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BOOK REVIEW: In Iraq's most dangerous city


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Washington Times:

Gary Anderson
July 12, 2010

By Richard S. Lowry
Savas Beatie, $29.95, 312 pages

Although the war in Iraq will be remembered primarily as an insurgency, the second battle for Fallujah in November 2004, Operation Phantom Fury, was a full-scale, old-school urban battle. Although smaller in scale than some of the great urban fights of World War II such as the Battle of Stalingrad, it was every bit as intense with little quarter being given or asked by either side.

In his book "New Dawn: The Battles for Fallujah," Richard S. Lowry gives an account of both the aborted spring 2004 attack by the Marines and the decisive November battle that wrested the city away from al Qaeda in Iraq for good. Of necessity, the second battle occupies the vast majority of the book's pages.

In early 2004, Fallujah was the most dangerous city in Anbar, the most dangerous province in Iraq. It contained a lethal mix of fanatic international jihadists, former Iraqi Ba'athist military and intelligence cadres, and homegrown irregular fighters fueled by Anbar's unique brand of Saudi-origin Wahhabist Islamic fundamentalism......(Snip)

BookTV: New Dawn: The Battles for Fallujah
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As goes Fallujah, so goes Anbar Province; as goes Anbar, so goes Iraq.


Fallujah has long been a Sunni Wahabi tribal hotbed and vital commercial crossroad. Islamic fundamentalism was brought to Fallujah hundreds of years ago via an ancient trade route, linking societies in the Arabian Peninsula with the people of Iraq. This austere, blue-collar city on the banks of the Euphrates River has been regarded as a notorious home of malcontents: even Saddam had problems controlling Fallujah’s religious zealots.


American forces easily deposed Saddam’s regime in 2003, but the fight never ended in Fallujah. The first Americans to arrive were immediately besieged and forced to hunker down in fortified outposts. The situation in Fallujah was a harbinger of events to come throughout Iraq. As in Baghdad, the enemy in Fallujah proved time and time again that America was not prepared to fight a counter-insurgent war. The United States Army simply was not trained or equipped to deal with anarchy and insurrection. A metamorphosis of mission would be needed to overcome the rising insurgency.......(Snip)

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