Thursday, October 28, 2004

Ramadi on the Brink 
The New York Times paints a bleak picture of Ar Ramadi.

I wrote back in November 2003 that our main effort ought to have been civil affairs and reconstruction. It looks like the security situation has deteriorated to the point where the 2nd Bn, 5th Marines have lost the initiative.

The insurgents have the jump on the contractors, and it appears the Marines are doing their best just to maintain the status quo.

It will get better after we disinfect Fallujah. And if clearing out Fallujah forces the insurgents onto the open road, so much the better. Some of them will get nabbed as they try to slip into Ramadi.

The Marines do seem to be having a troop numbers issue, if they can't seal off the routes between Ramadi and Fallujah. There are two highways that connect them directly. Then you can take another route on the north side of the Euphrates, but you will have to cross a bridge somewhere to get to Ramadi. (Not that they'd neccessarily head to Ramadi right away). There are some other very rough routes that take you through the open desert south of the lake you see on the map. They would take you close to a US-controlled former Iraqi airfield that's nestled on the east side of the lake, between the lake and Fallujah. It would not take a huge force to interdict that traffic, with good weather and good helicopters.

And, of course, a healthy and well-advertised willingness to smoke anything that tries to move through the desert without our OK.

It's looking like the Marines, at current manning levels, are stretched thin. Are we concentrated somewhere else?

Splash, out


I started a Blog about Vietnam from some pictures I had taken while over there. Stopped at your page to get some ideas and see how others did their blogs. Stop by, take a look, leave a comment. ---Jack--- vietnam war pictures
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