Belmont Club

Belmont Club:

Once again, the Belmont Club has a strong analysis of the situation in Fallujah. (Hat tip: Black Five). Of particular importance is this CENTCOM statement on the new Fallujah brigades.

The creation of native forces, and their integration into operations, is characteristic of Marine counterinsurgency. I would like to believe that is what is happening here. However, as yet I am not certain where the orders for this "Fallujah brigade" arose. If it's a component part of Marine strategy, it will probably work out well. If it's an imposition from civilian authorities, it will almost certainly work out badly.

Still, there is reason to hope. The presence of a popular local commander can be a solvent to dissolve the existing opposition groups. They will then reform under him. If he is indeed allied to the Coalition, this could be just the trick. If he is not, however, you will have a unified enemy force with better leadership and popular legitimacy. When the time comes to break it, breaking it will be that much harder. For better or for worse, the general of this force is now a popular hero in Fallujah, and a man we'll be dealing with at high levels from now on.

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