Teacher's Ramblings

A potpourri of education, politics, family matters, and current events.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

2-3 Months Overdue! Attack Falluja

Yeah, it entails risks, and the point is? Read the whole thing...

The timing and decision to carry out any attacks or close any border crossings is up to the prime minister, Ayad Allawi, senior Marine officers say. But as peace negotiations with representatives of Falluja have broken down, senior officers say it could be just weeks before air and ground attacks begin, in a battle that officers estimate could last from several days to two weeks.
"If we're told to go, it'll be decisive," Lt. Gen. John F. Sattler, the commander of nearly 40,000 marines and soldiers in western and south-central Iraq, said in an interview. "The goal will be to limit the damage, limit the casualties and do it as rapidly and decisively as possible. We're not here to destroy the town. We're here to give it back."

The issue extends far beyond Falluja and Ramadi. Military officials said smashing the resistance there would deal a blow to the insurgency nationally, because Falluja in particular has been a haven and staging ground for attacks. Defeating insurgents there could help to calm the nation and set the conditions for elections, commanders say.

Senior officers say they are mindful that an attack on Falluja and Ramadi could set off uprisings in other Sunni towns and possibly in Sadr City, an impoverished Shiite area of Baghdad that exploded in violence during the revolts in April. But military officers say they are planning for such contingencies.
Several important military and political decisions remain to be made before any attack, officers said. Britain is redeploying about 850 troops from Basra to an area south of Baghdad to free up American forces to swing into position near Falluja. Iraqi security forces have not yet moved into position, though General Sattler said that would happen quickly once the order is given. A last-minute settlement also is possible, as has happened before at Falluja.

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