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Posts: 1685/2365
(08-Nov-2004 at 22:17)


The Battle for Falluja

hm, i'm watching CNN right now, seems like they are really about to start the assault on Falluja now. earlier in the day i heard Iraqi troops took bridges and a hospital, and now an all-out attack is underway.

what do you think, is this going to be more of a success than the last time Falluja was attacked...? more of a lasting success, at least?
how important do you think that city actually is? are there enough insurgents there to make the destruction of the city wortwhile ( and that is most likely what is going to happen, judging by the amassed firepower surrounding it, and the amount of fire going in seen in the "green pictures").

what are the last estimates about civilians still in the city? i heard nobody is quite sure. wouldn't want to trade with them.

do you agree with the Iraqi and the American leadership that Falluja has to be taken to make elections possible, or do you rather agree with Mr Annan who said it was a mistake - although not really giving another option?

guess i just wanted to gather some opinions and impressions you people might have...
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(08-Nov-2004 at 22:29)


My only concern is that our concern for civilian casualties forces us to warn our target weeks in advance. Senior Al-Queda leadership if they have any brains whatsoever have left already.

As to the attack, it should go well considering the amount of preparation we put into it. We know where they hid all their traps due to around the clock survaillance. We learned from past urban assaults that armored support is needed, so we have it now. We know where their hideouts are.
#2  
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(08-Nov-2004 at 22:38)


i kinda doubt it is THAT easy. i figure this is going to be what everybody feared Baghdad would be during the invasion.
i seriously doubt that you can observe a whole city of 300.000 people closely enough to know where all the dangers lie.
how can you know where the guy sits who is going to throw a grenade that is going to take out a handful of soldiers, or that other one who is going to fire the RPG that is going to blow up an armoured personnel carrier; which one is the house that is going to be blown up by remote when it is being searched. there just is no way of knowing for sure.

US and Iraqi government soldiers are going to be so much on the edge that any civilian still in the city is going to be in constant danger. and that is not even mentioning how the insurgents will not give a flying fudge about civilian casualties, as they have impressively shown so far...
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Posts: 3957/8194
(08-Nov-2004 at 22:42)
Re: The Battle for Falluja

Quote:
(Originally posted by Subterranean)
what are the last estimates about civilians still in the city? i heard nobody is quite sure. wouldn't want to trade with them.
Last estimate I saw was around 50,000 people still in there.

Quote:
Do you agree with the Iraqi and the American leadership that Falluja has to be taken to make elections possible, or do you rather agree with Mr Annan who said it was a mistake - although not really giving another option?
Allawi just declared 2 month of Martial Law. That's all the way to the planned election, whch means that any election campaign will be very strange.

I doubt anything good will come of the attack. Either the leading fighters will slip out, making the fight reasonably bloodless but also pointless, or there will be heavy fighting killing so many people that the Iraqis become even more disgruntled on the occupation forces. It'll also be a great step on the way to make Allawi the new Saddam.
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(08-Nov-2004 at 22:46)


Unfortunately, Fallujah will likely be reduced to rubble in the effort to root out thr insurgency. But if that's what it takes to secure free elections, so be it. Now that we are in Iraq, and Bush is still President, it is irrelevant whether the war was wrong in the first place or not. We must work towards making Iraq as free as possible, and I support the administration's assertion that ending the insurgency in Fallujah is the way to do it.

One thing, though, I say cheers to the President for not starting an assault on Fallujah as a last-minute election surprise, and instead keeping it back until he won. Although I don't often agree with the President, I respect that decision.

And this time it seems like it will be much more successful, since all sources describe it in the somewhat cliched term, "all-out assault." With that much brute strength, Fallujah will be taken with no trouble. Wiping out the insurgency afterwards will be more difficult. We shall see.

And that concludes another random pontification by Saugus!
Cornell University
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(08-Nov-2004 at 22:53)


Quote:
(Originally posted by Saugus)

Unfortunately, Fallujah will likely be reduced to rubble in the effort to root out thr insurgency. But if that's what it takes to secure free elections, so be it. Now that we are in Iraq, and Bush is still President, it is irrelevant whether the war was wrong in the first place or not. We must work towards making Iraq as free as possible, and I support the administration's assertion that ending the insurgency in Fallujah is the way to do it.

One thing, though, I say cheers to the President for not starting an assault on Fallujah as a last-minute election surprise, and instead keeping it back until he won. Although I don't often agree with the President, I respect that decision.

And this time it seems like it will be much more successful, since all sources describe it in the somewhat cliched term, "all-out assault." With that much brute strength, Fallujah will be taken with no trouble. Wiping out the insurgency afterwards will be more difficult. We shall see.
I have to agree and think it's goint to turn into a rubble town , i think they're going to find heavy resistance and will resort to bombing the place to the ground.
as for free and fair elections, well i'm not that optimistic, can't really see that happening anytime soon.

boo
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(08-Nov-2004 at 23:01)


My feeling is that the US forces will have a fairly easy time taking Falluja (especially considering the level of bombardment that precedes any US infantry advance).

The problem for the US and their authority in Iraq lies in holding the territory.

The temptation to compare the situation to Viet Nam is great, as we see large US forces moving unchecked while smaller policing forces continue to be targets for ambush. The controlling authority seems to have effective control only in the capital city.

As long as US forces stay in Iraq they will attract and focus anti-American feeling in many countries into one battleground.
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(08-Nov-2004 at 23:06)
Quote:
(Originally posted by Saugus)
Unfortunately, Fallujah will likely be reduced to rubble in the effort to root out thr insurgency. But if that's what it takes to secure free elections, so be it.
The old "we had to destroy the village to save it" argument.

It's also reassuring to see that the US commanders are so rational about what kind of enemy they are up against in Falluja. I hope they brought holy water and crucifixes as well as howitzers is they are planning to excorcize the city:
"The marines that I have had wounded over the past five months have been attacked by a faceless enemy," said Colonel Brandl.

"But the enemy has got a face. He's called Satan. He lives in Falluja. And we're going to destroy him."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3989639.stm

As for the election, it might not be much of an election at all:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...-2004Nov7.html
"Will the United States allow Iraq to hold competitive elections in January? Or will it play it safe, convert the announced election into a referendum over a single list of candidates and thus send a message to all Middle East regimes that it agrees with them that free elections are too risky for such a volatile corner of the world?"
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(08-Nov-2004 at 23:50)
I don't see why we can't tell everyone to leave, and warn all those remaining in the city after a certain amount of time will be delt with either by: a siege to starve or a kill on sight assault. Then search the city for weapons, and filter everyone and everything going back into the city. This method also shouldn't be that destructive and would minimize or eliminate (depending on the stupidity/stubbornness of the people) civilian casualties.
Its a war and the insurgents are repeatedly attacking and bombing US troops and, with a much greater effect, Iraqi people and police.
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(09-Nov-2004 at 03:05)
Well a siege to starve would probably take a long time as well as looking bad in the eyes of the world. Actually, forcing everyone to leave town might result in starvation for many of the poor and elderly(the largest groups of people still in the city probably.)

Filtering everyone through checkpoints and searching houses.. that's what this will probably boil down to in the end. I hate to imagine searching a 300 000 person city. But, many weapons will be found, and many criminals will be detained.

Best of luck to those involved.
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(09-Nov-2004 at 03:59)
smile

When they were forced to leave town, they would/should be provided for, i'm not -that- cold-hearted

But, even if a siege to starve would take a long time, it wouldn't cause massive destruction to the city. Also, if the civilians have left, its not as bad as assaulting with civilians in the town.
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(09-Nov-2004 at 05:02)


this is going to be a bloody battle and in the end many that aren't fighting the U.S. in the city now will be before this is over. After all I would fight to death to defend my home.

Thats my opinion and Im sticking to it!
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(09-Nov-2004 at 08:13)
Quote:
(Originally posted by Diablito9932)
I don't see why we can't tell everyone to leave, and warn all those remaining in the city after a certain amount of time will be delt with either by: a siege to starve or a kill on sight assault.
That's basically what has been happening since the failed invasion attempt this summer. It's just that USA hasn't enough troops for a proper siege of the city, so now they try the assault instead.

You must also realize that not everyone will leave just because the occupation force tells them to. These people doesn't have anywhere to go so many have choosen to stay and take their chances in a fight. You can be callous and say that it's their own fault, but they are nevertheless innocent civilians.
Quote:
Its a war and the insurgents are repeatedly attacking and bombing US troops and, with a much greater effect, Iraqi people and police.
Odd isn't it how the "war" drags on. First it was supposed to be over when Baghdad fell, then the resistance was supposed to collapse when Saddam was captured, and yet it gets worse all the time.
#13  
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(Posted as Metatrone)
Posts: 295/803
(11-Nov-2004 at 07:10)
It is obvious that Falluja has to be cleared from rebell-forces/criminals. It is relatively close to Baghdad and have also provided the insurgents with reasonable safe area.

The latest reports tell that some 70% of the city has been taken by the coalition forces and that their losses have been low - extremely low considering the circumstances surrounding urban warfare, in which 30% casualties are expected/calculated for each engagement. This have not been the case so far in the battle, which of course is a direct result of the lessons learned from previous urban engagements that the US have fought. Also, this battle have been planned for a very long time and been preceeded by a high number art. -and air strikes against known insurgent strongholds. Reports tell that the city already remind of how Kabul looked after years of war. I also have a hard time believeing that the coalition forces would storm a cross the city and experience the same thing as the russians did while trying to seize Grozny using armoured units a couple of years ago and get slaughtered. Each US-infantry advance in Falluja is proceeded by air and artillery strikes. Each insurgent strongpoint encountered is dealth with by air or by artillery - or tank fire from a range. The coalition forces are acting like all urban warfare units have been taught to act - like cowards.

The city will be "taken", there is no doubt about that. If the insurgent forces had been determined to hold the city, the fighting would have been somewhat more difficult, but I doubt that they are so stupid that they would vaste their resources in a battle they can not hope to win. They will simply just relocate and hide among the civilian population.

And the war drags on because the coaltion forces are still fighting a conventional war, while the insurgent forces are not. Coalition forces have laws and rules to abide to, while the insurgents does not. As I see it, there is basically only one way to "end" the war, and that is to increase the brutality used against the insurgents and impose an element of terror against them. This of course have to be made by US/British forces since the Iraqi government will fall the moment the US pull out of Iraq - much like Vietnam.


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(11-Nov-2004 at 07:40)


Quote:
The coalition forces are acting like all urban warfare units have been taught to act - like cowards.
I would be a coward if I was there right now. Why risk death if there is a way to avoid it? Unfortunately the risk to the civilian population that is left in Fallujah is quite high. I hope that the body count of innocent Iraqis are not too high.

Quote:
If the insurgent forces had been determined to hold the city, the fighting would have been somewhat more difficult, but I doubt that they are so stupid that they would vaste their resources in a battle they can not hope to win. They will simply just relocate and hide among the civilian population.
Yes and while the mass of men and equipment are bogged down in Fallujah there are other areas that are left under defended, and have become prime targets for attacks.

Quote:
As I see it, there is basically only one way to "end" the war, and that is to increase the brutality used against the insurgents and impose an element of terror against them.
Unfortunately this only supports the view that Saddam was perhaps somewhat justified in his brutal methods, as the forces of the Coalition are now resorting to the methods used by Saddam to control the populace.

“The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”
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(11-Nov-2004 at 07:45)


Since Fallujah was warned of the attack, I doubt that we will see any real productivity in the realm of body counts of insurgents. Taking the city will however, deny the insurgents of what has up until recently been a safe area for planning and executing attacks. If the respective governments of Iraq and the U.S. see this gain in territory for what it is, namely a large loss in logistics for the insurgents, the control of Fallujah could be expanded into further gains within the Sunni triangle. We should be caeful however, not to equate gains in territory as commensurate gains in security.

Several important roads and highways run through Falluja as well. Freeing up these major arteries will go a long way towards providing coalition forces with logistical support.

Ironically, a victory in Falluja will neccesitate a need for increased troop levels in Iraq; something the current administration would prefer to avoid as much as possible. Every gain in territory requires more forces to maintain security and stability. Additional forces in theatre also require future deployment level increases for force relief.

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(11-Nov-2004 at 07:52)


Interesting how low of a priority taking prisoners is. Massive air and artillery strikes. Loud speakers taunting surving insurgents to come out and fight. Watched them attack a mosque on TV. Definitely some new tactics being employed by the coalition this time. The goal here is to kill as many potential rebels as possible.
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(11-Nov-2004 at 08:02)
If there are the 5000 iraqi Insurgents that are reportedly there. You may be looking at another somalia - 1993, If you've seen black hawk down, thats a re-enactment of it. Many American soldiers will be killed if the Iraqi's have the numbers. Only this time, the american soldiers have heavy armour and heaps of air support.

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#18  
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(11-Nov-2004 at 09:19)


Quote:
(Originally posted by prolix)

Interesting how low of a priority taking prisoners is. Massive air and artillery strikes. Loud speakers taunting surving insurgents to come out and fight. Watched them attack a mosque on TV. Definitely some new tactics being employed by the coalition this time. The goal here is to kill as many potential rebels as possible.
Mosques come off limits when you start shooting from them. I wouldn't be too worried about taking prisoners in this situation either if I were the US forces.

Quote:
If there are the 5000 iraqi Insurgents that are reportedly there. You may be looking at another somalia - 1993, If you've seen black hawk down, thats a re-enactment of it. Many American soldiers will be killed if the Iraqi's have the numbers. Only this time, the american soldiers have heavy armour and heaps of air support.
Piss poor analogy. Black Hawk Down we had a much smaller operation, less personell, and a fucked up CoC. In Falluja, we got some 15K+ people on the ground + armor + air. IF you wanna try that analogy again, feel free to give it another shot, but I think you pretty much fucked it up.

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#19  
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(11-Nov-2004 at 09:24)


This is going to be nothing like Somalia thanks to those tanks and all the technological advances and planning we are puting into this.

So far this is going exactly as I predicted. We are totally dominating the battle. I have heard at most 10 U.S. casualties so far and 70%+ of the city has been taken.
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