Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Ramadi in the news again 
I've written it before: Ramadi is the real ground zero in the war for Iraq. Fallujah having been wrested from them, the moojies cannot sustain their efforts in Baghdad without being able to use Ramadi as a conduit and base.

Dexter Filkins is there.

But rather than assaulting the city frontally, as the Americans did in Falluja in November 2004 — destroying it in the process — American commanders have decided on a softer and more deliberate approach. This time, they have ringed Ramadi with thousands of American and Iraqi troops, and have begun to reclaim the city, not in one sudden attack, but neighborhood by neighborhood.

Instead of leaving after the shooting stops — as the Americans have been forced to do in other Iraqi cities — the Americans plan to leave behind garrisons of American and Iraqi troops at various points throughout the city. For the first time, they say, they believe they have the manpower to make the strategy work. The combat outpost the Americans and Iraqis started building on Monday morning was the fifth one to go up this month on the southern edge of the city.

Central to the strategy, American commanders say, is the decision to commit significant numbers of Iraqi troops who can hold the neighborhoods after the Americans do most of the work of pacification. That, the American commanders hope, will make the city safe enough for its shattered economy to renew itself and for Iraqi police officers to feel secure enough to start showing up for work.

"I'm a realist," Colonel MacFarland said. "I know we are not going to be here long enough to realize that vision. The Iraqis will have to do that. What we can do is try to impart an irreversible momentum."

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Meter

Prev | List | Random | Next
Powered by RingSurf!

Prev | List | Random | Next
Powered by RingSurf!