiment, at least one MEU, and several thousand Iraqi troops. Result: Correct, with a little clarity on RCT 1 needed. 3. Zarqawi is still in the city. Result: ????? US commanders for the first time yesterday said he may not be. 4. US will execute an extremely well-detailed operational plan, honed over 7 months, rehearsed and grasped by the lowliest Marine on the ground. The planning will be flexible to changes in the situation on the ground. Result: Correct. The tempo of this attack, combined with reports that it is well-ahead of schedule, prove this true. 5. Black Watch is a blocking force, with highway from Fallujah to Baghdad a free-fire zone for Marine Air. Result: Incorrect. Black Watch is southof the Euphrates, patrolling there for any insurgents escaping through the US cordon. In retrospect, I think the report of the Black Watch's presence in Al Iskandiriyah, on which I based my prediction, was indicating that the brigade had only stopped there on the way to their final position. Also, teh distance from Fallujah to Baghdad is much too far for the Black Watch to be effective as a blocking force if deployed in a north to south line. And what am I thinking, that the insurgents would escape in some kind of armored/motorized/mounted/technical vehicle fashion? Wrong. 6. Campaign will be in three phases: Phase I: Shaping the Battlespace, Phase II: Ground Assault, Phase III: Exploitation, Pursuit, Reconstruction. Result: Correct so far. I'm sticking with this analysis even though my numbering/designation scheme might be a little off. 7. US has excellent technical and human intelligence. Result: Inconclusive. We have certainly killed a good number of the enemy, but our reconnaissance could have been by fire. Will have to read up a little more on this one. 8. Insurgents will stand and fight. Result: Correct. Some element of the enemy stayed in the city and fought. 9. The US and Iraq will seek to decisively engage the insurgents, and will not stall for negotiations or political solutions. Result: Correct. This is a decisive battle. 10. The battle will last a week to two weeks in Fallujah, and then roll to other cities. The assault on other cities' insurgents is likely triggered by certain key triggers or objectives being met that we are not privy to. Result: Signs point to yes. 11. The insurgents will kill more Iraqi civilians than US ground troops will. Result: Hard to quantify, but as I've noted in a previous post, the US seems to be killing very few civilians, otherwise we would all hear about it. 12. We are likely to see veterans of other Al Qaeda campaigns surface in Fallujah; what you might call the "enlisted" fighters of Al Qaeda -- the committed trigger-pullers as opposed to the plotting, more notorious commanders. Look for many of the foreign fighters to be vets of Somalia, Afghanistan, etc. Result: Something about this has crossed my radar screen, but I haven't had time to process. Thoughts, readers? Note: I will attempt to interpret what is happening, and to make predictions on this page. I will not second-guess our ground commanders. I'll leave that to the armchairists on the Sunday-morning talk shows.


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