Sunday, November 07, 2004

Snap Analysis

Here I am with a snap analysis even though I said never to believe the first report . . . US forces have seized both bridges that would allow enemy forces to move west. Seizing in this case means complete control: we own them. That means real estate on both sides. For the southern bridge, probably a "beachhead" inside the city. For the western bridge, probably enough troops to defend it if necessary. For either of these, great latitude has probably been given to the local commanders to do whatever is necessary to keep these lanes open for the US and closed to enemy forces, and even excess numbers of DPRE (Displaced persons, refugees, and evacuees). During the invasion last year, all of 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, from Task Force Tarawa, was dedicated to holding one bridge over the Tigris, in the city of Numaniyah. In the mind of the battalion commander, this meant controlling the entire city. US Marine and Army units have moved from south of the Euphrates and west of Baghdad and converged somewhere along the highway to the north of the city. The US controls the major highways ringing the city. The forces at this converging point will organize there for actions to take place in the northeast part of the city, in the Jolan neighborhood, where insurgents are reported to be concentrated. The location of this assembly area outside the city could also be used as a logistics node* if we need another one. US and Iraqi forces have seized the main Fallujah hospital, possibly to control the information flow to the media coming out of it, possibly because of its size and location. Airstrikes and pre-planned artillery missions are no doubt continuing in the city, but don't believe press reports about indiscriminate fire. They are more than likely carefully planned. Expect any insurgent indirect fire to be immediately met with our own counter-battery fire, possibly in under one minute. Because of this, insurgents will have to take quick shots, then immediately displace, probably via technical vehicle. They have probably been doing this for awhile. But we will plot their shots and draw inferences on their locations. *a logistics node could be a Forward Arming and Refueling Point for aircraft, a linkup point for resupply vehicles to meet the infantry battalion's own organic assets, a staging area for medical or other services, a decontamination area for chemical attacks, or a large stockpile of supplies, though if a piece of terrain is to be used for any of these purposes, priority will go to the combat units who will occupy it first. It will take awhile to build up supply stockpiles. A logistics node does not mean a command and control site. Marines lead from the front. Even Generals. Expect to hear stories of even General officers right in the mix of fighting.


Blogger Doug Jones, IBD said...

The sat photo of the town show three bridges... two to the immediate west of the city and one a bit furthernorth and west. When you talk about the "western bridge" are you talking about the one further west. If so I assume we must own both of the "eastern" bridges.

The road to the east of the city looks like a perfect
kill zone... are they likely to be dumb enough to go that way?

November 7, 2004 at 8:48 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Listed on Blogwise